My Birthday Dress

Name & Location: Jessica Dunstan and I’m from Cape Town, South Africa.

Blog: (I recently decided to write a blog myself but am yet to get around to actually posting something! I guess I’m too busy sewing and reading other people’s blogs)

How long have you been sewing: Since I was 5 years old, so 24 years.

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge: I want to start making all my own clothes. I’m so tired of buying things that I ultimately have to alter or fix soon after I buy them so I think having something like these challenges will force me to focus and get down to it.

What do you love most about sewing garments: Making exactly what I want that no one else will have.

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Unpicking when I’ve made a mistake!

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge: I want to be able to say “Yes I do make all my own clothes!”

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: I want to work on my photography. I recently bought myself a Canon DSLR camera and I want to get some skills so that I can take beautiful pictures.

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs:I love so many but a few are Julia Bobbin, Tilly and the Buttons, Running with Scissors, Naughty Shorts, Thinking in Shapes, Craftiness is Not Optional plus about 100 more.

This was a dress I made for my birthday in October 2010. All the projects I did in 2011 were for children so I figured I’d use this one since it is almost in 2011. It has an empire waist and I wore it with my brand new red patent leather Aldo shoes which were a gift to myself :).

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton
Pattern: Burda 8046
Year: 2010
Notions: Zipper
Time to complete: About 2 days of sewing on and off
First worn: October 20th 2010
Wear again: Definitely! And I have actually made myself another one in a pink printed cotton which is more casual.

Total price: About $10



Jessica Dunstan lives in Cape Town, South Africa and is a Civil Engineer by day and an avid sewer by night. She began sewing at 5 years old, creating all the latest trends for her dolls and has not stopped since.


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  1. great dress – hope it made your birthday extrta special

  2. Ruthanne Edward

    Small world! I just met an artist from Cape Town who I think is going to turn out to be a pivotal influence in my artistic life. Now I know of 2 people from Cape Town. (I resisted asking if you know her. Yes, it is late and I should go to bed before I get any sillier.)

    • Hi Ruthanne! It is indeed a small world. What is her name? I may know her. It’s always so fantastic to meet someone who becomes in influence!

  3. It’s great to find a TNT pattern. You dress would have looked very sharp with red shoes.