I Met Cynthia Rowley!


You guys! I met fashion designer Cynthia Rowley last night! Completely unexpected, too. I was at a work event hosted by Murray’s Cheese in Greenwich Village, and as the evening was wrapping up she happened to stop by. It was the perfect way to end the night; as you can see, guests had left by that point so special thanks to the Murray’s staff for letting us sip one last glass of wine with Cynthia (feels funny to just call her by her first name, but weird not to?).

She was super nice, and we chatted about sewing for a good long while. And then a good while longer about her restored 19th century townhouse (I’m an architectural historian, so I loved that bit just as much!).

My co-workers helped make this happen: one told her that I sew and another mentioned my blog. Thanks, you guys, you’re the best. 😀 Seriously, I’m the worst at getting conversations started, but once I’m in I can be surprisingly chatty and excited…especially when it comes to sewing! This was particularly evident when my co-workers told Cynthia that I show them all my fabric and yarn purchases when they arrive at the office. Ha! They know and hear more about my crafty adventures than anyone.


At one point I told her I made my dress, to which she responded, “You made that dress?” Somehow that question just sounds so cool coming from a well-known fashion designer. I mean, when does that happen? I’m not sure what my left hand is doing in this photo, but I may be in the middle of telling her about my dress. Or who knows. This is my modified version of Vogue 8379, by the way.

Sometimes I’m not sure why I blurt out the things I do, but I totally told her I signed up to attend Camp Workroom Social in the Catskills next October. Ha, that was so random of me, and pretty early on in the conversation, too. Didn’t matter, she loved the idea! Great work, Jennifer. 😀

Cynthia mentioned that she started sewing at 7 years old (I believe) and loved using sewing patterns designed by Betsey Johnson. She still sews today, which I think is really cool. I guess I never think of fashion designers sewing for some reason. She was happy to hear that home sewing is alive and well, and that meet-ups happen.

She said she’s a big fan of having a table-top industrial sewing machine (I wish!) and a great iron. Yep, we chatted about the importance of good pressing! Of course, the wrap dress I was wearing is polyester and I didn’t have a good iron at the time so I hope she didn’t look too closely at the ties that would. just. not. press. Reminds me I should try to fix it. How was I supposed to know I was going to wear it while having a conversation about pressing with Cynthia Rowley? 😉


When I mentioned to her that I only actually started sewing 5 years ago, she said something like, “Isn’t making your own clothes wonderful?” Well, now I’m forgetting what she actually said, but I know I’m in the ballpark there! Anyway, I told her I still have my first pair of pajama pants I ever made, and how amazing it was to know I had made something that I could wear. It truly is thrilling (please start sewing or take it up again, if you haven’t already!).

You may know that she has a line of sewing patterns with Simplicity. I couldn’t help but say that I have one of her patterns – Simplicity 2512 – and she knew the very one! In fact, I just picked up fabric a couple of weekends ago to make this skirt. I’m trying to find non-pencil skirt patterns for my winter wardrobe and I’m thinking this will be one that fits the bill. I’m getting a little tired of sewing vents.

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble! Truth: I’ve re-read this post multiple times and tried toning myself down a bit. Kind of. Can’t deny that it was pretty cool talking to a fashion designer about home sewing, though! A nice, unexpected treat.


18 thoughts on “I Met Cynthia Rowley!

  1. That is beyond awesome! I don’t know how you weren’t tongue-tied, that is truly amazing story. It is interesting to hear that she still sews, as I was just reading something the other day that said designers rarely sew anymore. By the way, I am just about to book myself for the camp…just trying to get my schedule to work out!

    • Oh, that’s awesome that you’ll be going to sewing camp too! I look forward to meeting you. 🙂 I signed up for the bra-making class. It was so hard to choose though.

    • It was exciting! I guess I can’t claim that she complimented my dress (more of a “you made that dress?” reaction), but it’s nice to think she may have. 😀

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