The Starsky Dress

The Starsky Dress – Simplicity 2406 Cynthia Rowley (View C)

(me & the mister at my Christmas party; sorry for the shit quality; we didn’t get any pics of our own so I grabbed a screen cap of this one from the slide show)


Firstly I’d like to explain the name of this dress. During its construction I tragically lost my beloved best friend & fuzzy angel, Starsky. He happened to be in cat form but he was one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever had the joy of knowing. I was blessed with him in my life for eight years and my life will never be the same without him. In my grief, I only had the strength to finish this dress by deciding to do it in his memory. It’s made of silk: soft, and precious, like him.

This was my first project using an expensive fabric, so I decided to make a full wearable muslin as practice before cutting into my beautiful silk crepe.

The dress has no waist seam or darts, thus no shaping, except for the sash. However I still need to do an FBA even on loose styles like this, because my upper chest is much smaller than my bust, so to get a good fit there, I cut a 14, grading to a 16@ the hip, and did a 1″ FBA, adding bust darts.

It’s a great pattern; well drafted, simple construction, and great fit.

The instructions were fine, though I only followed them loosely, due to replacing the facing with bias tape. Also, as others have mentioned, the pocket instructions are odd; I did not include pockets on the final dress but for the muslin, I followed the Reader’s Digest Sewing Book instructions.

On the muslin, i sewed the back shut, omitted facings, and finished the neckline with bias binding.

Even still, it was really hard for me to cut into this silk. I second, third, and fourth guessed myself so many times! I have a real problem with that if I love a fabric – it’s hard to give it up and decide on just one thing to make out of it.

I angled the bust darts up, and made the sash longer for the ‘real’ version in silk crepe. I did French seams, and I also left the back open on this one, omitted the pockets, and replaced the facings with self bias tape.

(please excuse the wrinkles & crappy pics; I shot these hastily after it was worn – I haven’t had the heart to press it & wear it again just yet)



I will definitely make this pattern again; I love the cold shoulder sleeves and the sleeveless version for more summery weather – but this particular dress will remain ever Starsky’s.


About symondezyn

graphic designer, illustrator, and artist of many skills... always striving towards new challenges and goals, and always with more projects than time to do them in!! View all posts by symondezyn

29 responses to “The Starsky Dress

  • sew little time

    Lovely dress. Starsky would be very proud to have it named after him!

  • ooobop!

    Oh gosh. I feel your pain, really I do. I know exactly how it feels to be in love with your cat. And wow how gorgeous is he?! I bet that dress feels fabulous on. I love how it reminds you of Starsky. Got a little lump in my throat now. Lots of love x

    • symondezyn

      Thank you Janene – it really means a lot to me that you understand & I like how you put it: I was in love with him and I know he adored me too πŸ™‚ I’m glad I could share his beauty with you one last time πŸ™‚ xo

  • Andrea

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of you Starsky. As for the dress, it looks so nice. I’ve been scared to cut into some silk I got last summer so I totally understand your hesitation – but it turned out lovely.

    • symondezyn

      Thank you Andrea; that means a lot πŸ™‚ *hugs* The act of actually making something out of my precious fabric was hard at first but now that I’ve crossed that hurdle, I realize it’s better to celebrate the fabric by wearing it than hiding it away πŸ™‚ It was just tough deciding on one thing, when I could have imagined so many ways to use it ^_^

  • Lara

    I am so so sorry to hear about your beloved kitty. Your beautiful dress is worthy of his memory, and I hope that it will soon make you smile every time you wear it thinking about him. Big hugs x

  • Amanda

    So sorry to hear about Starsky, Symon. That must be a huge loss- many virtual hugs. Your dress is lovely and the fabric looks divine- a fine tribute to your feline friend!

  • ellecsews

    I am so sorry about the loss of Starsky. Losing a pet is one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. Unfortunately I do not have the magic words to make the pain lessen, only time will take care of that. Imagine this is a big warm hug. β™₯ Take care of yourself.

  • Cation Designs

    Oh Symon, all the hugs to you…I teared up reading this and had to go give my guy a big squeeze afterward. Cats are so special, aren’t they? Your dress is such a lovely tribute to his memory.

    • symondezyn

      Thank you Cindy; I know you would understand… after all, I know you feel the same about Walnut πŸ™‚ I see the same intelligence & personality in his eyes as I did Starsky – he’s an amazing cat too πŸ™‚ *hugs* xoxo

  • Lizzie

    I am so sorry for your loss, I understand completely having one fuzzy special kitty myself and having lost one earlier in the year. I felt so sad reading this and nearly had to stop. Hugs your way.

  • prttynpnk

    Oh, that is so hard- this year we lost the 2 cats that had been my only constant during a really rough period and it was just awful. I love your dress and that you have a reminder of the joy of sewing with cats….

    • symondezyn

      Thank you so much, Anne πŸ™‚ I’m so sorry to hear of your loss as well; Starsky was my angel through many rough times as well so I fully understand how deep the loss is for you. The joy of sewing (and life) with cats is huge indeed πŸ™‚

  • stirandstitch

    oh boy, it is so devastating to lose a furry soul-mate. i’m shedding a few tears for you and starsky myself, because i can imagine how you might be feeling. you’ve made a beautiful dress, and someday you’ll be able to wear it and smile. hugs to you.

  • Vicki Kate

    I’m so sorry about Starsky. Big hugs to you x

  • Annabelle

    Beautiful dress! Like you, I had a really hard time cutting into my first silk project – and basically any other fabric that I love. I still feel like I have the potential to make so many mistakes. I’m glad you got the courage to cut into your black silk because it made a lovely dress.

    • symondezyn

      I still DO make so many mistakes!! lol ^_^ I just figured if I waited til I was good enough not to make mistakes, I’d have to wait decades to use my pretty silk, and by then there will be such a backlog in my stash I’d NEVER catch up ^_^ lol

  • Tia Dia

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of such a good friend, but the dress is well worth the name. You look so beautiful beside your handsome man in the first pic! And silk crepe is always just an incredible joy to sew, handle and wear.

  • Calico Stretch

    Oh hon sorry to hear Starsky has gone and lovely to see you made a slice of gorgeousness with him in your mind. Whenever you wear it you’ll think of him.

    I’m very very glad to hear someone else second guesses when sewing the real thing, though I do it on even ordinary (ie non-silk) fabrics. X)

    • symondezyn

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ I don’t think I could have finished the dress any other way πŸ™‚

      It’s hard, isn’t it? You have a fabric you love, and you know it could be anything: how do you decide? shirt? dress? skirt? and then which pattern? lol – I always struggle with that πŸ˜›

  • Pattern Pyramid is Here!! « Symon Sez

    […] can personally recommend the Cynthia Rowley pattern, as that’s the one I made my Starsky Dress […]

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