Cocktail Attire

10:40 AM 4 Comments A+ a-

So I'm planning this big dinner benefit to raise money for the organization I work for on October 6th. I've been contemplating for a few weeks what exactly I'll wear. The dress code is cocktail attire and while I have a million cocktail dresses in my closet, most of them are strapless and/or revealing in some way. Since this is a work event, I feel like I need to be a touch more covered, plus I'll be running around all night so I don't want to worry about having to pull up my dress constantly. Plus most of my dresses are black and I want to wear something bright so I'm easy for volunteers, staff, etc. to spot if they need me for something. Plus, I of course just want an excuse to make something new!

Anyway, following all this criteria, I decided to make
Simplicity 2497 view C, the popular Cynthia Rowley dress using bright blue duponi silk.

Humorously, this is one of the first patterns and pieces of fabric I bought when I learned to sew! However, because the silk was so expensive and pretty, for a long time I was too nervous about my skill level to attempt it. Then, when I got to the point where I would have felt confident making it, I kind of forgot about it! So now I'm finally pulling it out of the pile to work on. I was hoping to get it finished this weekend so it would be done in plenty of time. I'm trying to break my usual habit of sewing something the night before I want to wear it! However, a last minute road trip to Louisiana has come up and I won't be back until Sunday morning. Maybe I can get it done Sunday afternoon and evening? We shall see...

I started to cut out the pattern last night and I have a huge complaint already. According to the sizing chart, I should be cutting an 8 in the bust, a 12 in the waist and a 14 in the hips! I've never had the measurements off that much! I'm usually right in the range of 6-8! Is this dress only made for girls with big boobs and tiny waists and hips? I've made Cynthia Rowley patterns before I don't remember having this issue, but maybe I ignored the chart and just cut my regular size? I don't get it... I'm not super concerned about the bodice and skirt since they're both meant to have a lot ease, so I'll probably cut an 8 or 10 but I guess I'll have to measure the waist pattern pieces and figure out what weird size to cut since it's so fitted. Has anyone else made this dress and had this problem?

Also, I'm thinking about getting this feather thing to put on the waistband, maybe with a brooch or rhinestone glued to the tip? It's made for headbands but I think I could tack it on to waist, a little off center to glam it up a bit. Or I could always use it for it's original purpose and just make a headband to wear with the dress... Any thoughts?

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September 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM delete

If the sizing is so strange, I'd recommend doing a quick muslin. You don't have to spend too much time on it, and it doesn't have to be complete, enough so you can get a feel for the sizing. Especially if you're making it out of such an expensive fabric.

The feather piece is lovely! I'd buy it, and wait until the dress is complete to see if it's too busy to compete with the neck ruffles (my immediate worry). If not, belt detail! If so, headband! :)

September 17, 2011 at 12:46 PM delete

That blue is such a beautiful colour! I don't think you need the feathers for the dress as the ruffle neckline is such a big feature, but maybe as headband would be good.

I made a Cynthis Rowley top and found that it was quite loose - I'd definitely recommend a muslin if you have time too!

September 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM delete

Y'all definitely convinced me on the muslin! Thanks for the tips!

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