Shades of Gray: Simplicity 1104

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I declare June to be the month of linen.  Linen is natural fiber derived from the flax plant.  I just finished an article from the UK Telegraph which claims that linen is "making a stylish comeback."  Ummm, to be honest, I didn't know it was not stylish as I spy RTW filled with light, breezy, tropical linen dresses.  Hot weather begs for cool linen (get the pun!??!) and I can't think of a better fabric to begin my summer.  I seem to have built up quite the stash of linen -- let the busting begin!

Experiment:
Simplicity 1104
Size 8, View A

Materials:
2 and 1/2 yards of gray linen
1/2 yard of gray charmeuse
Coats and Clark Light Gray Thread
Fusible Cotton Pellon
22" white invisible zipper (the color I had on hand)

Procedure:
I seem to have an absurd amount of the Cynthia Rowley pattern line from Simplicity.  The latest one I grabbed during a sale.  With a large linen stash and summer dresses on my mind, I choose View A: a princess seam dress with pleating.   I was drawn to this pattern because of the pleat detail at the waist.  When I opened the pattern envelope and cut the pattern piece, it was one funky shaped piece.   It was a large piece with the princess seam curve and a large notch for the pleat (think of how odd that looks cut on the fold!).  This garment requires confidence with easing a princess seam and making shape pleats.
The bodice is lined with a gray charmeuse.  The stabilizer is attached to the lining of the bodice and then top stitched into place.  The night before I wore this dress, I finished attaching the lining by hand using a slipstitch.  I had been putting it off because I loathe hand sewing.  To my utter delight, a glass of wine indeed did make hand sewing tolerable.
The dress is very flattering with the princess seams and the pleats around the waist. Word to those who sew this view of the pattern, the dress is long.  Verrrryyyyy loooonnnnnggg.  I used my dress form and marked my hem with a gazillion pins.  In the end I chopped off about three inches and did a fat 5/8" folded hem.  It falls just below my knees and could be shortened just a tad more.  The only other thing I wish I would have done is added in seam pockets.  These are two easy fixes for those who want to tackle this pattern.
I made and wore this dress to my son's first communion this past weekend.   The week before entailed a large amount of getting ready for house guests and this week has been refreshing.  We are so happy to have my parents stay with us (I made my mother a linen dress that I will share soon!) since they live so very far away.  I have enjoyed watching my son get excited to tell stories to or hang out with Nana and Gaga (Yes, that's what they are called -- Gaga came about when my niece could not say grandpa and it has stuck).  We had the added bonus of have my husband's parents joining us for the communion weekend.   Plenty of food, laughs, baseball, drinks, and merriment.

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30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Shades of Gray: Simplicity 1104”

  1. Handsome family! :)

    I love that dress...but I go crazy for C.R. patterns! <3

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    1. Thank you! I love me some Cynthia Rowley patterns.

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  2. It's very pretty! It does look very summery. I had to laugh at your bit about hand sewing-I hate hand sewing too very very much.

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    1. Thank you! Some people love hand sewing -- I am not one of those.

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  3. So very pretty! I too love Cynthia Rowley designs. I love the neckline on this dress. Not quite V-neck, but not a round scoop neck either. Lovely!

    Are you okay with the wrinkly aspect of linen? I love the look and feel of linen, but not so much love for the crease factor.

    Now, I actually like hand sewing but a glass of wine as a go-with sounds awesome.

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    1. Aww, shucks! Thanks!

      I don't mind the wrinkle in linen. I do like a crisp linen first thing and then don't mind letting it naturally wrinkle. I think there are some really lovely linen-blends that help decrease the wrinkle factor (also in my stash!).

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  4. Such a beautiful dress! I love linen and yes, it is a great fabric for summer :)
    The dress suit you so nicely with a perfect length. Lovely family picture <3

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    1. I do like how the length turned out. Thank you :)

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  5. So pretty!!! And I too have way too many CR patters.. I haven't sewn one yet :-/

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  6. such a beautiful breezy dress :-D I do agree with your comment too - when was linen not cool?!?! A lovely family photo too hope your sons communion was a great event :-)

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  7. It looks lovely! Grey is a good color, I find :) and linen is just the best.
    The pleats really makes the dress, but I would love to see the back!

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    1. For some reason, all my back shots were blurry or just plain 'blah'. The back looks very much like the front so it is the lovely pleats all around.

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  8. Beautiful dress. Those pleats are so unusual and very flattering. Great dress for such a special occasion too.

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    1. Thanks! I was drawn to this pattern because of the unusual design -- looks like a winner.

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  9. Your dress is gorgeous! I used to call my Grandad Gaga, it stuck until I was a teenager then I got a bit embarrassed using it :)

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    1. That's funny -- another Gaga! I hope my son doesn't get embarrassed -- Gaga just seems to fit him!

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  10. I was wondering when you would write a post on this dress, because I assumed you had made it :). It's gorgeous, absolutely perfect just as it is - well, maybe pockets would help the perfection, but the length is lovely - especially with the deeper neckline. Anyway, if you don't like the length, you can always shorten it later.

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    1. After wearing the dress again, I agree the length is perfect.

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  11. I agree with everyone -- how gorgeous is this dress on you!! The grey is so beautiful, almost the exact tone of Persephone Books' classic reprints... always about the books, haha. I too like CR patterns but have not made one up yet.

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    Replies
    1. I love books. And I love seeing all your pictures with books.

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  12. Love to wear & sew with linen so I'm happy if June is the month of linen. ;-) Great looking dress. I don't know why I don't have that pattern!

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    1. Go get it -- it is a fun pattern!

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  13. This is a beautiful dress and it fits so well. On my screen it looks more blue grey than grey in all but the communion picture. I love the shade I see. I like grey and blue grey which are good colours for me. I made a CR dress for my daughter. Looked very complicated with complex pieces but was easier to sew than I'd feared - she chose it and loves it. She's very tall so this may also be a good piece for her.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I am sure your daughter would love this dress.

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  14. This is a beautiful dress and it fits so well. On my screen it looks more blue grey than grey in all but the communion picture. I love the shade I see. I like grey and blue grey which are good colours for me. I made a CR dress for my daughter. Looked very complicated with complex pieces but was easier to sew than I'd feared - she chose it and loves it. She's very tall so this may also be a good piece for her.

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  15. Ooo not sure how this one slipped by my blogfeed - what a beautiful dress - and family! x

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I love to hear what you think -- it makes my day! I will try to respond to each of them.

Annie