Cynthia Rowley 1873

The Cynthia Rowley 1873 was one of my target makes for June.  I set up a little Facebook group for a few other bloggers who also wanted to sew this garment and it was great to sew along with them.  Sharing fabric ideas, progress and sewing tips was lovely to do and it was nice to be able to share certain things before actually writing the proper blog post.


I chose to make view B from this pattern. I originally thought about view C but changed my mind as I thought I would have problems with the neckline being too low for me. I whipped the bodice up in no time at all and ended up leaving the under stitiching out as I could only do about 2″ of it before I hit the awkward shoulder section.


I had already tackled pleats on the Lilou dress so I managed to put these ones together quite quickly too though I did change the order of construction around slightly. I folded and basted the pleats on the back sections first before sewing the panels together. The skirt seemed to have so much material so I wanted to make it easier for myself. I then French seamed the side panels to the front, basted pleats and then joined the back panels onto the sides. I don’t know if this way is better than the method suggested but it certainly helped me as I wasn’t folding a lot of material back and forth for the pleats.

Joining the bodice to the skirt seemed quite straight forward, though my skirt was 2″ larger the bodice so I had to pop an extra pleat in each side panel. No idea how this happened! I think I probably missed one of the pleating lines from the original pattern when I traced.   It ended up being late in the evening when I was inserting the zip, so I managed to do it wrong twice before I got it right on the third attempt! I did get cross at all the unpicking! This was where I forgot to finish my raw edges at the back too so I had to stitch over the zipper tape to overlock. To join the lining, I ended up stitching down one side of the zip, stitching in the ditch around the waist and then coming back up the other side of the zip. I’m not yet a fan of hand-stitching!



I love how the bodice came together quite quickly and I really like all the material in the skirt- great for twirling! The pleats took the longest but I do think they are worth it 🙂 For me, the bodice is about an inch too long.  I feel that the waistline sits at my waist but I then have a little extra bagginess under the bust and on the chest. There is an option for a shorter bodice so next time I will try that! I think I will also try to lower the neckline as it irritated me after about 30 minutes of wearing it as it was a hot day. I’ve also contemplated not lining it next time but I don’t think that it would look as nice inside :-/ Loved making it and loved wearing it too!



10 thoughts on “Cynthia Rowley 1873

  1. I love this on you, such a flattering style and I enjoyed reading how you constructed it, making small changes to method as you went. That’s the sign of a confident sewer:)

    1. Thank you! It’s surprising how garments can come together once you have a few basic skills – you should give a simple pattern a go 🙂

  2. Yay, a finished picture of the dress on you! Looks lovely, and you seem happy and satisfied with it. Seems to fit you perfectly 🙂 Thanks again for all your tips and little suggestions. If you ever make the dress again, I think the other neckline would look just as good on you as this one does; my View C is not as low as I thought it would be.

    1. That’s good to hear, I’m adding a view c to my list of projects, but possibly with this skirt length. Really pleased with it- I’m glad we did the little sew along! It’s nice to share progress and ideas through the making process 🙂

    1. Thank you Annie! I do really like the neatness of the pleats on this 🙂 I wonder if the pleats would look different for you if you altered where the waistline sat?

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