You guys, I made a dress! It’s been such a long time since I made a dress for myself, but it’s time for me to start building my own wardrobe, full of garments made by me. This is only the first in a long line of beautiful dresses.
I’ve had the Simplicity 2215 dress pattern in my Dressmaking Pinterest board for ages and I finally bought the pattern along with two and a half meters of Katy Jones’ Priory Square fabric ‘Sunday Clippings’. Although the Art Gallery range is technically quilting cotton, its is lovely and soft with a lovely drape, perfect for a summer dress. I also spent one hour deciding exactly which buttons to use, because I didn’t have four matching ones n my button jar.
This dress was adapted from Cynthia Rowley’s 2010 spring range. When discussing her spring concept, Cynthia Rowley said “The idea is something that’s both scary and pretty. Things are out of focus and starting to unravel.” Well, alright then. As long as my dress doesn’t unravel on me! You can view the entire Spring 2010 ready-to wear slideshow over on the Vogue website if you would like to see more.
I have to admit to not knowing much about Cynthia Rowley before I bought this pattern. According to Wikipedia, she is an American design who won an School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) fellowship award in her senior year and used the money to move from Chicago to New York City. Her Grandmother loaned her $3000 and she launched her career in 1988. Since then, she has built a fashion empire and has been honoured with a Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent, the SAIC Legend of Fashion award and won the Designer of the Year award at the 37th Annual American Apparel and Footwear Association American Image Awards. And, she designed the dress I made.
Because it has been such a long time since my last dress, I made a sewing date with my BFF so we could each make a dress and work out the instructions together. I got to tell you, we spend about an hour trying to work out what size we were going to cut. Usually, when I buy clothes in Australian shops, I am a size 12. According to the measurements on the back of the packet, I would need to cut a size 18…. rightio then. Except the biggest size was a size 14. After laughing our way through working out how I could shave off 20cms from my waist, we decided to cut the size 14 and work it out.
Fast forward several hours of pretending to run a fashion house (read sweat shop – its summer time in Australia), I had a bodice to fit. And to my great surprise, the size 14 bodice fit. It fit almost perfectly! Honestly, I’m not sure how they expect the average home sewer how to grade a bodice pattern down TWO whole sizes. Thats cray cray.
Once the bodice was fitting, I joined the skirt (which was fuller than the pattern as I was making allowances for the extra size that I didn’t need) and tried it all on together. I quickly discovered that a ‘dropped’ waist line is not my friend, no sir-ee! Off came the skirt and I took 2.5 centimetres off the bodice and reattached the skirt. Muuuuch better.
In the end, I love my new dress! The shape suits my figure, the fabric is fabulous and it makes me happy to know I made it.