A Birthday Dress!

Happy 36th birthday to me!!!

Jalie Ruffle Maxi

I always think that I sew myself a new birthday dress every year… but searching my blog, it seems like I’ve only specifically done it a few times. And the theme is definitely ITY maxi dresses in bold prints!

Since this dress fits that brief nicely, I’m going to consider it a birthday dress, even though it’s actually what I sewed to wear at my Pattern Review talk on Better Pictures! Since Jalie and the Bra Makers Supply were also presenting, I was excited to wear a me-made bra and Jalie outfit for my talk. When I mentioned in the PR Weekend group that I was sad the new Jalie patterns wouldn’t be released in time, they offered to send me a few in advance! Merci, Jalie!

(BTW, I asked them how to pronounce Jalie, and they said, “We don’t mind how people say it, as long as they love our patterns! So if you say Jail-y, Zha-li, or Ja-li, it doesn’t matter!Β 


This is the new Jalie Adele, which is a woven top or tunic with circular ruffles set into princess seams. I think the style is so pretty, but I definitely wanted it in a knit!

I wore my wearable muslin during MMMay, which makes for a very cute summer tunic. I found the recommended size a little loose in a knit, so for my dress I sized down 2 sizes.


Both versions I made are in ITY, which I think works nicely. It has enough drape for the ruffles, even when they are double layered… but it’s also stable enough that it doesn’t stretch out of shape in a maxi!

Jalie Ruffle Maxi

The dress is constructed with a front and back centre panel, and side panels that wrap from front to back. Basically, it has princess seams but no side seam! The ties are attached at the back princess seams, so you can tie them just at the back, wrap them around to the front, or do what I do, which is wrap them across the centre back and then around to the front. Without the ties it’s a loose dress with no shaping.

Jalie Ruffle Maxi

If you look closely at my underarm, you can see I made a booboo. When I first tried on the finished dress, the underarms were massively low! I’m sure I must have used the wrong set of notches while I was sewing. Anyway, as a lazy fix, I hemmed a new side panel just a few inches long, and patched it in to raise the armscye! Thank goodness for a busy print, because I don’t think anyone will notice or care.

Jalie Ruffle Maxi

I really should mention the fabric, shouldn’t I? My sister and Mom brought this back for me when they were in California this spring. I ordered it from Micheal Levine fabrics, which seems to have the best selection of slightly-garish ITY border prints online! It’s $6.75/m, and I love it.

For my birthday, I’ll be celebrating with sushi, Indian food, and a ridiculously large cat tower! Oh, and my sister just hauled back a massive load of Cali Fabrics goodness for me on yet another recent business trip to the US, soΒ 36 is off to a good start!

50 thoughts on “A Birthday Dress!

  1. I am somewhat new to your blog and love it. I found you via your recent podcast on Crafty Planner. Happy birthday!!! Hope 36 treats you well (it seems to so far!). I have a question – when you mentioned you wanted to make the dress out of a knit – can you do that with most or any patterns written for woven fabrics? I know not to make a knit pattern out of woven – but it seems the reverse is safe? I made a Washi dress out of a knit and that worked just fine. So, just want to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! I’d say yes, most woven patterns can be made from a knit! The general rule is to use a stable knit (like a ponte) or to size down, which is what I did hear. I bet the Washi was really cute in a knit, and really comfy!


  2. Happy Birthday! Your dress is fabulous! I have just ordered a Jalie pattern as I heard great things about them. Have a great birthday celebration

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday, Gillian! Where in Canada are you? I leave for Edmonton on Wednesday then visit Vancouver a week later. I have a source for crazy ITYs at about $2.99-3.99 USD and could make a pit stop there tomorrow for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy birthday to you!!! That dress looks like so much fun and the fabric is amazing. The pattern reminds me a bit of the old Sewaholic Pendrell, but the proportions are different. Anywayβ€”happy birthday, you youngster! πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You look incredible. Seriously. I have never seen an animal print look so posh. Happy 36th birthday my long-distance friend. Sushi, Indian food, and a huge cat tree sound perfect to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s massive, eh? We live in a rental house with high ceilings, so there is lots of vertical space, but we’d better never move to a smaller house! πŸ˜‰


  6. I love your birthday dress! Happy birthday!

    And thanks for clearing up the pronunciation of Jalie, he he! I have heard it so many different ways, it is good to know that it only matters that their patterns are well-loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Belated Birthday Gillian! This dress is fantastic, you are off to a stylish start to 36! Wishing you all the best for another year full of sewing adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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