SEWN: Xmas dress triumph???

Saturday 22 December 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaccccckkkk. Yep, it's been a considerable while... things have been... difficult. There is a sense of a stigma attached to people going through a tough time and in blog world things are usually so shiny and happy. I just wasn't there this year with a very tough few personal things going on. It's been a challenge simply pulling myself through a day let alone creating practical, let's not even talk beautiful, garments. My sewing mojo didn't just take a short holiday, it left with threats never to return. Cheeky bugger.

So it's been a while, but I am starting to feel a little better and when that started to happen the desire to create also returned.

Let me present M's third Christmas dress. Not third this Christmas - as in I have created one each year for Christmas and this happens to be year 3. Oh lord, perhaps my ability to create sensical prose will also return soon. Tadaaaaa!

Excuse the rather lame photography, I clearly still need to take some lessons

I really love this dress. It's Anna Maria Horner's Paper Fan Dress, a wonderful, free pattern download. Woot, woot - love a free pattern, especially one as beautiful as this! It's a basic lined bodice, with a wrap back button closure. Box pleats at front, an interesting waistline finishing, and knife pleats at the left back wrap complete the look.

I had a goal this year. I wanted to create largely from my stash as it has kept growing and growing with few signs (at least this year) of being used.

Success one: The gorgeous red skirt fabric. I scored this beautiful one metre piece from the wonderful Leisl at Jorth when I won her birthday giveaway. It's been sitting impatiently quietly awaiting the perfect opportunity to offer itself up. When I started to consider M's Christmas dress I immediately thought of this. I'm sure it's not meant to be a Xmas print, but it reminds me of Christmas tree baubles and snowflakes. So whilst fitting a Christmas theme, it's not kitsch... I'm not too kitschy... and I've aimed to avoid the Christmas theme overtaking the dress too much. Anywho, according to Leisl it's a Japanese cotton and it's a lovely quilting type weight. And perfect for a Japanese inspired Paper Fan dress.

Speaking of which, check out the gorgeous knife pleats which create a paper fan effect at the back opening...

Success two: The lining. I had another completely different dress in mind when I first considered this make, so hadn't factored in lining. I was saved from yet another trip to the fabric shop by using one of M's old baby wraps that I had made out of a soft pink cotton voile. The wrap had been used to death and is soooo soft. It made a perfect lining and it's kind of nice to have preserved the wrap in some small way. Call me sentimental...

And there is Santa making his appearance

Success three: Bodice fabric. I wanted a contrast/coordinating bodice and had already purchased the blue quilting weight cotton for a totally different project that never eventuated. It was a half metre and cost around $3 at the time. And it just happened to tie in with the blue in the skirt just perfectly.

In the end, the only thing I had to purchase were the buttons - $4. Pretty thrifty, nifty dress.

Triumph? Hmmmmm, it would be if the dress fitted. When will I learn to trust the pattern? I made a size 3 for my 2.5 year old, even though the measurements suggested that a size 2 would fit. Bugger... dress too big by a mile. Ah well, she loves it and is gonna wear it anyway. So... I say triumph.

If I can get my grouchy toddler to actually stand still in the dress, or even pose nicely, I'll try to get a less boring action shot in here. Wish me luck!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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