Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Christmas Dress

I was not planning to make myself a Christmas dress this year - to be honest, I just didn't think I would have the time.

But then I happened across this wonderful cardinal print at JoAnns, and I felt the need to cut right into something new.  I just love the Susan Winget prints.  In fact, I did not see the selvedge on this print until I got it home, but this was the design that caught my eye.  These two are also her designs, and I love the garments I made with them!  I also love the cotton they are printed on.

Then there was the question of a pattern, and, of course, the issue of buttons.

I had one vintage Prims buckle and a couple of Prims covered buttons, along with a red velvet scrap or two that was the perfect color to match those lovely little birds.

The pattern is Simplicity 1459, one of their vintage reproductions from a few years back.  I have made similar frocks (got to love a notched collar!), but decided to give this one a try and see how it turned out.

And then, of course, there was the matter of bound buttonholes.

Yes, they take a little preparation, but I can count on them . . . unlike the ones made with a machine.

There was also a little seam binding added to the mix.  I have a lovely deep garnet color in my stash that would have looked lovely, but I was afraid that it might show through the cream colored portions of the fabric, so I went with a pale pink.

See what I told you about the bound buttonholes!  They are always there for me!

Where I strayed from the pattern was the skirt.  This reproduction gathers the entire skirt waist to the bodice.  However, a look at the vintage illustration on the pattern envelope clearly shows that the front portion of the skirt is not gathered.  Not sure why they omitted this in the reproduction.  I find that keeping the gathers to the sides of the dress is very flattering.  I also added a few pleats to tame the extra fabric before gathering right over those sections.

And there she is, all finished, with only a couple of hours left before leaving for L.A. - just enough time to pack a suitcase, or two!


  1. That is beautiful. Everything about it is perfect. I especially love thr collar and the covered buttons.

  2. Beautiful and absolutely perfect for the holidays.

  3. I'm going with "beautiful" (because it is), and because that's a more palatable echo-chamber than when your followers chortle about JoAnn's.

    The "not sure about having time" thing for me includes getting the mail, moving the wash to the dryer, and making it to work on time - not making a dress with custom buttons and bound buttonholes. The theory that you have a clock which yields more hours in a day, is being floated in certain circles.

    Hope we get a SoCal setting for the modeling shoot, and of course, happy new year Laura Mae!

    One of your quiet and unobtrusive fans

  4. Absolute perfection!! Can't wait to see what shoes you pair with this dress (I'm quite envious of your fabulous shoe collection). Thank you for sharing all the inspirational sewing you've done throughout the year; reading your blog is a very pleasurable indulgence that I look forward to.

    Happy New Year to you and your readers!


  5. Gorgeous dress! I would love to see you model it! I too love reading your blog. Happy New Year!

  6. It is wonderful! The details like bound button holes and the perfect red for the buttons make this extra special! The fabric us delightful too!

  7. Yuletide loveliness with all the (couture) trimmings. Happy holidays, Laura Mae!

  8. What a lovely dress! Wishing you all the best in the new year!

  9. so beautiful! love the touch in the buttons and belt to add a new texture.

  10. Another delightful piece! I haven't made any garment with buttons in about 15 years because no machine I've owned does them well or consistently. I don't know why I haven't thought of bound buttonholes as the solution....Now there's A New Year's sewing resolution right there!