Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Merry Stepford Christmas...

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

This is my newest make, the Stepford Wife does Christmas Dress. This dress is actually the result of one of those rare 'happy' sewing mistakes that apparently do pop up on occasion (who knew!).



This dress started out originally as a plain red Anna dress, number one on my Summer Sewing List.
The sizing chart on the back showed that the dress fit me absolutely perfectly made up in a size 8/12. I was so excited and if I'm honest, totally flattered that the BHL girls designed a dress that fit my measurements exactly (because I'm sure they design all their patterns around my measurements right?!). I generally tend to have to grade my patterns between three different sizes with modern patterns, but apparently not with the Anna dress.

I carefully traced and laid out my pattern pieces on the fabric, cut them out, assembled the bodice with french seams and then tried it on.

At this point, I may have squealed.

You guys, this bodice is so darn flattering!! I may never make another bodice ever again in my life! It is so easy to put together, so pretty with it's 40s styled kimono sleeves and so comfortable.




Then I moved on to the skirt...

At this point, I knew I should make a muslin, but being a bit stubborn and wanting to finish the dress in time for Christmas, I ploughed on ahead (I know, I know!! Tsk tsk, moving on...). I carefully assembled the skirt, french seaming everything along the way, attached it to my bodice, pinned in a zip, tried it on and...fail! The skirt looked absolutely awful on me.

Being a gal with hips, I need lots of ease in that department to make this style look good. I really should have graded up a size (or even 2) in the skirt to make this work, and to make matters worse, being charity shop fabric, I couldn't go back and get more as I had used every last scrap I had.

My lightbulb moment came a few hours later, after I had banished the dress to the other room and closed the door on my sewing machine. I remembered I had picked up a length of red and white embroidered fabric that I had found at the same charity shop a few days before we had left for our trip to Italy and the UK. Um, YES!



Why I hadn't thought of that earlier we will never know, but my love for the Anna dress returned and I got gathering.  I lined the skirt fabric with a heavy white cotton which has made it seriously lush. It's heavy and full and perfect for twirling. I inserted the zip in my favourite way (a lapped zip) and I'm so happy with how it all turned out. Very much a happy sewing accident if I do say so myself.

Have you been lucky with sewing accidents lately?


Just before I pop off, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I'll be back before the New Year with a little round up of my sewing makes from 2013. It was definitely the year of the return to my sewing machine (and there are several things I've not actually even managed to blog yet. That never happens!!).

xx
Jen

27 comments:

  1. I can't believe the Anna skirt wouldn't be flattering on you. I hope you try it again. Anyway what a great save as you have turned this into a lovely Christmas dress! Happy Xmas to you!

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  2. I think this is one of my favorite Anna dress that I've seen! It's really pretty! :)

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  3. I love the Christmas dress! The skirt fabric is gorgeous, and you look so nice in red!

    On another note, I love your kitty. Can I have a kitten when she has them, or is she all over that? I just love black cats with green eyes!!!
    cczaplicki@cox.net

    Cherie in Phoenix

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    1. Hi Cherie - thanks so much! Monty is actually a boy and we got him as a kitten already fixed up, so no babies for him. But he does have lovely soft green eyes doesn't he?

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  4. Adorable! So perfect for the holiday! I really love this bodice with a gathered skirt - I don't think I'll go back to the A-line from the pattern now that I've done the gathers.

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  5. I love it!! That fabric is amazing and that bodice IS super flattering.

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  6. Very cute! Kudos for pulling off a gorgeous dress despite the initial mishap. If it makes you feel any better, I did the exact same thing on the last project I made. I didn't bother with a muslin and it turned out super tight (though I had made it before with no issues). I'm debating if I should photograph it as-is or try to lose some weight first, ha ha!

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  7. This is totally darling. That skirt makes me want to sing all the songs from the Sound of Music. THE HILLS ARE ALIVE.... Such a fun holiday dress.

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  8. Gorgeous version of the Anna! Have a very merry Christmas!

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  9. What a lovely dress!
    You have a very merry Christmas too!

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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  10. You look beautiful. I LOVE this dress! Truly a happy accident.
    Merry Christmas to you!

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  11. This is sooooo beautiful Jen! What a way to save a project! Totally know what you mean about the Anna skirt! I wish I'd thought of changing the skirt on my rayon version, but I'll be doing so for next time ;o)

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  12. Hooray for lucky sewing accidents! I think this turned out a lot prettier than an all red Anna dress.

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  13. This is gorgeous! I love the border print fabric. I have Anna waiting in my stash to be made. I find I'm having loads of trouble deciding on a fabric though.

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  14. if I am completely honest the Anna dress just hasn't appealed to me so far. I am not sure why, perhaps I just have too many things on my list of things to make to think about adding yet another creation. However, seeing your bodice it truly is extremely flattering, this is by far the best version of the dress I have seen yet and one that is starting to make me reconsider my initial opinions of the pattern!

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    1. Awww, thanks so much Hannah, what a lovely thing to say. There are so many beautiful Anna variations out there I'm completely honoured you'd say that :)

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  15. Beautiful dress! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Jen! xx

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  16. So pretty Jen, congrats! The fabric combination is beautiful and super festive - perfect for a Christmas dress. Happy holidays! :)

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  17. This is absolutely lovely! What a perfect Christmas dress!

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  18. how cool the accident lead to a nicer result. Love it and perfect for christmas. How cool the bodice fits you without any alteration...that's like a Christmas miracle!!!

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    1. I know right! Love this bodice so so much!

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  19. What a gorgeous accident, Jen, it's absolutely stunning on you!
    I also wanted to apologize to you for disappearing via email about meeting in Milan... I don't have any excuse except general business and forgetfulness. I couldn't have managed to meet you in Milan anyway, because I worked every weekend in that period. I hope you had a fantastic trip :D

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    1. Anna! Absolutely no worries, our time in Milan was short and sweet anyway and there may not have been that much time to catch up. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, perhaps next time I'm in Italy there will be a bit more time and we'll be a bit closer xx.

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  20. What a happy accident - your dress is divine! I have been very hesitant about this pattern because of the skirt, but the bodice looks lovely on almost everyone I have seen. That red is definitely your colour :)
    No happy accidents for me lately, just accidents unfortunately :)

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  21. hmmm, seems my comment got eaten I think.
    Anyway, I really like your version of this pattern. I think I would have an issue with the skirt too as my bottom half is a different size. But I really like your gathered version :)
    No happy accidents for me lately, just accidents :(

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  22. Beautiful!! The bodice is truly gorgeous on you, and I love the gathered skirt. I just got my Anna pattern in the mail and am itching to make it up!

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XX
Jen