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Christmasy-red dress

A few weeks ago when Butterick Patterns were on sale, I picked up this pattern.
I really liked the style of the blue dress on the front of the envelope.
I figured I would put off making the dress for a couple months, as I had other projects in progress at the time, I was going to need to buy fabric for this dress, and had no idea what sort of fabric I wanted to make the dress out of.

Then I found this fabric at Wal-Mart, and knew it would work perfectly. (plus it was on clearance!)
It's cottony-soft, very thin, and simi-sheer. 
I love how the stripes are made - the fabric is a looser weave for the dark stripes, and tighter for the lighter ones. I'm not sure what kind of fabric it is as the end of the bolt didn't tell me, but I'm thinking it's a cotton blend. 
I used an old sheet for lining.

It's surprisingly easy to put off other projects once you get the fabric for a dress you're really excited about. Thus, last week, this dress came to be.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out (There are only a couple things I wish I could change) and I got lots of compliments on it when I wore it to church on Sunday.

The only thing I changed from the pattern was eliminating the front skirt seam. A seam down the center front of of a skirt annoys me, so instead I subtracted the seam allowance and cut the skirt front on the fold.

I added the trim and buttons on the neckline once the dress was finished because the collar wasn't laying right, and the neckline gaped  The trim and buttons (which I had left over from other projects) fixed that, and I love how festive they make the dress look. 

I just wish I had made the shoulders a little wider, as they are too narrow and kinda tight if I move my arms too much. A longer zipper would have been a good plan too.

Now that I have a festive dress I'm ready to start making Christmas presents, but I have no idea what to make for people. Last year I made cloth baskets and bread cloths for my aunts, any suggestions of what I could make this year? Something somewhat useful and easy to make (so I can make several in a short amount of time)?

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