Becoming a Cynthia Rowley fangirl with S1366

Simplicity 1366 outfitI was just in your face a week ago telling you how I loved my last dress, a Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity pattern, and here I am again with the same boring story! This time it is Simplicity 1366, which everyone else in the universe has tried and loved, so now it is my turn, damn it!

Simplicity 1366 camiThe pattern consists of a crazy skirt (would be fun to wear for an event, but not IRL so much), a spaghetti strapped bias camisole, and a perfectly cut boatneck boxy top. I dove in full throttle and made both the cami and the top, so this post is a two-fer.

Simplicity 1366 crepeFirst, the camisole is a really great basic pattern that could and should be made in every luxurious fabric you can get your hands on. My mystery fabric is some kind of crepe that flows and hugs in the most delightful way!  The bias cut just makes the fit suburb.

Simplicity 1366 rolled hemI made skinny straps that I left round like spaghetti, and finished the top edge with self binding instead of the enclosed facing pieces. The facing would probably be quicker and easier, but I only had like 3/4 yard of this lovely fabric and bias garments eat fabric like crazy. My binding was very pieced together, but I made it work. For the bottom I just used the rolled hem on my serger. A word of warning – hang the top up on your dressform over night before hemming because it did distort, even just that tiny bit of fabric!

Simplicity 1366 top with shortsThen I moved onto the top. Another mysterious piece of crepey chiffon (sorry, I thrift shop and shop the LA fashion district and nothing is marked) but this one is much sheerer. It was also quite a bit harder to sew, but I still managed to do french seams on this sides. I had to just serge the armholes, though, because after going over the side seams twice while doing those french seams and feeling the shifty dance under my sewing foot, I knew I could not set a smooth sleeve if I tried to use french seams.

Simplicity 1366 backThen, when I tried it on, I saw that the fabric had shifted quite badly in one spot while I cut it and I had to even the hem out by nearly an inch. That almost made the top too short for long torsoed me, so I preserved length by serging and flipping the bottom hem. The neckline I finished with vintage pre-made bias binding. The leftovers from my last dress, actually.

Simplicity 1366 topNot much of a story to tell, except I love this pattern and Cynthia and I must rush out and get ever one she’s ever made and sew them up immediately! There is a reason this pattern is so popular, I can assure you!

Simplicity 1366 1Quick points:

  • Bias cut camisole results in a such a beautiful fit that hugs and skims.
  • The top is deceptively simple but so well cut. I didn’t bother reading the instructions, I just finished it the way I felt was best for the fabric.
  • Here are some of my favorite iterations of this great pattern: Pippi, Elizabeth, and Lara’s sweater version.
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Cynthia Rowley has my heart with Simplicity 1939

Simplicity 1939 dress chiffonYou never know what you are going to get when thrift shopping, especially for patterns. Actually, mostly you do know what you are going to get…80’s big shouldered dresses, or some shapeless “Easy” frocks. But 1 lucky day I unearthed this OOP Simplicity 1939 dress for 69 cents. Yes!

Navy chiffon border print dressWhen I paired it with this beautiful border print heavy chiffon, I knew I was making things difficult for myself. I only had 2 yards because I had bought it like 3 or 4 years ago at the Sew Expo in WA at the Vogue fabrics booth. I couldn’t have known at that time that this pattern was going to fall into my lap!

S1939 dress with tiesI cut my pattern pieces out and played tetris on the fabric. If I eliminated the armhole bands, took width out of the skirt, and cut the ties down the left overs, I had just enough. And I mean just.

Simplicity 1939 sew in chiffonWhat I did was redrafted the front and back pattern pieces to add the width of the finished armhole bands onto those pieces. It only made those pattern pieces a little wider, but eliminated some big fabric hogs that were those bands. It simplified the sewing process a bit, too. I ended up finishing my armholes with navy vintage bias tape I also found thrifting!

S1939 chiffon dress sewFor the ties around the neck, I just used the scrap I had left. I was glad I got a bit of the border at one end to make it more interesting up near my face. I could only cut 1 tie that I doubled over and used to finish the neckline.

S1939 dress in navy chiffonI had to line up the hem of the skirt with the border, and I didn’t want to cut any of the lovely moss green color off, so I just made a very narrow hem by folding over my selvedge and stitching it. I also wanted to preserve the length, because I’m kind of a tall girl and nothing is worse than a too short maxi dress!

Cynthia Rowley pattern 1939 For the innards, I interfaced the waist yoke and inserted an invisible zipper. I have no idea if that was in the instructions or not, but it seemed necessary, so it probably was. When I tried it on, the yoke seemed a little large, so I added elastic into the top seam to keep it from slipping down.

