Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

A new dress from an old fave pattern

I love Cynthia Rowley's pattern 2497 for Simplicity.  I have made it or variations on it several times before, as a dress, top, or short dress/swimsuit cover-up!
I wanted to make something similar again, this time inspired by a cute dress I saw on a girl at work the other day.  It was made of a sheer print and had a ruffle in the front in a bib shape, rather than curving around the neckline.

I bought some of JoAnn's "Simply silky prints" or whatever they're called, when there was a good sale.  It only took a yard or so!  I love the neutral colors in this one.

(Forgive me: my official blog photographer (fiancé!) is out of town this weekend so I had to take the pics myself.  Without a mannequin or knowledge of how to use my camera timer, this is the best I can do for pics!)
I lined it with another neutral, and made up the ruffle by cutting it on the bias and gathering and hemming!
I did a few things differently from the pattern, as you can see.  The full lining meant I didn't need a bias binding around the neck and armholes.  And I put the zipper on the side instead of in the back.
It fits pretty well but is lower-cut than I would prefer.  I'll have to see if I'm comfortable with wearing it to work as-is!

You can't see the length in these pics but I cut it to the pattern version C.  It's a great length.  The skirt is fully lined, too.

I love the natural waist!  And gathers around the bust.


  1. SO pretty. I love the neckline. I have been browsing your blog a lot lately. I am coveting this awesome skirt I saw this lady wear last Sunday, but I can't describe it. I'm going to sketch it and email it to you sometime...maybe you can help me track down a similar pattern for it.

  2. I love this pattern. I have this gorgeous silk-cotton blend in navy blue (purchased for about $2/yd at a market in India) that I've been dying to make this dress out of and just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  3. Lovely! The fabric is beautiful, and the neckline came out so pretty!

  4. Anonymous4/22/2011

    Gorgeous! It looks great in that print - and I love the adapted ruffle! Would love to see it on you!

  5. Thank you for reminding me about this dress. I am going to a dressy dance in May. It is a party for my Doctors daughter and it will be very fancy. I am 50 and think this would be elegant to wear, now to get some fabric.

  6. I like the variations you made. It looks very modern.

  7. Very cute--I've had my eye on this pattern for a while and it's nice to see variations on it. Hope you find you can wear it!

  8. I am dying to know if you ever found wedding shoes. I even had a dream last night that I told you to check Piperlime.com. I thought it was funny because I am a complete stranger that is stressing about what shoes you will wear.

    But really, Piperlime does have some pretty ones.


  9. So wonderful to see a pattern used several times with different looks. What a great adaptation of this design.


  10. I love how you have redesigned this dress in different ways. I think this way is my favorite. iNSPIRATIONAL! I love the material too. I wish I would have seen it at my local JoAnn's. :-(

    A great match of fabric and pattern!

  11. This makes me want to learn to sew so badly! How do I get started? This is gorgeous!

  12. I've seen you mention this pattern a few times, so I bought it during the .99 cent pattern sale at JoAnn a couple weeks ago. I bought a sheer fabric to use, but didn't know if it would work for this. So happy to see how you made sheer work!

    I'll try this soon with an easier fabric before I attempt a full lining. Thanks for posting :)

  13. I have this pattern but haven't sewed it as the neckline is little much for me. I love your subtle reinvention of the pattern.

  14. So glad to hear your comments!! It is so fun that a lot of you have this pattern, too. It is super easy and cute. Very modern and fun.

    @Elisa, please, feel free to send me an email! =)

    @Tristie, that is pretty funny!! I will post soon about the shoes I ordered next (they are awesome!)



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