Cynthia Rowley dress: Simplicity pattern 1872

Simplicity 1872

So, I had this dress cut out for a few weeks and couldn’t bear to leave it unfinished whilst I was away on holiday. Fortunately, this is a super easy dress which I would really recommend to anyone who is fairly new to sewing.

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1872

This dress, from the Cynthia Rowley collection for Simplicity, is described as a pull-over dress (no zips or buttons!) with a tiered skirt. There are options for two different skirt lengths, and also the option to make a top. I made view C, which was the longer length dress, with only 2 tiers and sleeves.

I don’t know what it was that attracted me to this pattern, other than maybe the fact it is probably not a dress I would ordinarily pick…the thought of all those extra layers of fabric around my lower half would ordinarily put me off. But sometimes it pays to be adventurous! And I do think the (non silk) crepe de chine I picked up from the local market really helped the layers to drape well, and not stick out. By the way, I used either french or mock french seams throughout whilst sewing (my sewing class tutor is bringing in a serger so maybe that will convince me to buy one).

Simplicity 1872

This dress was super easy to make. There are only three things I would say to anyone considering making it:

  1. This dress uses an awful lot of fabric, largely because the skirt part is cut on the bias…the more tiers you have, the more fabric you will need. I used almost 5 metres of fabric, which seemed like quite a lot to buy, but that’s how it is.
  2. This dress comes up very large around the waist….like 2 sizes to big. And of course now I have read other reviews of it, other sewers have found the same thing. So that is why I added elastic to the waist, just in case anyone thought I was getting ready to have a bun in the oven or something 🙂
  3. The cross over front does gape some what. I added a press stud but think I might change it to a hook and eye.
Simplicity 1872
Simplicity 1872

I wanted this dress to be suitable for everyday wear; washable, wear with opaques in the winter but with sandals in the summer, and comfortable. So ticks for all of those. Having said that, this pattern is very versatile. I could imagine doing view B in a pale silk for a summer wedding, and the top maybe in a cotton to wear with jeans. But, of course, with so many other patterns waiting to be sewn I don’t know if I will be doing any of those other versions anytime soon! See you after my holidays…



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I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing everyone can get to see mine.

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