White and Pink Set [Simplicity 1366].

I seem to be on the Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity pattern train lately as I sew through my stash of these goodies! Here’s another one I’ve made.

I think this pattern came out in about 2012 or 2013. Magazines and fashion articles were all saying “Mullet skirts are OUT!”, but I don’t care and I am still making and wearing them in 2020, haha! I like the big bow on the skirt and the cascading draping flaps around it. I also like the casual top paired with the focus-pulling skirt. It’s a winner in my books no matter what the current trend is.

  • Pattern: Simplicity 1366, a Cynthia Rowley design. I made View A (long skirt) and View D (boxy top).
  • Size made: D5 with Sizes 4-12 (US) included. I made size 6 (should have made size 8 for the skirt).
  • Pattern pieces: 5 pieces for view A (skirt) and 4 pieces for view D (top).
  • Fabric used:
    • Top and Dress fabric: Duchess satin (crepe-back satin) [100% polyester, 140cm width, 3m length for skirt in pale pink and 1m in white for top, made in China, bought from The Fabric Store a few years ago].
    • I also used 5.5m of pre-made satin bias tape for skirt hem and centre back seams.
  • New Techniques used:
    • Sewing wrap facings one side to the skirt front and other side to the skirt back, thereby enclosing all the seams. Neat!
    • First time trying bias bound seams (Hong Kong seams).
    • French seaming the armhole for the top.
  • Modifications:
    • All otherwise exposed seams are made into French or Hong Kong seams. These include the inside of the top and the skirt centre back and hem seams.
    • Topstitching along the skirt front wrap sides and top of waistband, as the fabric I chose does not press well.
    • I cut a size 6 skirt which turned out to be too small (Cynthia Rowley patterns run rather true to size and I am used to the very generous amount of ease offered by other patterns). I re-cut the waistband in size 8. Also let out the skirt pleats at the waist (and hand sewn them down for 6cm on the inside).
    • The pattern instructions told us to stitch the seam allowances of front and back of the skirt together for 15cm only, leaving the seams below it exposed and unfinished, so I sewed it all the way and handstitched on the bottom.
    • Skirt hem is finished in single fold bias tape, and top-stitched.
    • Shortened back skirt hem by 4cm tapering to 0cm at the sides.

 

Simplicity 1366, a Cynthia Rowley design. The pattern called for lightweight silky type fabrics for maximum drapiness. While I appreciate the swishiness of said result, I wanted my skirt bow and side drapes to have structure to it and not limp. So I used a duchess satin I bought about 2-3 years ago, which is a crepe-back satin, medium weight and full of body.

 

I made the long skirt length (View A) and the top (View D). Since the fabric I used is not see through, I did not make the camisole (View C).

 

The skirt pieces cut out in fabric. Basically 2 back, 2 side flaps, 1 front, 1 waistband and 1 bow tab. Total of 5 PATTERN pieces.

 

I topstitched the side flaps along the side, because my fabric does not press well and topstitching gives it a crisp edge.

 

The side flaps were then brought to the centre front, gathered, and the tab stitched over them to form the bow.

 

The resulting bow!

 

Since the wrong side of the skirt shows, having a hi-lo hem, I bias bound the centre back seam.

 

Each side ‘flap’ has a facing, thus double layered. The pattern asks us to stitch the front layer to the skirt front piece and back layer to the skirt back piece, thus encasing the seams between the flaps and the skirt front/back respectively. 

 

The above picture shows the skirt BEFORE tacking the flaps at various points.

 

Pattern instructions showing approximately where to tack the flaps (Step 21).

 

I experimented with the flap tacking. Since the fabric I used was rather heavy and stiff, adding width (like in the top left and middle pics) would make the hips look really wide. In the end I draped it similar what the pattern suggested (bottom left), but instead of tacking down at 2 points, I did 8! Again, because the fabric was so heavy, I felt that I needed to add more security and anchorage.

 

Making the top was quite straightforward.

 

See the creases at the front? I tried to iron it out (under a pressing cloth, tried steam and no steam) with no success. In the end what worked was: putting it in the wash, take it out straight away after it’s done, put in the dryer, and iron under pressing cloth with steam, hang up to cool down.

 

I am used to setting in sleeves in the round and am always surprised when the patterns say sew it in the flat.

 

The set, finished.

 

I tacked the side flaps at various points, folding back onto itself and again.

 

While I achieved my goal of making the bow and flaps more structured, I think using a heavier fabric made the skirt quite stiff and more formal. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not – depends on personal preferences and the occasion, I guess.

 

The topstitching definitely paid off, to produce crisp edges.

 

I sewed down the back skirt pleats by 6cm. It drags a little on the mannequin but less so on my body. I didn’t want the skirt too puffy at the hips, especially since my fabric is quite bouncy.

 

Side view.

 

Yes, the bottom is wrinkly :(

 

The top should probably be made in a lightweight fabric as the pattern suggested, as it is quite boxy and stiff to be tucked into the skirt. But the top looks good worn over pants or shorts, or other skirts without a feature (like the front bow here) where an untucked top would cover it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, that was a long post! This set did take me 2 months to sew, so it was definitely a delayed gratification project. I still have 2 or 3 Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity patterns that I haven’t sewn up, but I may give it a little rest for now. It can be difficult planning for my future sewing projects because I change my mind all the time!

 

 

 


2 thoughts on “White and Pink Set [Simplicity 1366].

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