Thursday, May 19, 2011

Simplicity 2178 Cynthia Rowley Dress

I wanted to make myself a dress for my daughter's high school graduation party next week, and chose Simplicity 2178 which is a design by Cynthia Rowley.  I originally chose to make the longer maxi-dress, but the consensus from my family was that it looked too costumey- too much like a Roman, so I shortened it to knee length.
The fabric that I used was a silk-linen blend- very vibrant in color with a nice weighty drape. 
The pattern features a side invisible zipper, a faced front, pockets, and a shoulder tie.  I really love dresses with pockets!  The shoulder tie is a nice touch, and the other side with strap allows you to still wear a regular bra.  I would advise that you use a fairly thin fabric if you are doing the version with the shoulder tie, as by the time you knot four layers together, it can get thick and heavy, which isn't the look you'll want. 

I had to shorten the length of the shoulder strap by 2 inches.  I also did a full bust adjustment and added a couple of inches to the waist.  From the back view, I can tell that the back bodice was a little too long, so I'll shorten it, if I make it again to get rid of that fold in the back.  Overall, I'm really happy with the fit, and the adjustments were easy enough.  I now can't wait to part-ay!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simplicity 2252 Formal Dress


This is a great new pattern from designer Jessica McClintock for Simplicity  2252. 
I made a slight variation on View A for our friend Colleen's senior prom.  She wanted a one shoulder drape, instead of a halter type top.
Colleen found this great chiffon type fabric that looks like water with silver sequin like discs that sparkle.  It's really a gorgeous fabric, and I bet it looked great on the dance floor.  The pattern had called for a stiffer fabric, so what I did was underline each piece with a polyester lining in blue, to give it the stiffness that was needed to form the pleats in the waist area.

The bodice is completely lined and supported with boning. I cut the size 10 which matched Colleen's measurements exactly, but it was too tight.  I had to let it out a bit, so if you make this, I would recommend making a size bigger than your measurements to be on the safe side.

Here is the back view.
It has a small train on the back.  The wind was blowing when we took these photos, so it is hard to see how it should lie. 

Overall, this is a fantastic pattern and I wouldn't hesitate to make it again!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vogue 7521 Fit for a Queen



Vogue 7521 Dress front
It's been a while since I posted anything that I've made myself.  I haven't been sewing too much lately, and what I have been sewing has been a lot of odd jobs for other people.  But I always love sewing prom formals, and I've sewn two this season, which may help me get my sewing groove back.  This one is Vogue 7521 which my daughter chose for her senior prom. 
Dress back
This is a really nice classic pattern.  It has both a halter and criss-cross back option.  This took 3-1/2 yards of 60" wide fabric, and with my zipper, pattern, fabric, I made it for under $20! 

Dress front close-up.
It went together quite easily, and had I not tried to insert bra cups in it, it would have taken me just a few hours.  I had originally inserted some gel type bra cups in it, and just as I was nearly finished with the dress, I inadvertently stuck one of the cups with a pin, and oil came oozing out all over!  Horror of horrors!  You should never wash satin, as it spots easily, but I had no choice.  I removed the punctured bra cup, and threw the dress in the sink with some Dawn dishwashing detergent.  I hung it to dry overnight, praying that I hadn't ruined the whole thing, and luckily, the next morning, there was no sign of the disaster.  I would not recommend using gel cups ever!

Dress side- held in place with dress tape.
Be aware that this dress is not designed to be worn with a bra.  So, we purchased dress tape to hold it in place at the sides.  It worked, and she had a wonderful prom, culminating with her being crowned Prom Queen! 
Prom Queen Alyssa in her Vogue 7521 dress
At the Prom with a handsome date.
The only issue that I had with the pattern was that when it came time to hem, it was really too short!  My daughter is just 5 feet 6 inches, which is supposed to be the height that patterns are designed for, so I didn't think to even check.  The hem was longer at the sides, and I had to trim off about 3 inches at the sides to get it to match the front and the back.  I'm sure that was related to the weight of the satin on the bias. 
She would have liked to have worn high heels with it, as her date is quite tall, but it wasn't to be this time.  If I make this dress again for her, I would add 4 inches to the length.


The Queen Mum with the Queen

Comfortable enough to bake brunch in!
I think it's a great dress pattern, and easy to sew if you avoid the pitfalls that I've mentioned above.  The dress looked great the whole night, and was comfortable for dancing.  I would highly recommend it!
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