I Wanted Balloons, I Got Birdhouses

The Birdhouse Dress

retro birdhouse dress

Hello, everyone!  How was the weekend for you all?  It was a nice one over here.  There was rain, and the family and I spent most of Sunday in it, but still it was pretty great.  We’re making memories so that’s all that counts.  For once in many weeks, I spent no time in front of my sewing machine.  No new dresses this weekend, but I do have one that came about last weekend.  This is the Birdhouse Dress.  (I didn’t have to think hard to name this one.)

Birdhouses were by no means on my fabric wishlist.  In fact, I have been tirelessly looking for balloons.  (Balloons and Mini Coopers, actually.)  I have a specific criteria for this balloon fabric: I want vintage balloons, and preferably vintage balloon fabric that isn’t sold by the fat quarter, or from another country.  I haven’t found any, but I did stumble across birdhouses.  As I was browsing fabric.com, I spotted this stuff and thought I HAD to have it.  Of course I had to have it, there were only two yards left of the stuff.  This prompted me to fill up my shopping cart with fabric because there was no way I was gonna spend less than $35.00 – gotta get free shipping, you know.

This dress was almost not meant to be.  I got notified a couple of days later that the fabric had already been cut and was only available as 1/2 yard and 1 1/2 yard pieces.  Okay, I could make this work.  The Tangled Green Dress was the practice dress for this one, and I was anxiously awaiting my birdhouse material.  It finally arrived, I immediately threw it into the washer and then when I got it out from the dryer, I noticed a nice big strip, straight down the full center fold, of what looked like a bleached out stain.  I was devastated.  I thought and thought how to work around this, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that since I had paid good money for this stuff, I didn’t want something less than I should have expected.  I folded the material up and called customer service.

Guess what happened?  I got refunded my purchase price, and since there was none left to replace it with, it had already been pre-cut, and it was defected, I was told not to bother with returning it.  Free, less than perfect material, I could definitely work something out.  And I did.

I cut the discolored portion off at the fold, which only left me with a pieced together skirt no matter what dress pattern I would decide to make.  I still went with my Simplicity 2444 pattern hacked bodice, and made the skirt gathered instead of pleated, hoping to conceal that seam that ran down the front and back centers.  It worked out perfectly, you wouldn’t even notice the seam unless I told you, or you were a seamstress who carefully examined every dress you thought to be homemade.

full skirted homemade dress

Simplicity 2444 bodice

The Birdhouse Dress back view

The back neck is a nice low scoop, and I stuck with my favorite, side-inserted zipper.  I did use an invisible one this time and I won’t be using any other kind for this pattern ever again.  It looks really nice not seen.  (I was standing kind of weirdly for this photo and that is why the back looks more wrinkly than it should.  If I thought forward facing photos were hard, backwards facing ones are almost worse.  Ugh!)

I am happy to have another dress success, and I am very happy to have a dress with birdhouses on it. Who would have known I would end up being so into bird dresses?

P.S. – I am also really liking myself in light blue these days.  For not ever being a blue person, this is something new.

That is all I have for this week’s Me Made Monday.  I am hoping on keeping this theme up as long as I am making dresses.  The guys in my life are hunting this Thursday so I am sure I will have yet another me make to show you all next Monday.  Stop back by again this week though, I have other things to write about, no doubt.

*Linking up with:  Craftastic Monday, Creative Mondays, Do Tell Tuesday, Tuesday’s With a Twist

6 Replies to “I Wanted Balloons, I Got Birdhouses”

    1. Thank you! I am happy to have begun getting a couple of go-to dress patterns in my collection. This is one of them. An easy make that I know will fit. I’m still looking for the perfect balloon material, thanks. 🙂


  1. I know I said this on instagram but I absolutely love that dress, I have a few bird dresses that I like to wear to work because it goes with my classroom theme and my kids get a kick out of it. I’m so jealous of your sewing skills!


    1. Thanks, Ari! I really am taking to the bird theme. Some of the prints I have come across on bird dresses are so pretty.
      You are pretty creative, I am sure if you ever took to sewing you would do a fine job. 😉


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