A little dress for the BIG Three Oh!

There's no easy way of saying this, so I'll just do it quickly like ripping off a plaster - I turned 30 on Saturday! Some of you may already know of course, as Sonja has already outed me on her blog! I can't say I was looking forward to it (look at that uncertain face below), but some HD Brows, a new haircut, loads of presents, cards and phone calls, as well as partying with wonderful friends, certainly took the edge off!


I also made myself a little, aztec-print dress for the occassion, which turned out way cuter than I thought it would. I warn you now that you will be seeing more of these...the jersey love is back folks! This was my first time using Sew U Home Stretch by Wendy Mullin and I can already see how versatile all the patterns are. I used the boat-neck bodice from the 'Yacht to Trot' dress and re-drafted the skirt according to the 'Pretty Baby-doll' dress.


The tulip sleeves, inspired by Dixie DIY's self-drafted dress, are my favourite feature. Not only do I love the cross-over detail, I think the overall shape is very flattering and adds enough volume to the arms and shoulders to perfectly balance out the hips. This wasn't planned, but it was an unexpected bonus.


Believe it or not, the sleeves were taken from Simplicity 1813, a 1940s pattern. I cut them out exactly as they were and they ended up fitting the existing armhole perfectly. I was fully expecting to have to re-draft them to fit, so that was a happy coincidence too! The slightly annoying thing is that I followed the sleeve instructions closely, but I still managed to sew them on back-to-front. But life is too short to sweat the small stuff! I am 30 now you know ;o) And anyway, I like them as they are...a bit of back detail is never a bad thing in my book!
I really must apologise for the quality of some of these photos, but it was grey and drizzling on the day. And since then for that matter! I just wanted to show you the back too, to prove that this is quite a flattering style overall, because I wasn't convinced that gathered jersey would look that good.


Here's a nice close up so you can actually see the colour and print of this jersey. Despite only costing £4 p/m from Leicester market, this is one of the nicest jerseys I've worked with  - I'm convinced it's 100% cotton as it's very soft and non-sweaty.


So it turns out that turning 30's not that bad really, especially when you have a cute dress to see you through the day!

128 comments:

  1. Happy happy birthday! I hope you had lots of lovely cake! This is a gorgeous frock and that print is so super cute!

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  2. Happy belated birthday Marie. That is an awesome dress, you seem to find great fabrics in Leicester. Liking the haircut too! :)

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    1. Janey, Leicester market is actually quite good for fabric...I think it's easy to underestimate it, but I can't complain really!

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  3. Congratulations! You and the dress both look great!

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  4. Happy birthday!! And what a perfect little dress to celebrate. Jersey is perfect to accommodate the extra slice of cake you deserve on such a big occasion!

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    1. You read my mind...there was no way I was making a woven dress for the occasion ;o)

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  5. Happy birthday! You look gorgeous, that fringe really suits you.

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  6. Happy Birthday! I hope you had a very special day. Gorgeous dress! I love the print. I love making myself outfits to wear on my birthday. I didn't get to last year though as it was 2 weeks after Imogen was born.

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    1. You know, I've never made myself an outfit for a specific occasion - other than online challenges. I don't know why...maybe cause I'm bad at deadlines...but I'm so glad I managed it this year!

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  7. Happy Birthday! Yes, turning the big three-oh is a bit daunting, but once that's all over with, the 30s are pretty awesome! Especially when you have a new frock :p

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    1. Thanks Jenny, it doesn't feel any different, which is good ;o)

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  8. belated happy birthday! Welcome to your 30s - this is when the fun really starts!

    lovely dress - I love the sleeves - so pretty! (and fab new locks too!)

    x

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    1. Yay for 30s fun, thanks Shivani!

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  9. Happy (belated) birthday! Sounds like you had a grand time =) Love the dress, so cute! What a great combination of so many different patterns - wonderful story. I only started sewing jersey last year, but now at least half of my sewing is in jersey. It's so easy to work with!

    I turned 30 last year, and have to say I rather enjoyed it and I'm happy with my "advanced" age =) After all, would I like to be where I was 5 years ago? No, I very much prefer where I am today, both regarding to work and to private life. So do I want to be 25 or 30? Hey, if I like where I am today, then of course I'd rather be 30! =)

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    1. I love your attitude on your age Erika, I must take a leaf out of your book! And I'm with you on the jersey front - I also only started sewing with it last year and I love it!

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  10. Happy Birthday to you! Your dress is so great on you! I love the fabric you chose...Well done!

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  11. Happy Birthday! Your dress look awesome and I love the sleeves you chose.
    Turning 30 IS great (in my opinion - turned 30 last June). It will be another great decade after the 20ies with education, studying and whatever.

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    1. Great attitude Miriam, many thanks!

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  12. This dress is gorgeous:) hope you had a lovely birthday xx

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  13. Happy Birthday! If it's any consolation you definitely don't look 30! I hope you had a great day, and got lots of sewing related presents!

