Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Dresses

In planning my daughter's Christmas dress, I had a black cotton velvet bought locally last year and picked up a metre of silk duponi in a sale from, but it took me forever to decide on a pattern. This pattern turned up on eBay and I liked the style lines.

My procrastination didn't end there. The waist measurement fit my 5 year old, but the rest of the bodice was completely out of proportion - much too long and with front bust and back waist darts that were unnecessary. I basically had to redraw the bodice, while trying to keep the curve at the waist. All this meant that I had a lot of sewing to do the week before Christmas.
Sewing that centre point at the waist was very difficult. These photos were taken before the underskirt was finished correctly, and the wrinkles in the picture were not too evident when she wore the dress on Christmas Day (without the socks and pj's!)

The new bodice fit perfectly. Inside I lined the bodice and bound the armholes so it is comfortable to wear. I couldn't get the ribbon to meet exactly at the back waist, but I decided it was "good enough"

I also sewed a dress for myself. When I did an internet search afterwards for Vogue8593, it turns out that the pattern is based on a dress Michelle Obama wore. It seems that this dress was popular to sew in 2009 and 2010, so I'm really late to the party!

I made a major alteration to the pattern - no zip because I was sewing with knit, though I did measure the neckline to make sure it would go over my head. To ensure the fit, I measured the pattern against a knit top I wear a lot and that fits well over my tummy and hips to help me cut the correct size. I cut a 12 on top and a generous 14 at the hips.

When I was cutting it out, I tried really hard not to focus on the fabric being Liberty jersey - if that thought had taken hold, there would have been no dress for Christmas! It was incredibly quick to sew, once I got the neckline pleats done. I was so pleased with how it turned out.
My daughter took this picture just before her bedtime because she wanted a picture of me with the chocolate they bought me for Christmas, not sure that explains the "rabbit in headlights" look, but at least it's one less "missing head" shot.

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  1. Your daughter's dress is gorgeous! A real labour of love, I'm sure.
    Your dress is pretty too. Yours is the first version that I've seen made up in a print and I like it. It probably works so well because the print is subtle.
    I have a lot of missing head shots on my blog. Mostly because my seven year old is my photographer. My mouth is frequently open, or my eyes closed, etc. so I understand!

  2. I love the black velvet and the plaid silk duponi together. It's a very classic look!

    And I adore your dress! It's very sharp looking and since it's made from a knit, I bet it's comfortable to wear too.:)

  3. Thanks, Karin. I was glad to get these sewn for Christmas, especially mine, as I didn't have high hopes for the fit.
    It's funny with the children's picture-taking, you never know what you're going to get!

    Cindy thanks for your comments on the dresses. Yes mine is so comfortable, and I've worn it twice already. I enjoyed sewing my daughter's dress a lot :-)

  4. Nice to see you!
    Love your dresses!

  5. Thanks Nicole, I don't appear too often!!