Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simplicity 2406 in progress: don't give me the cold shoulder

Here's the dress I've been working on.  I still have to hem it, deal with the sleeve length, figure out what to do with the sash, and sew the right pocket.  (yes, that is a binder clip on my right hip, holding that pocket area together).
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

When I went to the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI last September, reps from Simplicity were there  and one of them was wearing the Cynthia Rowley 2406 dress.    It looked really amazing on the rep and thus it went onto the list of patterns I must make.

The rep made view B, in the same navy blue as the picture on the  pattern envelope.  That's when I learned that a dress with these sleeves with the peak-a-boo shoulders is known as a "cold shoulder dress".  It also has a dramatic open back. 

Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley

Since I want to wear the dress to work, I cut out view C, which has raglan sleeves.  I sewed the dress straight up the back.  No zipper needed.

In the first picture above, I just tied the sash.  In this picture below, I tied the sash but then pulled up on the fabric above the sash so it's more like the pattern photo.  It creates a slightly different effect.

Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

Here's a side view.
DSC06542Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

At PR weekend Chicago, Cennetta told me she appreciates reviews that talk about problems with fit, like mine.  I haven't made any fitted garments since last year so it was a good reminder that yes, I talk about fit!

I cut this in a straight 12.  The fabric is navy blue linen-look fabric from Hancock Fabrics.
  • First, the neckline is too wide and I hate worrying about bra straps showing.  So I took a one inch wedge out of the center back, reducing the neckline by 2 inches.  You can see below the neckline is smaller.  I hadn't sewn the wedge yet in the pic, but it is sewn now.

Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

Here's when it's just clipped.  You know I love binder clips for fitting issues!
Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley in progress

The directions for the pockets are the worst directions I ever read but I "trusted" them and forged ahead, ugh.  I got the left pocket sewn (and you can see my left hand in my pocket in some of the pix) but I'm still playing with the right pocket.   I honestly thought  I took a picture of what the pockets looked like after I followed the directions, but I did not.  They were hysterical.  I then got out my Singer Photo Guide to Sewing and followed those directions instead.  Still I am having issues with the pockets.  The left one is ok and will stay.  The right one is in danger of being axed.

The sash is another issue.  It's supposed to go around the waist twice (oh in the pix above, it is still inside out).  It barely makes it around my waist twice.  I really like the effect of the sash going around twice, because it kind of makes it look like an obi or that there is a waistband.  So I could add a 5 inch chunk or so in the middle of the sash to make the sash longer.    Or I could just let it go as-is.

Also I am playing with sleeve length.   The original sleeve length is in the first few pix; the last few have the sleeves rolled up.  I think I might actually like the look of rolled up sleeves!  The pattern wants you to elasticize the sleeve bands with fat elastic but I don't like that look--too much like sweats. 

Another issue is I had problems with the facings matching the neckline of the dress, so I had to let the facings out, but that may have been an error with me cutting since no one else on PR mentioned this (unlike the pockets, which were mentioned a lot).  Then the back of the dress is supposed to have gathers at the neckline.  No one else commented on this either, but there wasn't very much room for gathers, they came out really weak looking, so I eliminated them entirely and just took it out of the CB seam (and they would have had to go anyway after I took out the wedge from the neckline).

I had to play with the front gathers to get them to where I like them to be.  Finally they look fine.

So I had been really struggling with the dress, and without the sash it looks like a shapeless choir gown, so at one point I thought about abandoning it, but I read the reviews on PR again and it gave me the courage to continue on!  I hope to finish this dress next weekend.

Friday night friends came over.  I cooked minestrone and they brought cake from LaBon, yum!
oh yes La Bonbonniere cake

And Jasmine gave me flowers from her garden. I love them, bugs and all!
flowers from Jasmine's garden

My mom gave me these very cool looking green carnations on Thursday. I like them with my red couch and white chair and pillow.
green carnations from my mom
Here are my library books.  I read almost all of "Click:  The Magic of Instant Connections" on the plane to and from Chicago.  I'll read "The Myth of Stress;  Where Stress Really Comes From and How to Live a Healthier and Happier Life" next.  I'm guessing it's going to say that it's our reaction to events that creates stress, not necessarily the events themselves...
books as of 5/22/11

Good night and be well!


  1. I have made only one Cynthia Rowley pattern, while I love the look of the dress, it is pretty shapeless without a belt. I also have on my queue the one you are working on, it is looking cute, I like with the obi style sash. From experience her necklines are pretty wide so I'm not surprised that you had to reduce the opening some.
    Love your green carnations!

  2. What a great LBD! REally cute on you.

  3. Binder clips for fitting. That's brilliant. Your dress is looking great on you. I don't own a LBD but maybe I should.

  4. I am so glad you reviewed this pattern. I would have never thought about purchasing it, but I like your dress. Love the flowers in your living room. Where did you get that beautiful white pillow on the chair?

  5. S2406 has been on my list (what isn't on the list?) for a long time. Thanks for taking the time to discuss the issues you ran into while making this dress. Like Cennetta said, comments like indeed are priceless.

    Off topic: Your living room decor is very nice. I want to update my den and you've given me lots of ideas!

  6. Guess what? I'm making this dress too, however, I have a few projects in the queue before this one. Thanks for the heads up on the neckline and sash length. I'll try to remember that.

  7. I realize that this is an old post, but here goes nothing!
    I'm currently making the same pattern (but the B view, with the "cold shoulder).
    I'm also having issues with the neckline not matching up with facings! How did you resolve this?

  8. I love the blue dress on you. You look amazing.


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