Black striped Renfrew maxi dress (and a hidden treasure!)

Black striped Renfrew maxi dress - finished

Happy summer to those of you in the northern hemisphere!  It seems that the warm weather is finally taking hold, and women wearing maxi dresses are flooding the steamy city streets, myself included.  : )  If this new dress looks familiar, it’s because it’s nearly identical to my previous one.  Let’s face it, this isn’t the first time I’m guilty of cranking out multiple garments from the same pattern.  Ahem.  : )  I know what I like, people!

What IS different, however, is that these photos were taken in the great outdoors (well, those steamy city streets to be exact) by someone other than myself.  Shock!  Gasp!  I know, not what you expected on this ol’ blog, but I like to give my readers a nice surprise once in a while.  If I’m going to show you identical twin dresses, the least I can do is give you some sunshine in the photos!

John was kind enough to snap these photos for me.  We found a “good wall,” as they say, and here are the fruits of our labor.  Many thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for tolerating my sewing obsession addiction hobby, and always with a smile.  : )

Black striped Renfrew maxi dress - side Black striped Renfrew maxi dress - back

You can find all the details about this dress in my previous post, including how I modified the Renfrew pattern to include a lower scoop neck, angled sleeve bands, and a maxi skirt.  This new dress is exactly the same as the first one, only the fabric has black stripes instead of gray.  It’s even the same organic cotton/bamboo blend.  I almost can’t believe I made two nearly identical dresses… almost.  : )  They’re so ridiculously comfortable, and I feel great in them!  Not to mention they’re so quick to sew.

Black striped Renfrew maxi dress - dancing

Here I’m pulling some sort of ridiculous pose, no doubt trying to amuse the man behind the camera.  One of my goals in life is to try to make John smile and roll his eyes as often as possible.  If I do say so myself, I’m quite good at it.  Ha.  : )

Black striped Renfrew maxi dress - bodice detail

All right folks, we’re back in my apartment now.  Did you enjoy our little jaunt on the streets of Cambridge?  I know I did!

Above you can see the neckband and sleeve bands a little more clearly.  I didn’t take a close up of the stitching this time, but it’s exactly the same as last time.  Nothing new to see here, moving right along!

Actually, that’s not *quite* true.  The title of this post promised a hidden treasure, and who am I to disappoint?  Picture this, my dear readers: This morning I was digging through one of my bottomless craft bins in search of my jewelry pliers to fix the yellow beaded necklace you see above.  It had lost a bead last week, and I wanted to wear it today with my new dress.  I found a paper bag containing what I thought were my pliers, but lo and behold, I stumbled upon this long-lost treasure:

Silk pins close up

SILK PINS!  A beautiful unopened package of silk pins, buried in my craft bin for years and years.  I had completely forgotten I had them.  And if that weren’t enough…

Silk pins 5 packs

THERE WERE FIVE PACKS!  Oh my goodness, people, to say that I was delighted to find this hidden treasure this morning is quite an understatement.  I mean, hello??  I have 1000 brand new silk pins!!  I feel like I just hit the lottery.  Yes, ok, they’re just pins, but isn’t it so exciting when you find something you completely forgot you had?

Silk pins receipt

Not surprisingly, my overly organized former self had meticulously saved the receipt in the paper bag with the pins.  It’s dated 2006, well before I started sewing, which means I must have purchased these for knitting.  More specifically, I think (??) I had bought them for blocking my knitting on the carpet in my old apartment.  Who knows why I bought so many, and why they’re all unused!

The Nimble Thimble was a cute little sewing shop in my old neighborhood in New York.  It closed a few years after I bought these pins, but I did enjoy going there occasionally, even though I didn’t sew at the time.  They carried all sorts of delightful crafty treasures.  I wish the former owners well!

Now what am I going to do with all these silk pins??  Buy some SILK, perhaps??  Ooooh the excitement!

Black striped Renfrew maxi dress - head shotI’ll leave you with a selfie in my new dress and newly repaired necklace.  If you enjoyed my (very rare) outdoor photos today, leave John a nice comment so I can convince him to be my photographer more often.  : )

12 thoughts on “Black striped Renfrew maxi dress (and a hidden treasure!)

  1. Oh how funny. I just left a response on your last post Carolyn about our 2 very different homes & I mentioned Boston was on my bucket list to visit…& then THIS post popped up showing a little bit of it! (You say “Cambridge” – is that an area of Boston perhaps?) So yes please, lovely boyfriend John: this particular Aussie lady would love to see Carolyn wearing her latest make in Bostonian surrounds! 🙂
    PS I don’t blame you one little bit sewing another cotton/bamboo blend, Carolyn! It’s a GLORIOUS fabric to wear!!


    • Yes I agree, the fabric is wonderful! There’s such a huge difference between good quality jersey and awful jersey. My local fabric shop carries some nice stuff, so I buy all my jersey there now.

      I will pass your comment onto John, thanks. 🙂 And yes, Cambridge is part of the Boston metro area, just north of downtown Boston, and a huge urban city in and of itself. I say I live in Boston because people recognize the name, but I actually live in Cambridge. It’s a very progressive and earth-friendly place – I quite like it. 🙂


  2. I am not a huge fan of maxi dresses for myself but this looks so comfortable and cool on you! And I love the outdoor pics – I got my partner to take pics in a park recently and really enjoyed the process!



    • Thanks Louise! Yes, isn’t it SO much easier with a partner to help? I was amazed at how little time it took and how much better the photos came out. Oh, to have a full-time photographer! A girl can dream. 🙂

      Maxi dresses are indeed very cool and comfortable. It’s interesting how everyone has different taste in what styles suit them. I know many sewists like full skirts, but I think they make me look like a cupcake, ha!


  3. It’s great to have someone else take your pictures. It is sooooo much faster! John should really help you out more often! They turned out very good too.

    I’ve unearthed the pair of jeans I started copying a lot longer ago than I care to admit so I’m (almost) ready to sew some jeans these coming months!


    • Thanks Emmely! I’ve already asked John to help me out again, and he seems up for it. We’ll see how long his enthusiasm lasts. 🙂

      Glad you’re hopping on board with the jeans project! Looking forward to seeing how it goes. Once you sew a pair of jeans, you can do anything!


    • Thanks Chantal! When I saw that wall, I knew it was “the” wall. 🙂 The black dress doesn’t really pop against it, but I want to try it again with a brighter color garment. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some different backgrounds too!


  4. I applaud you for using the same pattern again and again – I think that’s just smart! Why not? I mean it works for you, looks great and you can make it quickly and easily with all your fitting work done! What’s not to love. Good job on the pins – like finding a $20 note in your jeans 🙂


    • Wait, do I use the same pattern over and over again? I hadn’t noticed. 🙂 Rest assured, however, I have something different on deck for my next project.

      That’s exactly how I felt about the pins. I *almost* reached into my back pocket to see if there was a $20 too, ha!


  5. great maxi dress! and i’m really liking the cap/sleeve band treatment. great for when you kinda want a sleeve but not really… and yay for finding all those pins!


    • Thanks Lisa! I like that the bands are just slightly more interesting than a sleeveless dress, but just as easy to sew as a regular band to finish the armhole.


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