Aug 28, 2014

Finished Project: Simplicity 1314 Times TWO

When my sewing students told me they wanted to learn to make a dress, I knew finding a pattern would be a challenge. After all, they're a diverse bunch of ladies, each with her own style. How can you possibly pick a dress pattern to please more than one person? 

So first, we settled on some musts we could agree on: sleeves, a simple neckline (no collars or button plackets), and a zipper closure. I also wanted to include a few key techniques: how to sew princess seams and attach a separate bodice and skirt (Sorry, no shift dresses!). It also needed to be a Fall/Winter style. 

I searched and searched...and then one day I got an email: Simplicity had released a new Cynthia Rowley pattern — 1314, a Fall-friendly dress with elbow-length sleeves. It can be made in a woven or slightly stretchy knit like ponte (forgiving for the new sewer or the easily bloated!), and you can mix fabrics for a contrasting center front panel. It's simple, has slimming princess seams, and is classic — though you can make it really modern. I even love the styling on the pattern envelope. Look at her, she's wearing sneakers with a dress. I love sneakers with dresses. Always have. I also love faux leather:

I tested out the pattern twice — and I love it. LOVE. IT. I think it is so, so flattering. I love the neckline, wide-at-the-elbow sleeve and the cut of the skirt. I made it in black ponte (from Chic in NYC's Garment District):  


And in cream ponte (Metro Textiles) with quilted center front and center back panels:


The fabric I used for the contrast panel really is a thing of beauty. It's a cotton blend quilted sweatshirt fabric I found at Paron's on sale a few weeks ago. I may just go back and buy the rest of the bolt. Here's the detail shot you've been waiting for:

Texture!

Of course, the great thing about a princess seam is the fact that you can achieve a great fit through the bust.


I had intended to cut the above black dress with a contrast faux leather center front panel just like the Cynthia Rowley sample, but it turned out the piece of faux I had in my stash was not enough. It worked out though — now I actually have a basic black dress in my wardrobe:



I didn't make many changes to the pattern. I graded out to a larger size at the hip and reduced the back neckline and armscye (which I usually do because I have the back of a 90-pound weakling and the hips of a mother of six). I also ended up taking out some ease at the side seam, though if I had sewn a woven, I probably would have left that in. I think for many women, this pattern would fit great straight out of the envelope. 

I also trimmed a couple inches off the length of the skirt because I am 5 foot 3 and wanted to maintain the right proportions. 


I chose pretty conservative fabrics for my two versions of Simplicity 1314, but I think there's so much room for working with color, texture, and even print with this pattern. 


What fabrics would you choose? And how would you style this dress?

35 comments:

  1. Eek! This is fab-u-lous. I love the textured fabric. Love. Love. Love!

    I have this pattern. Hmmmm...:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Kathy. I highly recommended it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I love this. Going to have to pick it up!

    ReplyDelete
  4. these are gorgeous!! that quilted fabric is just so cool. nice job!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just bought this pattern. Maybe it will be the one to get me out of my current sewing rut! I love both of your dresses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yessssss. Do it. It will be fun to choose your fabrics.

      Delete
  6. Love these dresses! Now I want this pattern and you can't buy Simpilcity patterns in Canada anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What??!! That sucks! how is that possible??

      Delete
  7. Those are both great dresses, especially love the quilted contrast - stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You look amazing in both of these! They're seriously great dresses!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this pattern and your dresses! I love the idea of faux leather in the front (not original, I know!). I was also thinking about adding a lace overlay to the front pieces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, lace overlay is an exciting idea. I want to see lots of versions of this dress.

      Delete
  10. Love that fabric--the texture really sets it off.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ZOMG love love love the quilted panel-I remember at MPB Day you said you were hoping it would match the cream ponte you already had--looks AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, it was a good match. I need to go back and BUY IT ALL

      Delete
  12. The cream version is so freakin' fantastic. Quilted fabric! I always wondered what you could make with quilted fabric.... Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ohhhh the texture and the seam lines are amazing, love both of these!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That white dress is just perfect. Period.
    I'm pretty sure I need that pattern now, the sleeves even look good!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazing!! Both of them!! I love a dress I can rock with oxfords!! I think I need this pattern. The side panels take away the pain of matching so many seam lines!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are exactly right! The side panels are flattering — and they make it easier to avoid mismatched seam lines.

      Delete
  16. Wonderful! Both are fab, perfect wardrobe staples. If you do go back and grab that bolt of the texture sweatshirt knit will you be making another version of this dress like in a color bock?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably I would make a jacket...blazer or moto...and a raglan hoodie

      Delete
  17. I love this so much, and it looks effortlessly flattering on you. But where are your sneakers lady?? ;)

    And I just got an email from Fabricville to say that they are discontinuing their Simplicity / New Look patterns. Welp. I know where I'm going on my next afternoon off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I don't have any great sneakers that would go with these right now. If you need a Simplicity hookup, let me know!

      Delete
  18. OOO YOU HOTTIE. that white one! white freaking hot! on my list. think i can twist my own arm and make them in neutrals?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love both dresses but that textured cream ponte is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, the quilted cream paneled dress is amazing... you might have convinced me to get this pattern!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It's a great pattern. Hope you like it!

      Delete
  21. I'm so glad to see your versions because I have some ponte I got at Paron's that I was going to make a Laurel dress out of, but I've been concerned it will be too loose looking. My mom just sent me this pattern so now maybe I'll try this instead!

    ReplyDelete
  22. BOOM! Both versions are gorgeous and yes you are working it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your post has sold it to me! Gonna have to make!! xox

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...