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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
(jennifer, this photo is for you)
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.
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.
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!