Thursday, September 5, 2013

cynthia of yore

I love the photos of myself where I'm trying to be candid and coy, but it just looks like I'm sleeping while standing up. Oh, the riveting process of blog modeling! Honkchoo.

The pattern here is a Cynthia Rowley design from Simplicity 2215. Gah, commercial pattern. Printed on tissue! I've had this pattern forever (i.e. <2 years) but chose to ignore it once I witnessed Cynthia Rowley being mean to Mondo on Project Runway. Old news. I'm over it. I had sewer's block a couple weeks ago so went digging through my pattern collection to try to see my old patterns in a new light. This pattern comes with an option for a dress, a button-down sleeveless shirt, and a pleated skirt. The "design elements" include an option for fringed edges (no joke) and an asymmetrically pleated skirt.

Dang, girl, those are some shoes. Not sure I understand the styling connection there. What would Nina Garcia say? What would she say about MY outfit?! Ha, yikes, I don't wanna know.

I made the dress view A as written, except I made my skirt pleats symmetrical. I thought they might look sloppy otherwise. If you've found this blog post because you're hoping to make the collared shirt from this pattern, I will tell you that there is no collar stand to the collared shirt. If you care about that sort of thing. Which I do. I think. I wish they would make details more clear before you purchase a whole pattern.

This project was refreshing for me, actually. It was very straightforward, and I felt like I hadn't made anything in this style lately. I guess I've been making a lot of bullshit jersey dresses (behind the blog scenes), so it was satisfying to work with a stable woven cotton that pressed and folded like a dream. I haven't made a Simplicity pattern from start to finish in almost a year now. I typically sew with indie patterns or McCall's because they're more hip and fresh, yea, maybe? This dress here is not very hip and fresh, but I thought it might look delightfully French or something. I did worry that the high neckline, adorableness of the buttons, and blue color would make me look like an Amish schoolgirl. To remedy this a bit, I lowered the neckline about an inch and shortened the hem to above-knee length. Jury's still out.

This fabric is from the (gasp) home decor fabric section at JoAnn. It's 100% cotton that looks like, uh, a curtain. I originally intended it to be a bottom of some sort. The fabric is pretty structured for a bodice, but I thought I'd try it anyway because it was the only fabric in my stash that was woven, non-wool, and in a quantity above one yard. Someone needs to go shoppppping. I made a size 12 but it ended up being too big, so I shaved down the side seams. It's still roomy in the bust and under the bust, but you can only tell when I slouch. Which is always.

This pattern is drafted to have a fully lined bodice and unlined skirt. I used lightweight cotton print scraps from for the lining. I never used to bother adding fun fabrics in hidden details of my sewn garments, but it truly does make the whole thing more enjoyable to sew and wear. Why's that?

It can be tricky to fully line a sleeveless bodice with a zipper, and you have to decide which edge(s) you're going to hand-sew or how else to master the origami to keep all the seams hidden. On this particular pattern, they sacrifice the zipper opening and have you treat the bodice and lining as one when attaching the zipper. I realize after the fact that I'm not a fan of this, because I hate the look of the inside of a zipper when it's not covered up. It spoils the clean beauty of the lined bodice. You can see my crooked stitching from where I improvised a hand-picked zipper, and see the serger thread I refused to switch from white to navy. Ick. Yuck.

Boooooo. The outside looks okay, though, despite how I used a regular zipper when I much prefer invisible. Again, dismal stash! Feel sorry for me!

I think this dress will look best when layered up for fall. I couldn't resist wearing my new Franco Sarto wedge boots (here, only in black) in this photo shoot, though I'm not normally the type to wear boots with bare legs and I know it looks kind of hokey. I'm just excited to wear real leather on my feet instead of Payless plastic! I'm trying to become a grown up who makes investments in quality items, you see. A grownup who makes dresses that look like school uniforms? Yeah, well, oh well. 

Have you revisited an old(ish) pattern lately?