Saturday, August 4, 2012

Simplicity 2250 Cynthia Rowley



I'm sorry, but I'm too tired to find a quirkier, more imaginative title for this post. I'm too frustrated to even write this post. If you just want to look at some mediocre pictures, feel free to stop reading here. If you have the patience to read a long rant on my bad luck, grab a cup of coffee and here we go.
A while ago, I saw this fabric with tiny navy stripes had just arrived at my friend's fabric store and I immediately got obsessed by this Cynthia Rowley pattern I had bought last Spring. If you have never seen it, this fabric looks just the same as the dress on the envelope, which I've always really liked.

 I had read many terrible reviews of this pattern, but I was too motivated to be scared by them.
So I tackled the pattern... and I realized I had bought the wrong size (cursing moment #1). I was so good at math at school that I still get surprised at how often I fuck up with inches to metric conversions. After a bit of facepalming, I decided to try to cut it anyway, since I still needed room for my chest and an FBA with this pattern is out of the question.
It's not an easy pattern by any means, but the construction went fine, all in all. I just had to take in the bodice a lot (about 10 cm) and I did it at the side and center back seams.
The finished dress sat in my wardrobe for a while, waiting to be photographed, until one day I went to the seaside and came back with a major facial breakout on my jaws and cheeks (cursing moment #2). I think I just had a bad reaction to the sunscreen lotion, but it looked so bad. I've struggled with acne since I was 14, and while my skin is far from perfect, it got so much better in my 20s. Having that red bumpy mess on my face once again made me feel so self conscious that I tried to take photos of me wearing the dress, but I couldn't bare to share them with the Internet (and cropping or blurring my face looked so creepy).

And that takes us to yesterday. My skin had healed (if you have acne-prone/oily skin, DO try cleansing it with oatmeal, it's miraculous), it was a hot yet cloudy day with (=good lighting) and I had all the afternoon for pictures. I took photos of this dress and for three more posts, which meant a total of 520 photos. I take a lot of them because I definitely prefer to edit down than to regret not having taken more. I also have to delete a lot of them, because as I don't have a photographer, I'm often out of focus or out of frame.
Anyway, while importing them on iPhoto, the files got corrupted. All 520 of them (BIG cursing moment #3). And I had already deleted them from the camera. I seriously wanted to cry, because despite losing more than an hour and a half of my time, there were some very nice shots in there. I don't know what happened, not even Google could explain it to me.
When I calmed down, I went back out and took more photos, but the clouds were gone, so the light was too harsh; my makeup had litterally melted so I looked less than fresh and I was too angry anyway to put some effort in this shoot.

So this long story explains why these photo are less than my favorite. But I either put this post up today, or I would have left this cursed dress out of the blog, which would have been a real pity, since I really like it. But is it really cursed? Is the universe punishing me for something, like, I don't know, having a taste for complicated patterns?
I'm just thankful that all of this doesn't happen for every garment I make, or I'd have stopped blogging long ago.

The end. You can have a pee break now.
If you have any question about the dress (since I barely mentioned it), please feel free to ask.

52 comments:

  1. Gosh what a nightmare. Hate it when something like that happens. Anyway, the dress looks absolutely fab on you. http://threadnoir.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. I think your dress looks adorable and your photos look great.


    I will also say that a few years ago I deleted a ton of pictures from my camera that I did not mean to delete. I stopped right there and did not take any more photos. I found some software to recover deleted photos on the web. I don't remember the name of that software, but it was able to recover my lost photos from my memory card. Basically, when files are deleted they are not really gone. The first character of the file name is changed and they do not appear as files to the computer or the camera. The software will actually find the files and let you give them a first character again and you have your files back. You have to make sure though that you don't take more photos before recovering. Where those files are store looks like empty space and the camera will write over them. Sounds like though that you took a ton of photos the first time and then a few the second time. You probably did not write over all your photos and if you found some of this software, you might could get some of them back.

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  3. I hate those days when everything just goes wrong! I hope that means your bad luck is over and you have some good luck now! But your dress looks lovely, now I want to make one for myself..but not if that means I get cursed by the dress as well ;)
    And thanks for the link to the oatmeal video, my skin has been terrible the last weeks and I don't know why...I'm going to try it right now! If it works I'm going to go through a bag of oats even faster than now :D

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  4. It looks great on you! Sorry to hear it was such a nightmare getting it posted though. Hopefully you'll have some happy times in the dress to overwrite the not so fun memories!