    I bought some of this fabric too, for an infinity scarf thing for a friend, and I'm now regretting only buying a metre of it! That dress looks LOVELY on you, and I really love those sleeves!

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    1. Thanks Alexandra, you're my favourite commenter right now ;o) Do you live in/near Leicester then? It's a great quality fabric for sure!

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    2. Yes, I live in Clarendon Park, near to the University!

      I love that stall at market, I probably by about 90% of my fabric from him!

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  14. aaww, lovely dress and you look fantastic! that eyeliner is perfect. happy birthday!

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  15. I had noticed this dress in the pic you put on Facebook, it's such a cute print and you added so many adorable details. Great job!

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  16. I love your dress,hair,make up.. you look hot!!! Happy birthday darling.. hope to see you soon x

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  17. Happy 30th! I passed that milestone a few years ago and it's not so bad. You look gorgeous! Your hair is fabulous and that is such a perfect little birthday dress.

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    1. Thank you Amy and can I just say, how are you over 30?!? Looking good!

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  18. Happy Birthday! I absolutely ADORE this dress. I've been obsessed with tribal prints lately, so I was immediately a fan when I saw the first photo. And that full skirt with those tulip sleeves?! Heaven!! You look amazing and so does your dress :)

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  19. The dress looks great! And turning 30 can be stressful (I was super-stressed out about it when it happened to me--almost two years ago now, yikes!) But my 30s have actually been way better than my 20s so far! Happy birthday!

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    1. Thank you Becky and many people have said that their 30s have been awesome, so I choose to believe it ;o)

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  20. Hot to TROT!!!! Oh my god, if this is how you look at 30 you have nothing to worry about at all. Your boyfriend is one lucky fella. Beautiful, beautiful - and yet more great sewing. You're on a roll. It's my birthday tomorrow, too, and I am WAY past the big 3-0. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Oooh Happy Birthday for tomorrow fellow, cool Aquariuan! I hope you've got some fun plans and that you'll be terribly spoiled by everyone! Thank you also for your awesome comments - I do feel like I've started my most promising sewing year to date...let's hope I don't lose it anytime soon ;o)

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  21. Yay! Happy Birthday! You look beautiful, and I love the bangs. I'm turning 30 this year too - you've inspired me to go plan my own party dress.

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  22. This dress is so cute! I'm so glad you made a new one for the big day-- it really helps you feel fabulous! But sheesh-- your hot new haircut doesn't hurt, either! You look great!

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  23. Happy birthday, and your dress looks great! I bet you'll love your 30s ... the older we get, the more we understand who we are and what we can do. Go forth and conquer! :)

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    1. Thank you Andrea and you're so right!

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  24. Woe I'm in love with the dress, the print and your new hair cut! 30 totally suits you! X

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  25. Love the hair, the dress, and the eyeliner! Happy 30th!

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  26. Happy Birthday! I love the aztec print and simple cute cut of your beautiful dress, bravo!

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  27. Happy birthday! I absolutely LOVE the dress! The print, the silhouette, everything. It is so awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. No problem, that book is really good!

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  28. Happy Birthday! 30 isn't so bad (I'm 31!) and you look fabulous in your dress :)

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    1. Thank you, I'm feeling very welcomed into the 30s club!

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  29. Happy Birthday! Don't worry about 30--my 30th year was my favorite so far! Both the dress and your hair look great. I love a good jersey dress!

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  30. Super cute dress! And happy birthday!

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  31. Love the fabric's Aztec pattern and the dress's cut! Sleeves were a great call, they make it that much more interesting. You could always add a belt if you wanted to change things up, too!

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    1. Yep, a belt's a great idea...thanks!

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  32. Beautiful dress and beautiful haircut, you look gorgeous Marie. What a fabulous way to kick start your 30's, hope your birthday was a very happy one. x

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    1. Thank you Jane, it was! And I hope your son's dance performance went well ;o)

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  33. Awww happy birthday! You look super pretty and youthful in your aztec dress

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  34. Happy Birthday! You look fabulous and your dress came out amazing, especially with the tulip sleeves.

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  35. Happy birthday x beautiful dress and beautiful girl, which I get to say coz I'm wayyy past 30!!

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  36. Your dress is great, I love the tulip sleeves. Happy belated birthday!

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  37. I love the silhouette of the dress! And teach me your makeup ways please! :)

    Happy birthday!

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    1. Aaaw, thanks lady!I actually want to learn your makeup ways too please!!!

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  38. Happy belated birthday! Love the celebratory dress - as well as your new hair and brows! Bom chicka wah wah indeed! ♥

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    1. Hehe, you make me giggle...thanks!

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  39. Welcome to the club! 30s are way better than 20s, believe me, I'm nearly halfway through! The dress is tres cute (and also a bargain it seems!) and looks fab on you!

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  40. Woo hoo! Happy Birthday! You don't look a day over 29! (Sorry - age related jokes are part of my world with an OAP husband!)

