Diving into Neoprene – Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2443

 After the success of my checked shirt, I was keen to keep sewing and to continue to learn something, anything, that would enable me to continue to grow as a sewist. After flicking through my boxes of patterns, I settled on another Cynthia Rowley, as I haven’t been disappointed by any of her makes yet, and have had successes here, here and here. The 2443 looked like a lovely, casual dress, and was quite different from anything I’ve made before. I chose some fabric that I have had in my stash for a few months, that I had originally thought of as jersey, but on closer examination it was much too dense and heavy, although it was stretchy. I’m fairly sure it’s something like scuba, or neoprene, neither of which were recommended explicitly on the pattern sleeve, but I persevered nonetheless.


It was a dream to cut out with my rotary cutter, no fraying or tricky parts to navigate. There weren’t too many pattern pieces, and I opted to include the pockets, but to try without the zip – as a stretchy fabric I thought it was unlikely to be necessary, so ploughed ahead. The pockets turned out to be the biggest headache of the make! Although I have made them before, I somehow attached them wrong THREE TIMES before getting it right on the fourth – which was a pain. Have I mentioned I’m not one for unpicking? Apart from that, I sewed the wrong seam along the back neckline straps, but only did so once which paled in comparison with the pockets.

Towards the end of the make, which came together smoothly other than my silly mistakes, you have to pin the straps to the bodice. Placing the two pieces side by side I could see how they would fit together like a jigsaw, but in a similar way to princess seams found it really hard to work out how to place raw edges together to pin and then sew. I did so, but it was tricky and even with loads of pins, matching up all of the curves and corners felt like a losing battle at some points.

Doubtfully, and with little other option, I stitched where I had pinned, then unpinned, re-sewed one small section along the back where it hadn’t caught, and then folded the straps back to where they should be. Somehow, it had worked, and it didn’t look half bad.All that was left to do was hem. I hadn’t even attempted to press any of this make a long the way, it would have either melted the fabric or not worked whatsoever, so I used the width of the machine foot to sew my first hem, then folded it up again so it was a double hem. I was worried it might be too bulky but I think it turned out ok. I’m really pleased with the finished make! I love the fabric, and I think I have enough left for a skirt or some kind of top. The racer back means I need to give my underwear some consideration, but after a paperclip related tip from Nat I think my worry may be unfounded. I’m pleased with the drape of the fabric, even though it’s heavier than prescribed, and feel I could wear this dress to an occasion or just a day out, or possibly even work, with a cardigan. I would like to make another in some plain ponte di roma, but as I’m on a bit of a self-imposed fabric-buying-ban, I feel I should try and work my way through at least some of what’s in my stash first. I did find myself browsing Cynthia Rowley patterns on eBay earlier, though… 

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17 responses to “Diving into Neoprene – Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2443

  1. Wow this looks fantastic. Get you and all your Cynthia Rowley dresses. I love how the strap part worked even though it didn’t look like it was going to! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this, beautiful print and I can imagine it keeps its shape well. Cynthia Rowley designs really do stand out, don’t they? Great job, look forwRd to seeing you in it soon…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks great! Well done on all the tricky bits, if in doubt pin the hell out of it I say! Love the strap detail too. I’ve never tried a Cynthia Rowley pattern but I have seen some on here that look amazing – I’ll have to try one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – I used so many pins on the corners and it was still tricky to match up the raw edges. I have about 6 CR patterns, there are a few more that are maybe a big too statement-y for me but there are some beauties too. Let me know if you do choose one 🙂

      Like

  4. corrineappleby

    This looks ace! I really like racer back – very daring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love it! Well done persevering, was so worth it! Don’t forget to show us you wearing it and give us a twirl! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your dress looks lovely. I’ve never sewn with neoprene but it is on my list. Great job😄

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks fab. Bet you look stunning in it. That fabric is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the strap detailing and the prints lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This has a lovely finish on it – looks ever so neat 🙂 Well done you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooh scuba jersey! I’ve heard how much of a dream it is to sew with and have seen a lot in fabric shops but for some reason, always resisted. Probably mostly because the design hasn;t won me over. It’s great that it worked out (love when that happens in sewing; you feel like you don’t quite know what you’re doing or whether you’re doing it right and it works) and it looks like a great make to me! The racer back is hot! I’ve not tried any Cynthia Rowley yet but I know a lot of people have a good experience with her patterns.

    Liked by 1 person

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So pleased with my purchases from the @johnlewisretail sale today! 4m of Robert Kaufman denim + What was left of some @atelierbrunette cotton + some @makoweruk metallic spot. Plus some pretty she’ll buttons that were less than half price 🙌🏼 All came to a total of £36.50. Now to figure out whether I can use any of them for my #2018makenine plans 🤔 •
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#buttons #makersgonnamake #imakethings #dressmaking #sales #shopping #bargains The light isn’t great but here’s my second @sewoveritlondon #soivintageshirtdress hot off the machine. This one is made using some chambray coloured cotton from @fabworksmillshop leftover from an @theavidseamstress #daydress I made quite a while ago. The buttons feel like quite a statement and I’m hoping they don’t detract from the dress. I sewed this up as a size 12 and it fits SO much better than the 14. •
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#sewmystyle #sewoveritlondon #sewoverit #vintageshirtdress #chambray #sleeveless #dressmaking #imakethings #makersgonnamake #sewersgonnasew #holidaysewing #buttons The only fabric I purchased (so far) in the sales just arrived from @misformake ~ the mason jars is a brushed cotton and the floral (+ snails! 🐌) is a cotton lawn. I only have a couple of metres of each so I’m not sure what I’ll make yet 🤔
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#goodpostday #happymail #fabric #sales #salebuys #endofrolls #endofbolt #makersgonnamake #imakethings #sewersgonnasew Finished! My first @sewoveritlondon #vintageshirtdress made with @dashwoodstudio #flurry fabric with 8 vintage red buttons. I cut out the paper pattern and made a size 14, but I think it’s come up a little large and now I’m regretting not tracing it off - which I nearly always do. I’m hoping I’ll be able to nip it in with a belt, as other than that I’m pretty happy with it. I would like to make a sleeveless version in a 12 to compare but I’m not sure how best to size down a pattern I’ve already cut 🤷🏻‍♀️
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#soivintageshirtdress #dashwoodstudio #shirtdress #collar #handmade #Imakethings #memade #dressmaking #January Searching through my vintage buttons for 8 that are a suitable match for my almost finished @sewoveritlondon #vintageshirtdress 🧐
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#buttons #vintage #retro #choices #preloved #recycle #reuse Last year I realised I could sometimes combine 2 of my favourite things: running and dog walking. Oliver is less compliant, unsurprisingly, but Wilf just loves to run. 
In 2017 we completed 3 #canicross races together, as well as several parkruns. He gets very excited at the beginning, particularly when there is lots of clapping or lots of other dogs. Wilf keeps me company on lots of training runs, both on his harness if we are running on the road and off the lead if we’re on the trails. He’s happy to go on very early or very late runs. He even looks disappointed if I head out in my trainers without him. 
I’ve already booked our first couple of canicross races for 2018, and this year I plan to log how many miles Wilfie runs too. He’s a good dog. •
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#rescuedog #dailydog #instadog #patterdaleterrier #patterdale #patterdalex #patterdalecross #runningbuddy #runningdog #runningdogsofinstagram

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