A Burda Blouse, a Birthday and a Giveaway! CLOSED

So it was my birthday yesterday. I’m not a big birthday person, but I had planned a rather large 35th birthday party for tonight to compensate from my crappy 30th, where I found myself unexpectedly pregnant and the designated driver for my own wild party – worst night ever!!

Unfortunately though, kiddie sickness has foiled my great plans and the party has now been cancelled. While I am a bit bummed, I’m kinda glad that I don’t have to clean my house or cater for the 50 or so people that were going to come. I’ve also gone on an online spending spree to help ease my disappointment and I do feel better.

The school holidays in NSW are almost over and I haven’t posted many finished garments, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been sewing them. My sister from Toronto has been here with my two nephews, so we’ve been away with them and I have spent a fair amount of time sewing for her, which I will post about shortly.

I have managed a few items for myself though. Including this new Burda wrap blouse 04/2014 #115 in Liberty!

My sister introduced me to this Liberty print which is called English Field. While I did look briefly at this print when the Liberty Spring 2014 collection was released, it didn’t grab me as a print to snap up. It is often hard to understand the scale of Liberty prints online as often only small swatches of the fabric are photographed for web stores. It wasn’t until my sister pointed me towards this top at Anthropologie, that I realised that I needed this print! My sister snapped her piece up from Shaukat, but by the time I’d realised I wanted some, it was sold out, so this piece is from The Workroom in Toronto and I believe this was the end of bolt, so they now have none too.  

I was planning on trying to copy the Anthropologie blouse, but really couldn’t be bothered drafting a nicely fitted drop shoulder blouse. This wrap blouse is an easy alternative. It’s a classic boxy shape, but still has a small twist with the wrap front to add a little interest.

The pattern came together without a hitch. The only change I made was to add a wedge to the centre back as the top was a little tight around the back.

I love the boxy style of this shirt. It looks awesome with skinny jeans and I’m planning on making a denim pencil skirt, like the Anthro picture, which should also look good.

Now if you’ve made it this far, I guess you are wondering about the giveaway. It’s been a while since I’ve held one here on my blog and I don’t think I have anything in my stash that I’m willing to give up. I’m kinda greedy like that. So instead, to celebrate my birthday I’m going to offer an indie pattern of the winners choice from the Australian  indie pattern web store Sew Squirrel. Sarah runs this store from home with her new little baby and I’ve always been happy with her range and speedy delivery. Check out her pattern range here –  perhaps you like the new Colette or Named patterns or one of those hot By Hand London ones – so many to choose from!
To enter and help me celebrate my birthday pity party, simply comment and tell me your crappiest birthday story. I think birthday celebrations for me are doomed, but hopefully I’ll get a good giggle from the entries!

Edited to add: I’ll draw a winner on Wednesday at 8:30pm Sydney time. So this is fair, I will pick at random (I think that keeps it fair). So please share your funny story! 
Giveaway closed – thanks! 
Pattern: Burda wrap blouse 04/2014 #115 = $5.99
Fabric: Liberty English Field in mustard, from sister = Free
Thread from stash
Total: $5.99
  • Happy Birthday. Good luck back at school next week. those 2 weeks go so quickly

  • Happy Birthday Christy!! I'm with you- I don't often make a fuss over my birthday but it's still nice to celebrate once in a while. I'm glad you've been able to compensate with a bit of spending, sewing & sister time 🙂

    I've had plenty of dud birthdays but having my car stolen on my 21st would have to take the cake! Yep, pretty crappy!

  • I had the same 30th as you. Big party at a restaurant with a cocktail bar and a live band. I had guests fly down from Queensland, and made myself a spiffy new dress. I found out I was preggers the week before and felt nauseous around the clock. One of my friends ftom Queensland stayed with us and, after I picked her up from the airport and told her I wouldn't be boozing on that night, she told me I should have told her as she wouldn't have flown down. Then she hung out exclusively with my hubby for the night. Happy 30th to me!!

  • And happy birthday Christy!

  • Oh how awesome! Looks like I'm not the only one ruining birthdays with being up the duff!

  • Oh no!! At least I can be thankful I didn't lose my car this week!

  • It's hard to believe that I've actually been off for 2 weeks!

