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Winter's Birthday Gifts

We started Winter's birthday last week with presents at breakfast. That's not how we have done things in the past, but I loved this change and it might occur a lot more often at our house.

I did a silver and white theme using the back side of some green wrapping paper to wrap a gift in white. I used some silver paper that came as part of the packaging from the first One King's Lane order I ever made (I had been saving it)--which interestingly enough was for those two silver mint julep cups that I have on the table (your first order gives you $15 off, which made those possible in the first place!) I wrapped a silver bow around her gifts that I had saved from a package that we received before (I save all pretty ribbons that are given to us and use them to wrap gifts and sometimes for the girls' hair. The black satin ribbon in my Gift a Day series introduction was on a bridal shower gift I received. I've used it several times, including to tie around a simple grocery store bunch of flowers on my wedding day).

I put some paper doilies under the breakfast plates (we were given a huge box of them; I will most likely do this again), used the white napkins that I spruced up for Thanksgiving with my machine hemstitch, and used some more of the pine cones that my children gathered recently to top the place settings.

I made a lace doily bunting to hang from doilies and ribbon that my mother-in-law gave to me a few years ago.

The present on the top was this jewelry that I made for her.

The present at the bottom was this dress that I made for her last week.

The dress is a combination of two patterns (and it appears that the main one is no longer available). The dress pattern was sleeveless; I added the sleeve from another pattern from the same company.

The brown velvet came from some scraps that were given to me a few years ago.

The floral fabric is something that I had purchased a few years ago for myself. It is a home décor fabric that I found on a huge clearance and was able to use an additional discount on as well (I believe it ended up being around $5 a 60" wide yard!) I still have lots left to use for myself. I washed it on gentle and hung it to dry and it did fine, so I knew it would be okay for clothing.

The buttons were vintage buttons from my button jar. These came from another woman's button jar that she gave to me a few years ago. The thread was from the huge box of thread that I purchased at a garage sale a few years ago for 25 cents for the entire box.
The cost of the dress was about $8, not including the cost of the pattern, which was about $14 with shipping. I'll use it for several dresses (I cut under the pattern so that I can use it for multiple sizes), so that cost will decrease over time as I use it to make more dresses. I already have two more ideas for it for spring and summer.
She was very happy to wear her new dress to church today!
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Tagged in: Birthdays Gifts Sewing


  • QualMed December 24, 2013

    She looks beautiful! Love the dress. I pray you ...

    She looks beautiful! Love the dress. I pray you and your family will have a very blessed Merry Christmas. Thanks for all the inspiration year-round. Love reading this blog!! You are a true inspiration. Cate

  • Florence December 23, 2013

    That’s a beautiful dress and your daughter looks a...

    That’s a beautiful dress and your daughter looks amazing.I have been reading your blog now for a few months and want to say thanks for being such an inspiration.I also want to share how I save my original patterns. I use wax paper and a tracing wheel. I place the wax paper over the pattern and keep it in place with canned goods. For larger pattern pieces I tape two pieces of wax paper together. Then I just follow all the lines, markings and curves with the tracing wheel. I apply a little pressure to make sure the lines show up on the wax paper. I use an Avery label or any sticky label to write the pattern number, size, the pattern piece and how many to cut. This method works great for reusing and making alterations

  • Alyssa December 23, 2013

    Thanks for clarifying this! My mom is a seamstress...

    Thanks for clarifying this! My mom is a seamstress, but she always used tracing paper and a tracing wheel on the fabric to use the multiple sizes of patterns, so I had never seen her cut under them.

  • Athanasia December 23, 2013

    Beautiful dress,I think I like this the best of al...

    Beautiful dress,I think I like this the best of all the dresses you have shown over the last couple years. Your daughter is such a young lady now.Did you sew the sequins on yourself in the rows of 3? or was that part of the fabric?

  • Marilyn's Words of Wisdom December 22, 2013

    Dear Miss Brandy and readers, What a lovely dress...

