Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Turning 30 Dress

(For some reason Blogger's smaller pictures are blurry; the larger pictures you get when clicking on them, however, are not.)

I turned 30 in early May. My birthday was anything but big - not much fun can occur if you get up at insanely early hours and come home late for days in a row, and for several weeks (which also explains why I'm only managing to post over 10 days after my birthday). I don't mind much, really. I prefer small happy things all scattered around the year, than one big fabulous day that is gone all too soon. I'm the same with gifts - nothing beats RAKs and just-because gifts, and Seb knows it well :)

The really good thing that I did do to celebrate my birthday, though, is make this dress. I love it! Truth be told, I wasn't quite sold on it as I was making it. I had to sew in very short increments and went through phases where I was seriously doubting my choice of pattern for this fabulous fabric. That is bound to happen with a fabric you treasure, right? It only all came together in my mind at the very last minute - when doing the hem. Instead of doing it on the coverstitch, or doing a hand-stitched invisible hem (my usual choice for knit dresses), I opted for a lettuce edging - something I rarely do on knit dresses, but which turned out really cute here, and gave just the right added bit of fun and cuteness to the overall result.

But wait - what you want is a pattern review, right? :)
Pattern: Simplicity 2369, a pattern for a mock wrap dress, a mock wrap top (= same as wrap dress but cut to hips), knit pants. I made view A, the wrap dress with ties, in the shorter length.
Design Elements I like: I like the mock-wrap design, which I find classy and interesting - a nice change from a plain knit dress. The wrap pieces in this one are different, with this rounded edge, which makes me think somehow of a flower petal. I also like the raglan sleeves - another interesting details that makes this pattern stand out in the land of wrap or mock-wrap dresses.
Size: I cut a size 8 all around.
Fabric: a gorgeous lycra jersey that I bought on Totally Fabrics - very special as it was hand-delivered by Melissa when she visited 2 weeks ago
Pattern instructions: They were fine, except for 2 things:
- some of the drawings were reversed, which was confusing at first - I had this ugly blood-freezing moment when I thought I'd completely messed up and cut both the left and the right sides as if they were right sides. Then I realized the drawings were symmetrically inverted from the pattern pieces. Phew.
- the way they have you sew the tie to the right side isn't the cleanest in the world. Thankfully, Trena had already figured a neater way to do it, with an enclosed tie. Be sure to check out her review and look at her pictures showing how she did this. Thanks Trena! :)

A caveat I might add is that due to the dress construction, you can only really try it on once it's all sewn up. For this reason, I machine-basted everything to check the fit before I sewed and serged all the seams. There was no way I was going to botch my birthday dress :)

I know this may sound bragging and all, but hey - if you don't have the self-confidence to own up to your own accomplishments at 30, then I don't know when you can. I really love this dress, and feel pretty in it. I can foresee a lot of wear out of it!

I didn't get to wear this for my birthday, as it wasn't finished in time. Let's say it's more a dress I made as a gift to myself for my 30eth birthday. Hey, I have a whole new decade to wear it anyway. :)

As per Melissa's suggestion when she was visiting, I'm planning to do a recap of the various birthday garments I made since I started sewing. As soon, you know, as the rhythm eases up a bit on the work front.

In closing...
Many thanks to Doris, Sylvie and Jennifer for their thoughtful birthday gifts! The blue embroidered pillow is Sylvie's and the calendar cover is Doris's work. The patterns (sent by Jennifer) are knitting patterns for sweaters with nifty cat designs. Not included are Doris's super-yummy treats and Sylvie's gift of a shawl pattern from my Ravelry wishlist; and their cards, which really made me smile. Un grand merci à vous !!
Thanks also to everyone who emailed on my birthday. I haven't had the time to reply yet, but they really added something to the day. :)

35 comments:

kat said...

voilà un modèle qui te va très bien ! J'aime beaucoup les robe portefeuille.

KarenV said...

Beautiful dress Isabelle! Belated happy birthday wishes to you :)

Linda said...

Lovely dress. I have yet to make this pattern and really should give it a try. Thanks for pointing us to a better way to do the tie. Happy Belated Birthday!

Jali said...

Happy Belated Birthday! You look beautiful in the dress. I think sewing your own dress for a birthday is such a special thing to do. Wishing that you have many more pretty dresses to come:).

Lisette M said...

Happy belated birthday! Your dress is gorgeous, and you have every right to feel accomplished!

Vicki W said...

It's a really cute dress and very flattering. Happy Birthday!

Laura Gerencser said...

You've totally earned the right to brag;) it looks great on you!

Rebecca said...

oh no! i'm so embarrassed! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY :"P
As for that dress...gorgeous!!!! and you look absolutely STUNNING in it! perfect decade turning dress :D
i really really like it
i dont know what on earth lettuce has to do with it but hey, it worked lol!

