Ooooh, but it felt so good to get back to sewing! My last sewing project months ago was my wedding dress. Since then I've been far too busy after the wedding with moving and settling in to do any sewing. I was afraid this year I wouldn't get a new Christmas dress, but it all came together a few days before Christmas. :-)
At JoAnn's during a big sale, I was tempted as always by their rack of Christmas prints. But the problem with a specifically Christmas print is that I can only wear it during one short season in the whole year. Last year I made a 1950s suit, which of course is suitable for fall and winter wear. I couldn't justify spending a chunk of money on fabric that I can only wear once or twice a year. This year I managed to be both Christmassy and practical when I found this gorgeous big poppy print instead.
It's in the Christmas colors, but since it's not a specifically Christmas print, I think I can get more wear out of it. Obviously when worn with a red belt, green velvet hat, and gold accessories, it will look holiday-ish, but I think when paired with a pair of straw & red heels I have and a shady straw hat, it will be fine for summer as well! The cool cotton and cap sleeves lend themselves to warmer weather.
I bought 5 yards, since the print was one way and just shouted "1950s" at me, and took it home. The next thing was deciding which pattern to use. I had some specifics in mind, which made it harder to narrow down to a suitable pattern. I wanted something simple, so the print could shine, with the front bodice cut in one piece, so I didn't have to match the print in the front, and either wide gores or no gores for the skirt. I haven't done much sewing with large prints, so I did some Pinterest searching for 1950s dresses for ideas. I debated over several of my patterns in my collection, but wasn't completely satisfied with any of them and went with a different one altogether when I took a closer look and realized it met all my criteria.
I'm glad I did, because this dress pattern was quite enjoyable to make. I had to cut it down quite a bit, and adjust the neck height, which necessitated a muslin and some fiddling with the front darts. But otherwise, I made it exactly as called for, even to the skirt length and hem depth - something I rarely do, since vintage patterns are often too short for my preference.
It was a breeze. Just enough detail in the shoulder and neck to make it interesting, but nothing difficult. I really had no problems at all, the cotton was wonderful to work with, and it went together so nicely in just a short time.
The back and sleeves are cut in one piece. The sleeve is gathered into a top-stitched, pointed front piece. I double top stitched it, just for fun, and to help it lay right.
The print I had made sure was centered on the bodice and each skirt gore. Too late I realized that the back hadn't made the matchy goal, but it's not too bad.
My gold clutch adds some holiday sparkle. I can also see this dress paired with black velvet accessories.
This 1950s style is not my favorite silhouette on myself, but this dress is helping improve it in my regard. I wore this dress with my biggest crinoline, and it had plenty of poof, though it wasn't a circle skirt.
I like the fact that the red print has two shades of red, so I can accent with either a dark or a cherry red and it will still coordinate.
So now my sewing queue is up and running again, though my sewing room is still not quite set up. I've found a great lack of winter dresses and blouses in my closet, so while winter remains, I'm hoping to fix that problem in the coming year. It's wonderful to be back at the sewing machine, and to have such an enjoyable first project in my new home.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and will start out with a happy New Year!