  • Happy Birthday!
    For my 24th birthday last year my boyfriend and I timed it to coincide with our holiday to Hong Kong. We spent hours checking out restaurants, reading reviews and menus (as I'm a vegetarian). We finally decided on one with a Michelin star (because birthday). The day of my money card wasn't working but I assumed it would be fine once we got there. Spoiler alert, it wasn't, and we didn't have enough money to pay for our meal. We had to beg to come back the next day, I cried and eventually they let us after we emptied both our wallets leaving no money for ice cream (the real tragedy). On top of that the dress I'd brought to wear, my only 'fancy' dress that I'd made didn't fit and I had the worst cramps ever and I couldn't stand up straight. Happy pity party to you too!

  • My most recent birthday…I threw a big party for my partner's 40th, costumes, cakes, games, the whole shebang, just a few months before mine. In the weeks before my birthday we had a family wedding, family Christening, Christmas and New Year, and everybody had gone home by my birthday, so it was just going to be quiet. We were in Brisbane. I let my partner book a restaurant, which he did at the last minute, to a place recommended by a friend. We had trouble finding the restaurant, even though we had the address. Eventually we worked out that the restaurant had been replaced by a Chinese takeaway, which kept the same phone number…I don't even know who he spoke to about a booking?? It didn't feel like a very special birthday.

  • Oh this is tragic!! You poor thing!

  • Oops, I forgot to say Happy Birthday!

  • Oh how sad! We had McDonalds for lunch yesterday for my birthday. I bet Chinese would have been ever so marginally better!

  • Thanks 🙂

  • My worst birthday was my 24th birthday. It started by catching a flight from Costa Rica to Cuba, a lot of waiting around at the Cuban airport waiting for the currency exchange to open, then a mad-dash expensive taxi to the bus company. I was supposed to meet someone there but the taxi driver took me to the wrong station – luckily I was able to catch the right bus, but I think the friend ended up waiting for hours at the other stop.
    The bus ride started with a renegade turtle (apparently they're good luck, so the driver was taking it home with him and it tried to escape) and luggage falling off the bus. The rest of the day was spent on a horrendous 15 hour bus ride from one end of Cuba to the other – freezing cold, uncomfortable seat, pot-holed road and a rickety old bus. We had toilet stops but the toilets were… less than ideal. I finally arrived in Santiago de Cuba, stuck in the bus terminal while people tried to offer accommodation/dancing lessons/what not, until my host (who was looking for an Asian girl) finally called my name. Phew!

  • Happy birthday! I don't even plan dinners or parties anymore…instead I take a week of work and go "somewhere". Much less stressful! My crappiest birthday is when I turned 13. My new foster family thought I was turning 14 on the day AFTER my actual birthday! I did get cake…just a day later. LOL.

    Your top is lovely btw – great fabric (as always with you)!

  • My 33rd birthday was the worst. For some reason, my husband decided that that day would be a good day to move to his next posting area (he was a Navy officer at the time)! His rationalisation for this was that he thought it would be nice to stay in a nice hotel and go out for dinner that night. This sounds good in theory, but the reality is that we were all tired by evening, and our then 1-year-old threw the mother of all tantrums in the restaurant that night, unsurprisingly. So we took our dinner back to the hotel. And that was the first and last tantrum from that placid child. Happy birthday to me:) And happy birthday to you!

  • I absolutely love this top and the Liberty fabric that you have made it in. I am not going to write about my worst birthday as I doubt anyone could top it but I do wish you a very Happy Birthday and I really hope that in a year or two, you can celebrate with a party for your birthday.

  • What a series of events! I'm glad you are still here to tell the tale. Thanks for sharing!

  • I always plan to go away for my birthday, but it is on one of Australia's biggest public holidays, which my husband participates in. So he always lays on the guilt when I try to plan a trip.
    So sad your birthday was delayed a day, but at the age of 13 an extra year is a good thing. Not so much now.

  • Oh men seem to do things like this. They really don't understand do they?

  • Thanks. Hopefully one day I will

  • It was pretty awful! I cried several times (had already been away from my now-husband for a month and had two months to go) and got odd looks from the Cubans as they laughed at some strange movie. At least it makes a good story now!

  • Happy Birthday Christy, I'm pleased to hear that you had a special birthday lunch yesterday. Did they give you a party hat to wear? My worst birthday was my 20th. I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth out in hospital, with a general to knock me out. Apparently while I was in recovery I telling the nurses that I felt great, and would probably be fine to go out with friends to nightclubs that night. Needless to say once the drugs wore off, that idea was out the window.

