Granny’s 90th Birthday Party Dress: Vogue Patterns 8633

As I started to write this blog post, I looked up Carolyn’s blog. It was her post that alerted me to this fabric at Metro three years ago (and she sent it to me too!). Then, I clicked the link to Allison C’s blog (she bought the same fabric) and see she used the same fabric, on the same pattern, on Fourth of July weekend three years ago. How funny is that?  I actually said out loud, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”  hehehe.

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For my (maternal) Granny’s 90th birthday party this past weekend in Brooklyn (New York), I went in to deep deep stash and pulled out this border print cotton.  One reason I was committed to sewing and wearing a dress is that my grandmother was a seamstress in Carriacou, Grenada, WI. She was sent as a small girl down the road to a woman who taught her how to sew. My grandfather was also a tailor in Grenada. It makes me feel incredibly connected to my roots when I make clothes. I caught my mom looking at me once when I was adjusting a garment on her. She said it reminded me of her father. I never met my grandfather, he passed before I was born. All that being said, granny didn’t teach me how to sew. I learned in Home Ec and from books. But, I do remember her making a dress for me in college. And, I remember her inspecting my work when I started sewing. Granny thought I did a good job even though I needed a pattern (that I paid good money for no less!). Oh, she said I also needed to work on my  finishing 🙂 

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From the Vogue website. View DE.

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I decided to let the stripes speak on the border print. I did think about the stripe placement. The possibilities (with enough material) for placement with this dress are endless. I could have done the entire bodice in stripes. Or placed the stripes on one side. Or, just did the skirt in stripes and kept the bodice solid. Seriously, endless possibilities.

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The cotton has a thinner hand. So, I underlined the bodice and waistband with silk organza. The dress is lined throughout with black cotton batiste. I finished the skirt hem with my blind hemmer and a little hem tape. I am in love with my hemmer y’all!

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I despise facings. But, on this, I see how it works. I was able to use my blind hemmer to attach the facing so it wasn’t floppy. I’m still getting the hang of it….. A colleague wore a similar dress last week. The ‘V’ is lined with lining all the way to the edge (rather than a facing) She said her neckline always flips out. So, for that reason I’m glad I have the facing.

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I cut and sewed a 14. Made a 1/2 inch FBA and took in the waist about one inch.  I also did not make a swayback. The bias skirt give a TON of volume and awesome swing. 

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This skirt is not rear end friendly if you’ve got some junk in the trunk. On me, I think I look wider than I am in the butt and hips because of the folds of the bias skirt.

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Even on the dress form, I think it adds some width. Or, I’m just telling myself that…

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I was super happy to see my parents this weekend too. They drove up to NYC from Florida.

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 I don’t know when my dad got so grey in the beard. He’s a handsome devil isn’t he? My mom is standing with a first cousin below. And that’s a cousin behind us.

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So, peeps, I’m getting old. My cousins are having babies and I’m a second cousin to five (the oldest being a pre-teen 12). Here’s a photo with the newest addition to our family (she’s an identical twin). You can see her sister in a matching outfit through the door. I remember when her mom was still in diapers!!  She’s so STINKING precious. Oh, those are two more cousins behind us.

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Here’s a first cousin. We’re only 30 years apart 🙂 That’s another first cousin behind us to the left.

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And a first cousin from my generational cohort.  That’s another first cousin behind us. I can’t even count all the cousins. I think… 15 first cousins plus the five second cousins were in attendance.

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Super happy with my dress. I’m very pleased I was able to wear it in honor of my grandmother. Because of an incident, she was not physically able to attend her celebration on Sunday.  It was a wonderful tribute to her to see how many people she’s impacted. If you have any extra prayers and positive vibes to give out, they’d be greatly appreciated right about now.

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  1. Love the way that dress looks on you. It’s rather flattering to your backside IMO. Another thing – you have such an amazing smile! How nice to have your parents & other family together. My thoughts are with your grandmother.

    My brother got married on 7/14 & it was lovely to see family & friends who are normally spread out all over the country.

  2. Prayers for your grandmother from here. I love this dress! That not-quite-sleeveless, not-quite-capsleeved bodice is very flattering, and very summery.

  3. LOVE the dress and the way you worked with the border.
    Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos of your family event. My thoughts are with you and your grandmother.

  4. You are not old, the gift of continuing to live is to continue to get oldER, but you never have to get old in your mind! My prayers are with your grandmother. I hope she is better soon. This dress looks fabulous on you, as usual. Do you ever have a wadder?

  5. I love what you did with the stripe placement on that dress! The Vogue pattern itself is pretty flattering on you too 🙂

    Sending good thoughts to your grandmother, I hope everything’s ok! ♥

  6. Great dress! I love the way you used the striped sections, I would have never thought of it, but the end result is awesome!

    Hopefully your grandma is feeling better soon!

  7. Think of the dress as accenting your small waist, which it does beautifully. Great use of the stripes.
    I am sorry that your grandmother didn’t make it to her party; hopefully she’ll be ok.
    You have a gorgeous family and your mother doesn’t age.

