I’m BACK! Oh my goodness! I have not posted any content to the Blog in months. A whole LOT has happened since my last post and I’ll share it all with you later. But today is a special day and I decided to return on this day to celebrate.

It’s my 55th Birthday! I wanted to celebrate in a way that I would remember. When my husband was here, he always did something special for me on my birthday. So this year, I decided to do something special for myself.  So what did I do? Three things! (1) I made myself this beautiful birthday dress. (2) I launched my new website. Make sure you check it out after reading this post. (3) I launched my Anita by Design Merch store. All of this is happening TODAY! WooHoo!


So, let’s talk about the dress first. If you’ve been following for a while, you already know I love big hats. I often plan outfits around my hats. I purchased this beautiful hat in 2018 while away on a quiet getaway with a dear friend. When I laid eyes on it, I had all kinds of ideas around styling it with beautiful dresses.


I’ve taken it to the fabric store with me twice to match it to fabric, but I never found anything quite right. Then one day I was at Joann Fabrics and saw this beautiful, soft pink, Ponte knit fabric and fell in love. I wasn’t thinking about the hat at that time. My plan was to make a pink pant suit, so I purchased five yards. I took it home and stored it away for over a year. LOL!

This week, I decided at the last minute to make myself a birthday dress. I went to my collection and pulled out this hat. I knew I would have to take a trip to the fabric store, because I didn’t think I had anything to match the hat. But I really didn’t feel like going, so I decided to look through my fabric collection and find fabric to match another hat.

That’s when I saw the pink Ponte Knit again. I froze and said to myself, “Wait a minute. Is this…?” I quickly pulled the fabric out of the cabinet, ran to the laundry room, placed it on the the counter. I dashed to the bedroom, slid over to the closet door like I was running from third base to home. Quickly unzipping the hat bag, I gently pulled out my hat and did a little speed walk back to the laundry room.

When I put the hat next to the fabric, I screamed, “Oh, oh, oh, oh!” I did a two step dance and ran to the sewing studio to find a pattern. I opened up my Pinterest Dress folder to scan my patterns and spotted Vogue 9373 (OOP). I quickly filed through my pattern drawer and pulled the pattern out from the very back. When I held it up next to the fabric, I squealed so loud. I’m sure I did another two step dance. This pattern has been re-released as Vogue 1748, which is still available – different pattern number, same dress.

The Vogue 1748 pattern description reads as follows: “Dress is close-fitting through bust and fully lined with high collar, pleat detail at neck, back zipper with hooks and eyes and length variations.” I sewed View A, the midi length, and only inserted one hook and eye because I was running out of time and “HATE” installing those closures. Working with the little pieces gets on my nerves. LOL!


Vogue classifies it as a very easy sew and I agree. If you have basic sewing skills, you should be able to complete the dress. The pattern instructions are straight forward and easy to follow, even with installing the lining. I sewed the dress up in two days, including cutting. That’s fast for me because I like to take my time when sewing garments. But once in a while, I’ll push a piece out in a day or two.

I styled it for two different looks. The first look is with the hat, black high heels, a pink sequin clutch, rhinestone earrings, and a Jesus Rules brooch. I love wearing brooches, but had no plans to wear one with this dress until I pressed it and got a strange spot on the collar. I ran to the cleaners to see if they could get it out and give me the dress back the same day. LOL! Girl, please! No we can not. LOL! Oh well, I tried. I washed the dress and it still didn’t come out. So the brooch saved the day! And I think it added a little extra class to the look.

In the second look I removed the hat, changed to a pink sequin clutch, and added pink gloves. The gloves are very special. They were gifted to me from my friend, Sheila. They belonged to her grandmother, who passed away. She used to sew her own clothes and was a very sharp dresser. She styled her diy garments with beautiful hats and gloves too. I loved her. Sheila gave me several pairs of her gloves, and I knew that I would make gorgeous dresses to wear with them. She gave me several pairs and they are treasured gifts.

This dress would be perfect as a Mother-of-the-Bride look, or even Bridesmaid Dresses. I would totally wear it out for afternoon tea and switch to my “Tea Time” brooch. Let me know in the comments section below which look you like the best, with hat or with gloves. Would you add gloves with the hat?

Anita By Design Merch Now Available

When my husband was here, he always did something special for my birthday. So, this year I decided to do something special for myself. I launched my Anita by Design MERCH.

If you watched my YouTube video last year when I revealed my Sewing Studio Makeover, you may remember that I had a vinyl decal made to place on the wall over my machines that says, “Give Me Jesus and a Sewing Machine.” In the video I said that I wanted to put that on a t-shirt one day. Well the day is here and I have new MERCH with my saying. When you go to the store, you can read my story of why this phrase is important to me today. If you’re all about Jesus and a Sewing Machine, grab yourself a piece. Have fun shopping HERE!


I’ve updated my WEBSITE a couple of times on my own. I knew it was time for an upgrade so I decided to hire a professional to do the work this time. Big things are happening so I had to stop playing. LOL! I really LOVE my new website and want to send a shout out to Charity Mohone for the beautiful job she did on the makeover. I hope you will take a look at the entire site and see all that I’m up to lately.

Thanks for stopping by,

Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES! 

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This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Karen

    Hi. Love this dress. The fit is so flattering. Could I just ask what fabric type you used for the lining? I am wanting to make this same dress for a special occassion I have coming up and would love the dress to sit just as beautifully but worried the wrong lining will make it look bulky.