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  5. I had some nightmarish years with my skin too, so I can totally relate. Thankfully, I had a couple of good years there right around 30, 'cause now I'm having to research dark spot correctors! (Word to the wise, AVOID THE SUN!!!) A couple of months before I turned 37, any tan I tried to accumulate on my face only resulted in freckling (which I actually like on freckly people), and then the freckles banded together into the larger blobs on my face (my favourites are the ones above my lips that are threatening to become a freckle moustache). Your dress is lovely, as are the photos you ended up with. I struggle with photos, so I very much appreciate all the time you put into it. It can really make or break a blog, and yours looks great!

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    1. Thanks for reminding me It's better to avoid intense sun bathing after 35!

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  6. Ugh dontcha just hate those days where everything goes wrong? I can sympathize for sure! The dress turned out beautifully & your photos are always an inspiration to me so please don't lose heart, and keep on shooting! ^__^

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  7. Oh, lovely dress, I'm glad you blogged about it. Such a bummer that you had to jump through so many flaming hoops for photos but I think that it was worth it. My Mum sewed me this pattern and I would be too afraid to attempt it (I am only advanced beginner, of course) so I am proud of you for succeeding!

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  8. First of all...I really like the photos. The lighting really suits the dress. And the dress itself really suits you. I think the outcome is still a great post and a great garment despite dramas in the middle.

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  9. You are a total minx in this dress! Beautiful lady.

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  10. Justine/sewcountrychickAugust 5, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    I was just thinking how the light is so beautiful in these photos! I l love that fabric.

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  11. haha I really did have to pee in the end of the post! (I was keeping it in because I was interested in the bad sewing story - I've had a few of those recently so it's so nice to hear that other people are experiencing this as well!) and I was like - is she following me?
    I love the dress and I think the first picture is beautiful.

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  12. I thought it was only me how lost photos whilst uploading from my camera. Your new ones are great though. Thanks for posting despite all the drama!

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  13. Shirley Ann SanderAugust 5, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    I like your dress. I think it's good to post the good as well as the bad with our sewing adventures. It shows everyone that no matter how long we sew, and no matter how good we are at it, from time to time we are still challenged. That is a good thing right? We are still growing and learning. I have been sewing for 30 years now and sometimes I feel I have only just scratched the surface in level of experience. Even now I throw projects away, but I have gained more patience and work a little harder at things. Great job on a difficult dress! I too get excited when I have fabric that matches the pattern. To me that is a "Win Win" situation. It's hard to get that perfect fabric, so having the same one just ensures a great finish!

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  14. Do you like the dress? should i keep this pattern or destash it without a hesitation? Susan

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  15. I think it looks great on you and I really like the elastic details and ties on the dress, looks really comfortable to wear! I reckon you are being way too hard on the photos too - I think they look great! I always admire the way you do your photos, they always look crisp and clear and show the details of the clothes really well. You inspire me to do better with my photos, and the top pic is just gorgeous - the lighting and background look great

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  16. The dress is great! You did an excellent job on an advanced pattern. Love the back detail too. I always struggle finding a good spot for my pictures not to mention posing!

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  17. Oh no I'm so sorry! Sometimes it does feel like the universe is against you or (even worse) against your dress! Having a blog, as much as I love it, can feel like a chore when your feeling off. I can totally sympathies about your skin too. That was me all last fall. I felt like I had to wear so much makeup in all my photos to hide my acne and if the light was wrong and you could see all the bumps I got so miserable and self conscious and wouldn't post my photos until I photoshopped half my face beyond recognition! There were times it just didn't feel worth it. But then I'd have a really good day and or a really awesome comment and I'd remember the REAL reason i was doing this. All this is to say that I'm sure the tides will turn for you and you'll have a stroke of brilliant luck. It doesn't hurt that the dress turned out gorgeous and as far as I can tell you look beautiful.

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  18. This is cute as can be! I'm so sorry about all the frustrations, though-- I know how that goes! Sometimes sewing and blogging can be easy and fun, other times, well... :)

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  19. This is such a cute dress! I'm glad you pushed through to share it with all of us. :)
    I don't think the pictures are all that bad, just a bit yellow perhaps due to the sun. But again, I think it lends a certain warmth to the dress and your skin.
    I sooo know about having bad skin. Somehow (magically) my acne has calmed down now that I'm in my late twenties, but I have fun acne scars to deal with. Wish I would have known about oatmeal... never would have thought to try that.
    I think in all of the pictures I've seen of you, I never remember seeing any acne whatsoever. You always look lovely. :)

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  20. Despite your frustration, I'm glad you ended up with a dress you really like. It looks fantastic. I really like the design of the back.

