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Cynthia Rowley Botched Striped Dress(Simplicity 2250)

Have you ever been halfway through a project when you suddenly realized that it is going to be a disaster? At that point you must decide whether or not to continue and hopefully learn something from the mishap or give up on it completely and move on. In addition you are reminded why you really should have made a muslin.

For this dress I had that exact experience and I decided to trudge through it.

I should explain that when I first bought this pattern I thought the bodice was made up of mostly gathers. Turns out it’s all darts and after sewing up the bodice I realized it was a hot mess and it only got hotter and messier as I sewed the rest together. Other than the sloppy bodice the fit is good but the details annoy me.

There seems to be no way to tie the flaps on the back in an acceptable fashion and the bodice front was longer than the bodice lining no matter what I tried to do. So I just sewed the skirt to the level of the lining which made the bodice look funky and also makes the skirt look too high and uneven at the waist.

uneven bodice at the bottom

The fabric is a linen look (meaning it’s got polyester in it) that I bought on sale at Joann.

Maybe if I used a horizontal stripe fabric rather than vertical I’d like the bodice more but the bodice also has pleats in places and those look so much better than the darts so maybe it’s just the pattern?

this is my “what was I thinking” face

I hoped it would be better when all the pieces were together but the final result is still a disappointment. Apparently Simplicity thinks my boobs ought to be three inches higher because the bodice is so bunchy right there (as you can see me pulling on the fabric in the pic above). Lumpy boobs is not a good look for me.

The skirt design is made up of several random sections of pleats mixed with gathers but after accidentally sewing the skirt on to the bodice inside out (a mistake made after realizing how bad the bodice was) I had to seam rip it and reattach the skirt. After that I didn’t feel like being so exact about all the gathers and pleats so I just made it fit.

Maybe I’ll re try this dress again someday only next time I’ll gather and pleat the bodice to make the same effect and hopefully I’ll get a better fit. Oh, well. At least this was a learning experience for me.


Even Peanut thinks it’s a hot mess and Peanut is never wrong…

Comments (14) for post “Cynthia Rowley Botched Striped Dress(Simplicity 2250)”

  • I bet it’s the pattern. I made a dress and kept feeling like a complete failure. The directions were not making any sense and then I realized that they were wrong and just made the dress without instructions.

    • i know the feeling, i’m literally just in the process of making this dress, only to realise the dress came with instructions of a completely different pattern… no wonder i’ve been confused!

  • montanachic, that’s a good idea! I didn’t think of that… hmmm…

    Grace, I think the failure was probably a combo of many things including instructions. It was a very complicated piece for that bodice.

  • I made this same dress and had a similar problem with the right boob area. I had to mess with it quite a bit- a light pressing & steaming, spreading all the outer fabric around the bodice evenly did the trick for me. I think that gathering the center front might help it too. Don’t give up yet! 🙂

  • The fabric is beautiful, what a shame. It seems an unnecessarily complicated pattern when surely simple gathers or pleating would have achieved the desired effect. Hmmmm. Not like Cynthia Rowley. Usally quite logical construction. Maybe she was having a “meh” day!

  • I made that dress in a floral pattern and I have to say it looks a lot better that way. Personally I just don’t like stripes with darts or pleats ever. I did have a bit of trouble with matching the bodice front to the lining but i just kind of folded and ironed another dart and it looked fine. And the tie in back was so heavy it kind of pulled down the back so I had to add a hook and eye. I love mine though!

  • Im currently attempting to make the same dress but i am sooooo confused!!! i have the outside bodice done but i have no idea what to do next :/

    • Do you have the straps and that top band on the bodice done? basically you have to make and attach the bodice lining and add the top brand from there. You’re not the first to have problems with that bodice, believe me!

  • the bodice was the hardest part! my fabric was sleek & i was too lazy to repin it to my fabric, so my darts were a little off. it ended up looking like one of madonna’s bras! haha
    i just cut out more of lining & used that for the front! 🙂

  • I had the same problems with the front of my bodice. I added some darts and did a lot of ripping and readjusting. What a pain!

  • oh yikes. I’m an intermediate sewer and I got this pattern to use as the project for a sewing class I was taking, then quickly realized I was in over my head. I had the exact same fit problems you had, so I’m feeling a tiny bit better that I’m not alone in this. I still wear my dress with a cardigan buttoned at the waist and get lots of compliments. Some day I’ll rip the bodice apart and try to adjust the fit but for now I’m feeling kinda defeated.

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