The Slightly Late, Dirty Thirty Dress!

Yellow organza sheath dress

I’m finally done with my birthday dress! “Wait,” you’re saying, “wasn’t your birthday, like, ages ago?” Well, yes, but Hurricane Sandy + birthday weekend away + Thanksgiving + numerous silly and annoying setbacks with the dress = here’s my birthday dress, now! Let’s just say I’m continuing the celebration!

I went to Mood thinking about color– I had just switched over my seasonal wardrobe, tucking away my bright, pretty sundresses and replacing them with gray and navy sweaters. I’m not sure why I gravitate towards dark, drab colors in the winter, but I decided that I wanted a bold color for my birthday dress. I was instantly drawn to this silk I bought at Mood NYC—it’s an attention-grabber and an instant mood-lifter!

Yellow organza sheath dress

My plan was to use Simplicity 1873, which I had hoped to make once before but didn’t have enough fabric. I thought I was in the clear this time around, but I was foiled again! I didn’t notice that my lining fabric was a little shy of 45″, and I couldn’t quite squeeze out the dress. Unfortunately I had already started cutting out the main fabric, but I dug up Vogue V8511, an out-of-print Very Easy Vogue pattern and was able to cut out the dress very carefully using the pieces that I had already cut.

The pattern came together quite easily. I tinkered with the bodice fit a bit, but the skirt is unaltered. The dress is fully-lined with a lightweight silk, but I realized that the dress was going to be floppy and sheer even with the lining, so I went back, seam-ripped, and underlined the whole thing with silk organza. I love the effect of underlining—the organza gives the dress body without adding much weight. The skirt in particular looks worlds better now!

Yellow organza sheath dress

To be honest, I had so many silly issues with this dress (like the miles of seam-ripping and hand-stitching I had to do to underline the dress) and I was so disappointed that I had to abandon my original plan that I sort of hated the dress the entire time I was working on it. I kind of figured that this would hang unworn in the back of my closet for years, but when I installed the zipper and tried on the fully-assembled dress for the first time, I couldn’t believe how much I loved it! I love the shape of the skirt—it’s so fun! I also love that there’s the merest hint of a sleeve, which is really flattering and sweet. The hem curves up just the tiniest bit at the front to show a peek of knee, which is a longer length than I usually wear, but it works in this dress.

Yellow organza sheath dress

If I make this pattern again, I would take just a hair of length off the bodice right above the bust, and I would draft a back vent or kick-pleat. The slit is fine, but a kick-pleat is much more hard-wearing and elegant. But overall, I’m really happy with it and I love having a colorful dress in my wardrobe!

How about you guys? Do you find yourself bored with bland, dark colors in the colder months? Or do you rock the classic black-on-black NYC winter look? I’m plotting ways to add pops of color to my darker outfits (I’m thinking I could wear this dress with a navy boyfriend blazer, gray boots, and chunky, bright jewelry… what do you think?). Just look how exciting navy looks paired with bright tones!

All three of these are silks available at moodfabrics.com!

You can find these silks at moodfabrics.com!

What are your favorite ways to wear colors in the winter?

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Comments


  • Caroline
    December 3, 2012

    The yellow is fabulous! Love your dress, it fits really well and is very flattering. Hope you took it out for a night on the town!

    • Ginger
      December 3, 2012

      Thank you, Carolyn! 🙂

  • Carolyn
    December 3, 2012

    It is a really cheerful dress that fits you well! i’m sorry that you had to do so much to make it work but I’m glad that you love the finished dress!

    • Ginger
      December 3, 2012

      Thanks, Carolyn! It was a pleasant surprise to like it at the end!

  • Breyan
    December 3, 2012

    Nice job! Way to go on the color! 🙂
    I have actually been thinking of making a fall/winter dress out of a nice, bright yellow ponte. When it gets drab and dreary out, someone has to liven up the view a bit!

    • Ginger
      December 3, 2012

      Ooh, that sounds sassy! Bright and fun, but easy to wear! Do it!

  • Amy
    December 4, 2012

    That yellow looks fabulous on you! Bravo for taking the time to remake this dress after you realized it needed underlining.

    • Ginger
      December 4, 2012

      Thanks, Amy! I’m slowly learning that it’s better to take time (sometimes LOTS of time) to do things correctly. 🙂

  • Laura Casey
    December 4, 2012

    I’ve never really understood the value of underlining…..now I do thanks! The dress and color rock! I’ve been taking my best go to color (for me that’s all shades of magenta) and making slacks to wear with navy/black/grey….so the pop of color is on the bottom and the neutral is on top-makes it fresh looking.
    Keep stitch’n……..LAURA

    • Ginger
      December 4, 2012

      I love the idea of wearing the bright color on the bottom, especially since most people automatically go the opposite way. Magenta pairs beautifully with neutrals!

  • What a beautiful dress, and you look smashing in yellow.

    • Ginger
      December 6, 2012

      Thank you very much!

  • Amanda S.
    December 6, 2012

    Great color and happy belated birthday!

    • Ginger
      December 6, 2012

      Thanks, Amanda!