  2. Sal

    Love your blog and this dress, oh my stars it’s stunning and you make it even more so! I have this pattern and really want to do it up in a not too thick maybe but of stretch velvet… what do you think?

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Sal! I think this dress would look amazing in a stretch velvet. Absolutely beautiful.

  3. Debi

    Love the beautiful birthday dress. I want to make it for my wedding dress. Does the pattern run big or small! I’m a D cup…do I need to make a bust adjustment on this pattern? Thanks.

  4. Anita Morris

    Oh my goodness! How did I miss this, Nadine! Thank you so much for checking out my website. You must made my heart smile with your feedback. Have fun making your clutch purse. So exciting!

  5. Margie

    Happy birthday. I love your hat. Your out fit is beautiful and it makes you very youthful .

  6. Barbara

    Anita, you are stunning. I love your zest for life! The dress (and hat) is fabulous and is wonderful for any age. I’m so glad to see someone else that likes hats! The dress style looks like it could be easily managed for most shapes…especially as we age. 🙂 I’m 64 years young and definitely want to try this dress. I began following you a couple of years ago and I’m thrilled to see you living life to the max after all you’ve been through. Blessings to you in your new endeavors!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Barbara. I appreciate you for being here.

  7. JeriLynn

    Hi Anita and Happy Belated Birthday!
    Wow what a gorgeous dress!! The brooch is a perfect accessory as it adds interest. I like the complete ensemble, hat with gloves, beautiful!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, JeriLynn! Yes, I agree. The brooch gives it an extra bit of class.

  8. Dorothy A Steward

    Hi Anita, Love, love, love the outfit.It’s so you all the way. Happy Birthday and may God bless you with many more. Will visit your new site real soon. Be Bless

  9. Alania Sheeley

    Your dress is lovely. I like both of the stylings. You mention you have pattern folders on Pinterest. Did you do a blog about how you set this up? I have some of mine on my iPhone, but it doesn’t work as well as I had envisioned. Plus, the pictures take up a lot of memory space once you photograph the front and back of the envelope.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Alania! Thank you so much. In 2018, I did a series here on the blog about Sewing With a Purpose. I shared my entire pattern calatoguing process in one of the posts. I still use it today and it works very well for me. Here’s the link to that post where I share how I catalog the patterns on my Pinterest Board. Yes, the photos take up a LOT of space on the phone. https://www.anitabydesign.com/declutter-sewing-patterns/

  10. Donna

    Dress looks gorgeous on you…perfect match to your hat! Happy Birthday Anita! Blessings

  11. Laura

    Oh Anita, that dress is AMAZING!! You look stunning!! I love how you rock the pink – my favorite color as well! And that hat is beyond fabulous!

    Happy belated 55th also! My husband turns 56 this Sunday!

    Glad to see you back blogging!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Laura! Yes to the PINK! Happy early Birthday to your husband.

  12. Betsy Mach

    Love the gloves, and the rest of the beautiful outfit. But the gloves reminded me of special events in the early 1960s, of course one always wore gloves when one was a bridesmaid, or bride, but we also wore them for special dates – dinner and movie even. I had quite a collection but they’ve disappeared over the years.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, women were always dressed very well in the 60’s, one of my favorite fashion eras.

  13. Kim

    Happy birthday Anita! You look wonderful in your birthday dress! Now, give girl….how do you keep that fab figure looking so wonderful?!!!! Details, please!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Kim! LOL! Thank you so much. I hit that gym, sis!

      1. Sylvia Duff

        Hi Anita, Love the dress I prefer it without the hat,why hide such a beautiful face.
        Sorry I haven’t been on your website for a while but sadly I have very recently lost my husband after a long illness so it’s been a very trying time but I know I will get there in time.

        1. Anita Morris

          Oh Sylvia, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. I totally understand needing time to process and deal with the grief. Take your time, sister. Sending you much loves.

  14. Dara

    Anita you look FABULOUS! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU and may GOD give you MANY MANY MORE!

  15. TroyJennene Gibbs

    Love the feel & look of the new website. Clean & easy to maneuver thru the different sections. Happy Birthday & enjoy this day that the Lord has Made & Rejoice in it! The dress looks great on you & amazing you “sewed it up” in record time. I like the hat, a lover of hats myself, and the gloves are really cute -adds a “couture” look to the total outfit. Keep on doing what you’re doing because it is working. Blessings

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much. Glad you like the new website and my birthday dress.


      Thanks for including me. I love your You Tube channel and you love for sewing . That is a beautiful dress match perfectly with that lovely and contagious smile. Jesus is the first and a big part of who I am, I will certainly pick up a T shirt. Thanks for blessing me with your presence. Stay blessed

      1. Anita Morris

        Hi Marie! Thank you so much, sister. I appreciate you for being here.

  16. De Campbell

    Woo hoo! What a birthday gift – new dress, new store and a new blog. I love them all! I’ve ordered my cup and I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival. The dress w/ hat and gloves will look great together too.
    You hit the jackpot. My oldest daughter got engaged last night. Depending upon her wedding date, I might have to make this dress. Thanks for your inspiration, sewing info and testimony. God is so good!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, I’ve had a lot going on. Thank you for ordering from the store.

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