Friday, December 29, 2017

1930's Flannel and Velvet Christmas Dresses

Plaid, vintage-inspired, Christmas dresses. I had been looking forward to this project for months!

Whenever I had down time on the World Race, it wasn't unusual for me to daydream about future sewing projects. So, of course, I planned Christmas dresses for my mom, my sister, and myself, back in June or something - when I was sweating in Africa (a place I actually loved, and would love to return to one day) and dreaming of colder times.

I dreamed up green plaid Christmas dresses for the girls in my family. Green plaid variations of Simplicity 1587, the pattern I used to make my map dress.

 As you may have noticed by now, however, Our Christmas dresses are not green plaid, nor are they made out of my map dress pattern. Black Friday sales happened.

On Black Friday, my mom, sister, and I went to Joann's with the intention to buy a green plaid for our Christmas dresses. (All apparel fabric was 60% off that day!) There was green plaid to be had, but there were also lots of other pretty plaids. My mom and I fell in love with this gray and navy cotton flannel plaid. It would make beautiful and warm Christmas dresses! We just had to convince my little sister it was the perfect fabric. That proved easier said than done.

 Gray flannel was not what my little sister had in mind for her Christmas dress. Oh no, not at all. This young lady has some very definite opinions on what her clothes ought to look like - as she should at age 13. Gray flannel was just not going to cut it. So she started browsing other, prettier, fabrics, and found the perfect compromise - Navy blue velvet. It matched navy in the plaid and brought the flannel up to "Christmas dress worthy." Thus, we left the store that afternoon with yards and yards of gray and navy flannel for the dresses themselves, a bit of navy velvet for little details on the dresses, and patterns to make the dresses from.

Yes, patterns. Simplicity patterns were on sale, so we thought we might as well look through the pattern books to see if there were any patterns begging to be turned into flannel and velvet Christmas dresses. Right away my mom found one - Simplicity 0504, a new 1930's reprint pattern. She could easily picture this pattern as her Christmas dress, except for 2 things - She wasn't a huge fan of the neckline, or the sleeves. Well, I knew I'd be able to re-draft the neckline for her easily, and the sleeves wouldn't be a problem either. You see, Simplicity also re-released a 1930's sleeve pattern. That's right, a pattern just for sleeves. Simplicity 8506 has patterns pieces for 8 different 1930's era sleeves that you can add to any blouse or dress! Talk about a handy pattern to have around! My mom picked sleeve E, and I was all set to make her Christmas dress. 

My sister and I had a harder time deciding what we wanted for our Christmas dresses, nothing in the pattern book looked quite right to us, but the following week we got it all figured out. When we accidentally found ourselves at the American girl store, my little sister saw Kit's new Christmas dress, and requested that her's be made in the same style. As Kit is from the 1930's the same era as my mom's pattern, that was perfect! So, after a bit of pattern combining, altering, and drafting, a dress like Kit's is just what my sister got!

That just left me. What did I want for my Christmas dress? I wasn't sure, but since my mom and sister were both getting 1930's inspired dresses, I decided that's what I wanted too! So I picked Simplicity 8247, a 1930's reprint that was already in my stash. I combined looks A and C for my dress and wound up with something I really like! And that's a sentiment my mom and sister both echo with their dresses!

These dresses are soft and warm - perfect for wearing to church on a snowy Christmas eve to celebrate our Savior's birth!

We had a wonderful Christmas together as a family - and I hope you and your family had the same! Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

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