Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Dresses

I did it! 
      I made my sisters and myself Christmas dresses and I finished them before the day!
Exhibit One:
Dolly's dress is an exact replica of these dresses. In other words, there is not much I can say about it that I have not already said. So enjoy the pictures!

Gingerbread people buttons! Yes, they are relatively even. They just look off in the picture.

 Exhibit Two:

Photographer Sister's dress! Okay, so this dress was the fourth dress made from this pattern. Can you guess what the pattern is? 

It is the Anna Dress pattern from By Hand London! I finally own it! I purchased this pattern over Black Friday weekend and have not looked back since. I have made five dresses from this pattern already.

 For our Christmas dresses, Photographer Sister and I wanted to be semi-matching, but we also wanted to have dresses that could be worn at different times of the year rather than just at Christmas; hence the simple design and not overtly Christmasy fabric.

This is not a straight through Anna Dress. I had to change a few things. Naturally. 

Ever since I have begun learning more about pattern drafting it has become practically impossible to resist changing the original patterns slightly. The same is true for these dresses. I will go into more detail when I describe my dress because I forgot to have Photographer Sister take off her jacket and therefore you cannot see the changes I made.

These boots were given to us girls on Saint Nicholas Day (Dec. 6). We are both able to wear the same size of boots so these and the black ones I am wearing below are interchangeable.

This is Photographer Sister's ring that she was given on her birthday.
Exhibit Three:

As I said before, my dress is also an Anna Dress.

This is my second invisible zipper insertion. I used this tutorial, which was extremely helpful!

The aforementioned black boots.
Here is the "big" change I made to the Anna Dress: 

I changed the neckline on the Anna Dress. I used Colette Patterns' Pastille dress (from The Colette Sewing Handbook) neckline and drew it onto the Anna Pattern. So these dresses are really Pastille Annas or Anna Pastilles! 

If you notice the strange pleating on the shoulders, that was the result of a technical error on my part. I changed the neckline of the front bodice, but carelessly forgot to adjust the back bodice! Thus my front bodice shoulder seam ended up much wider than the back bodice shoulder seam. After a moment of frustrated silence and removing myself from the situation (I did not have enough fabric to recut the bodice. I managed to squeeze these dresses out of three yards of fabric by cutting them on the cross grain and putting a seam down the front bodice.) I came up with the idea of putting a couple of pleats into the shoulders. It worked well overall, but I will definitely fix it next time!

Outtake: When Photographer Sister and I get together, which is practically all the time, things can get a little weird. This is the result of taking pictures with a tripod and remote.
Notes For The Avid Seamstress

Fabric: Christmas quilting cotton from Joann
Pattern(s): Dolly's dress is fully explained here and here. Anna Dress, and Pastille Dress (it is the dress on the cover of the book. I have made it before here.)
Notes: I am really pleased with these dresses. The Anna Dress pattern has certainly lived up to its fame! There are a couple of things I will change if I make them again. My sister's Anna dress worked out perfectly, but mine was a little finicky. I have a fullish bust and therefore I have to do a FBA on nearly every dress I make. I looked at the way that By Hand London did the FBA adjustment on Anna and decided that I did not like their way and therefore I was going to do it differently. I did it my way and it actually worked out pretty fantastic; but I think that I need to add a little more length just below the bust. We will see! And I must say, I much prefer regular zippers to invisible zippers. Invisible zippers look very nice and I have actually found them easy to install. My big beef with them is the fact that they have a HORRID time getting over the waist seam! It is super annoying! 
Other than these two little things, I had great success with all of these Christmas dresses.

I will close now and promise to see you tomorrow! (Maybe. . .)


I am planning several posts for this next week that will include my Christmas projects and my gifts. I will hopefully remain true to my aspirations, but I am also wanting to work on some personal sewing now that my life is not consumed with Christmas present making, so we shall see!

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