purple dress with large fuschia orchid print

The Making of My Birthday Dress and Adventure to Long Beach

Hi loves,

I know it has been way too long. I’m usually writing at least one post a month. That’s how I imagine it in my head. I promise I am trying to get better at this. My official birthday is in the middle of this week, Wednesday, August 21st, but being the true Leo that I am I get excited when the month comes around and the weekend before it. This year my husband and I decided to go to Cali to celebrate my birthday and catch up with some friends. Honestly, the first half of the year had been rough with all my health issues especially in May when I ended up in the hospital because I was having trouble breathing.

Fast forward to know, I’m breathing 100% better and working out with a trainer. Eating a lot better, not perfectly, but hey I’m human and sometimes when you smell something delicious you just have to go for it. YOLO right?

Now back to the adventure, we drove to Long Beach Friday evening, which took 6 hours including 1 stop along the way. We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown. That’s their official title. I didn’t make this up. Anywho, we stayed on the 9th floor and from our window we could see the harbor, ocean and some cruise ships. It was cloudy in the morning but by 10 am the clouds disperse for a sunny day. The room had a mini stovetop, dishwasher, a little living room and more. It was like a little studio. We slept like babies that first night.

The next day, we got up and had breakfast which was complimentary and walked along the harbor just talking and taking pictures. My husband wanted to go on a Photowalk and practice his photography so I was his test subject. This dress that I’m wearing is from Simplicity 8874 view A. It’s a really easy pattern that even the beginner could make. Because the pieces were so long I had to use the floor to cut them out. If you have hardwood floors I would suggest that you wear knee pads. The pain from the floor made me almost give up on this dress, but I was determined to finish.

I took the dress out on the town with some flats, but you could totally dress this up with heels if you wanted to. We did a little shopping at The Pike downtown so I wanted to be comfortable and then later that evening we headed to our friend’s house for a BBQ. So absolutely no heels for me that day. The only thing that I regret is that I didn’t bring a jacket because I was bitten by a mosquito. This was no ordinary bite. I think this sucker hadn’t had food in days because the swelling from the bit was massive. I freaked out when it got bigger and messaged my doctor. She called and told me I have to take Benadryl and Claritin to help get the swelling to go down. So I am going to work on making a denim jacket this fall so I can protect myself from those Skeeters and still look stylish. I look forward to sharing those results in the future with you all.

Moreover, the night with friends was awesome. We laughed, cried, hugged and then said our goodbyes. And sparked the desire for another group adventure.

Sunday, we met up with my husband’s best buds for breakfast and then headed out. We definitely plan to return to that hotel and spend more time in Long Beach. The weather was perfect compared to Phoenix right now. So why not make it a regular thing in the summer to beat the heat right?

Now for all my sewing followers here are the dets on the dress.

Here’s my review of the pattern and what I used:

Pattern Description: Misses’/Women’s Easy to Sew Knit Dress

(Click here to find Simplicity 8874)

Pattern Sizing: I cut out size 16, graded the waist to and hips to 18 and then added another 1/4 inch to both sides. No alterations to the bust.

View: A

Fabric Choice: Double Knit

Other choices for fabric include Active Knits, Jersey, Spandex Blends and Stretch Velvet.

Color: Fuchsia orchids and purple background

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, it was exactly what I pictured.

Are the instructions easy to follow? Definitely! I was able to follow them without a problem.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn’t dislike anything. It was an easy pattern to make and the dress looked even nicer than I thought it would for a day out.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  1. As mentioned earlier I graded (drew the waist out) to size 18 and then added an additional 1/4 inches for comfort.
  2. I cut out a size 16 waist for the elastic and then when I fed it through the casing that I created for it I ended up taking in about 4 inches.

Would you sew it again? Yes! I plan to make a party dress for the holiday season.

How long did it take? 3 hours because I had to seam rip a couple of times. The perfectionist in me slows me down.

Until next time…

Ashley E signature with xoxo at the end

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