Her newest, Simplicity 2215, is no exception. The patterns seem simple - a shirtdress, then a skirt and shirt made from the separated dress. But, of course, nothing from Rowley is ever truly simple. The envelope itself suggests room to spice things up - deconstructed modern trims, bold fabric choices - but the pattern pieces themselves are also a cut above the normal Simplicity fare. For my first 2215 project, I chose the skirt. As I mentioned in my musings post, I've been lusting after a similar ready-to-wear piece from Talbot's, the Champs-Élysées skirt. Indigo is in my spring palette for the Colette challenge and this pattern seemed like a fairly-straightforward recreation of that classic pleated silhouette. I was mistaken. It is so much better.
The skirt pattern ended up being that brilliant Rowley mix of classic and modern. You see, the pleats and folds are actually asymmetrical. Unlike normal skirts, where the pleats typically all go toward the center and are of uniform width, each pleat in 2215 is an individual. Some face toward the center, while others double back toward the side, forming subtle box pleats. They all vary in width, as well, creating interest and depth in this seemingly simple pattern. This difference may not be noticeable to the common eye, but it made me a bit giddy. I live for surprising pattern details.
All this gushing is not to say there weren't some tricky parts. Namely, the side invisible zipper and pockets double threat. This was my first time inserting pockets when dealing with a side zipper. While the Simplicity instructions were remarkably clear, I still ended up sewing the left pocket shut my first time through. There's only so much one can visualize, you know? Right sides have to be together, the zipper has to be upside down, etc. It gets a little muddy. (Full disclosure: I was also a little distracted by the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Did you know he crash landed in the Libyan desert and that was his inspiration for The Little Prince?) Luckily, it was a snap to take out the stitches and resew the zipper to the correct pocket side.
Another slight issue revolved around pretty details I added, then had to cover up. I've decided to give up on fusible interfacing, unless absolutely necessary, and instead underlined the waistband with some leftover rose print pique from my first Miss Rose dress. It looked absolutely adorable. Then, of course, the pattern told me to fold over the waistband - effectively hiding the pretty. My fault, for not reading through the entire pattern directions, but still a bit disappointing. Similarly, I decided to use navy flexi-lace hem facing to do the hem. It also turned out well - a very cute detail that I will be returning to in the future - but in the end I wanted to take a bit more length off, so I had to fold it under. Once more, hiding the pretty. Luckily, I made the pockets of of the rose pique, so there are still some fun details lingering!
Overall, this is a wonderful pattern. Made up in a stretch indigo denim, it's an almost exact replica of the RTW inspiration skirt. This is a pattern that we'll definitely be seeing again, as I have grand plans to buy some cheery spring poplins and have a whole rainbow of pleated full skirts.
Things I Changed:
- Made the pockets from contrasting printed fabric.
- Made the pockets from the Colette Crepe dress, as I find that channel pocket design lays flatter against the body. That's it! No other alterations were necessary. Don't you love skirt patterns?
- When I make the poplin versions of 2215, I will probably double the waistband width. I tend to like slightly wider waistbands, so that my hourglass figure is clearly visible. The waistband of 2215 ends up being about one-and-a-half inches, so a little on the narrow side for my liking.
- Add length and take a deeper hem. This is a personal thing. I just really like how sumptuous wide hems are and how floaty they make skirts.
- The invisible zipper/pocket conundrum. It's a bit confusing to visualize how this pieces together, so my major advice is this: sew the zipper to the side of the pocket that is in line with the skirt side. I originally sewed it to the side that Simplicity says\ to turn under, because that's how the diagram looked. Yeah, that sews the pocket shut. Sew to the long side, whatever you do!
- When making the pleats on the skirt, have the pattern piece handy. While I did properly mark the pleat directions, it was nice to have the little arrows to look at on the piece telling me what to do, as they do switch it up a lot.
- Stretch indigo denim from Hancock's - $9.99/yard.
- Skirt: 2215 made by me! Hooray!
- Shirt: white lace shirt by Merona from Target
- Cardigan: blue lace detail cardigan by Merona from Target (I freaking love their cardigans right now - so many great embellishment and details. Also, no one would guess it's from Target. Even better.)
- Shoes: brown Fiddle Bow wedges by Clarks (Which I love. Not only are they adorable, but they are super comfortable. I now own them in not one, but three colors.)