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