Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Simplicity's 2443 Rowley dress meet Neiman Marcus' DKNY dress

My version of the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2443 knit dress inspired by a DKNY dress found in a spring 2010 Neiman Marcus catalog. I wasn't able to locate the dress online, but I'm not sure it would provide any additional details anyway.

The DKNY dress is described as "Black/stone/red mixed-print cotton and elastane belted tank dress with knit bodice and woven skirt." Priced at only $245. Which probably looks like a bargain if you shop Neiman Marcus right?

I immediately thought of this pattern when I saw the dress in the catalog and thought ... c'mon, let's say it together "I could make that!" Because that's what we do isn't it?

I'm not certain from the dress description if the dress skirt was knit or woven, but I choose to make the entire dress in a knit.

Red and black knits were already in my fabric collection, so the search began for the fabrics for the bodice and skirt. Yikes! I didn't count on was how difficult it would be to locate a black and white stripe knit! I didn't want 100% cotton. Ugh, I hate sewing with that stuff. Maybe you like it, but I much prefer my knits with a bit of lycra blended into the fibers.

For the bodice I settled for this striped knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. There were some unexpected surprises sewing with this knit but I'll share that with you tomorrow. Edited 6/8 to add link to post about the knit fabric.

The black and white floral knit is also from Gorgeous Fabrics. The overall white to black contrast is on a larger scale than the DKNY dress, but that Holy Gerbera! sure is a fun print.

As far as constructing the dress goes, I knew I didn't want the racer back bodice from the pattern so I used the tank top from Kwik Sew 3497, binding the neck and armhole edges rather than hemming.

This tank top pattern really needed a fabric with more stretch than what I was using, so the first bodice I sewed was too tight. I altered the pattern to add an FBA, recut and resewed the bodice.

In addition to changing the bodice to a tank top, I cut it so it would hit at my waistline rather than above.

The red stripe insert is about three inches wide and the bottom band of black is about seven. I simply sewed the red strip to the bottom of the floral print then sewed the black strip to the bottom of the red.

And of course I kept the pockets. Which are a bit low since I forgot that I had lowered the waistline. No biggie as I probably won't use them much. I just like knowing they're there.

The final touch is a black leather belt in place of the tie belt.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased with the dress. But I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a white and black evenly spaced stripe cotton/lycra knit (at a reasonable price of course). If I find some I'm going to redo the bodice. If anyone has any leads on where I could find some let me know...

Next up? The jacket in a black linen so the dress can be worn to the office this summer.

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  1. That is an amazing knock-off! It inspires me. :)

  2. Better than the original!!!!

  3. You look like a million dollars (plus $249)! I love the skirt portion and the striped top. Wonderful!

    Rose in SV

  4. Great dress. Now buy yourself some matching red shoes with the money you saved.

  5. Woo hoo! Great dress!

  6. Wow, that's a gorgeous dress! Very very pretty! I want to make one too! But I have so many other patterns to conquer first! :)

  7. Excellent recreation of that dress!

  8. Absolutely gorgeous!!

  9. Super cute! I love seeing knocked-off designs. $245?! For the love, what is up with those prices?

  10. Love, love, love your knock-off! I think it's better than the original!!!

  11. Your dress is really cute! You look great wearing it.

  12. Love you dress! I think it looks better than the original.

  13. !!!
    i'm impressed !
    you are good !

  14. Hi Sharon,
    What you made looks great. But if you are still on the search for stripes, there's a rayon voile knit (sorry, no lycra) at Elliot Berman Probably would need to be lined with a white knit to make the white pop.

  15. That's a great dress. I love the black/white/red combination in the skirt, gorgeous!

    (PS. You said you didn't know whether the original skirt was woven or knit, but didn't you quote the description right in the top of your post, saying "..with knit bodice and woven skirt."? Not that it matters, I think your knit version is just as pretty!)

  16. oh geez! that is one of the cutest dresses I've ever seen! and you look darling Sharon!



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