Here it is - my first garment from a Cynthia Rowley pattern...
I sewed up a size 12 muslin for Simplicty 2178 and it came together pretty quickly (got it done in one sitting while my kids were taking their nap!). The top half of this dress consists of the straps, bodice front and back and the midrift front and back. The actual waist line for this pattern falls on the skirt pieces. That was a little counter intuitive to me because I expected it to be on the midrift pieces.
Anyway, the skirt for my muslin fit well but I found that the size 14 bodice pieces where a better fit. Also, I needed to take the straps up a full 2 1/4 inches. Whenever possible I like to use my muslin as a pattern to cut my fashion fabric but for these straps I had to redraft the actual strap pattern piece and used a french curve to smooth out the lines. Hopefully the finished straps on my dress are true to the designer's beautifully curved version although without the length I think that this particular design detail looses some of its umph. But I had no choice - I can't walk around with the straps hanging down my arms all day.
Since I took out a significant amount of length above the bust in my strap adjustment, I felt I would probably need some length adjustment below the bust in order to get the waist of the dress to meet my actual waist - however that was not the case. I usually have to make a petite adjustment to the bodice pieces of any dress I make but here the alteration of the straps did the trick and the rest of the bodice fit perfectly in the size 14. Hurray! Isn't it nice when things fall into place like that when you are sewing?
I'm happy with this dress. It is cute, comfortable and versatile. I think it will get alot of wear once the weather is a bit warmer. I have ideas about maybe sewing this again in a silk print, minus the pockets, with solid silk in a coordinating color for the straps and the midrift pieces.
It feels good to have this new dress hanging in my closet. Don't you love that feeling when you get to move a garment from your sewing space into your actual wardrobe?