May 3, 2011

pattern review: Cynthia Rowley 2587 for Simplicity

I did it! I managed to squeeze in one last top for the Spring Top Sewalong, mostly because I've been so desperate to avoid the next project on my to-do list (I'm looking at you, Soraya!)

This pattern is another Simplicity that I snagged during the same sale when I bought the Lisette patterns, but this one is by Cynthia Rowley. It's number 2587, and I made view B, except I made it in the tunic length of view D instead of making a dress. And evidently this is the spring of salmon, as all three of the tops that I have made for the Sewalong now have the same color scheme. My mom always says that I look nice in pink- maybe that's subconsciously directing my fabric choice?

For this top, I dug around in my "sheers" fabric bin and found this cotton bamboo burnout that I've had for close to a decade. I vaguely remember that I cut into it at one point to make a skirt, but that was a colossal mess, and I had plenty left for this top. And instead of cutting bias binding from fabric, I decided to use a 2" silk dupioni ribbon from Midori that I picked up at a sample sale. It's just the right width for the binding and adds a hint of elegance to this otherwise simple and casual style.

I read a few reviews on before I made this, to see if there was anything I needed to look out for. Many of the reviewers commented on the binding around the bodice and midriff, and mentioned having trouble with all the bulk caused by the interfacing that the pattern calls for. I took note, but decided to make up the pattern as instructed and fully interfaced my binding. I didn't have any trouble, and I think my choice of interfacing is the reason why. I used Pellon's SF101, which is my favorite woven interfacing. It's lightweight and offers just the right amount of support. And when you cut it on the bias, as the pattern indicates, you get the same stretch and give that you do from the binding alone, it justs makes it all a little more stable. Some of the reviews I read mentioned that their binding would not stretch to fit, and that would be the case if you interfaced your binding with a non-woven interfacing, or if you didn't cut on the bias.

I actually really like the way the bodice and midriff are constructed on this top, with the binding and the facing it's nice and fitted and almost corset-like, but it's not restricting at all.

That deep plunging neckline would normally be a problem for me, but I wear a tank underneath everything anyway, so there's no free show here. It might be nice to build in a modesty panel in matching fabric though, and I may try that if I make this pattern up again. I did line the bodice pieces with white muslin, so the sheerness of my fabric wouldn't cause any issues. I'm glad I did! You can see near the bottom hemline how sheer this material is in one layer.

I cut one size smaller than the pattern envelope indicated, using my bust measurement as a guide. There are no finished garment measurements listed for anything other than the bustline, but that's okay since that's the only place that this top is really fitted. The pattern includes three inches of ease, and if I would have cut the size I was "supposed to" it wouldn't have fit nicely at all. As it is, there's some gapping in the bodice, so I can't imagine how it would have looked with two more inches for things to move around in there.

I was pleasantly surprised with my almost-professional job on the zipper. I'm still sometimes intimidated by zippers, especially in garments, but this one went in easily. The pattern calls for an 18" zip, but I only had a 14" so that's what I used, and it was plenty long enough. I didn't have any trouble with the bulk of the binding, and I think if I would have taken a minute to iron it before I took this photo, those weird bulgy spots above could have been tamed. Lincoln, on the other hand, is untamable! He really wanted to push the button on the camera remote, and he's actively trying to grab it out of my hand in this picture.

Alright. No more delaying the inevitable. I'm off to finish those couch covers already! I've got one almost done, two to go.