Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Simplicity 2497

Year 12 Formal time!!!! After months of hunting around for a dress for Ashlee, it was my turn to whip something up to wear to this event. So hard to do, as I didn't want a fabric that would distract from Ashlee's beautiful dress, but needed something that would compliment her unusual colourings. And it also had to suit me......
After much searching at fabric shops, not that this was the hard part, I decided on Simplicity 2497. A Cynthia Rowley design, it seemed to tick all the boxes that I was after.
The completed dress....
and from the back....
From the start the dress was a dream to make, though the fabric was a challenge. Being a silk dupoini it had the positive aspect of being resistant to wrinkles which helped to enhance the finished garment in looking crisp and formal. Though the downside was that the rough silk fibres woven through tended to fray a lot in the construction. The vibrant colour of the fabric is a gold base with black silk threads woven through. Another bonus is that this fabric is totally reversible which worked out well on the neckline feature.
I basically followed the instruction sheet to a T. And this was easy as the pattern itself is fairly straigh forward. Care had to be taken in the fitting of the dress as the design is fairly fitted.
Small changes I did make to the dress are simple enough. The first was in changing the waistline gathers to pleats. To me, gathers tend to 'enhance' the tummy area, while pleats seem to 'camouflage' the area. So camouflaging it was to be....
Then, to match these waistline pleats into the dress I choose to pleat the neckline ruffle. To do this I made up the neckline piece, finishing the outer edge first in a black rolled hem. Then just measured out evenly around to fit the neckline. After attaching the pleated ruffle piece to the dress I overstitched a thin (2mm) lenght of black ribbon to hide the stitching line. It gives a neater finish, and actually has the effect of a necklace from a distance.
The neckline is a beautiful fit, sitting high up around the back. I was worried that it might look a little 'clown-like', but after wearing the dress this wasn't a concern.

And the last change I made to the pattern was to fully line the dress. Being for a formal occasion I lined the dress in a black fabric, which emphasised the black threads in the fabric. I still used the neck and arm facings cut from the outer fabric, and attached the lining to this.
And my last little change was to insert a back vent for ease of wearing. The pattern allows for splits in each side seams, but for this formal dress I felt a vent would be more suitable. I attached the lining to the vent.
And this post wouldn't be complete without a few little shots of the actual event...
And no, I am not height challenged in any way. My beautifully tall daughter is 6'2", and I am average, normal, standard, ordinary, common. Obviously she inherited her height from hubby!!!


  1. I think your version of this pattern is gorgeous. You look wonderfull and your daughter is a knockout.

    I love you idea of pleating the collar. Might even steal it! Great dress and lovely fabric!

  2. This dress is stunning! It is amazing how you can take a so-so pattern and completely change it with your choice of fabric and the pleating details! Your lining and back vent just add such a touch of elegant couture to the dress - gorgeous!!

  3. This is gorgeous with the pleats, brilliant job.

  4. What a gorgeous dress, the collar and pleating are just stunning!

  5. How amazing is silk dupioni? I'm using it for the first time at the moment and I'm in love. I just ADORE what you've done to the collar of this dress - the black edging and the pleated effect rather than gathering. Both you and your daughter look amazing!

  6. Your dress is fantastic - so well thought through and executed, and it looks great on. I have to agree with lakaribane too - your daughter IS a knockout.

  7. What a fantastic result. This dress is much better than the one on the envelope. Beautiful!

  8. This is a beautiful dress! I love all the details and finishing you put into it. It's wonderful! And your daughter is stunning.

  9. I'm 6' and the tallest of the family. This dress is very elegant xx

  10. Wow, what an amazing dress! I have this pattern I might have to consider it more seriously next time I need a fancy dress. I love the details you have done on the neckline - makes it very special!