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.

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Wearing Yesteryear: April – June 2013

I’m back with another review post of past creations. If you’ve been following along you’ll know I was posting these monthly, but I thought it made sense to combine them into three-month chunks. My last post was in March, so today I’ll be covering how the garments I made from April to June 2013 fared one year later. Off we go!

(Click on the photo or the link below it to go to the original post.)

purple vogue8379

Vogue 8379 Knit Wrap Dress

I’ve worn this dress lots! As with my other versions of this pattern, this is a very practical yet fun addition to my wardrobe. It’s great for work or for special occasions, depending on how it’s styled or what kind of fabric you use. I’ve also worn this particular dress in the colder months by pairing it with tights and a cardigan.

This dress has received some nice compliments, perhaps the best one being “That looks expensive!” from the cheery cashier at Pret A Manger. I’ll take it! I want to make a dozen more versions of this pattern…

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Oreo Cookie “V8379” Wrap Dress


It’s June! How’d that happen?

Anyway, this fabric reminded me of Oreo cookies when I first bought it, so that’s what I’m calling this dress. I based this one on a Diane von Furstenberg dress I saw in the display window of her store in the Meatpacking District.

PATTERN. After the Colette Chantilly dress, I wanted a quick and easy project. Enter Vogue 8379, my go-to wrap dress pattern. I’ve made two other version so far – the “October Issue” and the “Purplue” – but this time decided to go with a more fitted skirt. The knit wrap dress may be my favorite. It’s not only easy to make, but it’s even easier to wear!

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Wearing Yesteryear: Class of October 2012

Happy Halloween! I’m sneaking in this Wearing Yesteryear post at the last minute – phew, just made it! I guess if I missed the deadline I would’ve turned into a pumpkin?

Let’s take a look back at the world of sewing in October 2012 on today’s Wearing Yesteryear!

Hmm, is it just me or do I match the furniture?

The October Issue Dress

Blog Debut: October 27, 2012
Pattern: Vogue 8397 Dress
Worn In: Fall, Winter, Spring
Wearability Meter: Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!
Lessons Learned: Knits are the best

Okay, so I just LOVE this dress! It’s right up there as one of my favorite sewing creations ever. It’s easy to wear, it feels very much like me, and it’s something I’d definitely buy in the store. Ever make something and think that you wouldn’t necessarily have bought it had you seen it in the store? Is that just me?

I also like that, as a knit, the fabric stretches to fit my shape, which means I can do away with going one size up at the waist like I have to do with wovens. This fabric doesn’t wrinkle either – from sitting at my desk at work to traveling here or there, this dress keeps it together! The other kicker is that it’s easy to wash; I put it in the washer/dryer and go on my merry way.

The other nice thing about this dress is that it’s versatile. I’ve worn this to birthday parties, work events, regular days at the office, and so on and so forth. It can be dressed up or dressed down. Gotta love it, yes?

I’d like to make this pattern with a more slim-fitted skirt, especially for some thicker winter fabrics I have planned. But for now I have the Charlotte skirt to finish up so until then – trick or treat!

Wearing Yesteryear: Class of August 2012

Wow, it’s already the very end of August and I have two posts to write, this one and my Sew Weekly Reunion one (my creation for that post has been done for a few days now, so I’ll need to skedaddle and take some photos!).

I’ve been working on a button for the Wearing Yesteryear series so others can join in – thanks so much for expressing interest! While I meant to have it ready for this month’s entry, I got caught up on a bunch of things and will have to delay its grand reveal until September.

In the meantime, it’s time to open the yearbook and have a Class of August 2012 reunion!

The Caged Bird Sings Dress

Blog Debut: August 28, 2012
Pattern: Vogue 8380 (view B)
Worn In: Summer
Wearability Meter: Oh goodness, I have not worn it at all this summer!
Lessons Learned: Don’t rush; don’t tuck your lining into the hem of the fashion fabric on a floaty skirt like this; add some darts or take some of the fullness out at the top of the bodice.

Well, geez, this is an easy post. I just made this one garment – automatic Valedictorian! Did that really happen?! Actually, I did finish another one, but since I ended up posting it in September I’m just going to leave it for then. Simplifies things for the administrative department here at Sewin’ in the Rain Studios. 😉

I fell in love with this cotton lawn fabric the moment I saw it at G Street Fabrics in northern Virginia two summers ago. Little birdies coming out of their little cages – it was all too irresistible. Overall I was happy with this dress. I made it specifically for a Sew Weekly challenge (before it froze in time forevermore?) so when I had a chance to bring it on vacation to Maine for a fun photo-shoot I rushed to get it done.

And if there’s one thing that’s never worked for me in the sewing world, it’s rushing.

I tried to hurry along in hemming the lining, a voile that was proving to be tricky to handle (keyword: rushing), so I decided I’d be all clever and tuck it into the hem of the fashion fabric. I didn’t realize it then, but wowser was that a big mistake! If you click through to the original post you may notice the hem pulling at some points. That’s all the lining’s doing. I’m thinking that was just a no-no thing to do with a skirt so floaty and full like this.

Also, if I make this pattern again, which I would like to do, I would re-work the neckline/bodice area. See how my neckline is kind of curving inward? That’s because it was all a bit loose up top (you’ll notice on the Vogue model how the neckline sits a bit differently) so I had to tighten the bow. Not too big of a deal, but I don’t think it’s a very flattering neckline look on me as it currently stands.

I had this goal of fixing the hem before this post and that didn’t happen. Drats! I might have to check in on its two-year reunion next year since I think it does have potential.

Any questions about this pattern? Have you made it? I’d love to see!