I was inspired by many bloggers to make myself a birthday dress. My birthday is actually today (Monday), but I chose to celebrate over the whole weekend instead! I made this jersey dress by Butterick - it's from the Suzie Chin Maggy Boutique range and I loved all the elements in this design.
I made this up in a bright pink jersey which is not a colour I usually wear, but the closely spaced black butterflies printed on it help to calm it down a bit. Or maybe I am going through some kind of mid life crisis.
I made a size 12 which is my usual Vogue size but in this Butterick design it was too big in the front bodice and I had to take a couple of 1 inch tucks in the neckline of the bodice lining to reduce gapping - there is also a bit too much fabric on the bodice layer too, but since it is a cowl I can just about get away with it. Oddly though the shoulders and rest of the bodice fit just fine. I will definitely be adjusting the pattern before I make this again though - and I do intend to.
The instructions for this dress were surprisingly good, the addition of a centre back seam means that the whole bodice can be finished cleanly and easily and it looks good from the inside too.
It looked a bit short on the model so for insurance I added a good 6 inches to the skirt length. Apparently the finished measurements are supposed to be printed on the tissue somewhere but I certainly could not find them. In the end I didn't need the extra length at all and cut some off and made a deep hem.
|Bodice close up - you can see I have too much fabric in the cowl
The worst part of making this dress is the cutting out as many of the pieces are single layer and with 60" wide fabric for most of us that means either pinning one piece at a time or having to crawl around on the floor. I had a 2m piece of fabric and I managed to squeeze all but the back lining out of it (total requirement per the pattern for size 12 is 1.8m fabric and 0.8m lining). In retrospect it would have been a better idea to use the self fabric for the back lining and contrast lining for the midriff pieces. Also in my eagerness to get the most out of my fabric I cut one of the midriff pieces out the wrong way up so I had to piece it - luckily with the print and the ruching it is undetectable.
|Side view with zipper
I wore this out to a birthday brunch on Sunday, these flat back pumps would not be my first choice of footwear, but the weather was wet, my knee injury has made a comeback and frankly rain + dodgy knee + high heels + champagne = potential disaster so I played it safe. I definitely think this can be dressed up a bit more though with some heels when the right occasion and weather comes along.