Sharon said...

The dress is beautiful! I love dresses with that wrapped look. Happy 30th Birthday to you!

coonieandplume said...

C'est une magnifique robe et le tissu que tu as choisi pour la réaliser est superbe.
Gros bisous

Amanda S. said...

Happy belated birthday! I love the dress, especially the lettuce edges.

Annie said...

A lovely dress and a lovely blog! Thank you for sharing them with us, and happy birthday!

Lilian said...

Never too late to wish you a happy 30th birthday! Gorgeous dress you made. I have plans to make a wrap-dress for quite some time now but never seem to be able to start with it. Seeing someone else make such a lovely dress, is really inspiring.

The Sampler Girl said...

Happy Belated Birthday!! Beautiful dress and beautiful you.

Tanya

Vicki said...

Happy belated birthday! Very cute dress. Looks lovely on you :)

Lori said...

Your dress is beautiful. Happy belated birthday.

Alexandra said...

Happy belated birthday! Your dress is beautiful - I love the colors and the flowery pattern, and it fits you so beautifully.

Jennifer said...

Oh, how sweat that you show my knitting patterns in this post. I am so glad they arrived to you. I am sure you will have more success with them then I did. If you ever need the yarns for these, please let me know. I am sure my mother still gets the catalogs where they are sold. I love the "Birthday Dress". The colors suit you. I also love the earrings you are wearing in the photos.

Sara Noemi said...

Happy bday! What a great addition to your spring/summer wardrobe.

Tracy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, belated, Isabelle--happy 30th! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this dress...that fabric is scrumptious...mmm... This dress looks so good, so glad it turned out well in the end. Wrap-style tops & dresses are so flattering. GREAT earrings & sunglasses you are wearing too. And looks like Miss Cutie had herself a great time with your birthday too ;o) Wishing you a beautiful 30th year, my friend ((LOVE & HUGS))

melissa said...

Happy belated birthday!! And I loooooooove your dress! Despite your initial doubts, you've definitely found this lovely fabric's perfect partner! I'm so glad you were able to make something to mark the occasion that makes you feel wonderful. (and it's so nice to have a context for your photoshoot backdrops having been there now!)

Summerset said...

Happy Birthday! The dress is perfect for you - fresh and youthful and able to be worn for a long time!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour,
Ravie de te lire, et de te voir dans cette superbe robe de ta réalisation ! Bravo !
Olivia

Catherine said...

Très bon anniversaire en retard, Isabelle! Ta robe est très belle et te va très bien. Et tu as bien raison de te vanter un peu, c'est bon pour le moral de réaliser qu'on est capable de faire de belles choses. C'est amusant, je suis en train de me coudre aussi une robe portefeuille (du magazine Fait Main d'avril dernier), les patrons de la tienne et de la mienne m'ont l'air très proches....

Annemarie said...

A very happy, very belated birthday, Isabelle! The big 3-0, too!

I completely lost track of you, until I found you on Ravelry just now (was admiring your beeeeeautiful Cedar Leaf shawl). I'm glad to see you're enjoying your sewing and other crafting activities. Gorgeous dress!

mermaids said...

Happy Birthday! The dress is adorable.

Sigrid said...

Very late in reading this post, but happy belated birthday.
Gorgeous dress, love the colors.

Webmaster said...

You always look so natural and charming :)

brodstitch said...

Avec quelque retard,je te souhaite un très Bon Anniversaire!cette robe s'ajoute à toutes les merveilles cousues que j'admire régulièrement ou...presque :o)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Isabelle! another great piece of work! And absolutely stunning fabric. I was curious however, as I couldn't see it clearly in your picture...are you wearing long earrings or is it a tattoo in your neckline? Ann

Anonymous said...

tu as été bien élégante pour ton anniversaire, bravo!

Grosses biiiizzz

Doris

Anonymous said...

I was just drooling over the looovliness of your wrap dress (most definately on my 'to do' list) and then I saw the pic of your most beautiful furry friend. I couldn't believe my eyes, one of my cats is completely identical and is a Persian Chinchilla X, my other is a Pedigree Persian Chinchilla, just like on the film Cats & Dogs, I love them to pieces.

Deb

mpcocotte said...

Les formes cache coeurs sont parfaites pour toi. A user et abuser.

Bises et bon anniversaire

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Happy birthday! The dress is so beautiful on you that my first thought was, "I have to get that pattern, whatever it is." Turns out, I've already made it twice, LOL. It it stunning on you!!!

pinky said...

joyeux anniversaire avec beaucoup de retard ^^ et Bienvenue au club des trentenaires :)
Superbe robe, en plus les photos avec les roses derrière en accord avec la robe rendent vraiment bien !!