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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

· A Gold Dotty Birthday Dress ·


When I first saw this Michael Miller Glitz border-print, it was love at first sight. :-)

I dreamed of getting it, but the price tag was quite a bit more than I usually like to spend.  Plus, there was that little detail about a New Year's resolution I made to "use 5 stash fabrics for every 1 new fabric purchased this year".

(I know.  I make absolutely ridiculous New Year's resolutions.)



However... true love conquers all- even silly resolutions. ;-)

I had a momentary set-back when I saw Charlotte's dress from this fabric (also a birthday dress- funny coincidence!) and decided against buying the fabric- I didn't want to be a copy-cat, after all!  And so the life of a Certifiable Agonizer continues....  I eventually decided that buying the fabric for the dress would be my consolation gift to myself for my upcoming birthday.  I justified the expense by using some hoarded birthday/Christmas gift money from past years. :-)


I debated about going into the drama on here of reaching my first "dreaded" birthday, but I decided to go ahead and touch on it briefly. ;-)

For a variety of reasons, I had a rough year.  And it just kept getting worse.  With my birthday fast approaching, it also happened to mark the beginning of a new phase- the mid 20s.  So essentially, my life was moving on much more rapidly than I expected and I was depressed.
I also have illogical, preconceived opinions about a certain numbers.  And I just don't like the sound of 24.  I know, it's weird.  And inexplicable! ;-) But there it is.

All that compiled to make me rather dread August's approach!  But, 24 comes to all of us and it was rapidly approaching me.  This fabric seemed like a good way to soften the blow and give me a reason to look forward to my birthday despite myself. :-)


As it turns out, God was faithfully working, even throughout my struggles- which really isn't surprising after all... but the timing was wonderfully perfect. :-)  At the beginning of August, I began to feel much better about this whole Birthday thing. :-)  It seems unreal to think that I'm already in my mid-20s, but now I'm encouraged when I think back to all I've seen, done, experienced, and learned in all the years I've been given, and I'm so thankful for the many personal reminders of God's care and leading.

I've still got a long path ahead of me, but I'm thankful for the fresh page that Four and Twenty is bringing. :-)



Enough of all that- back to the real reason you stopped by! :-)

I used Butterick 6927 (a reprint that has since gone out of print) as a base for the bodice, and added a full skirt onto it.  The skirt included in the pattern is stunning, though- I really need to find the perfect project to make the dress in its entirety!

I love the practicality of this fabric!  It's a cotton, so it's breathable and comfortable as well as easy to wash and maintain.  However it also has metallic accents so it's perfectly dressy enough for just about any situation. :-)  It's a great dress up/dress down fabric. :-)


We found this triple-strand of gold pearls at an estate sale earlier this summer, and they're the perfect match!  Score!


The surplice bodice has pleats that are sewn down and release at the bust for a fitted, flattering look.  I decided to go with pleats on the skirt to keep a cohesive theme for all the elements of this dress. :-)

I'm absolutely adoring the craze for all things gold dotty this year.... I could just buy it all!!


This neckline is so super clever!!!  I love it!  The sweetheart shape is formed by a pleat that releases toward the shoulder- I'm so pleased when patterns include details like this that are so difficult to draft on your own!


I was obsessing about exactly how to position the bodice on the fabric- I felt that placing the bodice right along the densely-dotted selvage would make the bodice too densely gold and that would upset the overall proportions a bit.

I placed it a couple inches from the selvage, which in turn meant that I had a strip of border *just* wide enough for a matching belt- hooray!


Birthday shoes!!  We recently found Hotter.com, and we're sold!  Leather, several vintage-looking styles.... and cushioned insoles. :-D  These rank among my most-comfortable shoes now!


I always take advantage of hiding pockets in my full skirts!  After all, you never know when it'll be handy!
Actually, you do know.  They will *always* be handy.

The ribbon binding finishing off the inside of the neckline and sleeve hems was part of the splurge that was this dress. :-)  I do love an excuse to buy gold dotty things, and since I needed ribbon to bind off the neck anyway.... why not just use something frivolously appropriate?!  Since I had leftovers, I used them to finish off the sleeve hems, too!

If this ribbon is anything like my other polka-dotted ribbons, the dots will come off in the wash.... So I'm just making sure to enjoy them extra much before then. ;-D


When I first spotted this fabric, I knew it would be a perfect candidate for an "upside down" border-print skirt!  I've admired the look of border-print dresses that have the border at the waist, radiating out toward the shoulder and hem, but most of the prints available are only intended to be used with the border at the hem.  I'm so, SO pleased with how this skirt turned out!

Another perk to this print is that I was able to cut the skirt from Simplicity 1459- the pieces are flared and pleated, and I love the effect that gives!

· Photos by Kathryn- thanks dear! :-) ·

36 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Lily!! :) I was so excited to see a new post from you today!! It was hard living through two whole Wednesdays without a new post from you. ;)
    This dress is so gorgeous! The way you used the border print is ingenious!! I'm so glad you splurged - it was totally worth it. The design and color are perfectly suited to you!!
    I'm so sorry to hear you were having a rough time of it, but I'm so glad to hear that the Lord brought you through!! Isn't He wonderful?!!
    Thanks for sharing both your thoughts and your lovely, lovely dress, Lily! Have a wonderful rest of your week. :)
    P.S. Your shoes? Love them!!

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  2. Your dress looks absolutely lovely! I also love Charlotte's version too, I only recently found the Boyer Sisters blog, so had missed that blog post! (Of course I'm going back and reading it all now) :) Hotter shoes are so comfortable, I have a few pairs now. The only downside is, no other shoes feel as comfortable in comparison, so I feel like I *have* to only buy Hotter shoes now! :) Jenny xx

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    1. Jenny, I know what you mean about Hotter shoes! They're wonderful!!!

