It’s ma Birfday!!! – S9597 look-a-like

Y’all better start singing! Clear your throats and lemme hear you belt it out:

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Unsewcial, happy birthday to you”… etc. etc. etc.

You guys, after the year, I’ve had, I’m pretty happy to be leaving 33 behind and entering my 34th year. I really am praying that lap 34 around the sun will be much better than lap 33. In fact, I’m claiming it so send me all your positive vybes.

Sewists, what better way is there to start a new year than with a new dress made by yours truly?! Thats a trick question, obvs. lol There is NO better way. Every year since I’ve started sewing, I’ve made myself a birthday outfit. I wasn’t sure I’d get there this year because jah knows this belly has been in my way and slowing me down, almost grinding my sewing to a complete halt over the last 7 months. Then I saw Mimi G’s newest pattern releases for summer. Amongst them was Simplicity 9597, a maxi dress/jumpsuit with a cut out, elastic back. The moment I set eyes upon this pattern my creative juices started gushing out, almost drowning your girl. I cannot lie, I absolutely love everything about this pattern and I’m sure many of you do too. It’s about to be a Hot Girl summer all over the ‘gram with this one!

I was particularly fond of the elastic back because I just knew I’d be able to accommodate my rather large bump, AND be able to wear it post-pregnancy with very little, if any, adjustments. Birthday outfit, here I come!!!!! But, I had a problem. I don’t live where patterns are sold. In fact, I don’t live where ANYTHING is sold other than overpriced gas and eggs – you know, the basics*eyeroll. I knew for sure that I wouldn’t be able to order, ship and get this pattern on my sewing table in time to make it up for my BIG 3.4. so, I set about recreating it.

The bodice of this dress kinda reminded me of View A of Vogue 9320 which was already in my stash AND which I had already adjusted to suit my body. The main difference is that V9320 is a princess-seamed bodice and S9597 has a darted bodice. If im absolutely honest, I much prefer the fit of princess seams on me. Besides, messing with the size, shape and placement of darts, sometimes does my head in.

Another notable difference is that V9320 closes with buttons and buttonholes, whereas S9597 uses loops and buttons. For my dress, I decided that neither option would work. You guys, my boobs have sorta multiplied with pregnancy. Ok ok ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but they definitely aren’t fitting into my bras the same way. *covers face* I’m enjoying this extra cleavage whilst it lasts, (which won’t be for much longer, hopefully). Instead of adjusting my already adjusted pattern pieces, I I ditched the buttons for grommets and a self-made tie instead.

This closure choice means a couple of things:

  1. I can easily readjust the ties based on my expanding or deflating boobs, as the case may be lol

  2. I can get into my dress and close it up myself (though my bow is likely to be a little lopsided. I know from experience that trying to button this top by myself is hard work. Made a girl sweat the first time I tried, and I can’t imagine being able to fasten the buttons and loops without help from hubby.

For the skirt, I self drafted the tiers based on the amount of fabric I had left… well, if you can call a couple rectangles self-drafting. For the first tier, I cut WOF for the front, and WOF for the back, both 18 inches in length. I then made a casing for the back elastic, and fed my elastic through using a safety pin…old skool, I know! lol The finished casing was about ⅜” and I used a ¼” elastic, which is what I had on hand. I sorta winged the elastic measurement and cut a length of 20”. I divided my pre-pregnancy waist size by 2, giving me 17” and then added the extra 3” for good measure. For this particularly style, I figured that the back elastic couldn’t be too tight, otherwise you wouldn’t get that little dip into the curve of your back, which is oh so sexy! If you’re gonna try this look-a-like method, be sure to give yourself enough wiggle room with the elastic. Once I had threaded my elastic through the casing, I stitched one side in place using a ⅜” seam allowance, and basted the other side (to allow me to make final elastic adjustments once the skirt was constructed).

The second tier I cut was 9 inches long and I cut 2 x WOF for the front, and repeated the measurements for the back. IDK about you guys, but I find it so much easier to gather the front and back portions of a skirt separately. Less chance of my gathering threads breaking. With that in mind, after sewing together the two front pieces for tier two, I gathered them and attached tier two, to the first tier. I finished my edges with an overlocker and repeated the process for the back.

On a side note, none of the skirt pieces of S9597 appear to be cut on the fold. I think there is a front seam running down CF and CB of the skirt, but I could be wrong. On my skirt, the first tier is cut on fold, whilst the second tier has a CF seam (which is hardly visible thanks to my fabric).

Once I completed my front and back skirt pieces, I sewed up my side seams. I think I probably had enough fabric to squeeze out pockets, but I really wanted to get this dress done and just couldn’t be bothered with the extra steps of putting in pockets. I know I’m gonna regret this later but hey!

I ran two rows of gathering stitches across the top of my front skirt and then attached the front bodice main to the front skirt, adjusting my gathers as was necessary. Once the front of the skirt was attached to the bodice main, I serged the seam (although this step is NOT necessary), finished the rest of the bodice and slip stitched the front lining over the seam for a clean finish on the inside.

Finally, I inserted 4 grommets on either side of the back bodice and made a self tie which, when finished, was the WOF in length, and 1” in width.

For my hem, I opted for a ¼” double-folded hem. I thought about doing a deeper hem, but I wanted to salvage the length of the dress, which I knew would kinda hike up in the front because of my baby bump. Hemming 4 yards of fabric was not fun, but I chugged on and got there in the end.

I’m really really really happy with the finished dress. I made it using a cotton poplin which I had gotten sometime ago from Mood. Funny story: I ordered 3 yards of this fabric I think in 2020. It ended up sitting in my stash. I then went back and ordered 3 more yards (completely forgetting about the first). When I was tidying up one day I discovered I had 6 yards of the same fabric. Papamet!!! Don’t judge me! I guess a girl likes what she likes *shrugs. The first three yards became this Giselle dress by stylesewmepatterns and you don’t gotta ask what became of the second three yards. Hehehee

I got all dolled up (which took me way longer than necessary) and hubby took my photos. For the first time in a loonnnnngggg time, I felt kinda beautiful, even with the additional 50lbs I’ve been lugging around. SHIIIIIITTTTT, I’m growing a whole human (or two, or three), so y’all gonna get all of Baby n Me… back rolls included. If you’re offended by my Michelin Tires then piss off. hmmph

Anyways, off to eat cake and sip on orange juice since a shot of dissarano (my fave) is obviously out of the question.

Peace out 33!

Gotta luv ya and leave ya…

Until next time,



P.S I’m hoping the next time I make an appearance here, it’ll be with a baby!

Please help me pray!!!!!

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