KCW Summer: Debbie Birthday Dresses

A few weeks ago, when the very lovely Suz and I were emailing back and forth about her “When We Were Young” series, she asked if I’d like to test her upcoming Debbie Birthday Dress digital pattern, which was inspired by this sweet book. The answer was a swift yes, of course, and I’ll show you my first DBD in a little bit. For now, I want to talk about this color-blocked wonder that K designed. She calls it the “Rainbow Dress”, and I love it.

I created the stripes from left over linen and linen blends from various other K outfits, and used Suz’s Debbie Birthday Dress (view 2) as a base pattern. That’s another one of my rules for this challenge: no new fabrics. I think it’s a decent reproduction of K’s sketch, yes?

She was very specific, as always, about the colors: banana yellow, light sky blue, dark blue, orange-y red, repeat. With the A-line shape, it has a retro and sort of mod vibe, and this dress makes me very happy. Alright, so the stripes aren’t totally straight and even and per usual, I wasn’t able to perfectly line up the stripes on the side, but I got the back panels to match up with razor sharp precision, so that’s something.

Normally, view 2 comes with a sweet little peter pan collar and I’ll definitely be making that version soon. I have to be honest, K’s reaction to the dress was lukewarm at best. She said that I didn’t get the colors right (the yellow is too bright), and she didn’t hug the dress like she did with the cat one. That’s okay, we can’t win them all, and I love the dress enough for both of us.

Which brings us to the original Debbie Birthday Dress I made. It’s not a re-interpretation of K’s design per se since I made this dress first, but this look is very much me with a vintage touch. This is view 1 of the pattern:

Charming, don’t you think? This is a mustard linen blend that I’ve been hoarding for who knows how long, and the lace is true vintage from my mom. I’ll talk more about the pattern later when it’s officially launched, but I wanted to give you a little taste of the fantastic pattern Suz has developed. It’s easy, it’s delightful and extremely customizable. And she’s doing a pre-release giveaway! Hurry yourselves on over to enter!

I think my favorite part of the dress is the button, though I am quite pleased with all of it and the polka dot lining is awesome (forgot to get a picture). The button, though, is carved wood with lace-like etchings and it complements the lace on the front in a subtle way. I like textured buttons.

How’s your KCW sewing going if you’re participating? I think I might be reaching my limit for this week. There are three more K sketches, but I have a house guest for whom to prepare, a terribly neglected to-do list and some self-sewing to do. And with that color-blocked dress, I’ve already used up quite a few of my allocated daily hour (stitching the stripes together and trying to make them straight took a lot longer than expected). Plus, it’s summer! Time to enjoy the best time of year in Seattle! Anyway, I leave you with this:


53 thoughts on “KCW Summer: Debbie Birthday Dresses

  1. This post makes me wish I were sewing for my daughter this round of KCW. Instead, I’m plugging along, making tiny basics for a boy who isn’t even around to try them on. Could be worse, I suppose…

  2. Birthday-dresses for your blog-birthday! I love both, and want the mustard one for myself! I think the not-so-straight-lines on the first really make it more edgy, it is a good contrast to the straight silhouette of the dress. Great “mistake” again! And only when I saw the dress on the hanger I noticed, that you incorporated the German flag into it, hehe! The dark blue looks almost black on my screen at that makes the middle look like our black-red-gold flag. Thank´s for sending greetings that way 😉 Enjoy the summer!

    1. Haha, I didn’t even realize I was channeling the German flag colors! Thanks for making my ineptitude at straight lines seem cool, Ute. Now that I think about, it’s probably a more accurate representation of K’s sketch anyway 🙂

  3. Both dresses look sooooo gorgeous! The color of the second one is beautiful, and the rainbow dress is just smashing.
    I’m also planning my first Debbie dress – should receive the pattern any day now 🙂

  4. I love these dresses so much! I would totally wear them if they were my size. They are gorgeous! (Actually, I would wear both of your cat dresses too!) Your work is beautiful.

  5. Absolutely fabulous creations, as always! I love the color’s shades, it’s unique combination and Debbie B’day Dress is simply beautiful and charming, yes, you’re true.
    Is this dress you made for K’s birthday? 🙂

  6. Rainbow dress makes me think of summertime eating striped ice lollies – I may have to do some serious idea appreciation (i.e stealing) here!

    1. I’m always flattered when ideas are appreciated 🙂 For KCW spring, I made a knit coat that also reminded me of ice lollies (that’s so much more fun to say than Popsicles) – I’m a sucker for stripes!

  7. I am always in awe of your colour palette, but that rainbow dress is amazing! I love the way the colours you’ve used are strong, yet muted. When it gets warmer here, I definitely need to make a version for my little person.

    1. Oh thank you George! I’m sure no one’s noticed, but I do try to keep the color palette varied so I’m not making the same colored-clothing week after week – more fun for me that way!

    1. Oh June, this took WAY more than an hour, which is partly why I’m feeling like I’m pretty much done with KCW for this round…but you never know, I might get a fresh infusion of energy 🙂

    1. We’ll have to convince Suz to grade up to adult-size 🙂 I wouldn’t mind rocking an a-line dress or two myself…

  8. good LORD, that striped dress! i’m always kind of speechless when i come to comment on your creations. seriously…you amaze me every single time. just gorgeous!!!

  9. Both dresses are amazing! That striped dress is awesome though! I thought that was stripe fabric until you said you pieced it together. You are awesome!

  10. oh sanae, they are both beautiful! i agree, the rainbow dress is a stunner (and a great interpretation of k’s design–can’t wait to be able to do that with my kids!). i know i say this all the time and i hope that doesn’t mitigate the sincerity…i’d really *love* to have both of them for myself…

  11. Love that rainbow dress! you are so good choosing colors and textures! I want to learn. As always you amaze me with your creativity and magic hands.

    1. Thank you, Maria! I feel like I can’t take much credit for the stripey dress since it’s K design, but I’ll take “magic hands” anytime 🙂

  12. Love them both, but the rainbow dress is simply amazing!! I can’t wait for this pattern to be released, it’s so adorable!

    1. It’s such a fun and nostalgic pattern! I love that Suz based it on a children’s book – I have such a soft spot for them.

    1. K’s been loving designing with the paper app because it’s so easy to choose exactly the color you want – perfect for my picky fashionista. 🙂

  13. Sanae! That rainbow dress! I love it enough for both K and I put together!! (yes, I realize I used far too many exclamation points but I feel that strongly about it:)

    1. You and me both, Lucinda! Sometimes it takes K a while to warm up to an outfit, and I’m hoping this is one of those outfits. 🙂

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