My 40th Birthday & Vintage Maxi Dress

I’ve been still riding the high of my epic 40th birthday trip.   40 years = four decades = four countries, a country for each decade.  I visited Chile, Panama, Peru and Columbia and each place left me in love, each for a different reason.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was so incredibly hard to come back.  I got back home and rolled back into being super busy work wise.  I’d even put off going through my vacation photos, though I took drastically less than I use to in the past on any vacation.  I was so immersed in the culture, food, people and the general sights that I just didn’t feel inclined to document everything.  That’s something that has become quite a normal trend for me these days, especially with my growing dislike of social media and the circus it’s becoming.  But even that feeling can’t spoiled the absolute delight and love I have for sewing, designing and sharing with fellow makers and designers. We’ll see how long that feeling lasts.  I came back from vacation inspired and ready to sew.  I spent most of the month of September away and really missed my sewing machine.   October has seen me preoccupied with work, household stuff and just taking my time deciding on what I wanted to make this month.  I wanted to make sure I was intentional with my make. My goal now is to make sure that I make stuff that I will love wearing over and over again.  I of course treated myself to a great collection of fabric while I was on my trip and hit the jackpot the most in Chile and Columbia, where I bought the most fabric.  I’ll be turning those into Fall/Winter makes soon, since my mind was firmly in that season when I did most of my shopping.


Maxi Dress: Vintage Simplicity 9107.  This is a vintage Learn-To-Sew pattern from 1979, which is a good three years older than me.  Sewing this pattern was a reminder, why I fell in love with the big four, now five, vintage sewing patterns.  The pattern pieces are well drafted.  The instructions are easy to follow and the illustrations and construction notes are usually much better and clearer than the current patterns.  This pattern even included a pattern piece I don’t see too often in patterns.  It included a shoulder pad pattern piece, so you could make your own shoulder pads, though I typically skip shoulder pads unless it’s a blazer or coat pattern. It was such a thoughtful and great touch to a very classic pattern.  I absolutely love this pattern and I am so glad it’s a vintage pattern I own.  I absolutely love this dress and I know that it will now be in heavy rotation in my dresses this fall and all year round.  While it’s still a bit warm in Southern California, I will be able to add a turtleneck and pantyhose/leggings and still wear this dress well deep into winter.  It is definitely a beginner friendly pattern, and even introduces the sewer to a couple of couture sewing techniques.  I could go on about this pattern, but if you can manage to find a copy of it on Etsy or eBay, you will not be disappointed.

FABRIC – This beautiful hunter green spotted crepe rayon fabric is from Angel Textiles.   I bought ten yards because I literally had a visceral reaction when I saw this fabric.  Any fabric that I get that feeling about I usually buy at least ten yards if money permits.  Since this fabric was only two dollars a yard, I barely felt the price of those ten yards.  I will mostly likely use the remaining fabric, which is at least maybe four to five yards left to make a button down top or another dress.  The only complaint is that this fabric is slippery and behaved a bit more like a silk than a woven, but I loved it nonetheless.  It was also perfect, since one of the colors I’ve been drawn to heavily this season is green, mostly the darker shades of green.

STYLE – My usual style of gold hoop earrings, plus a pair of Nine West’s Kares Platform Mary Jane Heels, which are absolutely fabulous in this deep wine/burgundy color.  The sunglasses are my summer obsession from Zenni.  Prescription sunglasses in this banana yellow color

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