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The LMB draped birthday dress

25 March 2010, 11:36

Today is my birthday! Every year I like to make myself something new to celebrate in, and this year I’ve paired some luscious teal silk jersey from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road (at £16/m) with a gorgeous draped dress from the Feb 2010 La Mia Boutique magazine, #6:

We thought we’d make the extra effort here to give you all a show of our neighbourhood with the dress…

I’m now 31!

Pushing the sleeves up for a more casual look…

side view:

back view:

(perhaps I should’ve lined the back afterall, but too late for that)

Here’s some detail shots of the front and back draping:

Based on the muslin of this dress, I made these changes:

  1. I took 1/2” off the shoulders in back and the inner front piece (on the outer front pieces I just gathered the extra 1/2” more, not like it made much difference to the puny amount of gathering!)

  2. I took two inches out of the centre of the inner front and inner front waistband (and stabilised the inner front waistband with clear elastic inside) to make the neckline more V shaped and increase the draping coming up from the skirt

  3. I increased the folded-over facing edge of the outer front bodice because I could in my layout, and so it’d decrease the chances of it flipping out in wear

  4. I increased the sleeve girth, thanks to lauriana‘s suggestion

  5. I took four inches off the hem so it’d be above the knee

  6. I added an inch or so to the hips on the back skirt thanks to Nancy K’s suggestion

  7. I didn’t get the suggestions in time to do it here, but in future I’d also scoop out the front sleeve curve to fix the underarm pulling issue (you can see it’s still there in the “31” photo above)

If you’re keen to sew this for yourself, remember I’ve already posted step-by-step instructions for this dress so you don’t really need to speak Italian or French!

I’m so looking forward to a new year and a fresh start!

tags: , ,


  1. Happy Birthday – lovely dress. I really like it with the sleeves pushed up to 3/4 length. Your hair is looking great too. Are you planning to keep it short? I think it really suits you.

    arnysews    Mar 25, 12:06 PM    #
  2. Many happy returns of the day! The dress looks really good on you – great design and colour. I have about 6 weeks to instigate your birthday dress tradition – sadly I wont see 31 again! Enjoy.

    — Kim Hood    Mar 25, 12:09 PM    #
  3. Happy Birthday!

    You look fabulous!

    — Lisa    Mar 25, 12:14 PM    #
  4. Many happy returns – I hope the dress gets to go out somewhere great to celebrate! The colour is gorgeous on you. After you posted the link to the French site, I of course had to buy this issue! I definitely see one of these dresses in my future so I’ll be looking to your fab instructions x

    — racheljm    Mar 25, 12:32 PM    #
  5. Happy Birthday!

    What a great dress. The colour, the style and the fit all really suit you. It is very flattering.

    Karin    Mar 25, 12:47 PM    #
  6. Lovely! You look fabulous in this color and cut. Happy birthday!

    meli88a    Mar 25, 12:55 PM    #
  7. Happy Birthday!!! Looking good!

    lsaspacey    Mar 25, 01:37 PM    #
  8. Happy Birthday! This is so much better than the muslin. The biggest impact is by the change in the neckline shaping. Lovely fabric on you. Your hair is so cute! Are you going to let it grow out, or keep it short?

    Nancy k    Mar 25, 02:30 PM    #
  9. Happy Birthday !!!
    What a nice dress, you look gorgeous !

    Désirée    Mar 25, 02:37 PM    #
  10. Happy birthday!! You’re looking totally fabulous, and you did a great job with a tricky fabric too.
    I really love your dress, but can I mention that I also adore your neighborhood? I suspect you probably freeze through the winter, a friend of mine spoke feelingly of her hippie years on a barge in Amsterdam, but that view is just incredible..

    — Marie-Christine    Mar 25, 04:12 PM    #
  11. Happy Birthday!! That dress is amazing on you… love the color!

    Angela    Mar 25, 04:38 PM    #
  12. Happy Birthday!!!! You look amazing in your dress. Enjoy your special day!!!!

    Victoria    Mar 25, 08:18 PM    #
  13. That is one of my go-to colors – love the dress and love it on you! And you are making me flash back to my college semester in London, a LONG time ago… Thanks for sharing, and Happy Birthday!

    — M Kate    Mar 25, 08:42 PM    #
  14. I LOVE your blog! You really do some awesome work! I love your enthusiasm, your willingness to go a little edgy, the way you play with color! You are very inspiring! THANK YOU! Nora :)

    — Nora    Mar 25, 09:06 PM    #
  15. Happy 31!!! I love the color and the dress – it looks wonderful on you. Bravo – enjoy your day!

    MelissaB    Mar 25, 09:19 PM    #
  16. Happy Birthday! Your dresss is marvy! Looks great on you.

    gwen    Mar 25, 10:36 PM    #
  17. Happy birthday, and you look lovely; I love that color. My birthday was the other day, but I didn’t get a dress made for it (slacker, oh well.)

    Laura    Mar 26, 12:11 AM    #
  18. Hope you had a very happy birthday! You look lovely in your fantastic dress. Love the color and the fabric. You have a fantastic view on the Tower Bridge, wow!

    — Teddie    Mar 26, 12:43 PM    #
  19. Happy belated Birthday, Melissa! Hope you had a good time. Your dress is fabulous.

    Isabelle    Mar 26, 01:47 PM    #
  20. Birthday greetings from downunder – you’re an inspiration!

    — welshkiwi    Mar 27, 10:49 AM    #
  21. Awesome and that bridge behind you! Happy Birthday.

    — Karen M    Mar 27, 05:39 PM    #
  22. Happy belated birthday! I have to join the people who are telling you how fabulous your new haircut is. :-) And it looks especially great with such a pretty dress like this. Somehow, the colour of the dress and the haircut go really well together!

    Hana - Marmota    Mar 27, 08:24 PM    #
  23. Beautiful dress and the color suits you so well. Thirty-one is a terrific year. Happy Birthday!

    sewistafashionista    Mar 28, 03:00 PM    #
  24. Happy Birthday! You look soo beautiful in your new dress, very flattering on you.

    senaSews    Mar 29, 10:18 AM    #
  25. Last thursday was a also my birthday so happy birhday !!!
    I love your dress and the fabric you choose !
    You did a great job on this dress!!!
    I liked the dress on the magasine but yours is much better !
    Thanks for your explanations, they will be useful when I make this dress

    lasandrou    Mar 30, 02:26 PM    #

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