08 January 2010

184. Simplicity 2584: How Low Can You Go?

I went to Hobby Lobby for Christmas goods a few weeks back, and found a bolt of clearance denim that felt so soft and lightweight. Medium blue is not my favorite shade, but it felt like 6 oz denim, which is rare in Austin. A summer denim dress! Finally! I rushed to the cutting table, and as the fabric unrolled from the bolt, I saw the blinding sheen of metallic thread and was paralyzed.

Sometimes you see fabric that is so hopeless that you have to get a few yards and challenge yourself to do something to redeem it. (PatternReview.com Ugly Fabric contest, anyone?) I don't know that I think metallic denim is ugly, per se -- just a very odd choice. Of all the denims you could produce, metallic denim?

Enter Simplicity 2584, a Cynthia Rowley pattern I picked up last summer. I thought it might be just the class a metallic denim would aspire to, so their fates were sealed.

Can I mention that this dress looks much better in person? Everyone who's seen it so far has compliments, and I promise the photos don't do it justice.

Cindy sewed her version of this dress last summer and piped the yoke. Even though the denim was lightweight, I didn't want to bulk that front yoke by lining as instructed, so I perused the fabric store and came up with this stone blue piping that matched so well. It was my first time using piping and I have to say that it was a pleasure. My newbie hands weren't able to get the sharpness of the yoke's points as I would have had I lined the yoke, but it doesn't lessen my love for this rags to riches story. LOL

And that yoke is LOW! Only J-Lo goes that low (as in, lower than the bra strap). I don't, so I will be sewing in a little lace modesty panel.

So far, the new year intent to slow down and be part of the process of sewing more has worked great. This pattern is not difficult at all, but requires careful attention to instructions and detail, and taking one's time does wonders. And now I have another dress for Hawaii next week! I'll be sure to take photos of me wearing the dress, maybe in some bright equatorial sunshine, and see if I can do a better job of showing you what I see.


  1. Yesss! I have that pattern and love it, can't wait to try it out. Super cute!

  2. It turned out really cute and you could throw it over a swim suit if needed!

  3. I love your version! It is a low pattern. I believe, I hand sewed (slip stitched) a few inches up on my opening. I hope that I mentioned it in my review! Your version is very cute!

  4. That turned out so nice especially the yoke created by the piping.

  5. I loved that dress on Cindy and now I'm loving it on your dress form. Super super styley! Me I've got a soft spot for fabric that looks cheap'n'chic - and metallic denim would totally do it for me.

    I just love everything about this dress.

    ps still having lots of problems leaving a comment but sparkly denim was too much temptation for me to resist ...

  6. If your photos don't do this dress justice then it must be totally fabulously splendid in real life because it looks wonderful from here. I love some sparkle. I have this pattern - I hope mine turns out this good!

  7. I bet it looks beautiful on you!

  8. That would be cute to wear over your swimsuit, then it wouldn't matter how low it is.

  9. I just haven't figured out if that pattern will work over my hips, but I like the look of yours. Thanks for the comment on my quilt!

  10. Cute, cute dress! I think I may pick this pattern up and make one for myself! And I agree with the lace panel...hope you'll show pictures when you've inset the lace.

  11. This dress is beautifully finished, the piping really adds a lovely curved focus to the front. Well done! And thanks for your comment on my blog. It really made my day!

  12. I've done this so many times....think I'm buying one kind of fabric and get it home and it's something totally different (even though it is actually what I bought)!

    Good for you that you found a use for it. I usually have to let it "rest" in the stash for me to think about it again!!!

  13. Love your version . I made this last summer and had to ditch it as the neck was so low!!!!!! Even a cami underneath it looked so goofy. I agree, a good pattern warning about the neck...... Looks very cute!

  14. very nice job! I'm no piping expert myself, not sure i'll ever have the dexterity required to really turn those corners. And you know my fall back position when you don't like the color/fabric/sheen... dye it! have fun in Hawaii.

  15. How cute!! I loved Cindy version and I love yours, too! Great job!

  16. love the yoke on your dress - relatively subtle yet lovely to look at when you get up close. And I am really keen to try piping myself, due to my unexpected new-found love of Seventies fashion.

  17. I have this pattern on my expansive list of items that I'd really like to sew. I think you should go with the sparkle and do some silver embroidery or beading on the yoke.

  18. It looks amazing and really professionally made! And just imagine how great it will look with coloured tights, say magenta?

  19. @Adventures in Dressmaking - Can't wait to see yours! Let us know!

