Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Dress

The sparkly bird was such a hit on Christmas eve that it made a reappearance for the day.

I'm so very pleased with my Christmas dress - I made it myself from a vintage pattern, in bright red 100% cotton needlecord. I used Butterick 7432, but I didn't like the V-neckline so I drafted my own sweetheart neckline. I also made it slightly smaller than the pattern because despite it being a 34" bust pattern, when I made the muslin the fabric was a bit loose around the neckline, due to my sticky-out decolletage. I think I have to learn more about darts, as I think an extra dart from the armholes may be something to experiment with in future projects to deal with this problem. Does anyone else have experience sewing for large breasts?

Anyway, I took a little out of the centre in an attempt to minimise the problem, but I think I should have added extra at the sides to make up for it since I ended up with very mean seams. But all in all I'm delighted with how it turned out - the nipped-in waist fits me perfectly (though there was a moment during construction when I thought I wasn't going to be able to eat anything all Christmas!), and there's enough fulness at the hips. I even managed a lapped side zipper, which I'm terribly proud of.

I'd definitely use this pattern again (with the amended neckline) - it works great in the needlecord as a jumper dress for winter, and I think it'll be worth trying in a printed cotton as a summer dress too.

I was hoping to find a super thin cashmere sweater to wear underneath my dress, but apparently they don't exist, so I ended up pairing it with this 1950s Marks & Spencer nylon blouse, which has sweet embroidery detail on the collar and sleeves. I bought it a few months back but this is the first I've worn it. It's the tartan belt's first outing too - it's been languishing in my accessories drawer because it was a couple of inches too large. I made a hole (note: I advise against using seam rippers to make holes in belts) and chopped the excess off the end.

Dress, made by me from a 1950s pattern; 1950s nylon blouse, Vintage shop in Midhurst; 1930s Deco marcasite brooch, gift from Mummy; Bow earrings, purchased in Thailand; Bakelite bangle, Better In Time; Bead bracelets, Primark; Belt, Charity shop; Fairisle tights, Accessorize; Shoes, M&S.


  1. So very pretty! One of these days I'll motivate my lazy rear end into actually practicing my sewing and working on it regularly... > <

    I also adore the sparkling bird on your head ~ if I could, I'd have one exactly the same! It's the sort of ostentatious but not cheap/tacky sort of thing I love to wear once in a while.
    ^ w ^

    bonita of Depict This!

  2. Wow, the dress looks amazing!

  3. SOOOOO gorgeous. I'm in love with this outfit.


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