Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simplicity 2250 - Cynthia Rowley frock

In my creative space today - we have a new frock.

Now if you followed the recent Spring pattern releases, I'm sure you noticed this cute little frock pattern by Cynthia Rowley - Simplicity 2250.

I knew, once I saw it, that it would be high on my list. The problem with being in Australia though, is that we receive patterns much later than our North American sewing friends. I think we wait at least three months for new patterns to become available locally. Thankfully the world wide interweb allows us to overcome these issues and I managed to snap up this pattern from on sale!! (yay!) and I was able to use my playpal money.

So here is my new frock.
Pretty cute huh??

I must say, when I received this pattern I became a little concerned about my ability to sew it. I was particularly afraid of this pattern piece.
It's the main part of the bodice. Look at all those darts! and that big gap in the middle baffled me a bit!

Thankfully, the instructions for this pattern are really good. There are three key instructions for constructing the bodice which are: the correct was to sew a dart to prevent bubbling (just in case you don't already know), that you should adhere to the order of construction in the instructions and that you only finger press each dart or tuck or seam in the bodice - not iron them. This took all of my concentration to do. I just love steaming a dart or seam after sewing it. I was concerned about not ironing them, but it really seemed to work.

Here's a close up of all those seams and darts and tucks.
Now to the details of the dress. I made version A, which is longer and has wider straps (I like to avoid wearing a strapless bra when possible). I cut a size 10 and while I'd normally grade up to a 12 at the waist, I wasn't sure how to do this with the bodice, so just stuck to a 10, but sewed scant seams along the sides near the waist and that seemed to fit. Overall, I'd say the fit of this dress is spot on.

As I was unsure of my ability to successfully sew this dress, I didn't use posh fabric. It's just a charcoal and white stripe cotton from my stash. How could I resist making it in striped fabric when the pattern envelop looks so cute??!

Now one of the interesting and unique features of this pattern that I just love, is that the unusual tucks are not only on the bodice, but also on the skirt. The skirt attaches with large sections gathered and a few tucks placed on just one side of the frock. It's kinda unusual, but quite cool I think. You can kinda see them here.
Pattern changes:
I decided to leave off the tie at the back, thinking I wouldn't need that detail. Surely no one over the age of 5 needs to wear a bow on their dress right?? Well, I realised while constructing the top band, that the tie is required to close the back elastic, frill - doh!! To fix this gap, I've just sewn a couple of hook and eye's to the back to close the frill. Not the best finish, but it'll do.
I also decided not to line the dress, but rather just to underline the front bodice. There are instructions for underlining the bodice and fully lining it. While I was making this dress I was quite concerned about whether I would actually wear it. I also have a stack of other projects to attend to, so decided to shortcut by serging the top band and skirt/waist after sewing them. It has worked and it is neat.

Changes made to the pattern:
I slightly narrowed each strap, I think by half an inch. I thought they were looking a little too chunky when in their original size. As noted above, I also omitted the tie.

Problems with the pattern.
I found that the bodice lining/underlining was a little too short for the front bodice. My front bodice after constructing all the tucks, darts and seams was 10 inches through the middle front, while the bodice lining was only 9 inches. I'm not sure if this was my sewing or an error. It seamed to be the right size along the front and sides. Rather than remake the bodice underlining (I was getting a little over it by then!), I just trimmed the front bodice which seamed to work. It also straightened the bodice front, which makes me think I may have done something wrong with all those darts.... As the underlining is a little snug, it has bunched the bodice a little more than I'd like. Hopefully this will settle or I may look at clipping the underlining.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this dress. As it is a lighter colour, it should be easier to wear during the day for BBQ's and kiddie parties. I have one this Saturday, so may wear it then.

Thanks for reading!! Pattern review available here.

For more creative spaces, head over to Kirsty's


  1. i love everything about this dress pattern! I think you have done a great job and it looks really sweet and easy to wear. Does that fabric you used have stretch?? It's hard to tell from the images, but it looks like it has a little give - anyhoo it's great to get tips and advice from someone who has used that pattern - enjoy wearing your summer frock xx

  2. Ark, that is SOOOOO cute! I love it. x

  3. I think it looks great, I'm not sure I'd have the patience to make it myself though.

  4. lovely dress with all the details. You look great in it.

  5. This cut is gorgeous! And it looks so good on you!
    I wished we would have summer soon!

  6. Love it. Holy crap that pattern piece would scare me too. It looks great on you and much nicer than the pattern envolope

  7. You did a great job! Thanks for an in-depth review, the dress is pretty.

  8. you are an inspiration. i have to admit that since i found your blog i check it every day and you have inspired me to start making garments for myself! i have a nice list of patterns that i am going to try out!

  9. You are giving me courage to sew this too.

  10. Awesome! I love this dress. You look great!!!! Well done (again) :)

  11. Wow! This dress looks amazing on you! Nice job!

  12. I love this pattern. I keep seeing so many cute versions of it and now I think I need to get it. Great work! It looks fabulous!

  13. This pattern is great, i am making it for my grade 8 "grad" and overall i have found it pretty forgiving, though i would not suggest it to anyone who cannot do darts.You mentioned the problem with the bodice linning, the same happened to me, it just wouldnt meet up so i was forced to just do without. You did an amazing job, it looks fabulous on you.

  14. I'm doing this dress too! I'm making it my Apparel II class. I just got done with the bodice front. It really was crazy! I was scared just like you. hah.
    It looks magnificent on you!


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