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  41. Happy Birthday! You look fantastic - love the dress and the hair. And 30 is nothing, you're still a baby :)

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  42. Happy Birthday! I'm really taken with the features on your new dress and very envious of the aztec jersey. Your right entering your 30s is like ripping off a plaster but I've found it pretty smooth sailing after the event! Bon voyage into your new decade!

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    1. Thanks for the kind and reassuring words Katy!

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  43. Woo-hoo - Happy Birthday and welcome to your Flirty-Thirties Marie :)!
    Dress is v.v.v cute (as is the new hairdo too hun)

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    1. Thank you Claire...looking forward to seeing you soon I hope!

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  44. Happy birthday you look stunning!

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  45. I love this dress. I'll have to check out that sewing book. I like your new hairstyle as well. I've just had a fringe cut but I'm still hiding it with a clip at the moment!

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    1. Yes, do...it's quite a good resource to have at hand. I'm sure your hair looks lovely, I say unveil it proudly ;o)

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  46. I love your dress and all the pretty details! Wishing you a very happy birthday!! You will love your 30's - so much fun!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah, you're very kind!!!

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  47. Happy Birthday!

    30 - is nice!%)) I am 30 and half(more then half, really) and this is ont bad, hehe%)))

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  48. I love those tulip sleeves with the gathered skirt - great touch! Also, you look damn good so even worry about the number change. I'm facing the big 30 later this year and dreading it too for some reason. I'm still sort of in denial about this whole growing up and becoming an adult thing. Where did the last 10 years go?!?

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    1. Thank you Shona! I think you've hit the nail on the head with the 30 thing - it's not at all about the number or growing older, it's totally about not wanting to grow up! I'm on the other side now though and it seems fine so far, so don't worry ;o)

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  49. Lovely new look Marie, and I'm so glad you were persuaded to celebrate the big three-o!! That dress though is perfect, I beg you to consider it a TNT for you. It REALLY suits you and you know that I'm a fan of all things knit, and sew u home stretch, you need to make more of these!!

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    1. Thanks so much Winnie! And yes, this is totally going to be my new T&T dress pattern...something I've always wanted to have. I'm so excited to make more of these dresses, I love everything about this style on me ;o)

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  50. Happy Birthday! I too turn thirty this year... although in a few months time. Having a dress that makes you feel a bit lovely seems like a winning strategy (when adding in all those other ingredients you mentioned) to me. And it is a gorgeous dress :) Very you!

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    1. Oooh, so many of us turn/turned 30 this year...I can now say that it's fine!

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  51. Wow this is gorgeous. Love the print. And you look wonderful! Happy Birthday.

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  52. Happy birthday! Jersey is the best. Lovely dress.

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    1. Thanks Catherine, I agree that it's the best ;o)

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  53. Happy Birthday. Love the modern interpretation of this pattern.

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  54. You and dress looked gorgeous! What fabulous detail on the sleeve. Perfect.

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  55. Happy very belated Birthday!
    I really enjoy reading your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award, there's a post about it on my blog http://chainstitcher.blogspot.co.uk/
    I'm loving the watch this lace series by the way!

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    1. Oooh wow, thanks so much for the kind words and for nominating me! Off to explore your blog now ;o)

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  56. Happy Birthday Marie! You are looking great in your new dress. Congratulations!

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  57. Happy belated birthday Marie! I always like to make a birthday dress, it kicks the celebrations off in style! Yours is fab.

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  58. Happy Birthday!
    I'm impressed you co-ordinated your balloons with your dress :) Your dress is perfect, great print, great sleeves and the gathered skirt...love it all! This kind of design is so practical and flexible, you could have half a dozen and get great use out of all of them.
    My 30 is this year. It's the gap between how I imagined 30 was and the reality that freaks me out!

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    1. Hehe thanks - the balloons were a gift, but they do match perfectly! I'm totally making at least half a dozen of these ;o) Enjoy your 30th Bday!!!

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  59. You are NEVER 30! Seriously?? I had you down as early to mid 20's honey! Actually, my 30's have been pretty cool (though I shall be leaving them behind very soon!)and I'm sure your's will be even cooler.
    Love and hugs to you.
    Px

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    1. Thank you, you lovely goddess of a woman! Not that you look like you're leaving your 30s behind any time soon...liar! Mwah!xx

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  60. i know i'm a little late (haven't checked my reader in awhile) but happy birthday! and i totally love your dress! the print and the style are just up my alley, i wish i had made it!

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    1. Oooh, thanks so much...this is quite a compliment coming from you!

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  61. How on earth did I manage to miss this cute dress you made!?! I must have been at the library, working on that damned thesis again! well, happy belated birthday lady! The dress is really truly lovely. And so are your eyebrows!!

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  62. A little late, I know! But happy birthday! This dress is just beautiful! I'm about to tackle my first ever home-sewn dress and I'm busy searching for the perfect pattern!


    Chloe
    www.bythelock.com

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