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  3. Lily,

    Your birthday dress is gorgeous! The style is just perfectly suited to the fabric. I am glad you had a nice birthday after all. I have felt that way many times about my birthday. I am never too crazy about being another year older. : ) May the LORD bless you in the year ahead!

    -Sarah

    P.S. I truly enjoyed all of the beautiful pictures you shared of your trip on Instgram! Thank you!!

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words, Sarah. I think it lessens the pain to know it's not an uncommon one- so thank you. :-)

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  4. It's a shame that you dreaded your birthday, but it's also lucky that such a beautiful dress came out of it. I'd wear it in a heartbeat!
    How's your holiday going/gone? :)

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  5. Happy Belated Birthday to you! I am so loving your golden polky spots dress! The way you made the dense spots at the waist and then the less towards the outer...genius! The color looks so very fabulous on you as well and huzzah for your necklace score!!
    Blessings!
    g

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    1. Thank you, Gina! You're so sweet!

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  6. Happy Birthday! And I don't like certain numbers, either (#4 is pointy and a shade of blue I don't care for)! The dress is lovely and you've used the fabric to a wonderful advantage. Beautiful Job!

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    1. Kyle, LOL!!! That is hilarious! But SO true!

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  7. Oh.......so absolutely terrifically stunning!!! I can't get over how fabulous and jaw dropping this dress is....totally in love with it and it looks drop dead gorgeous on you:) Happy late Birthday but best wishes and blessings all the same!
    -Madison
    www.1minniemuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww, thanks so much Madison! :-)

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  8. I love it Lily!!! :) The details are amazing! :) Love how you used the material to get such a neat look!

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  9. I felt exactly the same about 25 but I got over it. This dress turned out so lovely! :)

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! It's nice to know that so many others have dealt with these feelings before... and it does (blessedly!) seem like I'm definitely getting over it. We'll see what the next 10+ months hold... ;-)

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  10. Fabulous Lily! I thought at first glance that fabric looked like Charlotte's! It's so beautiful! I adore how you fashioned the skirt and waistline! Stunning!

    I know what you mean about birthday's; this year unlike the others I wasn't super excited for the big day of flipping past another year. But, what can one really do? Haha! Plus, just what you said rings so true! I'm so grateful for all God has shown me during my life. :)

    Blessings! And I hope your trip is going well!

    Cassie
    of Calico Sisters blog

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    1. Thanks, Cassie! I hope your year just gets better from here! :-)

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  11. Lovely dress! The upside down border print is so cute!!! I want to steal this dress from your closet. :)

    Best,
    Quinn

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    1. Awww, thanks Quinn! And I'll be keeping a closer guard on it from now on! ;-)

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  12. Gorgeous dress, and so beautifully sewn! I really love how you placed the print with the gold in the middle and the bodice detailing is very pretty! I turned 24 myself this summer and felt very much the same as you had, where is the time going! I think I need to stay 24 for a few years extra and get a lot more done before I turn 25 :)

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    1. Thank you, Bianca! Oooh, I like the idea to stay 24 for a few years.... I might be implementing that. ;-)

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  13. (I hope this comment doesn't get repeated - if so, it wasn't my intent!) First off I LOVE the dress. Secondly I respectfully offer my thoughts although I'm a complete stranger to you: my 30's were better than my 20's; the 40's were better than the 30's; and my 50's have been better than the 40's. Don't fret about getting older because you're getting BETTER!

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    1. Thanks Val! And that's a wonderful reassurance! I look forward to improving. ;-)

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  14. That dress is absolutely beautiful and you look stunning! Happy Birthday, I hope you had a wonderful day!

    www.pearlsandpurlsvintage.blogspot.com

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  15. This dress turned out so splendidly Lily! Seriously, when we see you all again, you and Charlotte should wear your "matching" dresses. :D

    Blessings,

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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    1. Thanks Brigid! I love that idea... we really should plan a get-together sometime!

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  16. Happy birthday! Such a beautiful dress! It's absolutely gorgeous! I love all the details you've put into it including the dotty ribbon on the inside of the sleeves and the self fabric belt! Such a lucky find to find those pearls too! Such a wonderful look!!!!

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  17. Breathtakingly gorgeous dress! What a stunning note to usher a new year of your life in on, dear gal!

    Happiest birthday wishes!!!
    ♥ Jessica

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  18. Possibly my favorite dress of yours!

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  19. Happy Birthday! Your dress is lovely, and I'm glad it brought the refresher you needed :) (also, I can sympathize--I just turned 25 and have been feeling like it was a big jump to mid-20s too.)

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    1. Thank you! And it's so nice to know there are others in this boat too! :-)

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  20. You made me laugh the way you were bemoaning the fact that you were aging at a faster rate than desired:) Lily, don't ever feel too old! I'm right there with you- sometimes we single girls in our mid 20's get a little depressed and discontent about our status in life, but I can assure you that God has a plan. Just in the past year I heard of two people getting married in their mid 30's, both for the first time. When I hear stories like that, I realize that our age doesn't matter. God can bless us at any time in our lives. And believe me, you are abundantly blessed:)
    Lina

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  21. Happy birthday Lily! You've created a stunning dress; one of my favourites of yours, ;) ~ just perfect for celebrating your special day. I hope you have an awesome year! :) ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  22. I'm blown away by all of your amazingly sweet and thoughtful responses! Thank you all so very much. :-)

    And as it turns out, this year is off to such a wonderful start that I find it hard to remember why exactly I was dreading it so much! ;-)

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