  8. Thoughts and prayers for your granny. I’m sure she would have loved being at the party.

    I think you look fantastic in that dress!

  9. First, I *love* this fabric and wish I had it in my stash. Second, how wonderful to have your grandmother still and to have a family reunion like this. I barely know any of my (very few) cousins. But I think you are mislabeling your first’ cousins’ kids. They are actually your first cousins once removed. When/if you have children they will be second cousins to these same kids. Think of it this way. Siblings are same generation. Their kids are same generation but first cousins. Their kids’ kids are same generation but a little farther apart, so second cousins. And so on. The next generation is third cousins. But when someone of your generation (first cousin) has a child, then the child is one generation down from you, so first cousin once removed. If s/he grows up and has children, they will be two generations down from you and first cousins twice removed.

    • You know, I think you are right. I remember this coming up before with my mom’s cousins and their children. I called them my second cousins. Thanks for the genealogy lesson!

      • Yep, first cousins once removed because you are of two different generations. I have cousins who are close to my age, but they were first cousins to my mother, making them first cousins once removed to me.

  10. Hope your grandma is feeling better! I’m a little envious of your huge family and am super impressed that so many made the trek to honor the family matriarch! Your dress looks beautiful, too.

  11. I love the fabric and your dress! What a great use of the print.

    And I have to say, since I believe we are the same age, that you are in no way old! 🙂

  12. Wow, that’s a great use of the border print! I really like the dress! Though seriously, I picked up the fabric for you?! Wow! I still have about 5 yards of that in my collection. You should have asked, I would have shared some with you.

    I will keep your grandmother in my prayers!

  13. Beautiful dress, beautiful family. God’s strength and healing for your grandmother.

  14. Big prayers for your grandmother. It’s wonderful to see how many family members that adore her were able to attend.

    Your dress is VERY cool! I love the stripe placement and I think it makes your bum look fab! Your mom was wearing that amazing yellow dress I love so much, too. Such a gorgeous family!

  15. Great use of the border print! It looks like you had a great time, but I’m sorry to hear that your grandmother isn’t well.

  16. Isn’t it amazing that you can use the same pattern, same fabric (at the same time of the year even!) and end up with a totally different dress. I really like the full skirted version and the way you used the border stripes, much more imaginative than mine. Happy birthday to your granny and sending best wishes her way.

  17. I. LOVE. THIS. DRESS. This is the best dress I’ve seen in a while and I want to wear it!

    Thinking of your grandmother.

  18. Faulous dress – Happy Birthday Granny!

    Please could you explain how you bling hem facings? I detest facings as well – are they sewn as you would a hem, but to the bodice? A photo would be great 🙂

  19. This dress is so amazing, I love that you went with the stripes facing opposite directions on either side of the bodice and skirt. Great choice! You have such a lovely family, looks like you all had a wonderful reunion for your Grandmother’s birthday. This is such a happy post with a cheerful dress to match!

  20. Praying for your granny! My granny’s 90 also and every day we get with her is a gift as her health is failing too! I’m sure she would be pleased with your dress!

  21. Stunning and clever use of a border print. Happy birthday to gran. Let me tell you it makes you feel older when it is your only slightly older husband’s beard that is greying!

  22. Loved everything about this post. I’m a sentimental suck.
    Blessings to you and yours.

  23. That’s some advanced stripe deployment! I always thought this pattern felt like a work dress, but it looks great as a party dress. I’m about to tear up my stash, searching for border prints that can be talked into going on the bias…

  24. Never would have thought of such a fabric layout on my own. But it’s a great idea and you made a great use of the border print. It is a beautiful, beautiful dress.

  25. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. Hope all is going well with her. And it looks as if it was a fun occasion!

  26. Wow, Renee! I had no idea you sewed this. It was so pretty, I just assumed otherwise. Shame on me! Nice post.

  27. The way you paled the stripes really created added interest to your garment…really love what you did. How blessed you are to have such a wonderful family – loved seeing them. Prayers for Grandma, hope sheiks better soon.

  28. I love love love your choice of stripe placement on this dress! The asymmetry and the diagonals work so well and it totally makes the dress! (Also, I swear I’ve seen the black, white, and yellow floral fabric that your first cousin is wearing with your mom before, too. Does she also sew?)

    • Hahaha! That’s my mom in my dress. I got the fabric from Fabric Mart and it was popular in the blogesphere. She saw me wearing it on my blog and asked if she could borrow for the party.

  29. Goodness, this is adorable! I need to pull that pattern out again and make it with the full skirt. Love the way you used the border print here–a little unexpected and a lot more interesting. I was totally amused that your mom appropriated your maxi for the party.

    I am pulling for Granny.

  30. What a beautiful dress, and an even more beautiful family! It’s so cool that your love for sewing connects you to your family history! You and your grandmother are in my thoughts and prayers.

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