Friday, December 7, 2012

simple winter dress

Yesterday I made good on a promise to my daughter for a new holiday dress. She asked for it to be ready in time for this weekend's annual outing to see the local Nutcracker performance. Of course.

At the last minute, a very sweet, but persuasive voice asked her mama to whip it up for last night's school concert.  Nothing like a little fire beneath the sewing pedal to get me going! The request was for red velvet, but we compromised on white velour with a red "velvety sash", since that was what I had in my studio. An old velour mattress cover with a broken zipper was reinvented into a simple, soft and lovely white "twirly" dress that I foresee becoming Clara's nightgown in the weeks to come.

 I hadn't sewn with velour since she was a toddler and had forgotten how delicious it is to work with. Because it's a knit, I used a decorative stretch stitch for the hems and a mock overlock for the internal seams. 3 favorite garments were used to improvise the pattern pieces for an a-line bodice, the peasant style neckline and sleeves. As you can see, it's quite minimal, but since both of us lean towards the "less is more" philosophy- it works for my daughter as much as for me. The red sash upped the "fancy factor" last night and got the thumb's up from all the other little girls. Phew! I'll try to snag a picture of it in action this weekend. I can see more dresses and tunics being made with this pattern- maybe by mixing up several colors of XL T-shirts. 
Do you like my little improvised woodland hanger? Want to make one, too? Just saw a branch to size and tie on a loop with hemp twine or jute. A scrap of fabric would be sweet also. I added painted pine cones... LOVE.
Sending you wishes for a creative and magical December weekend! 
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  1. Love it! It's like the curtains in The Sound of Music becoming the most beautiful clothes- what a great re-use!

  2. It's a beautiful dress!
    I had to laugh when I saw your hanger, I just cut several branches to make hangers myself!

  3. I saw your picture on Instagram when I was also enjoying a day to myself in my studio and wondered what you were making. This is gorgeous and I bet your daughter will love wearing it. Great shoot - LOVE the hanger too!

  4. This white dress with a red sash-- all your daughter needs is a wreath with candles to wear on her head and she will be set for St. Lucia's day! My cousin and I got so excited about the Swedish tradition when we read about it in one of our American Girl books when we were little and were determined to dress up and bring coffee and coffee cake to everyone on Dec. 13th.

  5. Gorgeous Maya! I'm sure she looks so sweet twirling the skirt around and around! I too spotted the hanger, I think all of your readers see these special little details that you include in your creative projects.
    Enjoy a magical weekend at the Nutcracker!
    ~ joey ~