A Birthday Dress

Birthday dress sewing didn’t go quite as planned this year.  I think the highlight was Saturday night, weekend before last.  I was cutting out my pattern pieces when I realized that the corduroy fabric was discolored in lots of places.  I had noticed that the corduroy changed color as I ironed it beforehand.  The blue went sort of purple.  I guess in my mind I thought, “Cool, it’s Hypercolor!”  (You do remember those shirts, right?  I wanted one so badly.  So very badly.  It never happened for me.)  In the midst of the middle school flashback I suppose I assumed the fabric would turn blue again as it cooled.  I didn’t think about it again until I had cut out all my pieces and noticed there was an issue.  The purple areas had become faded blue spots.  I learn something new every day!  Thankfully I had ironed on the wrong side and it wasn’t all totally ruined.

I spent several evenings assembling the dress.  It is a nice warm dress, and that I why I chose this pattern.  I’ve made it before.  I chose a fine wale corduroy for the outside and the inside is flannel.  There are even flannel pockets which is a huge bonus.  Because you essentially sew two dresses, it’s kind of time consuming, and because I made some stupid mistakes, it ended up keeping both Jonny and I up until 3 a.m. the night before Beatrix’s birthday.  There was a moment when Jonny was ripping out stitches along the hem while I ripped as well, working to meet him in the middle.  He noted that we should have totally been in a movie with romantic music playing.  I was thinking, “I can’t believe I made such a dumb mistake and we are ripping stitches at 2 a.m.”  There was no romantic music along the lines of this playing through my head.  Oh my gosh, but now I am laughing just thinking about it.  What if Unchained Melody had been playing while we ripped out those stitches together?  So great.

The bottom line is that I made Beatrix a warm and practical dress for her birthday this year.  The corduroy does wrinkle though when washed and you can’t really iron it on a high enough heat setting without it going hypercolor though.  So, it’s a little bit frumpy.  Beatrix loves the dress, but if you saw the thrift store dress I gave her in yesterday’s post, you might understand why she changed out of her birthday dress and into the shiny dress the moment she saw it.

(HERE is a link to the pattern for the dress.)


  1. so sweet!

  2. I’m loving that dress!

  3. What size did you make her? I have a daughter the same age.

  4. Very nice!
    My daughter is also 4 since last Saturday! This kids are amazing, aren’t they?

  5. Three stars for Jonny! I don’t think I could ever get my husband to be that helpful in my endeavors!

  6. It is adorable!

  7. I love that dress and want one in my size!!

  8. A hood and pockets!? What a great dress! It looks wonderful and was worth all the long hours.

  9. I can understand you wanting to get it right and staying up until 3am, I would have done the same! That will be me at Christmas. The dress is gorgeous maybe the fabric will stay true to colour once it is washed? Nevertheless it is a lovely colour.

  10. Ginny,
    I love the dress, Beatrix looks adorable in it. 🙂


  11. Looks so cozy and I love the pockets. I am also impressed by your dedication, I probably would have given up and gone to bed.

  12. I think the dress is lovely! So much time and love went into it. Your little girl is lucky to have a dress so special.

  13. Ah the good old winter dress! I made two for Pip last year and you’re right they’re lovely and warm! Sympathies to you in the whole seam ripping episode … must be true love if you have your man at your side working with you in getting the dress finished! I guess one of you drank copious amounts of coffee the following day?!!

    Totally loved the birthday post and the handmade gifts are such a treat. Bea’s face was a picture when she found her doll in the case, priceless!!


  14. that dress is super cozy looking, and with those legging… wonderful.
    i can just picture you two up super late ripping out the seems with the music playing. LOL

  15. Very beautiful dress! And of course the favourite part of your post is “ripping together at 2 a.m.”.
    It would be nice if they had an adult version of this dress. Love the pattern and your talent.

  16. Oh, this – “What if Unchained Melody had been playing while we ripped out those stitches together? So great.” – has me dying laughing over here. Phenomenal.

    I think the dress is darling, and thank you for the link to the pattern because I know another little (almost) four-year-old who would be in heaven with a warm dress with pockets *and* a hood! xo

  17. It is really darling. For some reason, I thought it was a jacket. Sorry- I said that at church! I hope you weren’t offended. I was going to ask you where you bought it, but I should have known that it was your professional sewing skills and Jonny’s patience 😉

  18. So cute 🙂

  19. Oh! What a fun dress! You have me thinking… going to go look at the pattern.
    Sorry about the fabric, it looks gorgeous though, great for her coloring. She looks just like a sweet little doll.
    Great job!

  20. I have kept 2 seem rippers around for the last couple years for just such occasions! When my oldest turned 4 I made her a rainbow skirt with many ruffled layers ( a bigger endeavor than I had imagined) and ended up on one side of the skirt ripping opposite my husband ripping from the other side. I love the unchained melody comment! oh how that would have been even more comical!

  21. I’m always in awe for everybody who can sew clothes! I think the dress is gorgeous, even with the disadvantages you mentioned. Warm and cosy!
    Congrats on your ‘big’ little girl and on the dress…

  22. Adorable dress and I love the first two pictures!

  23. Love the dress, & Johnny, for staying up & helping you rip out seems (& having enough sense to joke about it). I doubt Vance or I would have been very happy or, for that matter, stayed up!!

  24. love the dress and I can imagine an adult version! Of course a shinning princess dress is more adequate for a birthday party, so I think Beatrix had the best of both worlds. 🙂

  25. It’s really a very sweet dress. I’m sure it will get lots of use in the chilly days to come.

  26. This is a lovely dress. Little girls just like glitter but this will keep her warm. You were dedicated to keep going in the early hours-I would have given up-rotten mother that I am!

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