fairy tale christmas dress

oh hey!  how’s it going?  did you have a nice holiday?  right around the time of my last post, our entire family got sick over the course of a week, with two different and nasty little viruses…and then it was nearly Christmas!  i decided it was as good a time as any to take a little blog break.  i did sew a few things, though, so hopefully i can get myself back into the blogging groove.

once we were healthy, suddenly E’s school program was only a few days away and she needed a dress!  i tried to talk her into a nontraditional Christmas dress using fabric from my stash, but she sweetly insisted on a fancy green dress with a gold sash, so i hit Fabric Depot right before they closed one night to grab everything i needed.

fairy tale christmas dress

given the fact that that happened on a Monday and the program was on Thursday, i really should’ve kept it simple.  i thought about the Hanami but no, in the end, i had to go all out and sew my first Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress, which Liesl calls “the ultimate special occasion dress.”  it’s fully lined, and there’s even a built-in tulle crinoline!  it has darts, an invisible zipper, collar, and fancy tulip sleeves.  this is a decently elaborate sew and not the sort of garment you should rush through.  but of course, at that point, i kinda had to.  i finished it at 1am the night before the performance.

fairy tale christmas dress

my favorite thing about this dress is the sleeves.  they are the craziest looking pattern pieces, but they’re so elegant when sewn!  i piped them with gold piping (see Rachel’s tutorial for a how to) and lined the dress with bright watermelon cotton couture from my stash.  the fabric is probably a little heavy for a lining, but i thought it was a fun take on the traditional red and green Christmas colors, so i just had to use it.

fairy tale christmas dress

the coolest thing was when she did the hand motions with the songs she sang at her performance, you could see the bright lining peek out – even from far away!

fairy tale christmas dress

i originally cut out the other (more modern shaped) collar, but E preferred the classic peter pan option so i went with that.  it’s gold metallic linen.

fairy tale christmas dress

the dress fabric is Robert Kaufman Radiance, a cotton-silk blend.  i love this stuff.  it sews (and irons, and washes) like cotton, but has a silky feel and a gorgeous sheen to it. i believe this color is chartreuse; available online here.  i love how it’s a little bit Grinchy.

fairy tale christmas dress

she’s a size 5 now!  i feel like i was sewing a 3 for her forever, but she skipped size 4 entirely and has gone straight to a 5.  a little sad, because i have far more O+S patterns in the smaller size range (which ends at 4), but luckily i had the larger Fairy Tale Dress pattern in print (i think i nabbed it during quilt market last year!).  it fits her perfectly.

fairy tale christmas dress

here are those underskirts.  i love the extra volume the tulle adds!  i happened to have the perfect gold tulle from a 2012 trip to Britex, so this dress turned out to be a bit of a stashbuster after all.

fairy tale christmas dress

(jennifer, this photo is for you)

fairy tale christmas dress

i was also excited to use my new invisible zipper foot for the first time, and inserted my best invisible zipper to date.  it’s pulling open a bit here because she’s got her arms forward and the bodice is meant to be fitted, but in person it is INVISIBLE.

fairy tale christmas dress

despite the fact that this dress is a lot of silk and satin and tulle, these photos were taken after she had already worn it to four various Christmas-related events.  that’s what i love about E; her fancy dresses get worn often, they’re not just single occasion makes!  she’ll probably even wear it to school.  she loves this dress.

fairy tale christmas dress

she concluded our photoshoot by reading me a little Beezus and Ramona.  hehe.

i didn’t sew many gifts this year but, like Gail, did frantically sew last-minute pajama bottoms for the kids, which resulted in many dumb and silly errors but still turned out wearableish…let’s see if i can wrangle them into a few photos to show you!


26 thoughts on “fairy tale christmas dress

  1. Erin says:

    It’s STELLAR! I love it… .So grinchy, so pretty. It’s very merry. I hope you had a fabulous holiday! (p.s. cotton couture in watermelon is probably one of my favorites!)

  2. Mikea says:

    This dress is beautiful!! I am about to buy this pattern and will be making this for my daughter. I love the colors you used but think i will have to use my stash (i reeeeally shouldnt buy more fabric haha). I love how the color peeks out so i will make sure to do contrast fabric. Thanks for sharing

  3. Sarah says:

    Gorgeous!!! I have this pattern but have yet to sew it because, frankly, I’ve been intimidated. But I am definitely going to tackle it…soon hopefully. 🙂

  4. gail says:

    i love that you took on the fairy tale dress with two days to spare!! i’ve been waiting to see how it turned out, and of course it’s gorgeous! what perfect party dress fabric, it’s super special and i don’t doubt that this will get worn by your fancy girl 🙂 i’m excited to try this pattern!

  5. Kelly says:

    It’s a perfectly understated fancy pants dress!! That color is great and I have been meaning to check out that radiance fabric, I love it. Sorry you guys were sick, mine are taking turns being sick right now with S being the latest to fall…hoping I can avoid it.

  6. Lightning McStitch says:

    Wow, your first time was earth shattering! This is beautiful, everything is just perfect. Piping the sleeves was just that bit extra that gets you the gold medal for last minute Christmas dress sewing. Bravo!

  7. girllikethesea says:

    this dress is gorgeous. I love the combination of the classy sheeny fabric in a modern color, and the refined Oliver and s pattern. It looks expensive! And not too over the top frilly.

  8. francessuzanne says:

    NICE!!!! We’ve yet to sew the Fairy Tale Dress….. your first one is just breathtaking. LOVE how you incorporated piping on the sleeves, and the pop of color on the lining is GENIUS!

  9. Amber says:

    Just fantastic! I also have a hard time saying no too, because my daughter will wear them again and again and again (see prairie girl dress that is now about a foot too short that she still wears!). And she also skipped size four. I have even been buying her size 6 pants!! She’s six in eleven days…. I just can’t believe it!

  10. rachel says:

    Kristin, this is amazing. Every detail! I love the watermelon lining! That was a great choice! Gold metallic linen? I am so interested. I’ve looked through these photos like 5 times. It’s just all so amazing! You are a genius! Happy new year!

  11. Lisa M. says:

    I check the Flickr sit frequently to get inspiration. This is the prettiest Fairy Tale dress that I have seen! The fit is right on too. I’ll need to try that Robert Kaufman fabric. Did you increase the width of the skirt? It looks like just the right amount of gathers. I increased the width on the dress that I made, but the fabric was voile.

  12. jennifer says:

    I got my close up!!! Thank you:) And OMGEEEE do I love this dress! I love everything you sew but am too lazy to comment most of the time. This dress is perfection in every way. It looks store bought! I like the wide hem. The hem is the perfect width and gives it a more vintagy feel. it’s all so pretty.

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