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity pattern dress 1939This is my favorite dress ever. I will wear this dress every week this summer and feel like a million dollars in it. Look at the drape of those shoulders! The cute tie! And in my favorite colors ever! Cynthia Rowley, you design a mean dress.

I entered this dress, and 5 other garments, in to the Endless Combinations contest at Pattern Review. You should go check out all the lovely things the ladies made and go vote for your favorite,

Quick bullets:

  • Interior engineering of interfacing, invisible zipper and elastic in the yoke.
  • Had to change the pattern quite a bit to fit on 2 yards of fabric, but I succeeded!
  • Surprisingly lovely pattern! I might try the raglan sleeve version. Cynthia Rowley does good work.

 

 

Dressy Nantucket Shorts

Summer Sewing blog tourMy new climate pretty much demands shorts during the summer. I’m not much of a shorts girl, though. So I’m trying some new styles and trying to figure out a way to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I want my shorts to look a little more put together, but still be comfortable in the heat. They must go with my fancy shoes!

Seamwork Nantucket ShortsFor the shorts and capris blog tour I tried out the Nantucket shorts from Seamwork Magazine. Without the grommets and drawstring, it is a very simple and quick pattern with nice lines.

Seamwork Nantucket shorts grayTo make them dressier I picked out this smooth gray mystery fabric from my stash. It has nice drape but is still substantial enough to cover my bum. I think this pattern looks best in a less structured fabric, so they hang nicely.

Colette Seamwork patterns nantucketI made the size recommended by my hip measurement, and I find the fit to be roomy around my hips – I will go down a size next time. My serious concern about the sizing is the very low rise and the very short back curve. I don’t have much back there, but if you do, these shorts won’t cover all of it. My suggested alterations are to raise the front rise an inch or so and the back rise an inch and a half to 2 inches. I might scoop the back curve out a tiny bit more, also.

seamwork nantucket sorts dressyThe tulip shape in the front is a cute detail, but again, fabric choice matters so much. If this was made in a more casual fabric, that tulip shape can make it look pretty sporty. In fact, you could wrap your front hem and back hem in bias tape and they would look very sporty indeed. It would be a totally different look!

seamwork patterns nantucket shortsI made a simple elastic casing for this pair, but there are lots of options for different ways to finish the waistband that could elevate the look. I knew this was just a first draft so I didn’t get too fancy.

I made these for this fun blog tour, hoping to get you all in the mood to start some summer sewing! I hope my thoughts have been helpful, and I know my friends on the tour also have some informative reviews to share (and maybe a giveaway, too), so go check them out! Thanks!

Sewing By Ti

Creative Counselor

Gray All Day

MSL Creations

Sew Sophie Lynn

The Socially Awkward Seamstress

Becoming a jeans-making machine

Liana stretch jeans aquaThis is just a quick post about these Liana Stretch jeans I made last week. I was not going to take pictures or post about them because as soon as I got this cheap stretch “denim” under my machine foot, I knew these were not going to be my forever jeans. This fabric is thin and wrinkles like crazy, neither is optimum for jeans.

Itch to Stitch jeansI proceeded on to practice my jeans making skills. I do want to make a stable full of handmade jeans, since I can think of no other article of clothing I wear more. So practical for me. So I pressed on, despite the obvious issues. Some might notice that my yoke seams don’t line up at center back. Normally this would be totally unacceptable, but I knew that these babies were going to be “jeggings” in the sense that I would be wearing a longer top over them, due to the thin fabric, so I left it. Ha!

liana jeans patternI practiced my fly insertion, and it went very well again. The wrinkling there is due to my buttonhole being too close to the center. It is a bummer mistake, but I learned from it, so I’m further down the road to total jeans domination.

Liana jeans from Itch to StitchIt is always a good idea to just baste the pant legs to check fit, since all fabric behaves differently. While I was doing that, I was horrified to see some camel toe action. Ewwww! I almost abandoned them. But since I was practicing, I put on the waistband. I also wanted to see if I should perhaps make fit adjustments to the crotch curve of this pattern before I make 20 more pairs (though my last pair were great!). My idea was to perhaps not pull the waistband as tight as usual, so maybe the jeans would sit down a little lower on my hips and relax in the you-know-where area. That ended up totally working! Just a little extra ease in the waistband was enough.

Handmade stretch jeans 2So now I’m quite pleased with them. Yes, the fabric is not ideal, but I could certainly wear them half tucked with a longer top so my bottom doesn’t feel totally exposed. And man, they are comfy!  Just like leggings, but a tiny bit nicer.