Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cynthia Rowley 2406 as a top!

Simplicity 2406

 Ok, so I'm kind of secretly in love with my new Simplicity 2406 dress made a few weeks ago (shown below). I think it would have to go down as one of my greatest sewing successes. So often I'm overwhelmed with doubt when I make something, but not this time around. I'm kind of thinking this one ticks so may boxes - fit, fabric, comfort (both physical and psychological) and that all important touch of je nais se quoi.
- the new dress -

Given my success, I could hardly resist the temptation to rip out another one. Two dresses, in the same style, in the same month, seemed a little ridiculous though. Second-time round, I went with a top.

As with the dress, I also sewed this garment using Milly fabric purchased from Emma One Sock. This time, however it's made using a cotton voile rather than a silk. I've been rather smitten with this print for a long time. In fact, the love affair started when I first saw it made up in a silk twill by my sister Katherine.

I later caught a glimpse of it made into a maxi dress while watching the movie Hall Pass (yeah, yeah, I know..sometimes one needs a little mindless entertainment!)

Then again used in swimwear

and finally as a belted shift dress. (LOVE!)

Believe it or not, but this is only the tip of the Milly chevron iceberg. It's been used over and over again. (sigh) I'm sure you can appreciate my growing admiration. I do, after all, love me a bold print in bright colours. 

Anyway, given that S2406 is essentially a fancy sack, it was easy to transform into a top. I simply shortened the dress to top-length. I also omitted the CB opening by cutting the back on the fold. Once again, I omitted the side pockets. 

As you can see from the photos, I added a hemband with a side tie. This wasn't to reflect the original design of the dress (although admittedly it does this), but rather to put an end to the tuck/untuck debate circling around in my head. I didn't really want the tucked-in look, yet I was keen to avoid the maternity look as well. This seem like the ideal solution. 

I left a small slit in the side seam above the tie so I could get the garment on and off. I cut the the hemband the width of the original tie. I tied this it around my hips to get the correct length. I interfaced the inner side.

Here is how I determined the placement of the hemband: I began by tying the hemband onto my hips and marked the point at which the knot started. I then lined up these marks to the front and back at the slit opening and pinned them in place. At this stage, the top was wider than the hemband. Rather than gather the top onto the hemband, I added four small pleats to both the front and back until it matched up nicely. Pinned it and sewed it in place. A perfect fit!

A few more detail shots:

- the sleeves -

- side view -

I was lucky enough to road test my new top today at the Port Douglas Carnivale. My family and I had a wonderful day with friends, hanging out on the marina sipping cold beer and eating fresh prawns. I felt quite festive wearing this fabulous print - perfect for a carnivale!


  1. Looks great! I really like the hemband you added. I just found this pattern in my sisters collection so might just give it try.

  2. It's fantastic - love the added tie at the waist. I love bold prints on other people but I always use solids for myself - I think you've inspired me to break out of my little rut.

  3. Love it as a top and agree - fantastic fabrics

  4. That is just so beautiful Bernice. I love the hem band too. I'm rarely a 'tucker' so this is a great, more flattering solution.

  5. The hem band was genius. I know what you mean about "to tuck, or not to tuck." Love those sleeves.

  6. I love bold prints too! Both the dress and the top are wonderful additions to your wardrobe. Great job thinking to use the dress as a top and to finish the hem with a tie. I love it and the peek-a-boo shoulder detail.

  7. Wow - that really looks great on you - you sure are rockin' those prints!

  8. I love this! I just cropped a dress and your waistband is so much cooler, permission to copy/homage that detail?

  9. Very nice! I have to say that I don't like the pattern on the model but I love it on you. I need to reconsider this pattern I think!

  10. Fabulous! You sure are getting a gorgeous wardrobe from all those Milly prints!

  11. I loved your Milly dress and this top is great, too. I love dreaming of all the blouses I could make from dress patterns. I enjoy all your makes, because I also live in an area that is very casual and I am a stay-at-home mom. I don't often comment, but I always get excited when your posts pop up in my reader.

  12. Another gorgeous creation. I am so jealous of the weather where you live. Please tell me there are pitfalls to living in the tropics.

    1. There sure are pitfalls - December, January & February.

  13. The pattern made a great top, and you did a great job placing the hemband! The fabric is fabulous. I like your version just as much as all of the Milly garments.

  14. Do you have no winter? Love the top and think I might add this pattern to my bourgeoning collection.