This is Missy's Christmas dress, sewn late at night in December evenings, rushed, unpicked, restitched and fiddled with.
It's also the very first Take one Dress creation, sowing/sewing the seed for my exciting 2014 guest series. See here for details.
I've been on a little sewing journey - from this 1960s wool vintage dress bought in New York, to Missy's Christmas dress, via the Take One Dress experience. My plan was to sew something inspired by my vintage dress, but not a copy.
The Take One Dress Route...
I spent several nights thinking about my vintage dress. There were two things which struck me particularly; the near-circular skirt, and that triangular insert. How could I make that triangle work in a little girl's dress? Then I remembered this blouse, my shark teeth blouse.
When I made these shark teeth pintucks the first time, it struck me that if I inserted a contrast colour, I could create different triangles. At the time, though, I stuck with minimalist white.
But the Christmas dress! Aha! Now's my chance to experiment!
Now, believe me... this was Truly Experimental!
The dress is made of brushed cotton red flannel. Wintery, and with a bit of texture, like the open weave wool of the original 1960s dress. But it was also bulky, and it definitely didn't make neat pintucks like that crisp white cotton lawn. And then of course, I had to insert the contrast strips. Red and white felt like a harsh combination, I've used stone-coloured linen. And it works perfectly. I stitched the 'teeth' down to hold the linen in place.
And, while my geometry might not be perfect, (believe me this involved rulers, measuring and brain power) the effect is pretty good.
My plan was to insert this as a placket into a dress made from Straight Grain's Tinny pattern, flipped about a little. I also wanted to keep that absolutely horizontal neckline...
Sounds simple, no?
Think I finally nailed it.
My placket insert was a little short! Oh no.... ! Quickly remedied by lengthening the bodice with a waistband...which also linked to a bow (what could be more Christmassy), lined with the same stone linen.
I lengthened the Tinny sleeves, and made the skirt a 3/4 circle, partly because I felt a full circle might be bulky in the flannel, and to reference the original dress, which isn't a full circle.
Now this is Missy's Christmas dress, and I'm going to link it up with Sew Pony and Craftstorming inspiring 12 Days of Christmas series.
For the past few years we've travelled to Scotland to spend Christmas with my family, but this year, work commitments mean we'll be staying at home. I'm so looking forward to spending time playing with the children and relaxing. And stomping through the beautiful countryside around our home.
So I wanted to make a dress that didn't scream 'Party.'
I was thinking more Nordic folk hero, a little girl from a Tolstoy novel, something striking, simple, cosy, practical (ish) and a touch romantic....
And, while there are lots of things about this dress that technically aren't great (please don't look too closely at the hem! Done very late at night after long working days...), I do love how it looks on Missy! I have, I think another Lady in Red...
And now, I've left Natalie at Nat and the Gang with a challenge? Where will the Take one Dress journey take her? She's the first in an exciting line-up of bloggers, and will be creating a vision, also inspired by my vintage dress. Intrigued? I am! I can't wait to see her creation. To be unveiled here on January 6!