Completed: Birthday Dress

Friday was my birthday, so I made a new dress to celebrate.  🙂

Birthday Dress
I found this steel blue brocade at the fabric shop a couple weeks ago when I ran in to get a zipper.  The first brocade dress I made got ruined, so I’ve had my eye out for a replacement.  When I saw this fabric I thought it was perfect.


I used the same pattern as my ruined dress, which is a heavily modified version of Colette’s Truffle dress.  (More info on the mods here.)  I reclaimed the lining from my first dress.  It was a hassle to pick the dress apart, but I didn’t want to waste the Bemberg rayon.


I did have a slight hiccup with the fit on this dress, and it’s honestly a bit too tight.  I realized after the fact, that I had trimmed the back seam allowances off the pattern pieces at one point, thinking I’d make a version with a side zipper.  But I didn’t add them back in before cutting this one.  That was mistake number one.  Then, I decided to peg the bottom of the skirt a little more than my last dress.  That was mistake number two.

On Friday, about 20 minutes before I was supposed to leave for lunch with my boss, I noticed the side seam, right above the hem, had SPLIT OPEN!!  I don’t know about you, but that is seriously one of my biggest sewing fears.  I panicked for a minute, then starting digging in my drawers to find a way to fix it.  I didn’t have any safety pins, so I thought I’d have to staple the dress together.  But at the last second I saw that I had a needle and tiny bit of thread in my bottom drawer.  I have no idea how it got there, but I’ve never been so happy to find something random in my desk.  🙂

I rushed down the hall to the bathroom, stripped off my dress and sewed up the seam.  Crisis adverted!  I made it to my birthday lunch on time, and in one piece.   I think I will from now on always keep a spare needle and thread at work.  🙂

Birthday Dress

Anyway, here’s some flat shots:

Birthday Dress

Birthday Dress

Birthday Dress

Rather than try and attach the lining to the back kick pleat, which I always struggle with, I just cut it off above the opening.

Birthday Dress

Here you can really see the detail in the fabric.  I just love it.

Birthday Dress

Birthday Dress

Aside from my too tight dress drama, I had a wonderful birthday.  Look at this cute card one of my co-workers gave me!  Kinda want to copy that dress.  😉


I also got to stop by Mood earlier in the week.  I was in LA for a day, and was able to squeeze in a quick fabric shopping trip.  Here’s my birthday presents to myself.  From top to bottom: a navy and white striped ponte knit; a polka dot ITY knit; a deep teal green cotton (I know, it looks black); some white shirting cotton, and black wool for a suit jacket.


Now I just have to decide which one I want to sew up first. . . .


17 thoughts on “Completed: Birthday Dress

  1. Happy birthday! That brocade is to die for and it’s the perfect dress to show it off. What happened to the equally stunning red one? Hopefully it wore out from being lovingly worn and not through some horrible accident.

  2. It’s gorgeous! I love the brocade and the style is perfect. It looks like a really good fit from the photos. The birthday card is really clever and I bet you were so pleased to receive it. Happy Birthday!

  3. Very nice fabric indeed! The dress fits you great. Fortunately you had needle and thread from the sewing goddess. Happy birthday and happy, creative year.

  4. Happy Birthday!!! Split seam is definitely a worse nightmare situation, a good reason to always have a sewing kit on hand. Personally I love how figure hugging this is on you, you can totally pull it off. Happy to hear you had a lovely day.

  5. You look absolutely gorgeous! You can’t even tell you made it too small, it seems to fit perfectly!

    I also keep meaning to take a needle and thread around with me, I think i’ll buy a kit to go in my handbag in case of emergencies.

    I hope you had a very happy birthday 🙂

  6. Happy Birthday!! Your dress is really to die for, one of the prettiest I’ve seen. The colour, the embossed brocade pattern, the sheen, the lovely style, I really like it a lot. I’ve just organized my stash and resigned to not buying more fabric or patterns, but now you’ve got me wanting to get some of this fabric and copy this pattern. (shakes fist….) LOL.

  7. Happy Happy Birthday! Your new dress is lovely and good job saving the lining. You chose some lovely new fabrics, can’t wait to see all the new makes to come from these pretties.

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