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Best Buddy Birthday Dress

Added Aug 31, 2013

by Debbie Allin...

Washington, Unit...






I made this for my best friend for her birthday (aside from quick and easy things for kids, this is the first time I’ve made a dress for someone else). It’s so cute I tried it on too and it’s now on my to-do list for me :) I think it looks fabulously ‘Marilyn’ on her!
Nice pattern but it benefitted from some boning to the sides, otherwise it seemed to gape – it’s impossible to take in effectively to eradicate the gape, due to the halter front. But Rigilene keeps it close to the body – problem solved!
I piped the empire section but we left off the frill from the bottom.
Fabric has embossed flowers – really cute! I forgot to take pics of it but the dress is fully lined and there’s a pretty lace hem to the lining too.

Material Notes

Cotton, flower embossed. Cotton lining. Lace, Rouleau loops, covered buttons, invisible zip.




Summer, Spring
Garment Type

4 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Sep 1, 2013, 04.36 PMby MissMaddiePi

    Thanks so much for your response – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it… I have finally gotten my sewing skills to the point where I can make clothing that looks (to me) of a quality that doesn’t scream homemade, but @ 5’1" – even “petite” patterns take a lot of work at the flat pattern adjustment stage – and almost always need some major tweaking in the toile stage(s), so I really do appreciate your reference heights and other details. I loved this dress when I first saw it and was so excited to see it’s petite sized (work, yes, but less than average-height drafted patterns) but I have had a seriously frustrating summer of UFHalter-styleOs! But I have high hopes for this one now… great to know it wasn’t tough to adjust, and will happily take your word on the Rigilene. And my best friend has a whopping inch on me, so… ohhh dear! Just had a flash of inspiration – same dress and fabric, one dark one light – I could totally make us matchy-matchy! Like she always wanted to do back in college but I refused, claiming ironic nausea… Thanks again for your help!

    1 Reply
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      Sep 1, 2013, 04.41 PMby Debbie Allingham

      You’re more than welcome – hope it goes well and be sure to publish your pics on here :)

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    Sep 1, 2013, 02.18 PMby velvetribbon

    Pretty dress in pretty fabric choice!

    1 Reply
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    Sep 1, 2013, 09.49 AMby Mary Athey

    Wow!! debbie what a fabulous dress, i’ve used the bodice section of this before. Everything about this is fabulous right down to the colour x

    1 Reply
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      Sep 1, 2013, 10.31 AMby Debbie Allingham

      Thank you Mary :) I’m just so pleased that she’s pleased with it. x

  • Missing

    Sep 1, 2013, 05.32 AMby MissMaddiePi

    Wow! Beautiful! It’s genuinely my highest sewing aspiration to someday be able to sew something just perfect for my amazing-how-has-she-not-just-put-up-with-me-but-actually-loves-me-and-always-will-bff. So your project resonates with me on a personal level – I want to make her something that’s both beautiful and makes her feel as fantastic as she makes me feel – and it looks like you did that for your girl – what a smile! Thanks for your review of the pattern as well, I always wonder about halters without extra support called for… and even more so I am curious about how truly “petite” this pattern is… Your friend looks like a classic athletic/proportional/hourglass energy miniature petite woman, at least in these photos – which could also be testament to your fitting and pattern altering skills… and halters with a separate midriff section like this pattern are only flattering if the proportions are correct. Did you find this pattern to be a “true” petite pattern? Thanks!

    1 Reply
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      Sep 1, 2013, 10.38 AMby Debbie Allingham

      Thanks for your lovely comments :) I’d definitely suggest two pieces of Rigilene to the side – they fit down to the skirt seam and that seamed to sort out the gaping.
      We cut the largest size and took in slightly (like a lot of Burda patterns, I found that the size was 1-2 smaller than a shop bought size); the mid section was a pretty good fit but the top section was too big and was re-shaped to reduce the size around the top of the side seams, before adding the boning.
      To give you an idea of height, my friend is 5’4"; I tried it on too and it was a pretty good fit on me and I’m 5’8"! I’d need to slightly lengthen the mid section but not by any more than I usually do – I’ve a long body so always extend about 1" in a bodice.
      Overall pretty easy to adjust – just whip up a toile of the bodice and you shouldn’t find it a problem :)

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