Misses’ Dress in two lengths, jacket and tie belt by Cynthia Rowley.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
more or less. the back droops. but the bodice, i think, is stunning. maybe i should have gone shorter on the skirt? that bodice is cool as anything and does look like the photos.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
yes, as long as you follow them in order. and, for a rarity, they are actually printed in order, making that tricky bodice construction seem a lot less tricky.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
that bodice is eye-poppingly cool, especially when you use a fabric with a pattern–be it stripes or something insane like the liberty of london “my little star” featured here.
but those skirt pleats? what is going on there? hate them. they look cool enough in the pattern photo but in real life they are not a treat. i embraced the asymmetrical skirt pleats/gathers this time around, in new, more drapey fabric, and the result was much closer to what i think ms. rowley intended with the drafting. but for real pop, it became immediately apparent that i needed a small crinoline.
liberty of london tana lawn “my little star” from shaukat, UK.
yellow bemberg from NY Elegant Fabrics
purple mystery fabric from Jo-Ann
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
not enough! i widened the straps (by accident, maybe i misunderstood the pattern piece) and that seems to have been a mistake, and maybe i should shorten the skirt although i went with length A. i underlined and boned the bodice lining for some extra shape in the front, since there wasn’t a convenient way to wriggle an SBA out of all of those wild and funky darts.
i wish i had had better understanding at pattern drafting when i originally began this pattern, because there is actually a way to wriggle an SBA out of it if you go to the basic bodice pattern and work your way up. still, this time i was able to get a nicer fit by matching the bodice hem with my underlining hem, which gave the top a bit of blousing. by boning the interior and creating an interlining, i was able to give the bodice some structure and shape.
that said, i still needed to take it in over 1.5″ at the CB to get a real snug fit. the ease, as drafted, is too much for the nearly-strapless look envisioned by the pattern envelope. too much ease on this bodice and it starts to look frumpy and unflattering VERY quickly.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
actually, i might try it again just to see where i went wrong. it’s such a brilliant little pattern in its way and i’m not giving up on it yet.
except for my boning, i constructed it pretty much exactly as designed–even the back. but i’m unsatisfied with the dress. maybe i just need to put it away for a while–or maybe i need to take it apart, salvage the bodice and lining, and re-do the bits in purple? the purple bits are not an ideal weight, do not have great drape, and make the dress feel heavy. but i’m loathe to take the whole thing apart after i’ve only just finished it! i do also plan to make the jacket at some point, because i am convinced that taken together it’s a smashing little ensemble.
i’m really glad i finally revisited this UFO (i disassembled it over a year ago) and made it work, because the bodice is a total stunner and likely to be unique among your patterns. i’d love to try it as a stand-alone top, or a sheath dress.