Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity

My latest project is Simplicity 1939.  Every once in a while, I have an urge to make something modern.  The stack of Cynthia Rowley Simplicity patterns in my sewing room always catch my eye, so I gave in and grabbed some long-forgotten cotton shirting.

I remember voting for this design a couple of years ago when Simplicity gave customers multiple design options they wished to see manufactured (I wish they would repeat this process!).  This was my favorite, and I guess quite a few other people felt the same because it was the winning design.  

Turns out Simplicity shared their process of taking the runway design and creating a pattern – how did I miss this?

From reading the notes on the image above and seeing the actual dress up close, it is clear that the original hip yoke was cut on the bias.  It is also interesting to see the different sleeve options that were sketched out - some of them made it, others did not.  

My fabric would not have worked with a bias panel, but I think that this would actually improve the dress.  So if I make another version, I will definitely keep this alteration in mind.  And I wish that Simplicity did not dumb down the design - I have to wonder how often things like this happen with designer patterns.

But for the moment, I am quite pleased with my new summer dress.


  1. Though modern, I'm struck by how there are elements of this pattern which remind me of the 1910s, 60s and 70s. It's a very becoming, classic style and one that I'm sure I would have voted for, too.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. Thanks for the review, I too voted for this dress, got the pattern, fabric and forgot about it! Your fabric looks awesome. This has to go higher on my to-do-list.

  3. I think everyone forgot about this pattern- I hope you give it some much needed focus. I hope we see more of yours soon!

  4. After such an interesting post, you leave us dangling with only a cheeky sideways glance?! Now I am eager to see the rest of it on you!

  5. Great sleeve choice!

    Those earrings: you are an accessories guru.

  6. Very nice! I hope you will make this with the bias yoke too.
    I voted for this style also, but never followed up. I am delighted by those sketches that translate runway to pattern. The drawings and notes provide the keys to making either the original garment or a number of interesting variations. I love that cap sleeve with darts.

  7. How interesting to see the sketches! That color looks great on you, I'm looking forward to seeing the whole dress.

  8. Oh you look beautiful in the pale green. Bravo! I wish Simplicity would let us vote again too!

  9. I suppose with a name like Simplicity they feel the patterns need to be simple :-)