A cool dress just right for a Swiss heatwave

sewing pattern and fabric

LITTLE did I know (though I might have expected) that a heatwave would be rolling our way now when back in May I ordered this pattern by Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity UK.

I was in the mood for something a little different and View B, featured on the envelope photograph, with its eye-catching cut-out sleeves, seemed miles away from what I would usually wear.

When push came to sew, however, I questioned my judgement, (you do that, too?) and doubted that it would look as good on me as it would on the model. Worse, I wondered, would it just look weird? So I opted for the chic little sleeveless version, View D, and am now, in the middle of this hellaciously hot week, glad I did (though I haven’t entirely given up on sewing View B).

sewing pattern

Never forget: study the finished garment measurements!

As usual, I had to adjust for my personal body measurements, which in this case meant having three different sizes, increasing from top to bottom to accomodate my pear-shaped body.

I cannot overstate the importance of comparing the finished garment measurements written directly on the pattern with those of your standard body measurements (and corresponding size) as provided on the envelope.

I often start out thinking I’m a particular size and after reading the finished garment measurements I realize I can well make do with a smaller one. That’s also very important if you’re a Petite Size and have to shorten the torso. But of course, you know all this already, right?!

Drawings versus photographs of finished garments

Another important thing this pattern reminded me of is that a drawn image can give a very different impression than a photograph: turns out View D is very, very short. I compensated for this by using the length provided for Views B/C (Views D, B, and C all use the same front and back pattern pieces).

I also used the Size 14 pattern piece for the sash (belt) and could have added even more length, as I love having extra inches to play with when tying a wraparound belt.

Other than finding those sweet little shoulder straps somewhat challenging to sew in (sometimes sewing defies logic, you know what I mean?) the pattern was straightforward and basically easy to make. It works perfectly with the fabric I purchased — a lovely, lightweight crisp cotton — at one of my favourite fabric stores, Au Fuseau, in Annecy, France (sadly now closed).

All in all, the dress is as fresh as a pitcher of ice tea on a hot summer’s day.

Has anyone else out there in the blogosphere tried this pattern in any version? Is so, I’d love to hear from you about how it worked out and if you have any tips…

3 responses to “A cool dress just right for a Swiss heatwave”

  1. Lovely…. I love the material and it suits the dress pattern perfectly. Classic yet modern at the same time.


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