Christmas Dress

One thing I always looked forward to as a child was picking out a new dress for Christmas. When I was very little, my grandma would make me and my sisters coordinating dresses. When we were a little older, my mom would take us shopping for holiday dresses. That tradition stopped around the time I started high school because we just weren’t as interested in getting a fancy dress just for Christmas (we wanted a dress for the school semi-formal instead). This new dress is a somewhat more casual, useful for every day version of a Christmas dress. I am really pleased with how it turned out and it was pretty easy as well.

Design/Pattern: I hacked up the shift dress pattern from the Built By Wendy Dresses book. This is the first time I have wanted the exact dress I saw in a picture or store and had to replicate it. This inspiration dress was from Boden, but it seems that it’s no longer available. I wish I could show you the picture because I think I got pretty close.

Fabric/Materials: I found this double-sided sweater knit and my local Hancock’s. It is solid black on one side and black and gray striped on the other. It was great to find one fabric that worked for the color-blocking on this dress. This fabric is heavy and warm. And even though it’s 100% polyester, it’s still a bit scratchy like wool. That’s the only thing I would change about it. Besides the fabric, I only needed thread to complete this dress.

 Techniques:

  • Used a longer stitch length and stretched the fabric a bit as I sewed so that the seams would stretch
  • Finished the seams with a zig-zag stitch
  • Edge-stitched around the pockets and yoke
  • Under-stitched the yoke around the neckline to help it lay flatter

Alteration/Changes:

  • Lengthened the sleeves from 3/4 length to full length
  • Shortened the dress by about 4 inches to make it slightly above the knee (I thought the dress needed to be fairly short to work with the proportions of the long sleeves and boat neckline)This is probably my favorite winter dress I own and I’ve only worn it once! It’s comfortable, warm, stylish, looks great with tights, and can be worn dressed up or down. I want to make ten more! That probably won’t happen, knowing how I like tackling new projects more than repeating, but it’s possible that I’ll do another long-sleeved winter dress since I like this one so much. This dress earns an easy A, I think.

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