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Covet Wednesdays: A Birthday Dress

March 26, 2014

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m planning to make a dress to celebrate my birthday, which is coming up in just under a month. I picked out a beautiful watercolor print cotton during my visit to the Garment District, and now I need to choose a pattern. I’m pretty sure that I want a fit-and-flare style dress, and it has to have sleeves! There are so many sleeveless dresses, both in terms of RTW and patterns, these days, and I always get self-conscious about odor when wearing something sleeveless (even though I’m not generally a sweaty person!), especially when dancing.

Speaking of dancing, I want the finished dress to be multi-purpose: on my birthday, I’ll be teaching my last class of the semester, attending my last class as a student ever, and going to our weekly swing dance.  Sweetie also thinks that this fabric will make for a great “artist’s wife” dress–that’s what I call the clothes I wear when attending his gallery openings.

I’ve been poking around, and here are my finalists for a birthday dress pattern:


I have to admit, I didn’t think much of the Christine Haynes Emery Dress when the pattern was first released, but I’ve seen so many gorgeous versions popping up–just look at the sewalong roundup! I don’t yet own this pattern, but it’s so versatile that I’m sure I would make multiple versions, and it looks like the sewalong posts would be really helpful for any fitting issues I may have.


The By Hand London Anna Dress looks simple, but I’ve loved just about every version I’ve seen sewn up. I’m not sure what it is about this pattern, but it seems to be universally flattering. I would make the shorter length, as I don’t have birthday plans quite fabulous enough for the maxi length and serious slit!


I’m breaking my own no-sleeveless rule here, but I just love Vogue 1353 by Kay Unger. I picked it up on sale a while back, and I’ve been trying to decide if I can deal with it as-is or if I should try to figure out how to add cap sleeves even though that might be asking for trouble. Maybe it’s the fabric used in this photo, but I think this would work especially well with the print I’ve chosen.


If you’re thinking that these patterns look like those that Roisin makes, you would be right! In fact, I learned about Simplicity 2444 from her blog. If I finish in time to take photos before the deadline, maybe I’ll even enter my dress in Sew Dolly Clackett. I would likely make the version with the slight boat neck and short sleeves.  Simplicity patterns are on sale at JoAnn this weekend, so maybe that’s a sign?

Did I miss any perfect patterns? Do any of these stand out? I’d better make a decision soon so I can pick up additional supplies and muslin the bodice of whichever I choose.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2014 8:30 pm

    I wanted to make a birthday dress last year and never was able to complete one. I love your choices! Have you seen the Flora dress everyone seems to be making? It would be lovely I think too! Happy (almost) birthday – maybe this year I will do the same! My birthday is in May so I had better get going if I plan to join you.

    • March 27, 2014 5:26 am

      Flora would be a lovely birthday dress–you should definitely join me!


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