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The 40th Birthday Dress: Vogue 1881

Hi everyone!!! Guess what, I MADE IT TO YEAR 40!!! I celebrated my 40th birthday this Tuesday, September 13th, and I must say it was one for the books. On the Friday before my birthday, my husband surprised me and took me to a comedy show with one of my all time faves, Kevin Hart! It was an amazing experience, and I laughed so hard I needed my inhaler lol. I spent some time with my bestie Mimi, and on that Sunday, I had an amazing dinner with my family at my favorite restaurant, Frankie’s (in Atlanta). I made memories with those that bring me joy throughout the year, and that was the greatest gift.

One of the highlights of my birthday every year is my self made birthday dress. Since 2018 I gave myself a challenge to sew a Birthday collection that concluded with a beautiful birthday dress. This year I also added an extra challenge to my plate, I decided to sew 40 things by my 40th birthday. I am proud to say that through all of the life events that came along during this one year journey, I have accomplished that goal. To say I am proud of myself is an understatement. I am also very grateful to those who joined in on the #sewyourgoals challenge to create their own sewing promise by their next birthday. It felt great to know I was not doing it alone. Now, let’s get into this birthday dress, shall we?

Fabric Used

For this project I decided to use this Blue Stretch Cotton Sateen from Mood Fabrics. It is a stretch cotton with a beautiful drape. It is 59″ in width. It is perfect for pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, etc. What drew me to this pattern is the floral stipe design. It is trendy but also beautiful. When I saw it I knew it would be perfect for my dress.

Pattern Used/Size Cut

When I saw Vogue 1881 in the summer catalog, I knew right away that I wanted to make it. I describe it as sexy elegance. It is a halter neck dress with a plunging V-neck bodice with gathers under the bust. I love the empire waist with contrast band. The flared skirt has a high-low hemline and ruffle finished with contrast hem facings, and my favorite part of this dress of course is that it has side seam pockets. I am a between a 36″ and 38″ bust, a 30″ waist, and a 40″ hip. I cut a size 14 without any fit adjustments.

Review & Final Thoughts

I can honestly say that I love Vogue 1881. Once you get the right size cut, it goes up from there. The instructions were very easy to follow. My only negative about the pattern is the Bias pattern piece. I feel it could have been a little more simplified. Instead of a large pattern piece to cut the strips ourselves, I believe that there could have been one bias strip piece with directions to cut four on the bias. I purchased 3 yards of fabric for this dress, but it was not enough. I had to buy one more yard to cut the bias strip. For the skirt piece, due to the width of it, it has to be cut on the crosswise fold. Once I completed this dress, I felt so accomplished and beautiful wearing it. My husband could stop telling me how beautiful I looked in the dress, and that made my day. I definitely plan on sewing this pattern again probably next spring/summer with a lighter fabric to give it a more casual everyday look. Great job on this pattern Vogue, Carlos you really created a winner in this pattern.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it. I hope that this blog was informative and that you learned something that will help you in your next sewing project. I also hope that I have inspired you to look beyond the pattern photo to create your own design that fits your style. Comment below and let me know your thoughts or questions. Also, please make sure to subscribe to my blog.


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