Pattern Review: Simplicity 2250 (Cynthia Rowley): The Go-Anywhere Dress

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December 8, 2014 by magpiemenina

It is time for another sewing pattern review!

Today, I’m reviewing Simplicity Pattern 2250, one of the Cynthia Rowley line. This came out a few years ago, but it was still in the pattern books the last time I checked, so you can still get it. Indeed, if you like dresses, I highly recommend you get this one!

The pattern provides pieces for two tie-front jackets and three variations on one dress. I haven’t tried the jackets, and don’t care to do so, but I have made dress variation A twice, in two different fabrics, and used the skirt pieces to make another skirt with a waistband of my own design to boot. I rarely make the same pattern multiple times, so that’s a pretty strong recommendation.

The dress has thin straps (variations), a sweetheart neckline, and a contoured bodice, crafted through judicious use of pleats and seams. The skirt is shaped like a bell (without bottom flare) and comes nicely out from the hips thanks to gathering and pleating. The dress also has side pockets, an invisible zipper in the back, elastic at the top of the bodice back, and back ties.

The bodice looks devilishly troublesome when you cut it out and start looking at the directions. Pleating! Folding! Random sewing! Don’t be alarmed. The directions are actually great. Follow along carefully, step by step, and you’ll be fine. That said, don’t make this as your first sewing project. It isn’t difficult, but you certainly want a bit more experience under your belt- probably a dress with separate pieces for the skirt and top.

100_2909 This is the first version of the dress, way back in 2011. I made it out of a cotton with very small flowers printed on it. I love the dress and I still wear it quite frequently, but the small design detracts from the intricate work on the bodice.

The second version, below, I made in the spring of this year. Obviously, it is a more formal fabric / color. The fabric is a moderately heavy cotton-polyester blend. It is hard to see the detailing in the photograph, but it is visible in person. The skirt can be lengthened or shortened as you like. I’m just as pleased with this dress as I was with the first. They serve two different purposes in my wardrobe, obviously. This one is my “little black dress.”

IMG_3826 Back, Simplicity 2250 The pattern makes an extremely comfortable dress that is true to size. The shape of the skirt is pleasing. It is rather like a bell, and the pleating and gathering gives it a nice amount of body, but not too much. It is also extremely unlikely to catch in the wind on a windy day. The neckline is very flattering as well, and modest without seeming prudish. This is a dress that will work in most settings (definitely take it along for weekend trips to the city or for your friend’s wedding week). What’s the best part? Pockets, of course!

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