Birthday Dress, 2019 Edition!

Birthday Dress

I’ve been making myself a fun new dress for my birthday for the past few years, and I love the tradition. The last few have been maxis, so this year I made short dress instead!

Birthday Dress

Behold the glory of its twirliness!!! It is three patterns mashed up: Cashmerette Dartmouth for the bodice, Comino Cap for the upper skirt, and a circle skirt for the lower section.

Birthday Dress

I tested the Dartmouth back when it was released, and I’ve used it once for a dress bodice already. I used the same pieces for front and back, and angled in the shoulders a bit. It has some ruching at the side seams and fits snugly.

Birthday Dress

For the skirt, I chose the Comino Cap skirt because it is a gentle a-line shape with curves at the hips. I wanted something figure-skimming, neither tight nor loose! The proportions of the yoke and ruffle were determined by how much fabric I had, since I only bought 2 metres for this dress.

For the circle skirt portion, I measured the circumference of the bottom of the yoke, and cut a “donut” to match. I do this by folding the fabric in quarters and marking the radius with a quilting ruler. A pattern piece would be more exact, but this seems to work well enough for me!

Birthday Dress

My husband got me these recycled-sari fair-trade earrings for my birthday, along with some other goodies. The shorter my hair gets, the more I love a big earring!

Out of the blue, my partners-in-Sewcialists-crime Becky and Chloe surprised me with a post on the Sewcialists yesterday, called “A love letter to Gillian and to YOU!” I feel beyond blessed to have such great people around me, particularly this year which has been a bumpy ride. Thank you to all of you here who cheer me on! I love this corner of the internet!

Birthday Dress

Now excuse me while I go spin around my house and eat So. Much. Cake! Mwah!

29 thoughts on “Birthday Dress, 2019 Edition!

      1. How did you prepare the bodice pattern to alter for a dress? I’d like to use the Dartmouth top for a dress too, (without the yoke though) tried extending but it didn’t turn out too well. Ended up back as a top, but I really like the wrap style better than the Appleton. The ties annoy me on that pattern. As it was I had to drop the hole in the side seam lower as the original was too high for my lumps and bumps. I’ve made a top from it, but again I made my ties too long.


        1. Last time I used the DArtmouth as a bodice, i cut the bodice too short… it’s so snug that it rides up on me, so this time I cut it a bit longer. Other than that, it’s just as drafted!


  1. Happy belated birthday, sounds like you had a wonderful day. Love the dress, the colours and pattern are just what I go for….my family thinks I’m a bit of a bohemian in my choices of style too but being a child of the 60s/early 70s my tastes are kind of ingrained!


  2. Love the dress and the fit! Great job! You are so creative and adventurous. Wish I had that ability when I was your age.

    Louise Chowanski


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