A Second Charcoal Dress

I finished a dress this month--one that I'd started cutting out in April.  It was about time.  I did make a bit of progress during Me-Made-May.  In fact, at that point I optimistically thought maybe I'd finish it in time to wear it for MMM '16.  That, it turns out, was not in the cards.
It is another take on the Cynthia Rowley 1801 dress, which I'd made twice previously--as seen here and here (second photo).  This time I used a sturdy, charcoal grey double knit my mom gifted me.   Those who pay attention to these things might notice I've already got one dress made out of it, actually.  I liked The Charcoal Dress well enough to want a second with a different cut though.  It has a wonderful weight and drape to it.  It was very aggreable to work with which was a marked change of pace from the last Cynthia Rowley I made.

(Full disclosure:  I called my second version of the Rowley  "The A$$**** Dress" pretty much from the moment I started sewing on it.  That beautiful, slinky fabric was terrible to work with.  Terrible, just terrible.  I don't even want to think about it.)
With this third attempt on the Rowley pattern I altered the pattern in three ways.

First off, I adjusted the length.  The long version is too long and the short version is too short.  So, I made up my own hemline in the happy middle ground.  I know some people think calf-length equals frumpy, but I don't.  Plus, experience has taught me that it's the most practical and comfortable length for me.

Second, I made the neckline a few inches higher.  I am over the moon pleased with this pattern revision.  The neckline as printed is too revealing for my taste so I always had to wear a tanktop underneath.  Not with this new dress!  By changing the angle ever so slightly it is perfect now--just a bit of cleavage without leaving me worried I'll bend over and expose myself!  Matt tells me he really likes it.  ;)  I only wish I'd drafted a paper piece for the adjustment as now I'll have to eyeball it again.  I will have this dress to use as my guide though.

Last, I skipped the zipper.  The double knit has enough give I decided not to bother with putting in a side zipper around the inseam pockets.  It is just easier that way and my experiences with the other versions have convinced me I don't need that zip.  It would be different if I was making it in cotton, I suspect.
I really dig all the gathers on this dress--front, back, and shoulders.  I sort of love the act of making gathers, actually--its like sewing voodoo, something that is SO simple and yet offers such a dramatic visual effect.  I also can't say enough about the deep inseam pockets.
It is a good dress.  I've worn it loads already.  I guess since I already have a dress which I call The Charcoal Dress I'll have to come up with a different moniker for this one.  The Charcoal Rowley, maybe...


  1. Great that you could dispense with the zipper!

  2. It's super CUTE!

    ~Have a lovely day!

  3. Lovely. The exams are over (so I have my kitchen table back!) and we are back from holiday. I have a pile of fabric and am keen to get my sewing machine out too.

    1. Hooray. There are always periods of non-sewing and that just makes me enjoy those months where I am able to find the time consistently, even daily. Enjoy!

  4. I love it! The color, the cut, the pockets, yes! I'm working on a mid-length skirt right now and I totally agree with you about that length. It's the best.

    1. Thanks, Margo! I'm glad to have found this pattern as it seems to work really well for me. This one is by far my favorite of the three though--I dig this fabric a lot.

      And I knew I wasn't the only one who likes mid-length! ;)


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