Cold Turkey January* (in Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2250)

Of all the things I’ve made, this is my absolute favourite. Every time I put it on I feel good.

It’s a dress that demands twirling.

I first became aware of the Cynthia Rowley designs on the Burdastyle site sometime in 2010 and I’ve been a fan ever since. They’re lovely, clean, modern designs with none of that weird square fit that makes trad patterns so stuffy and, let’s be honest, uncool and matronly.

This dress looked more complicated to put together than it actually is. The gathered skirt has side pockets set in the seam and, as my fabric has quite a lot of body, gives it great shape and fullness.


The bodice is the best part, don’t be intimidated by it. It calls for lots of pleats and darts and tucks in the front but with a bit of patience and absolutely no rushing, it comes together with very little cursing. The pattern views don’t offer a strapless option but I decided it’s better off without straps, and it’s also surprisingly supportive! The top is slightly asymmetrical (in terms of the pleats and darts) and I love asymmetry in design, hides a multitude of sewing sins.

Stop staring at my boobs

Necklace by ladybird likes . Beautiful things and well made.

The fabric is awesome. It claims to be “Dutch Wax Printed Cotton”. £2.99 a metre at The Wimbledon Sewing Centre. I really need to learn more about fabric rather than going on how drapey or heavy or synthetic something is. I think they’re supposed to be turkeys but a friend on facebook suggested they might be peacocks. What do you think?


The belt is quite straightforward but doubles nicely as headwear.

Getting cold and grumpy.

I’ve only worn this dress a few times as it’s one of those pieces of clothing that get a lot of attention. The first time I wore it, I ended up going bowling. Not advisable.

For some reason, the print reminds me of this mural on the corner of Roman Road and Zealand Road in East London. I have no idea who the artist is and I’d love to have this printed onto fabric.

All eyes on Zealand Road

I’m definitely making this again, but perhaps with a little less fullness in the skirt so it’s more fitted. I’ve already decided on a purple tie-dyed fabric (trust me, it looks better than it sounds).

*good luck to everyone quitting smoking in 2013. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. Every cigarette you don’t have will do you good!


About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------>
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6 Responses to Cold Turkey January* (in Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2250)

  1. Leila says:

    I looove this dress. It fits you beautifully. I saw that pattern and totally passed by it thinking I’d never be able to get it to fit right. You’re making me think otherwise.

  2. Stunning dress. Love the fabric. I vote for peacocks!

  3. Wow!!!! Love love love that fabric! With this fabric is sooo easy feel happy 🙂
    The pattern looks great on you, I like the body shape.

  4. That is a sweet combination of pattern and fabric and the colour really suits you too. I don’t fare so well with American envelope patterns but I do have similar one in Burda that I’ve been meaning to try out.. Cheers for the inspiration. See you around.

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