Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cynthia Rowley



I've said this before. Cynthia Rowley is my favorite designer. I've purchased her patterns from Simplicity, her clothing, and even the undies she sells. I love them all. I love her amazing use of prints and color. The next pics show her expertise at combining traditional fit and flare shapes with ultra contemporary digital printing technology.


courtesy cynthiarowley.com




This year her shapes are much more tent like but still very feminine and very wearable.


There is far less emphasis on the female form and more subdued coloring although certainly not in this case! I love her use of saturated color.

Ok, if you didn't know before, now you know I love Cynthia Rowley. This Friday I was in our very small local thrift shop, St.Vinnie's and for one dollar I scooped up this baby, a dress I saw all over the web about a year ago. I loved that dress from the minute I saw it.

front view

It is a hefty 100% poly digital print, no neoprene here. It's in a size twelve and too big. That brings me to my conundrum.

the back view

Do I take it apart and resize it? The armholes are WAY too low and the bodice too roomy. I am not sure I would have a place to wear it.

front bodice
Do I cut it apart and make a cool skirt to wear with the white shirt I am working on right now, on the idea of the one below?



Or do I cut it apart and rearrange it in this Marcy Tilton pattern that I have been eyeing for quite some time? I think I could pull this off and it could work well for my work. 


What would you do with my one dollar investment? It's in perfect shape, BTW, and looks like it has never been worn. 

I think in the meantime I will just enjoy looking at it on my dressform. What would you do?



....................Bunny

29 comments:

  1. Cute dress and great bargain! Sorry it's not in your size. But it's great that you can remake it into something you'd use. You might end up doing something different, but I think it would make a great skirt.

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  2. I think letting it sit on the mannequin is the best idea. It will tell you what it wants to be. I can see why you like this designer and what a great gift to get that gorgeous dress for only $1.
    Vancouver Barbara

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  3. Depends on how big it is at the shoulders...if it fits there I'd take the dress in at the sides and correct the armholes from there. If it's really just way too big in the bodice altogether I'd detach it from the skirt, recut the bodice and decide from there if I wanted to make a skirt and blouse or a dress (personally I'd keep it as a dress and toss a blazer over it to tone it down as needed.) Awesome find.

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    1. It wouldn't take too much. I would raise the shoulders, something I always have to do being so short, and that would take care of the low armhole problem. Then it would just need some nipping in at the waist and it's done The bodice is line with black jersey, the skirt no.
      I like your blazer idea.

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  4. Just have to add that in the gray, freezing rain, spitting snow, high in the teens typical weather up here, this dress was an absolute ray of sunshine. Thank you St. Vinnie's!

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  5. Oh my, you do have several choices and they are all exciting. I am looking forward to what you chose to do.
    Nonie

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  6. what a fun project to think about, even before starting to DO something. Can't recall if you have made the Marcy Tilton dress? It seems like a challenging style for those of us who are not as tall and willowy as the models? Anyway, whatever you decide will be great....but I hope its something you can then enjoy wearing!

    ceci

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  7. I think the fabric would be great with the Marcy pattern, and with your skills you could adjust the proportions to suit your height. Of course I can't speak for Ms. Rowley, but I can't imagine that she would complain about an artistic re-adaptation. What a great find. Looking forward to seeing what you choose to do.

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  8. Let your inner creative self guide you, Bunny. If you would never wear such a fine dress, then by all means, start slashing those seams and open it up to be something new. It was a gift at that price.

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  9. Oh lucky lucky woman! It is gorgeous, don't leave it on the model though.

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  10. take it apart and remake. I had a pair of burberry trousers that I finally remade last week. I thought I would recut using vogue claire shaeffer pattern but the fit was wrong when I took it apart and I used a drafted instead. when you take it apart, you will know what you have to work with. I think the skirt idea is excellent as it would work out well, and you could make a cute clutch from the rest or a top.... best of luck

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  11. I would consider using the Marcy pattern with a coordinating fabric (black and white check or b+w toy stripe, or another color)


    Rose in SV

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  12. Love the dress! What a find. I'd try altering as a dress first, and wear it. Then cut it for the skirt. I must start going to thrift stores.

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  13. Soo lucky to find this - at any price! I would either make it into a skirt or make it into separates - a skirt and top? I think it's more versatile that way. But leaving it to sit and think on is best right now. I'm sure you'll figure out something! Have fun!

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  14. I'd display it as art on the dressform BUT I'm not as advanced in sewing. I'd want to keep it close to be able to examine the construction and admire it in its totality. It would also spur me on to keep looking for more great finds. Oh and I agree with Cindy above. Eventually you will know what it should be.

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  15. I would try to alter it to fit first..then if plans changed during that process, go with it. Great find!!! Love the print :)

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  16. or have a donation/raffle and give the proceeds to "Smile" or "Heifer International"

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  17. Congrats on the great score! Me I would take it apart and make a skirt to wear with your new blouse. It would make an amazing outfit to wear during the dreary cold weather!

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  18. Definitely make it into something you will wear. I particularly like the Marcy Tilton dress idea. Whatever you do with it will make you smile!

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  19. Well, Bunny, what drew you to the garment in the first place? Was it just the colors or the garment as a whole? Options B and C cause you to lose the interesting tree branch portion of the print.....

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  20. Pretty dress & what a bargain, Bunny! I'd try to alter the top to fit you & if it doesn't work out, THEN you can always cut it off & do the skirt, which would be very cute. I know you can do those alterations easily...not even a challenge for you, I bet!

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  21. I love that you found this at a thrift shop! And I can easily see why you love the designer. The dress is so perfect in design and fabric, I'd want to re-make it to fit. The style doesn't look terribly formal to me (or does the fabric lean that way?). If you really don't think you'd have occasion to wear it, then by all means make it into something else. The print is arranged so nicely on the skirt portion, a skirt springs to my mind. So happy for you Bunny! I cast my vote for you, for the official thrift store find, queen of the year! My hat is off. Linda S.

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  22. I vote for a skirt. I think it would be lovely and so fabulous with a white blouse.

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  23. Hmmm...a conundrum indeed! The Tilton pattern just looks like you so that would be my vote. Much more interesting use of a terrific textile than a skirt. And if you don't think you would wear the dress that much, why waste the time altering it to fit? Just my humble (not-so) opinion.

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  24. What great fun getting everyone' input! Thanks so much, everybody. You all had great ideas and opinions. For now I will keep the dress in admiring mode. Once the weather turns warm again we will see where it leads with the dress. I really enjoyed your ideas and thanks again, everyone!

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  25. Hi. I just found yr blog tonite and I am having a ball reading thru everything. It will take a while to go thru it all. Its so good to find a talented and articulate sewist like u. About yr $1.00 dress, why not offer it to a size 12 friend, rather than change it. You did say you admired it from the start. It would be a shame to change a lovely design. Just saying. I m looking forward to discovering all that you share. Thanks, Janet

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  26. What would I do? I would definitely alter the dress to fit. It is a nice simple shape and with all that colour (that you and I both love) it seems a shame to mess it around too much. Of course a skirt is a good alternative but I would be true to Marcy if I had it.

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  27. I usually have to leave things hanging in my sewing room for inspiration for a week or so. After some time just being the room with a garment I get a very different idea than my first thought.

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