Cynthia Rowley 2178 Dress Reveal

I’ve been bursting at the seams (haha, geddit?) to show you this monthly make! I picked the Cynthia Rowley 2178 dress as my ‘Sew Your Own Wardrobe’ make for July with some trepidation, but I couldn’t be happier with the end result. If you remember my post on the dress at the start of the month you will know that I planned to make a toile, or mock-version, of the dress before I cut into my swish Liberty fabric. My toile was to be made in a linen/polyester mix which I bought for a steal online. Once I started making it up I decided to sack my original plan and use this as the actual dress because I liked it so much! Drum roll please… Here’s the finished version.

cynthia rowley 2178 simplicity dress
Maybe should have ironed it before I took the picture…

Now I’m not one to blow my own trumpet (HA) but I think this looks damn good! I wore it to my friends wedding at the weekend and felt like a million bucks! The fact that I knew I had made my own dress gave me such a sense of pride and I don’t think a single person at that do could say the same thing. It wasn’t exactly plain sailing, mind you. There were definitely a few ups and downs! I had read so many negative reviews of this pattern that I bought a back-up to make if it was totally impossible. I decided to line the whole thing with cream cotton because the linen was a bit thin and had a bit of stretch to it. My reasoning was that the cotton might stabilise the outer fabric to stop it stretching too much and I think it was the best decision I could have made. This is a very structured dress and that stiffer layer really gave the outfit, the skirt especially, the body that it needs.

I will admit here that I totally used my imagination when thinking about how to line a dress. Did I bother to look it up? Nah! I just stitched the two sides together and turned everything the right way out. Completely unorthodox but it worked very well! I ended up scrapping all of the interfacing instructions and, shock, didn’t interface a damn thing on this dress! I like how the cream peeks out from the shoulder tie… I think it gives it a bit of sass.

cynthia rowley 2178 simplicity dress shoulder tie

Due to all of the terrible reviews I actually decided to go ‘off-piste’ and throw most of the detail construction out the window. The pattern calls for oddly placed pleats and gathers in uneven amounts. I’m all for symmetry so I decided to just made my own pleats in the front and back. I kept the bodice design the same as the pattern although I wish my gathers were more hidden in the seam! You live and learn! I also decided to leave out the pockets which I kind of regret doing. It was actually surprisingly easy to put together – I think it took about 8 uninterrupted hours. Of course it actually took at least double that for me after all the FEAR and reruns of The Walking Dead got in the way.

cynthia rowley 2178 simplicity dress pleats

The only qualm I really had was what to do with the damn shoulder strap. The original pattern calls for a shoulder tie on the left and a strap on the right, however I stupidly forgot to sew the strap in at the beginning, before I realised that I wasn’t going to interface anything. I was left with a strap that I didn’t know if I wanted to even attach! Thankfully I had Sheldon Coopers Council of Ladies (10 points if you get the reference) in the form of my Mum and cousin to help me make the decision. I didn’t want to be resigned to the punishment of an ill-fitting strapless bra so at the last gasp we decided to just cover my bra strap in some extra fabric and call it a day.

When I look at it on Mildred I do notice the slightly off-centre skirt and the marginally uneven front pleats, but when I put it on I feed like a million bucks 😀 It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever made and now there’s no stopping me! I’m so glad I stuck with the design and listened to my gut when I wandered off the beaten pattern track.

The final addition to the dress was to insert the invisible zip (which isn’t my best) and then add my very own custom label :O Handmade by Boldly Gold indeed!

cynthia rowley 2178 simplicity dress
the not very invisible zip

For the big event I teamed it with my Loubs and a fascinator from M&S. It was a fabulous day and I’m not ashamed to say that I bawled like a baby when I seen my friend walk down the aisle. Happy, Happy Amy 🙂

cynthia rowley 2178 simplicity dress

Check back next week when I will be revealing the Sew Your Own Wardrobe item for August! It’s another doozie!

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