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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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

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