First it was dubbed the Summer Solstice Dress. Then it became the Birthday Dress. Now it is the Finished Dress! This is me using every ounce of my being to type “professional” words instead of “squee!” or “woot-woot!” or “booyah!”. This is the Simplicity Cynthia Rowley pattern #1873, view A with cap sleeves.
I am so proud of this dress! It is by far my most advanced and professional work to date. I made some alterations to the original pattern by adding pockets, lining the entire dress rather than just the bodice, and using a blind hem on the outer skirt. This dress was also another first for me with the invisible zipper. Here’s how I wore my dress this week, taken in a gusty breeze outside of the Santa Monica Umami Burger at the Fred Segal boutique.
The main dress is a Japanese cotton print from Michael Levine. The lining is a silky poly blend from Mood Fabrics. Summer beach waves in my hair from Styles by Vanessa. Edna Caryall satchel bag by Guess. T-strap patent leather wedge heels by Blowfish Malibu.
The outer skirt is already quite full and pleated, but I was able to give it a little added boost in volume by gathering the skirt lining for some added fullness. All-in-all, I felt very retro and very glamorous wearing my new dress! The color is like catnip, however, so it’s definitely not a dress for wallflower days.
Here is the underside… and I’m excited to show it! Usually I want to hide my reverse side because it looks so rough, but not this time. I think the Anthropologie catalogue just developed a case of dress envy.
Things I like about about Simplicity #1873:
- It’s a beautiful silhouette! Very classic, just enough retro styling, and very flattering.
- Even though I chose the longer skirt, I didn’t have to chop off multiple inches at the bottom. On a taller person it might feel much shorter but my petite legs appreciated it.
- The pleated sleeves provide a really flattering detail.
Things I don’t like about Simplicity #1873, but it’s definitely alterable:
- It doesn’t come with pockets, but they are very easily added between the front side & back panels.
- The pattern only calls for a bodice lining, but I think it looks and feels weird without a skirt lining, too. I found a nice shortcut by gathering the skirt lining instead of pleating it to mirror the outer skirt, which also enhanced the full skirt silhouette.
I learned a lot by making this dress! Starting with a toile was an excellent decision–I made all my mistakes with the zipper and pockets on cheap muslin and scrap lining. By the time I got to the final dress, I sewed the whole thing in just a few evenings. Here are some of my previously published images of the toile for old times sake.
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