  • I spent my 30th birthday heavily pregnant as well but had I known I would have been grateful. My 32nd birthday was the worst. I decided to take two flights to visit my grandfather while my husband was away on a boys trip. I was 3 months pregnant at the time. My grandfather lived in a small town with scant medical care. While I was there I miscarried and my husband had to take a very expensive emergency flight to help me get home and to the hospital. I spent my birthday recovering at home.

    On a happier note 🙂 I really like the new top. The fabric has quite the retro vibe. Happy Birthday. I hope you get to celebrate soon.

  • Happy birthday for yesterday!

    My worst birthday was my 16th. That year everyone had birthday parties and my birthday being on the 28th December everyone was pretty partied out by then (but I didn't realise that). About 12 people agreed to come, and 4 turned up, plus my sisters who couldn't get out of it. I'd tried to make it interesting and done an Arabian Nights theme, which meant lots of preparation (cooking for 16 people) and teenage tantrums during the day.

    But you wanted a funny story. It wasn't my birthday but: When I was 4 I had my adenoids out meaning that I had to miss a friend's birthday party. Apparently I threw the most enormous tantrum, that my parents remember to this day, 32 years later. I think I gave them the impression that I'd be scarred for life by missing this party. I don't remember this at all! though I do remember the hospital.

  • Happy birthday! My history of birthdays has been rather underwhelming too, with husband always away travelling, living in renovation dust, little sick babies, always something going awry…I used to think I was cursed and get sad. Now I just go shopping!! I'd say it would be a relief not having to cater for people on your birthday, but hopefully, you still had a nice dinner and were made to feel special. That really is a lovely Liberty print. I bet it will be completely sold out now after your post. I would never have thought it was a wrap top until you said…the busy print hides it in the photos for me. But I love the boxy shape, and nice length.

  • Happy birthday!! I don't have any terrible birthday stories to share. I have thrown my share of bad birthday surprise parties, though. They've always been a non-surprise and had serious shortcomings. I decided this year that I was done celebrating my own birthday. I'm going back a few years in time and am going to be 29 forever, I think. 🙂 Next year, drop the kids off with a grandparent for a weekend and go someplace warm with your husband!

  • Happy birthday! I haven't had too many awful birthdays, but on my 18th birthday I spent the whole morning taking the ACT test, which took about 4 hours! Which pretty much drained me for the whole day.

  • Happy birthday! Sorry about the party, and I hope your kids are better soon. My worst birthday was my 21st – I had a big party, because it was the done thing, but this was before I worked out that I am really not a big party person (I much prefer something casual or dinner with close friends) and then my best friends gave a hilarious but awful speech about teenage misdemenours in front of my grandmother. Aaargh!

  • I've had my birthday fall on Good Friday a couple of times in past years. I'm Catholic so it's a day of fast and abstinence and going to church. It's great when your birthday falls on a public holiday – just not that one!

  • Happy birthday – and I'm sorry that Sydney has put on such poor weather for the occasion!

    My last birthday was pretty terrible. We were in the process of moving interstate, so boxes were everywhere. My partner forgot to get me a present, and my birthday was the same day as my work Christmas party (which was also my last day of work before moving). Good times!


  • It's my birthday today! And it's been lovely. I once threw a party at my house which was a little way out of town, and everyone who came was not drinking and planning to head back shortly. I had organised heaps of piña colada ingredients to whip up in my new blender; I spent the party making piña coladas and getting increasingly drunk while all the guests watched me

  • Happy birthday! What a bummer about all the designated drivers at your party! Hope you are having a great day today!

  • Blah! My husband never buys me a present. That's my job of course!

  • Erk! Good Friday is def worse than ANZAC Day, so I shouldn't complain, should I?

  • I think I need to plan small next year. I'm not normally a big party person, but it did seem like a good idea at the time. I never allow speeches at any event. Everyone has too much dirt on me!

  • Yuk! That sounds sucky!

  • Yep – I think a weekend away with no kids or husband, well actually I might let him come, sounds like a fab idea. I think I may stay 35 from now on. I think it's a good age 🙂

  • Thanks Debbie. I think once we have kids everything goes amiss, especially birthdays!

  • Blah! Sounds totally sucky!

  • Oh my – what an unfortunate event! I think we should just give birthdays a miss from now on.

