The Birthday Dress

And it’s August again (just), is this going to be my annual post?  Hopefully not, I still have so many lovely vintage patterns I’d love to make up.  Today’s post is to share one of them with you, finally.  I bought the fabric about 4 years ago, I probably got the pattern around the same time.  It was cut out in August 2013, while on holiday in Cornwall.  And that’s where it stopped.  The whole lot was folded up and packed away for the winter and I forgot clean about it.  That is, until this year when I finally got my own sewing room and started moving patterns and fabric boxes and rearranging things.

pea 1

Vogue 4022 in Peacock feather print cotton

I thought it would be the perfect thing to make for The Monthly Stitch’s 4th birthday.  The idea was to use “4” in the project.  This dress has way more than 4 pieces, but I thought the 4 years in the stash would do the trick.  I would have made it to sell in my Etsy shop, but this year I thought I had a better home in mind.  Every year for the past 3 years I’ve made my best friend a new dress to wear for her son’s birthday in August.  Sadly, that amazing young man is no longer with us, but that hasn’t stopped us marking his birthday.  So I thought this would be that dress, the 4th made for his mum to wear on his birthday.

pea 2

The neckline on this dress is really eye-catching

The pattern is Vogue 4022, bust 36.  I made no adjustments at all on this, and it fits really well!  Unfortunately you’re going to have to see Belle modelling the dress, rather than the friend.  She’s camera shy.  I love the neckline detail, it’s all contained within the front darts.  The bodice has no waist darts, the front skirt has pleats which form an inverted box pleat and the back has darts.  The back bodice is cut on the fold and the zipper is in the left side seam.  The three quarter length sleeve has two darts at the elbow, giving the typical shape of the time.

collage pea.jpg

I pinked all the seams with a brand new pair of pinking shears sent by a friend.  Unfortunately they were brand new blunt!  So I gave up and used my ancient pair instead.  The sleeve was the perfect length before hemming, so I sewed a false hem with black bias binding.  The skirt hem has seam tape and both were hand stitched.


I love the resulting dress, the peacock print cotton is lovely and smooth, crisp but not thick.  Next time I’m in Birmingham I need to see if the Fancy Silk Store still has some!  (Not fancying my chances TBH)  Now I really want to make the coat, I just need to persuade someone that they really need a winter coat with 3/4 length sleeves…

3 responses to “The Birthday Dress

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