    Dear Miss Brandy and readers,What a lovely dress and so pleasingly full I bet is sways. I loved circle dresses when I was a child so I could swirl around in a circle. In the picture with the buttons showing, just below on the viewer's right side, there is a circle of turquoise looking beads on the material of the dress. In the photo of the jewelry, the beads on the necklace, bracelet, and earrings looked the same shape and color as the "beads" on the fabric. I don't know if you planned that effect but I bet close up it is stunning! Any young girl would love that effect.Happy Birthday Winter. My daughter has a birthday in 3 weeks.Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!Anna

  • mdoe37 December 22, 2013

    You do such fine work!! In talking about your sew...

    You do such fine work!!In talking about your sewing and ribbon saving adventures, you brought back a memory from, oh, 45 years ago. My great grandmother (GiGI) had lived a very sparse life for many years after her husband had passed. She had worked in the department store as a seamstress. And yes I have her button jar as well as a homemade hutch of sorts that held her notions, zic zack. The memory you brought back was of Christmas Eve. She was fretting at all the discarded ribbon and paper, carefully examining and smoothing out possibilities that could be ironed and put away for another time. The other grand grandmother (robust and of $$$) was barking at her that it simply wasn't necessary. Nearly had a screaming match. Thank you for the memory and the laugh this morning!

  • Jennifer December 22, 2013



  • Mandy Barnes December 22, 2013

    The dress and jewelry is beautiful! The decoration...

    The dress and jewelry is beautiful! The decorations were wonderful. I hope she had a fantastic birthday!

  • KatieL December 22, 2013

    Your blog post today makes me feel happy and empow...

    Your blog post today makes me feel happy and empowered! You use the things you have on hand and your God-given talents to make beauty in events big and small. It's a way of thinking about resources that we can all adopt - whether we sew or not. What a lovely "winter" birthday!

  • The Prudent Homemaker December 22, 2013

    For a multi-sized pattern, you just cut out undern...

    For a multi-sized pattern, you just cut out underneath the pattern, rather than cutting through the pattern piece. Then you can use each size over and over. On a straight line you can fold it but on a curved line it is a bit more tricky. I pin the pattern down and if necessary I will draw under it.I was going to link to this pattern, but for some strange reason it seems to be discontinued. This is a company that makes classic patterns to use for years, so I am very surprised. I'm really glad I didn't cut it out on the size 12 line now!Another option is to trace the correct pattern size with tissue paper and then make a new pattern to use for that size, so that you don't have to buy the pattern multiple times. On the patterns that run $1.50, you might just buy multiple patterns, but on ones like this, that you have to order online and that are more money, it is worth cutting underneath.

  • Belinda December 22, 2013

    Beautiful Dress!

    Beautiful Dress!

  • betsy sinclair December 22, 2013

    That's a lovely dress. And a lovely girl!

    That's a lovely dress. And a lovely girl!

  • loves2spin December 22, 2013

    How lovely! :)

    How lovely! :)

  • Maydijo December 22, 2013

    So lovely! We open birthday presents at breakfast...

    So lovely! We open birthday presents at breakfast too. Cake waits until after dinner. To my way of thinking it makes the day a bit more special, to have birthday spread throughout the day.

  • Chava December 22, 2013

    Beautiful dress! :) Happy Holidays!!

    Beautiful dress! :) Happy Holidays!!

  • Alyssa December 22, 2013

    Brandy, what a gorgeous dress you have made for yo...

    Brandy, what a gorgeous dress you have made for your daughter! However, I'm not sure what you mean when you say that you "cut under the pattern." Just curious. I have a basic understanding of sewing but I'm not sure what that means.

  • KayeB December 22, 2013

    What a beautiful dress you have made for Winter. I...

    What a beautiful dress you have made for Winter. I hope she has a very happy birthday.She is very blessed to have such a talented and resourceful mother.

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