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  21. It looks great! I can totally relate with you on the not having a photographer, I do the same thing.

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  22. I think you're being too hard on yourself regarding the photos - you and your dress look as lovely as ever (I really love the back! And the fabric is rad). But I can totally sympathize - my skin has been THE WORST the last few months but since it hasn't cleared up I just take pictures anyway and photoshop out the blemishes (no need to blur - use the bandaid tool in photoshop! Just replicates the unblemished skin!) Photo stress is the worst though - I had a deadline to enter a Burda contest this weekend and was all set to go during magic hour when BOTH my cameras ran out of batteries after I only got a few shots. I didn't have time to charge batteries and get new shots in time for the deadline so I had to submit total shit. So irritating. So I feel your pain. And I will try the oatmeal trick. That is one of the few natural remedies I haven't done yet.

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  23. I wouldn't have known how much trouble you had unless you said something. The photos look fine to me and I love the dress. I bought this pattern too but now I'm a little scared of it after reading your review.


    I'm pretty large on top (between a 12 & 14). Did the bodice give you problems? I hadn't noticed that the design is a little wonky with the crossing over in the front...did that part give you any problems? I couldn't see it in the striped version on the pattern (face palm). Do you have any suggestions or tips for making this dress?


    -Ashley
    http://distractedashley.blogspot.com

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  24. loce your beautiful dress ! :)

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  25. love your beautiful dress!

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  26. asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.ukAugust 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Gggrrrrr, I hate technical difficulties and I know first hand that they can leave you feeling so low! Such a shame you had a tough time, but your existing photos are as lovely as ever and your dress is gorgeous!!!

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  27. Aw man - I feel for you. Especially regarding the acne. I'm 31 and I still get breakouts. It just doesn't seem fair...surely I should have outgrown acne by now!!!
    BUT, I have to say - if those are your mediocre photos, wow! I recon they are lovely and nothing to be sad about. And your dress is gorgeous!

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  28. ...hmmm i was on strong acne meds for like 7 yrs. Id be very upset by that too! I just finished trying to take my own pics....and grrrr.....your's are a whole lot better than mine! Great dress dress, so many nice details

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  29. Thank you so much!

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  30. The only problem the bodice gave me was that the underlining and lining were a bit shorter than the fashion fabric bodice, so I chopped about 1,5 cm from it. Sorry, but I didn't understand what you mean by crossing over in the front...
    Anyway, DO make a muslin... It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. It helped me lots with the construction of the final dress.

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  31. Thanks for the moral support, I'm so sorry about your competion entry!

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  32. Thank you very much!

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  33. Thank you! My acne got a lot better in the last few years, now I'm left with the occasional small breakout (usually, either because of hormones or liver), but I still have BIG pores and a less than perfect skin texture. But all of these are easilly concealed with makeup, and they're barely visible in pictures, so I'm quite lucky.

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  34. Yup, sometimes it feels so stressful!

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  35. Thank you so much, I'm flattered! I'm a newbie at photography but I always try my best. I like seeing beautiful photos in other blogs, so I try to do the same.

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  36. I like it a lot! I have a soft spot for complicated designs and the bodice of this dress is the right amount for me, because it's not too strange but unique enough.
    If you want to make it, just put into account that it's not an easy, "start in the morning, wear in the afternoon" pattern. It takes time and patience, so maybe make a muslin of the bodice to see if you like it on. If it doesn't work for you, at least you tried a complicated design and practiced a bit!

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  37. Thank you! It was the second time iPhoto ate my pictures. Now I'll definitely wait before deleting them from the camera!

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  38. Thank you so much! At least it was liberating to write about all this frustration!

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  39. Thank you so much, how nice of you!
    Yeah, the more I grow old, the more I try to avoid the sun. I'm extremely pale, so I also get dark spots very easily. Plus, having been on the pill for a long time, because of hormones I also get a dark moustache area when I get tan, which looks terrible. All this living in a country of people OBSESSED with tanning... I hate it.
    I'm so sorry about your skin situation, I hope it'll get better!

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  40. What a nice thought, thanks!

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  41. Hehe, maybe it was just a cursed fabric, who knows?
    I hope oatmeal is going to help you as much as it helped me!

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  42. Thank you so much for the suggestion! I hope there won't be a next time, but I'll definitely keep it in mind!

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  43. Beautiful, amazing dress!(some days just suck) i want one just like it, but wouldn't wrestle with the tricky pattern. you are always my go to for inspiration. thanks

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