November 23, 2015

2 or 52 - Every Girl Needs a New Birthday Dress

For years - I have made myself a new dress for my birthday.  I always wear it on my birthday and again and again though the years.  The birthday dress generally becomes one of my favorites.  

This year's birthday dress is no exception.  

This year - after making 2 version of the Appleton dress as tester versions and another (which still hasn't been blogged - but has been really this years) that I like but don't love, I was determined to make an appleton that I love!  And I did it with this one.  

The fabric is from Fabric Mart and the recent all the florals kick I went on this summer.  The fabric is a navy ITY with pink and white flowers all over it!

This time I read the instructions!  DOH!  All previous versions of this dress that I didn't love Are.My.OWN.Fault!  I am an idiot - who often thinks she knows what she's doing when in fact she doesn't have a clue.  
The first three (THREE!!) versions of this dress where made with ponte fabrics.  They weren't super stable pontes, but they didn't have the stretch the pattern required.  Then, I sewed them up with 1/2" seams!  Reading Comprehension Starts with Reading!!  Um - yea, so firmer fabric and larger seams will result in a dress that it's a bit closer fitting than I like - but good results for Krystle!  

This time, I took a step back, read the instructions, remeasured myself, retraced the dress and sewed with the correct seam allowances (they are 3/8 by the way). 

My birthday was on a Thursday this year.  The dress was cut out on Sunday night, but I ran out of time to sew.  So, Monday after dinner, I headed downstairs.  All I managed to accomplish in an hour was to clean and thread the sewing machine and serger, put in new needles, wind a bobbin, test thread and stitches, finish the front skirt edges and sew the shoulder seams.  Didn't feel like much.

On Tuesday, I went downstairs after dinner and set up again.  This time I set the sleeves in and sewed up the side seams.  I also got the bands put together.

By Wednesday it had to get finished.  I stitched, turned and attached the ties, put the facing on, sewed up the side seams, and hemmed the sleeves and hem. 

As you can see - the dress still doesn't fit perfectly - but it's good enough and I love it!  I have since retraced the dress from the arms down removing the grading between sizes that I did unnecessarily.  

I feel comfortable in this dress and have worn it with my pale pink shoes a couple of times since my birthday already!  

The moral of this story?  Start by reading and don't give up!  


  1. I wrote the 3/8" seam allowance on ALL of my pattern pieces so I wouldn't forget because 5/8" is engraved on my brain! Love your fabric it really makes the dress.

  2. Happy Birthday to you - and what a cute dress! I love the idea of having a new birthday dress!

  3. You must always have to read the instructions. I'm shocked at your behavior.


    Happy birthday, beautiful! I must say this dress sings in floral, and sings on YOU.

  4. I love it!! Such a gorgeous floral and perfect for a wrap dress. You look beautiful! I have learned the hard way to read instructions too!

  5. Happy Birthday! Love the idea of having a birthday dress; so festive. And lovey your latest floral version.

  6. Happy birthday! And yay for finally getting the Appleton to work for you! it looks super. As a general rule of thumb, all my knits will be 3/8" seam allowance and wovens are 1/2" :)

  7. Happy belated Birthday! You and your dress look fantastic!

  8. Happy birthday! I love the idea of a special garment for your birthday, this dress looks beautiful on you.

  9. I love it and it looks great with the shoes! I hope you had a great birthday!

  10. I know, I know read the directions, but why? You look great and Happy birthday! I am Nutcracker sewing right now. Ugh!

  11. Happy birthday! I love your new dress!

  12. Happy Birthday.... You look pretty in your new birthday dress..

  13. Happy happy (belated) birthday! You look fab in this dark floral. Love the print.

  14. It's a really pretty dress, and I love the pink shoes with it. I'm so glad you got a new birthday dress that you love!


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