    @Cathy - Thanks, and that is a great idea! I would be totally OK wearing this over a swimsuit to grab lunch or something.

    @Cindy - I remember your comment about the slit being low. I considered simply not cutting the slit as low but was afraid the proportions would be way off. No worries! :)

    @Faye - Thank you! I now <3 piping!

    @Mary Nanna - Thanks so much for doing the extra work to comment -- it is always lovely to see a comment from you. I also meant to credit the sleeve technique you championed last year, which I tried twice before I got it right with this dress! Perhaps in the next post.

    @Eugenia - I will try to post a photo in more natural light instead of indoor lamps. Maybe it's all in my head, but I promise it looks very sweet to me in person, not too overly sparkly. Good luck with the pattern! I bet yours will be lovely.

    @Sarah - Thanks, darlin'! Miss you 'round these parts!

    @Pam - Agree, great point. I hope it's just the right amount of warm for 3/4 length sleeves. I'll keep you posted!

    @mjb - I wrote the entire pattern review at PR.com and then my computer locked up and I lost the review and had to re-create from memory... the part I forgot to mention is that the recommended zipper length is 18", which wasn't quite long enough! The widest opening when the zipper is down is a good 2.5" less than my hip measurement, so there is a little wiggle dance to get in when I step into the dress. FYI. Thanks for reminding!

    @Serendipity Handmade - I will be sure to take pics of the dress with lace to share. You know, for when I try to wear this dress back in the real world. :)

    @ClaireOKC - Why do we do that? Where do we get this tunnel vision? We could see it very positively and say that we only see the best in fabric at first glance, LOL!

    @JoanneM - Thank you! I need to check out your dress! So sorry you ditched it. This pattern has such promise, right?

    @glam.spoon - What surprised me was how simple and intuitive the piping was. I encourage you to pipe some pockets or something just to test the waters. I could see piping ending up in other projects because it is so simple and sweet! I like that idea of dyeing! I might do that!

    @Dei - Thank you!

    @NGLaLaLa - Thanks -- what I liked so much about Cindy's was its preppy-coolness, and mine turned out way different even though I also piped.

    @Violet - Strongly encourage the piping! Hope you give it a go. Maybe for a Dora dress for your daughter, too!

    @Gail - I like the way you think! There's never too much sparkle!!! I might try my hand at that. I've always wanted to hand-bead but wonder then about the "machine-wash-and-dry-ability". Maybe the embroidery then.

    @Lopi - Oooooh, I've been waiting for an excuse to try some brightly colored tights! I like magenta, too! Thanks.

  20. Really like the piping. Very cute! Have a wonderful time!

  21. so, yeah, i want to see this on! i am so impressed with your skillz!

    i haven't done piping before....

    sewing down to slow is exactly what i've been doing too the past few months. doesn't it feel better?

  22. Super cute dress, that piping looks very pro! Piping is something of a blind spot for me, I have only done it a few times and am a little nervous about that. As for the low neckline in patterns, I have run in to that several times lately, even though I always do a petite alteration above the bust. Maybe it's a trend? Call me old fashioned, but I still think a neckline should hit *above* the bra line! Have a great time in Hawaii, am very jealous of your trip!

  23. way to go, redeeming that fabric! I don't know if I'd have known what to do with a metallic denim, but this dress turned out beautifully, low neckline aside, and your piping turned out so exactly perfectly. Great job, again!

  24. This is so Austin laid-back perfect. I love it. The pattern triumphed over the fabric!

  25. i just reread my comment. sewing down to slow! how cool. i meant to write, slowing down to sew.

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. @Curry - Thank you! It was a great trip!

    @Heather - You should give piping a try! Pretty intuitive, unlike many other techniques. I like "sewing down to slow" -- I bet someone makes that a new sewing blog. LOL It does feel better!

    @Johanna Lu - I agree with you on the necklines being too low in some recent patterns. Maybe it makes me old-fashioned, but I can assure you I will never be called skanky. ;)

    @elle - Nothing a little tank underneath couldn't fix! I wore this to a wedding-related BBQ in the evening, and it was just the right number of layers for the cooler air.

    @Trish - I still have a little fabric left and thought I might try a very fitted dress (that doesn't use more than a yard and a quarter, so I guess it would need to be pretty slim-fitting). It's a mystifying fabric, yes?

    @Lindsay T - Thank you! It does feel sort of Austin-y now that you mention it.

  28. I realize this is rather random, but if you still have this pattern would you consider selling it to me? I can't find it anywhere!
    Thanks :) chelsey.brennan {at} gmail.com


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