Saturday, 19 December 2015

Little Christmas Dresses

I'm so happy I finished the girls' Christmas dresses! I wasn't sure I'd get them finished in time (I'm pretty slow at sewing actually) but I got them done with about a week to spare before Christmas. These actually went a lot faster than I was expecting. Since I've made the pattern once before for the girls for Easter, I was already familiar with it so I knew they wouldn't be too challenging but they do have a lot of steps, and I needed to make two, so there was that to consider time-wise.

Whenever I sew something I think about people who make handmade clothes for a living and I'm always so impressed and awestruck that many people actually do make clothing for a living. I realize once you get really good, you get a lot faster, and you hire help, but hands and machines can only go so fast! On the flip side of that, I think about shops like and H&M and am flabbergasted that heaps of clothing can be mass produced and sold at such low prices. Even if machines are doing a lot of the work, they can't do all of it. I shop occasionally at H&M and other inexpensive chain retail stores and often leave feeling really guilty for spending so little on clothing! But these two little dresses I definitely don't feel guilty about. This is the Oliver + S fairy tale dress pattern, which is a great pattern, very easy to follow and so cute. I especially love the sleeves and the collar. (In these photos I hadn't sewn in the hook and eye to close the back securely but those are done now.)
When I was thinking of what pattern to make, I had the fairytale dress pattern in mind in a plaid of some sort and then when I saw this example on the Oliver + S instagram feed, I knew I wanted to make it in that same tartan plaid. While cutting the fabric, I tried to be careful to consider the placement of the pattern of the plaid so both dresses were equal. I wanted the line of red to run down the center of the dress under the collar and wanted the darts to be symmetrical to the pattern.
Same for the back of the dresses. It took me a good hour fiddling with the fabric and the zip on Lois's (pictured below) to make sure the pattern lined up well and that the skirt of the waist met up evenly. (After sewing in one side of the zip tape, I always close the zip and then snip a small part of the zip tape that is just opposite of where the waist seam lies on the opposite side of the zip tape.)
This pattern does take some time, mainly due to its being lined and a good bit of hand sewing involved. The lining is hand sewn in along the zip and the hems are hand sewn. 
They also have a layer of tulle adding fullness to the skirt. 
The dresses are so pretty and they fit the girls well. They are also really excited about them, which makes me happy. I was worried Lois might roll her eyes. Yes, at 7 years old I've already gotten some "mom, that's so not cool!" looks from her about other things, but she loves her dress. The dresses are pictured here by the Christmas tree when the girls where at school earlier this week, but I'll post a photo of them wearing them next week along with some photos of our merry making around the house.


Anonymous said...

Well done! Merry Christmas. Marie

Marina said...

Wow these dresses are wonderful! Congratulations!