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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

· Christmas Lights Dress ·

Everyone needs at least one silly, festive dress they can only wear one month of the year, right? ;-)

When I found this fabric last year, it was just too, too perfect not to buy!  I love how festive it is with the Christmas lights, but has a quirky retro feel and a broad color scheme that goes beyond the typical red and green.

As it turns out, this fabric has just the right colors to coordinate with the majority of my sweaters and hats!  It was hard to limit this post to just one form of accessorizing!

In fact, this sweater, which was really only made to go with one dress, matches smashingly!  Unexpected coordination is the best. :-D

It's a good thing this dress is so cute, because it caused me far more than its fair share of frustration on the construction front!

The fabric was a bit more expensive than I wanted it to be, so when I purchased it, I didn't want to get too much.  Yeah, you can already tell where this is going.... :-P  Anyway, the pattern book at the store called for 3 1/2 yards, so I added 1/2 yard to match up the design.  When I got home, I discovered that the pattern book had a typo.  I didn't need 3 1/2 yards, I needed 4 1/2!  Not good at all.  Hindsight being what it is.... I really should have realized that a flared skirt and 3/4 length kimono sleeves would take more than 3 1/2 yards.... but I didn't.

So there I was, with 4 yards when I needed 4 1/2- 5.  And then I discovered that the fabric design repeat that I assumed was 4" was really 13".  Really not good.

So I went back to the store in hopes of more fabric- but they were completely sold out.  Everywhere.

That was a bad day.

And yet, here I am with a success story!  I really don't know how on earth it all fit on to the fabric without an inch to spare.

Or how the pattern matched up everywhere.  It was just one of those "God was looking out for me and I'm blessed beyond measure" sorts of days.  So I guess you could even go to the extent of saying that this dress was Providential! ;-)

This dress was made using one of my favorite patterns- Butterick 5605.  I had to leave off the back skirt pleats due to the fabric issues, and I changed the neckline a bit and added a peter pan collar.

Not only could I barely fit the dress on, but I had *just* enough leftover to make a belt too!

Since my haircut, I've been able to wear lots of our hats that previously didn't work.  I was so, so pleased that I could wear this hat now and that it goes perfectly with this dress!!

The best part of the haircut has definitely been the ability to wear all of our vintage hats!  There were far too many fun ones that were languishing previously!

An unexpected aspect of the fabric issue was that I now needed a center front seam on the bodice.  There was no way to get the pattern to match, and I knew that just leaving it in a glaringly non-matched state was completely unacceptable.  I happened to think of putting on a faux placket with rick-rack trim, and it ended up being so much better than my original "plain jane" plan!  Turns out that it was best to not have enough fabric after all!  Positively Providential! :-)  I thought about adding buttons to the placket, but nothing added the right touch, or else it ended up limiting my accessorizing ability too much.

Since I can really only wear this dress from Black Friday through Twelfth Night, I try to make sure it gets as many outings as possible.  And given how much I love it- that's not hard to do! ;-)

· Thanks for the pictures, Kathryn! ·


  1. This is so perfect for the holidays! And that!

  2. This dress is so adorable! What a fun and festive print. :) I certainly know the feeling of starting a project only to discover you don't have enough yardage. Somehow, I and really don't know how, things always seem to work out. You did a beautiful job! I can see why you would want to wear this dress as much as possible. :)

  3. Well, that's one holly jolly dress. I LOVE IT! I don't think it's silly at all to have a dress you can only wear at Christmastime. (Maybe that's because I made a sweater that has the same expiration date.) ;) LOVE your hat. OH, and the cable knit tights too. Too, too cute. :D

    1. I practically LIVE in cable-knit tights in the winter, so I'm glad they pass the Michelle Cuteness Test. ;-D

  4. Oh my goodness, this dress is adorable!!! So lovely!! And that hat looks great with it!

  5. Oh Lily!! Your festive dress is absolutely beautiful!! I love it! The fabric is perfect, and the hat and sweater match beautifully. Isn't God amazing! He takes seemingly impossible things and makes them work.
    I love your dress!
    I just got my hair cut this morning, so I'm looking forward to trying my hand at pin curling! Your hair looks so lovely!

    1. Congratulations on the haircut! Hope it's all you hoped for. :-)

  6. I love it! Everyone always has those ugly Christmas sweater parties (*coughs*), but this is just gorgeously festive and fun!

  7. So cute. Oh, and the dress is too. ;-)

  8. So adorable! You did a smashing good job, as always :)


  9. I love it when sewing mistakes work out for the better ~ the ric-rac trim and your placket {not to mention the cute collar} just add that lovely touch of detail to this amazing frock. And yes, the fabric is to die for! No wonder it sold out so quickly! It's a perfect holiday print, and I love the range of different colors in it. *sigh* So pretty! :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  10. I love the dress! You did such a fabulous job! :)

  11. This is fantastic, and I love how well the hat goes with the outfit! You pulled off a really fun look with a great fabric without looking garish at all! So glad it all worked out for you!

  12. This looks amazing and you are a true inspiration in making it through the ordeal of making this! It is marvelous!

    I ADORE your hat too! The color and shapes are such a great reflection of the dress!


  13. Thank you all so much!! You are always so sweet and encouraging- each comment makes my day. :-D



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