Take One Dress 12: As it Seams; a dress for winter

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 02:13

Can I say how much I love this dress?
I LOVE this dress...

When I look at it I can see the tonnes of love, thought and planning, and the year-long series that were all part of the journey to complete this dress.
This is the finale dress in the Take One Dress 2014 series I hosted  last year. There's a full round-up and details here.
In the last Take One Dress post, by Olga at Kid Approved, see here, she set me the challenge of sewing something inspired by this dress. 

My sewing brain headed off in a million directions!
A coat! A matching dress! Some winter shorts! Accessories! The lot. But as usual, I'm big on ideas and short on time.
It was the idea of a winter landscape, that floating figure, and a border print that I loved most, and which formed the basis for my creation. I also decided to sew a dress pattern I've had my eye on for a while, the Franklin dress by Brooklyn Pattern Company- which gently references the 'inspiration' dress with its three-button yoke.

My next idea was to somehow create my own 'border print' with a bit of applique and colour blocking. 
The dress is made in a peacock blue brushed cotton flannel, that is soft, fluffy and fabulous. The fabric is from my local store Herringbone in Nailsworth, which is a treasure trove.  This is perfect winter dress fabric, cosy and the colour is so  intense, it sings. 
The panel is grey linen mix. For the applique I needed something more stable than the flannel, which has a bit of stretch and is bulky.

Now this panel was A LOT trickier than it looks, I drew lots of skyline templates, and decided simplest was best, and then wrestled with drawings of winter trees. How to get fine delicate branches, with my grey linen? I absolutely DID NOT want lots of Christmas trees - just this one. And these winter trees, front and back, were the best I could do. I stopped thinking, started cutting and it kind of worked.

The trees are faced with iron-on interfacing with exposed raw edge,  but the panel as a whole is seamed on to the skirt as I wanted a 'cleaner' line across the skirt. That meant a lot of fabric manipulation, which is hard to explain. (I had to pull the house and tree through a gap in the seam, and iron in place). It was no easy feat. Simply getting that little yellow window in place as the one splash of colour, before I applied the whole piece, was tricky.

The grey panel also forms a hem facing - sadly I forgot to take a pic, (and yes I know, there are tonnes of other pictures. Did I mention I love this dress?..). This means I can let the hem down a bit, which I probably will do, it's a little short. That's my fault, I cut it short, thinking I might sew a 'tunic' but then changed my mind.


 I've been thinking a lot about why I love this dress.

  1. The colour! I am seduced by colour, whenever I try to go 'neutral' it doesn't work. This is a real peacock teal blue. It looks great on Missy.
  2. It  appeals to my unashamed nostalgia... 
  3. ...and a love of Nordic art and style. My very first post on this blog was about Carl Larsson, secretly I want Missy to look like she's just stepped out of a Swedish wooden cottage. Or perhaps stomping through the woods, on a magical adventure that might include a Gruffalo.

A Gruffalo? Oh look.... guess what happened when wearing this dress...(keep going.. to find out)

This dress had a special outing recently, when our small town was lucky enough to have a visit from  children's book superstar, Julia Donaldson, author of the Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Snail and the Whale and so much more.
She gave a lovely story-telling session that captivated the children.
And Missy, gamely got on stage to be a 'sheep'. Here she is, on stage with Julia and other 'volunteers' from the audience.

Missy had one line; "Baaa"... It got to her turn, Julia pointed at her to 'bleat', Missy drew breath, paused to remember what her line was, and made everyone giggle when with all her gusto she burst out; "Neigh!"

So there we have it - the end of the Take One Dress 2014 journey. Thank you so much everyone who took part, and thank you Olga for pushing me to think and create!

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  1. I LOVE that dress. She looks so beautiful in it!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Mieke! If it does inspire you to sew something let me know! That was the whole aim of the Take One Dress series. It's been a lot of fun.

  3. It became a wonderfull dress indeed! Fun to see you got inspired to do this type of application, I actually tried to see if I could make bleach border print but I did not manage to reach a white effect (light brown was the best color I reached). But seeing your dress now I might try again, I was so fixated on the white for snow that I stopped the endeaver after two tries.

  4. Wow. I really love this dress too. For all those same reasons. Excellent job.

  5. I think this is crazy amazing and creative!! wow : the appliqué is so great! love the color too!

  6. What? The Gruffalo is one of my nieces' favorite books!!! Great job on your inspiration dress as well :). Very pretty - and I agree, the color IS terrific.

  7. Love love your dress. Reminds me of a little blue dress that I wore as a little girl, also with a hand made border print. Should make something like it for my own little girl....

  8. Victoria, this dress is simply stunning. It is obvious you put a lot of time, effort and above all love. The applique border is amazing. All the fabric manipulation was so worth it! Love it Victoria, love it :)

    My daughter like the Gruffalo book, and she absolutely adores the Gruffalo board game. To hear Julia read it would have been such a treat! Neigh - hehe

  9. The color of the dress is amazing! I love the applique border - very clever!
    Perfect for beating those winter blues :)

  10. What a lovely way to finish your series Victoria. That blue is something else! Love the contrast with the stripy tights - perfect :)

    1. Victoria, what a gorgeous dress! I think I like your dress even more then the original one (and I love the original!)
      My favorite detail is the yellow window. So, so cute!

  11. This is fabulous, much nicer than the original inspiration dress. The applique is marvelous.

  12. Thank you for visiting my blog yesterday. Lovely dress, so beutiful blue colour! That applique border is nice, looks like there is evening twilight and snow. Here in Finland we have lot of snow right now :). Lonely spruce - I like that! And pintucks as well.

  13. This really is a beautiful dress! I like the combination of grey and blue and the applique is stunning!


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