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Thursday, December 17, 2015

· 2015 Christmas Outfit ·

My festive outfit this year has a couple of new things going on that signal a few personal changes this year.  Nothing deep and of life-changing import (ha!), just the fact that I made a circle skirt after swearing them off years ago. ;-) They are the ultimate in impracticality in windy/gusty climes such as the midwest, so I previously avoided them.  I'm throwing caution to the wind this year (agh... how do I always come up with unintentional puns?? pretend that didn't happen...) and embracing one just for the fun of it. ;-)  After all, if you're doing a 1950s appliqued skirt.... it had better be a full circle.  Also, my mexican skirt did a fair share of weakening my defenses. ;-)

The other way this year is different is that I've now relocated from the gusty midwestern plains to... the Windy City.  I am just doomed to wind, I guess.  It's a temporary change, but I'm enjoying the experiences of an urban location. :-)  Naturally, taking outfit photos downtown is a must, so off to find lighted trees we went!

I've already posted about my ornament skirt in my tutorial post, so I won't elaborate on all the details involved with the applique process...
My partnership with Riley Blake Fabrics' Stitch n' Kitchen Christmas Blog Tour was such a great opportunity to make another Christmas-themed novelty outfit. :-)  I do love a good novelty print, but this time I did something a little different and appliqued novelty designs!

Initially, I wanted to get a festive photo setting for the tutorial photos, but I was rapidly running out of time before my deadline and actually, the skirt was in a remarkably unfinished state for that post!  You'd never know it, but the back of the skirt wasn't completely appliqued, there was no waistband, and no zipper.  Well, I'm pleased to report that this skirt is absolutely and completely finished now. ;-)  There are no secrets this time!

See?  Bragging zipper photo!  Unabashed back shot!  I must be all finished!

The waistband is from a 1950s skirt pattern that we've had for ages, but I just never got around to using.  This project seemed like a good time to fix that. ;-)

The skirt has pockets on both sides as well as a side zipper.  It was a little tricky figuring out how to insert a regular zipper underneath an on-seam pocket, but it all worked out in the end!

Ahh, the infamous waistband.  The story is far too long for sharing here, but suffice it to say that this unassuming little piece was the source of the most agony of the entire outfit- all due to the Postal System.  Sigh.

However, it still remains true to my original design, so all the ups and downs leading to this point can now fade away. ;-)

It wrinkles a bit, as expected, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the way it's behaved.  Time will tell whether I'll have to come up with a different interfacing plan after washing, but I'm hoping it holds up.  This waistband is much wider than any I've made so far, so I'm still anticipating some learning curves in getting it just right!

Also, waiting a couple weeks to take these photos meant that I now have a new sweater to wear!  This fun sparkle confetti sweater is from Kohl's this year- altered to a more vintage style using this method.

The glittery gold cord, ornament tops, and star fabric got the wheels in my brain turning, and inevitably led to another project....

... Because when one is pushing the limits of a deadline, one should start unnecessary-but-"boy-that-sure-would-be-a-nice-touch" sorts of things, right?

Thus, I have a brand new gold dotty blouse for the occasion. ;-)

The blouse is made of the leftover scraps from my Gold Dotty birthday dress.  I love, love, love that I was able to fit 2 projects on this fabric!!!

The blouse portion is just made from my self-made bodice sloper, while the collar/bow is taken from a 1950s maternity pattern that I love!  I figured this would be a great opportunity to make use of it!  The boat neck is a fun change, I love the way the collar is pleated up a bit at the center front, and the tab is a nice touch. :-)

Kathryn was entirely skeptical that I would disrobe down to short sleeves in the winter evening (and I did receive more long looks from passersby...), but after putting that much effort into a blouse that would coordinate *just* right, it seemed only appropriate. ;-)

And besides, I don't look cold in these pictures because I really wasn't. ;-)

And can we just have a moment to say how amazing it is that there was no wind that night in the Windy City??  I was pretty sure a circle skirt was going to be a stupid decision, but it worked without a hitch!  Turned out to be a quite perfect night to take photos, despite the cold and (boohoo!) lack of snow.... What is it with my Christmas outfits not having snow in the photos?? :-P

All in all, it's a delightfully festive skirt that I had a blast designing and making!  And judging by the amount of compliments from a broad range of people, I'd say it's pretty close to being universally admired. ;-)

· Photos by Kathryn! ·


  1. This outfit is too adorable!! It is so perfectly festive! The circle skirt looks lovely on you! I know what you mean about avoiding them...that's when you have to consult with the forecast just to be able to wear what you want! ;)
    That gold blouse is just gorgeous as well! I love the neckline detailing; it's so elegant! And now I want a sweater like that too! :)
    Gorgeous outfit, and I agree, the setting is perfect for it. You have all my sympathy about the lack of snow! That's the good old Midwest for you. :( We'll probably get snow soon though - it was just waiting for us to get done taking Christmas outfit photos! ;)

  2. Sooooo absolutely charming, Lily! And love those downtown photos... My mom and dad went to school in the Windy City and we have cousins living nearby. :) (Besides, any time there are white twinkle lights in the background... I'm a goner. ;D)

    How long are you going to be there/do you mind sharing what you're doing? Studying or visiting?? :)

    1. Thanks, Heidi! No, I don't mind you asking! I'm working as a nanny for a few months. :-)

  3. Wow, you got everything done in time. The time restraints on projects can be really annoying (aka. stressful). The blouse is lovely. The style is very pretty, and the gold dots are fun. The sweater adds to the festivity as well.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Sometimes I think that actually *achieving* the deadlines in the last nick of time only makes me more prone to procrastinate! ;-P

  4. A delightful outfit - just right for the festive season!

    It is very mild in the UK at the moment as well - most unusual for this time of the year.

  5. Such a lovely outfit! I adore your gold dotted blouse paired with your Christmas circle skirt! So perfect! And I really love how you made your sweater vintage-y by making alterations on it! Such a great outfit!

  6. Absolutely lovely outfit!! I adore everything about it, you may have just inspired me to go do some sewing! ;) You guys find the perfect locations for your photo shoots, everything always looks delightful!

  7. Loving everything about this outfit! Going to look at your skirt tutorial again, such a great way to use small pieces of fabric! I never cared much for circle skirts myself, but in the last year or so I've found myself drawn to them. It's funny how taste in clothing can change. :)

  8. So cute! I must tell you that I've been addicted to your blog ever since I ran across it on a sewing blog round-up I found on Pinterest. As a vintage-loving wannabe-seamstress, I have so enjoyed reading through your archive. I recently finished looking through THE WHOLE THING, which I'm a little sad about. So I'm hoping for many more of your wonderful blog posts in the new year. Thank you for sharing, and happy holidays!

    P.S. I think that if I had a friend like Kathryn, I might still be blogging! ;) Her photography is lovely.

    1. Thanks, Betsey! I'm so flattered, and SO glad you commented! :-) Welcome! (and yes, Kathryn's talent is really what keeps this blog going! :-))

  9. Huzzah! A gold polky spot dress to go with your fabulous Christmas skirt! This makes me so happy! And your sweater is fabulous. I guess I am going to have to look at how you altered it. So strange that the Windy City doesn't have snow right now. But the photo shoot didn't need it as you look fabulous and Christmas-y enough for the whole scene! What fun!!

  10. Gorgeous outfit!! Going back to tutorials (thank you for inspiration!!)
    May I ask about your shoes?
    Happy holidays !!

    1. Thanks, Ivana! My shoes are Miss L Fire brand from a few years ago- they are one of my favorite things about winter. ;-)

  11. A positively perfectly Christmas outfit! :D

    I love circle skirts, and have for the past several years, but for some reason my taste is slowly starting to change from favoring them to preferring more a-line skirt silhouettes.

    I love how everything in your outfit coordinates so perfectly Lily. Positively splendid!

    Blessings, and a very merry Christmas!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  12. Lily my dear... you never disappoint.

    1. Diane, my dear... you always make me blush! :-)

  13. Positively beautiful Christmas ensemble! Those are the ideal boots to partner with a festive novelty skirt. Great styling, photos and colour palette. You look prettier than a fully decked out Christmas tree, sweet dear.

    Joyful holiday season wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  14. What a wonderful outfit. I particularly love the appliqued baubles - I would absolutely love to have a skirt like this. Maybe I will have to make one myself next year :)
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas with best wishes for a fun-filled new year full of lots of sewing and other happy things.

  15. Simply adorable! All of the pieces are so festive and pretty on their own, yet put together are really a holiday dream :)

    Merry Christmas, dear Lily!


  16. As always, thank you all so much for your kind words!! It's always a joy to read your comments! :-)

  17. I just adore the light and soft, muted color palette of this downtown shoot... How pretty and whoa, I can't believe you can get away with short sleeves but what an awesome way to show off your pretty blouse! I love it when I can get more than one project out of a fabric I love. *✬ ❤ ✬*

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thanks so much, Bonita! :-) Our December turned out to be quite unseasonably warm, so I could almost imagine myself in the southern hemisphere! ;-)



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