A birthday dress with a back story

Another birthday, another birthday dress! I’m off on vacation so you get a scheduled post, but it’s my birthday today! Hip hip!

As I’ve done every year for 6 years now, I made myself a dress for my birthday. It’s possible I’m not actually wearing this dress right now since I’m likely in the mountains hunting down a waterfall as you read this. But this year’s birthday dress is one I really love and I’ll be wearing it sometime today, for sure!

This is another version of Sew-Easy Advance 2944, from 1963. I recently blogged about how in my second version (and here’s the first), I nailed down the fit after realizing the bodice was way too long on me. I knew I wanted to make another one this year. And then a plan all but fell in my lap.

Last year when we were in London at this exact time, I wore the second version for a glorious day* hanging out with sewing friends. Here we were outside the old location of the Sew Over It shop in Islington, April this time last year. ๐Ÿ™‚

*I found it so glorious, upon re-reading last year’s blog post I see I used the same descriptor then, too. Ha ha!

In that photo, I’m carrying a bag that contained a length of beautiful fabric I bought at Sew Over It, a gorgeous Liberty (or I think actually a Liberty knock off of the Carline print) fabric. As you can see,ย Charlotte bought some, too! In fact, later that day I bought some gorgeous green Wollmeise DK merino, which I knit up into my green batwing sleeve bolero last month. I didn’t even remember that I’d bought the yarn that day since it’s a yarn I love and have in several colorways, until Charlotte reminded me!

Now around the same time I started to think about my birthday dress this year, I was thinking over that wrap dress pattern. And then I found out I’d won a prize from last year’s Vintage Pledge from Marie (who was mostly hidden by my head in the photo above!) which included more of the same exact fabric I’d bought that day. Everything suddenly came together, and I knew this year’s birthday dress needed to be made from the same pattern I wore to see my friends, in the fabric I bought with my friends, and was gifted more of from one of them. How perfect is that?!!!

So here’s this year’s birthday dress, in the fabric I was carrying in the photo above! ๐Ÿ˜€

(Of course, I did forget to wear the bolero with this dress, and they’re a perfect match. Definitely a combo I’ll have to remember for the future!)

I looooove when things come together like this!! And that makes it such a special dress to me.

I adore this dress, although this particular wrap dress pattern is a bit fussy to wear since it’s so open at the back. I’m not sure my previous version is as bad but this isn’t a cold-weather dress, so I haven’t worn the other one since last summer or fall and can’t recall for certain.

I promise, both the dress and my tattoo are centered. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But the back view really is worth my niggling feeling that it’s moving around, as that V shape is so nice. Though it does make me want to try to find another wrap dress pattern with a higher back neckline. In the meantime I think it might be a good idea to make bra strap carriers in future versions so they don’t feel like they’re moving around, too.

The original pattern calls for a big patch pocket on the front, but I opted again for inseam pockets. Although this skirt is massive, so I do have to root around a little to find the pockets!

Wait, here’s a funny aside. I bought these pink flats (M. Gemi Fortuna style) specifically to wear with last year’s birthday dress (though that was a scheduled vacation post like this one, so here’s the post that actually shows me wearing the dress on my birthday). Even though we’d only been in London a few days by my birthday, I’d already managed to accumulate blisters on the very first day and thus couldn’t stand to wear these shoes. They were the only thing in my suitcase that never got worn on the trip.

So instead, I’m wearing them with this year’s birthday dress! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, onto the neckline. It’s gathered into a bias binding only on the front, and it’s just the perfect amount of gathering. The instructions call for a facing and are just fussy as hell for no reason, so I learned in my last version to just make a bias strip and bind the neckline with that. This time, I topstitched instead of invisibly hand stitching, and mirrored with topstitching the sleeves, too.

This fabric is so wonderful to wear, and I think the only thing that could possibly make it better is if the flowers were red and not hot pink. But I do have some Liberty lawn in the red version of the Carline print socked away, and need to find the perfect pattern for it. In the meantime I will just go on adoring this dress!

Last year I was in London on my birthday, this year I sewed a dress inspired by London for my birthday. What do you think, London again for my birthday next year? Ha ha, guess we’ll see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

outfit details

dress – made by me
vintage earrings – misc.
shoes – M. Gemi

Filed: Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , , ,

Golly, 20 Comments!

  • I love your posts. I am usually dressed in everything handmade From stitched and embroidered clothes to hand dyed and hand spin and hand knit cardis pullovers and shawls. Love it.
    Also a red head.


  • Forgot to wish you the happiest of birthdays.
    Happy happy birthday ๐ŸŽ‚


  • Happy birthday!! You look wonderful in your new dress ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Happy Birthday Tasha!!! I hope you’re having a fabulous day.
    Love your new birthday dress. And you have done a wonderful job with the fit, as usual.
    And the shoes are perfect with it….


  • Sending you wishes for a most glorious birthday.
    Funny, while reading your post I thought myself… I love this dress, the pink is lovely, but I would love to have it with red roses. Ha, Ha…then I read your comment about the red. So funny. You are so talented, and admire all of your vintage style and creations.


  • Colleen Evans April 10, 2018 at 2:17pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Your new dress is great, and your problem solving gives me hope that my dreams of an eyelet Gertie sweetheart shirt are unattainable (I’ve been through four muslins already-yikes!)



    This print is so wonderful! And I adore the neckline tucks! Such a darling detail!



  • Charlotte Newland April 11, 2018 at 4:50am

    Perfection! And *yes* to London for your next birthday! xx


  • London is the best birthday destination! (I might be biased because my boyfriend is based there…)

    But! I feel the need to share my blister trick. Anywhere shoes are rubbing you wrong, apply deodorant. It creates a bit of a barrier/lubricates your foot/stops the sweating that can cause blisters. Though with the amount of walking you probably did, I doubt deodorant would help this time.

    Happy birthday!


  • Pink is just beautiful on you!


  • Oh my! That dress is GORGEOUS! Happy birthday. I like the idea of a birthday dress and I’ve been thinking along those lines myself but I can’t decide and I’m running out of time.


  • Happy birthday! You look lovely, I always enjoy your posts and seeing your lovely makes. You inspire me! I am trying to knit a nice lacy scarf
    (first time trying with a lacy pattern) as I so enjoyed your post about your nice lacy red one. Do enjoy your holiday! All the best.


  • The dress is perfection ! It looks so good on you. You are a wonderful sewist.


  • Souvenir fabrics are great – so many good memories, you are lucky to have a souvenir bolero that matches so well too ;o)


  • Lynne Johnson April 17, 2018 at 1:34pm

    Happy Birthday and enjoy your yummy new dress!


  • You look really vintage in that London picture. Like Zelig photobombed into the modern group. You look like people I knew as a child in the late fifties/ early sixties.


  • Happy birthday darling Tasha! Your dress is absolutely perfect and I think you should DEFINITELY come to London for your next birthday! Next April I’ll be 50 so we could have a double sewing celebration…just saying ๐Ÿ˜‰ xxxx


  • Forsinket tillykke med fรธdselsdagen! Meaning belated happy birthday in Danish. Beautiful dress, and I’ve noted your flats before, they are always lovely and matching. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Happy Birthday! I love your blog and your style!


  • […] a tradition I’ve enjoyed keeping up (last year’s was one of my favorites!), even when sometimes the timing isn’t always the best. This year, […]


Leave a Reply to (Belated) birthday sarong dress | By Gum, By Golly Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *