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Christmas dress

fabricholic | Posted in Photo Gallery on

I have to join in the fun. I made this dress for my granddaughter. My daughter didn’t like the material when I bought it, but she did like the dress when it was finished. Why is it so much fun to sew for them?



  1. Josefly | | #1

    Good job! Such a cute little dress. I love the piping (or binding?) you did 'round the neckline and armhole. Thanks for the photos, and Happy New Year!

    1. fabricholic | | #2

      Thanks, it's tiny piping. Hope everyone has a joyous new year.

      Edited 1/1/2008 1:37 pm by fabricholic

  2. User avater
    blondie2sew | | #3

    Wow Marcy!!Love love love it!! Thanks for joining in the fun!! I loved the material...to funny about not liking it...what a finished garment does for fabric!! I loved the detail on her name on the inside that is great!!

    1. fabricholic | | #4

      Thanks, Blondie. I love yours, also.

  3. Gloriasews | | #5

    Beautiful little dress!  She can wear it as a jumper, too, with a turtlenck sweater underneath.  Happy New Year!


    1. fabricholic | | #6

      That is what she did. She wore a white turtle-neck underneath. I liked it because it reminded me of the kind of Christmas dresses I had, when I was little. Thanks.

      1. Gloriasews | | #7

        Me, too, for wearing blouses under jumpers when I was little (I don't remember having any turtlenecks then - I think only men wore them once in awhile, & they weren't the big fashion item they are today).


        1. fabricholic | | #8

          Oh, yes. I would have liked to have made her a blouse with a little lace on the collar, but didn't get started in time. That's what I remember when I wore them.

          1. Gloriasews | | #9

            There is your next Christmas project - a lacy blouse - & maybe another jumper?

            Speaking of jumpers when we were kids, did some of yours look like skirts, with the upper part sewn on?  My mother didn't use patterns, but she made me the most beautiful jumper one Christmas - royal blue velveteen.  The skirt was gathered, with a side-buttoned & zippered waistband, but the upper part that she sewed onto the skirt was scallopped vertically.  The neckline was rounded & the large scallops (3 down the front) started at the shoulder (the widest one); the next scallop was about chest level & it was narrower; then the bottom scallop was the rounded bottom that was sewn onto the skirt.  I wore a white lacy blouse with it.  One good thing about this type of jumper was, if you grew too tall, you could remove the upper part & just wear the skirt (&, of course, the hem was deep enough to lengthen.  If the hem fold line was too noticeable, then she sewed ribbon, ric-rac or lace over it).  How economical is that?



          2. fabricholic | | #10

            That was very economical and it sounds very stylish. I wish I could see it. I don't like sewing for little ones until they get about 2 years old. They grow faster than I can sew. I do want to make a blouse for her. It won't have any lace on this one, though. I found some beautiful white linen and there is a Children's Corner blouse I want to make with it.

            Edited 1/4/2008 3:40 pm by fabricholic

          3. Gloriasews | | #11

            I'll try to attach a VERY rough drawing.  The upper jumper was edge stitched about 1/2" from the edges.

          4. fabricholic | | #12

            O.k. I had it pictured very different. Now, I know what you are talking about and I remember seeing them. Very cute.

          5. Josefly | | #15

            Thank you for drawing the pic of the jumper. Your mother sounds very creative, and mine was too. I remember "bib" type jumpers, where the bib part buttoned onto the waistband of the skirt. Lacy blouses were then very visible with only a small bib to cover it up, and straps from the top of the bib, over the shoulders, crossing in the back, and either sewn on or buttoned on at the back waist.The top of your jumper - was it something like a big collar that extended to the waist? Was there a back to it?

          6. Gloriasews | | #17

            It's a small world!  I wore those buttoned-on bibs, too, with the criss-cross straps on the back.  Our school jumpers were navy with a plain yoke, then pleated all the way down, worn with a buttoned belt, again with the requisite white blouse, but no lace. 

            As for my old jumper, the top scallop went from the neck to the shoulder only.  The back was made the same, except the neck was higher, as a dress would be.  I wore this jumper in 1950 & onward, until I outgrew it.  My mom was really good at making things for me without a pattern - wish I could do the same :)


          7. Josefly | | #19

            I wish I had the skills my mom had, too, with respect to making things without patterns. That generation was amazing, I think, and underappreciated in their time.

          8. Gloriasews | | #25

            I agree with you - not only that, but they didn't fixate on fitting problems the way we do today, & they didn't waste fabric.  They just went at it & got the job done.  Are our bodies that much different now?  Fitting seems to be driving us all nuts now.  Of course, once we nail our own bodies down for proper fit, we're happy!  I really admire those who just drape the fabric & make a garment without a pattern, only an idea in their heads.  My mom didn't even draw a picture of what she wanted to make before she started!  She didn't teach me to sew - I learned that in home ec.

          9. Josefly | | #26

            I admire people who can do that, too. I think the ability to mentally visualize a garment and know how to cut it seems similar to playing music "by ear" - people who can sit down at the piano and play a song they've heard, without knowing how to read music. It always amazes me. Those abilities seem innate, rather than based on training or learning. I have to start with a pattern.

          10. Gloriasews | | #27

            Me, too - I start with a pattern for the basics, & change it to my liking.  You're right about the amazing talents of people who can play "by ear" music on a piano (or other instrument).  I've know a few over the years &, for sure, they couldn't read music at all, but they could pick out a tune really quickly.  As far as the non-patterned sewing my mom did, I wish I'd inherited those genes!  She made it look so easy & she was fast.  The first pattern for my clothing she used was my confirmation dress when I was 11 or 12; then the next one was my grade 9 graduation dress when I was 14.  Once I was in high school & taking sewing in home ec, I made my own clothes (from patterns, of course).  Strangely enough, after I started sewing, she started using patterns herself (although she made swim suits for herself without a pattern when I was very young), & made most of her own clothes until she was in her late 70s & going blind.


          11. Josefly | | #28

            That's quite a sewing life your mother had. I, too, wish I had inherited more of my mother's talents. She was very smart about combining fabrics and trims. The beginning of this thread was about the Christmas dress, and how Marcy's daughter didn't much like the fabric, but loved the dress when it was finished. My mother never hesitated to put things together that I would not've thought of, and she chose fabrics sometimes that I turned my nose up at. But she never made a dress for me that I didn't feel good in, and she made many. It was always skirts or jumpers or dresses - girls wore them most of the time, but even when I wore shorts and pants, they were store-bought. I wonder now if she just didn't think pants were worth her time, or if she thought they were too complicated to fit. This has been fun to exchange memories of our mothers' sewing.

          12. Gloriasews | | #30

            Once again, I agree with you - I didn't have a choice in fabrics, either, & didn't like most of them, but, like you, the dresses were a whole different thing - really nice.  As for pants, I think we wore dresses all the time because pants weren't "lady-like" in those days.  Even when jeans became popular, there was controversy about the appropriateness of wearing them!  But, shorts were cheap then (we wore them in the summer only when it was hot), so I don't think it was worth making them.

            Marcy, please forgive us for getting off the subject of your Christmas dress/jumper.  We haven't forgotten it.


          13. Josefly | | #33

            Yes, I too wore only dresses to school, with corduroy pants under the dresses for warmth on the coldest days. Then I moved to Kissimmee, Florida, when I was in 3rd grade. Long before Kissimmee was home to Disney World, it was a "cow town" settled by ranchers primarily, and jeans or "dungarees" as we called them were the style. Girls as well as boys wore them, and cowboy hats, boots, and western-style shirts were quite common. There was a rodeo twice a year, with parades in town, and the clothes were quite fabulous! Kissimmee was a different kind of town. Girls even wore their hair in pincurls to school, sometimes on Fridays, if there was a special event - like a football game followed by a dance - coming up that night. Several years later we moved again, and it was as if I had lived in a totally different culture. I loved it there, though, and still think of that place as home.I imagine you're right about the prices of shorts and pants - they were probably affordable, but dresses were something worth working on, and worth making expandable - planning for dropping hems, etc.

          14. Gloriasews | | #34

            Your thumbnail sketch of Kissimee was very interesting - thanks for sharing!  In our northern climate, we, too, wore pants to school under dresses in the winter, but couldn't wear them in school until the mid-50s.


          15. mygaley | | #18

            Just wanted to commend you on your jumper drawing! I have worn them, but have never made but one since by the time I was making dresses they were kind of out of style and my dd and dgds were the wrong age. The one jumper I did sew was the red and white hospital candy striper uniform. I know a lot of us remember that! God bless you Galey

  4. ctirish | | #13

    Marcy, the dress is beautiful. I am sure your dgd loved it too. jane

    1. fabricholic | | #14

      Thanks, Jane. How are you?

      1. ctirish | | #16

        I'm good, haven't had time to do much sewing. Although it didn't stop me from buying fabric online. Now I just have to find my sewing room and supplies and maybe I can get some things finished. I did embroider 14 aprons for our playgroup tots and moms for the day we made gingerbread houses. I did finish a pullover that was supposed to be a gift for Christmas 2006. j

        1. fabricholic | | #22

          Wow, you have been busy. You are like me. I ran to the fabric store and bought more fabrics for granddaughter. I don't have the time, but I still buy it. What did you embroider on the aprons?Marcy

          1. ctirish | | #29

            I used designs from Designs by JuJu. I like her designs they are cute and bright. I used Ginger's Kitchen for the aprons. I let the mom's choose the design for their child's apron. Here is her site:http://www.designsbyjuju.comI meant to take pictures of each one but the night before when I thought I was all done, I realized I had not made one for Bridget - my own granddaughter. So, I had to do one more. Here is the one picture I took of an apron.
            The picture took a while to upload so anyone please let me know if it has problems. thanks, jane

          2. Gloriasews | | #31

            What a cute apron & beautifully sewn!


          3. ctirish | | #36

            Thank you, I was glad I decided to order blanks to embroider rather than trying to make the aprons and embroider them. Since then I have seen some adorable ones done with applique and just some large pieces of Christmas fabric sewn on the front. I wish I had more pictures because several moms didn't choose real holiday gingerbread men or colors so the kids could wear them all year. jane

          4. Gloriasews | | #38

            The Christmas-themed stuff is really nice, but I can see how the other moms were thinking, as I have Christmas-themed items that I forget to put out & use during Christmas - out of sight, out of mind. 


          5. ctirish | | #39

            I used to do a lot of Christmas decorating and now that I am alone and in a small condo, I just don't bother. This year I didn't even put up a tree, so after Christmas I bought a small tree for next year. Actually I bought four small trees; they are themed and come with the decorations for each one. Now, I just have to decide which one to keep and what to do with the other three.

          6. Gloriasews | | #40

            4 Christmas trees!  Keep the one you like best or, if you can store them, you can rotate them each year for a different look.  I'll have the same problem when I have to move to a much smaller place within a year or 2 - but I'll only buy 1 small tree :).  Like you, the decorating is less & less every year - it's all so much work - & worse to take down & put away.


          7. ctirish | | #41

            You are right about the putting up and taking down being a lot of work. I have collected ornaments for years and I love taking out each ornament and putting it on the tree. Taking them down and putting them away takes forever because each ornament has it's own box. I collect these silver plated Christmas bells and all the boxes look the same. Trying to find the right year box for each bell is a nightmare some years. My Hallmark ornaments are easier because at least the boxes are different. I must say if I had the room I would still put up a full size tree in all of the main floor rooms. I used to do a theme tree for each room except the family room and that one had all sorts of different ornaments on it.
            At night I would go in each room and just sit and look at the tree.

          8. scrubble4 | | #42

            ctirish:  Wow what an amazing Christmas tradition, a differently decorated tree in each room.  I have never seen this and would love to have been invited for a visit to your house during Christmas. 

            You must have wonderful memories of these Christmases, that you can take out and enjoy just like your Christmas ornaments.  Thanks for telling us about this.  Scrubble4

          9. ctirish | | #44

            Thank you, I do have wonderful memories of Christmas. My daughters think I am crazy I have the original box for most of my ornaments. They like to put them all in one big box. I find having a box for each one keeps them safer because they are in the original packaging for shipping. If I ever own a home big enough - I would do it again in a heartbeat.

          10. Gloriasews | | #43

            Your house must have been beautiful at Christmas, with all those trees!  How long did they take to put up & take down?  It's strange how, when we become older, how some things seem like such a JOB - & everything takes longer to do - & we don't have the energy or flexibility we had 10 years ago - & it all just sneaks up on us, like SURPRISE!  all of a sudden, it seems, eh?  Our get-up-&-go gets up & goes so much quicker now, too :)


            P.S.  Hope all those silver-plated balls (beautiful as they are) don't need polishing every year.  (I have enough trouble keeping my silverware polished)!

          11. ctirish | | #45

            I love Christmas - many wonderful memories from childhood. I am the youngest of six and I thought Santa brought the tree. We would get our new pajamas from our parents at bedtime, take pictures of us and go to bed. After we were in bed my parents would bring in the tree and decorate it so when we got up in the morning it was there. We couldn't go in the room until after church and breakfast. Then we opened gifts one at a time rotating around the room so we each saw what everyone else received. It took hours but it made Christmas seem like it went on forever. My silver decorations don't need polishing very often - I do maybe two a year - when they don't look as good as the others. As for how long it took to decorate the trees. It would take probably a half day for each one. My daughters liked to help when they were home so it was just good times. it started because they wanted their own tree so one would do the dining room tree in pink and silver and put all of her dolls under it. My other one would do the living room tree with a red and green theme and all of her teddy bears would go under that one. The big tree in the family room the whole family did together. My former husband did all of the setting up and put on the lights for all of the trees and that was a huge help. Taking the trees down was the work part - I found that was sad to do but I would do most of it on a weekend and then anything that was left I would do after work. I have come to the conclusion that anything can be fun if you have someone to share the work, memories, and laughs.

          12. Gloriasews | | #46

            You're absolutely right about things being fun when you have someone to share them with.  Work doesn't seem like such a chore then.  The same with going places - it's not the same alone.

            It's so nice when we can open Christmas gifts in rotation - it DOES stretch out Christmas deliciously!  But you have the Boxing Day letdown when it's all over (sigh).

            In our area, we usually set up our trees at the beginning of December (if they are artificial) or mid-December (if they are real) & take them down on New Year's Day or the next day.  That way, we can enjoy them for so much longer :)


          13. Josefly | | #32

            Gosh, Jane, that's a cute apron. I can't believe you "only" made so many. What a generous way for you to spend your time.

          14. ctirish | | #37

            I love doing things for the moms and kids in playgroup. None of the moms come from families where anyone sewed. They get so excited and are so grateful and happy it makes it so much fun to do things for them. Today I found the apron I made for me and took a picture so hopefully I can get another picture out there. jane

  5. MaryinColorado | | #20

    Oh so darling!  I'm sure she loves having her name inside her special dress from you!  Mary

    1. fabricholic | | #23

      I don't think she realizes about the name, but her mom loved it.

  6. Cherrypops | | #21

    Hi Marcy,

    The dress is adorable, well done.

    I do love the fabric you chose, perfect for your cold christmas weather. I had a skirt similar when I was younger and wore with the turtleneck. ( the 70's).

    I've been busy sewing too. Must post my pics soon.

    take care and have a great 2008.




    1. fabricholic | | #24

      Can't wait to see what you have created. Hope you are having a wonderful New Year.Marcy

  7. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #35

    The dress is adorable, and you did an outstanding job.  How special that you embroidered Sophia's name inside--I'm sure she loves that!  I can imagine her modeling it, wearing white tights and little black shoes--too cute!

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