Pattern Review: Simplicity 1801

This is yet another project that I planned to make earlier this year, but got put off until recently.  Then lack of availability made photo taking a bit delayed as well.  But finally, as we head into mid-October, I present you with a really lovely spring/summer dress.  My sister bought some pretty cotton voile last year and I had this Cynthia Rowley pattern in mind as soon as she showed the fabric to me:

Simplicity 1801 – A Cynthia Rowley pattern.

I thought this was a fantastic pattern and the results look pretty cute:

My sister in her Cynthia Rowley Simplicity dress!
Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?
The back – almost as cute as the front.
I love that the top and skirt have
slight gathers at the waistband.
There are also small gathers at the shoulder yokes too.

And here is my official Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:  Dress in two lengths, or tunic top, with sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:  Sizes (6-8-10-12-14) and (14-16-18-20-22).  I found that this pattern actually ran pretty true to size, though I did check the measurements on the pattern sheet before I made the pattern for my sister.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, very easy.  The instructions were very straightforward, and I thought the construction order made sense.  I found I didn’t really need to use them very much though because there wasn’t anything too complex with this pattern.

What did you particularly like/dislike about this pattern?  Likes: The style is super cute, and it is a very easy pattern to put together.  I also thought the drafting on the pattern was excellent – everything fit together so well I was rather pleased.  The pockets and sleeves were a big hit with my sister as well.  Dislikes: I think the skirt is drafted a bit short.  My sister is on the shorter side to begin with, but to keep the skirt a respectable length I had to do a narrow hem instead of the 1.25″ hem Simplicity wanted me to use.  Also, the cut on the neckline is a bit low.  My sister has requested I add a panel to the top so that she can safely wear this dress to work.

Fabric used:  Cotton voile (print and solid) that my sister got from Fashion Fabrics Club.  I underlined everything with a poly/cotton twill because the voile was too thin.  I also used interfacing as directed by the instructions.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  None, except that I reduced the depth of the hem.  One of the reasons I love sewing for my sister – she doesn’t require nearly as many fit alterations as I do.  (Note: After the photos were taken I also added a small modesty panel to the deep v-neck as well.)

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend this to others?  I would sew this again – I would actually consider making a dress like this for myself, though I am really liking the look of that tunic top.  The maxi style in this pattern is also cute.  And my sister might want another version of this dress too.  So, yes, I expect I will be making more of this pattern sometime in the future.  I would definitely recommend this to others – it is a fantastic pattern – but I would caution that the neckline is a bit low (not scandalously low, but perhaps a bit more exposed than some might be comfortable with), and that the skirt hem will be very high if you don’t add length.  These are easy fixes though, so I still think this would be a great pattern for anyone to sew.

Conclusion:  Great pattern!  It is cute, well drafted, with good instructions.  There are also a lot of nice variations in one envelope.  What else could one ask for in a pattern?

6 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Simplicity 1801

  1. Glad to hear your review. I've gotten myself into some tight corners with patterns that ended up being too complicated for me (or poor drafting/instructions). I'm definitely going to make this now.


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