  • Gotta love a Maccas special lunch! Wisdom teeth removal would make a birthday exceptionally sucky!

  • Happy Birthday! I can't say that my 30th was spectacular either and thankfully now 7 years later, I can hardly remember it! I love Sew Squirrel!

  • Happy birthday! My birthday is New Years Eve, and I think the worst one for me was my 14th. My boyfriend at the time told me he'd come to my place and we'd go to a party together. I got ready and sat around watching TV with my parents waiting for him; turns out he'd gone to the party without me and met another girl, so after finally going to bed at 1am after waiting all night for him I got a phone call saying he'd met someone else and broke up with me! My fourteen year old self was devastated! So glad I'm not a teenager anymore!

  • So sorry your party didn't work out! I always get depressed on my birthday, no matter what gets planned. One year when my kids were little, I said that more than anything I'd like a whole day home alone so I could sew. So they went to the zoo, out to lunch… but I got lonely in an empty house, and felt like I was missing all the fun. I keep thinking I need to plan a nice weekend trip and get away for my birthday.

  • I wish Happiness to you every day, not just on your day of birth! I'm a December baby and birthdays have been pretty non-Existent, getting dual purpose gifts to go for both birthday and Christmas. So I really don't know what a big birthday bash would be like and I must say that catering to 50 people and then cleaning up afterwards… I'm thinking you really lucked out! hahahaha And I'm really happy to know someone else goes on a spending spree to fill that birthday disappointment.

  • Happy birthday. May you have lots more.
    My birthday surprise parties are always fizzers and there have been 2.

    This is another wonderful Liberty print top. Love it.
    Now please stop teasing me with your Liberty prints. I've just cut into my first ever Liberty print purchase and this new top of yours and the animal shirt keep baying me to buy more of this gorgeous stuff.
    On second thoughts, keep showing me the wonder of Liberty prints!!!

  • So many OMGs! Firstly – big big happy birthday wishes being sent your way! Secondly… wha? Big scale print Liberty??? I MUST have this! You know, I sat next to a particular chatty lady on the plane on my way to the States last year. She was going to New York to spend the week with her best friend, who was flying in from Paris. You know who this best friend lady was? THE CEO OF LIBERTY OF LONDON. I don't think she quite understood the reason why I got so excited, and she sort of left me alone after that. hehe.
    Loving your new top, though. I've had a pretty good run with birthdays really… so no bad birthday stories from me!

  • Happy birthday! Maybe one day you'll get your party!

  • Happy birthday. It does kind of suck to have your birthday on Anzac day. I've had mine on Good Friday many times but the worst was when I was 27 (I think) when the 60cm diameter water pipe across the road exploded, spraying rocks from the 1m deep x 3 m long and 1m wide hole onto my car windows smashing the back windscreen, the driver window and the passenger window (plus 3 other windows on my parent's cars). What made it even worse was that it was a two door car so the windows were extra expensive and then t my insurance company and the city council both agreed that it was "an act of God" therefore they didn't have to pay out! It cost over $550 and just to put it in perspective, I was making $80 per week! I don't get too caught up in birthdays overall.

  • Happy Birthday Christy! No birthday story from me, I'm afraid (although I've had plenty of blah birthdays as well). Love the Liberty. We can have a belated birthday celebration when you're down in Melbourne soon!

  • I remember being pregnant for my 30th as well. My mum was coming to have lunch with me but I got both gastro and the flue. I didn't tell her so instead of a nice lunch she spent the day looking after me

  • Snap! (See my story above). Not fun, especially for a teenager. I try to look on the bright side and say that I found out who my real friends were.

  • happy birthday, lovely blouse! My funniest/crappiest birthday memory is when my dad somehow broke the glass light fixture above the table and dropped shards of glass all over the cake. There might have been some tears since we couldn't eat the cake 🙁

  • Hey Jenny, You won my competition! Woo Hoo! Drop me a line and we'll coordinate your prize choice from Sew Squirrel. Cheers Christy

  • happy birthday! My funniest birthday memory was this past year we went out for a gathering. That went well, but when we got home my boyfriend lamented, "oh, they didn't deliver your gift today like they were supposed to!" But, we got up closer and saw a small delivery note on the door. And sure enough, tossed 2 feet down off the side of my porch, buried in very thick blackberry bushes was my gift! Looked like the deliverer just dropped it over the side. A new sewing machine! It took us almost 20 minutes to get it out of there though!