Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Plaid, Velvet-Trimmed, First Christmas Dress

 As I've already admitted, I did not get around to making Christmas Dresses for my sister and I this year. I ran out of time. However, I still managed to make one Christmas dress this year. This one was a priority. One there was no way I would skip making. This one I finished weeks in advance, before the majority of my Christmas gifts were done. 

My niece's first Christmas dress. When my brother and sister-in-law first announced they were expecting, I declared, boy or girl, I would make this child a Christmas outfit. Baby girl was born, December rolled around, and it was time for me to act on my declaration. First, I just had to decide on a dress style. What would this first Christmas Dress look like?

I looked through my fabric stash and picked a couple of different options, then I went to my stash of baby clothes patterns. As this is the first baby I've had the privilege of sewing for, I have considerably fewer baby clothes patterns than I do other patterns. After looking at and considering the options I did have, I decided on McCall's 4864, a pretty basic dress and bloomer pattern, which I believe came to me from my mom who picked it up when my sister was a baby. I would just need to make a few little changes to get the perfect first Christmas dress.

To get just what I had in mind, I decided to make view A, with the attached bloomers of view D, add long sleeves from another pattern, and hack it to have a side front button opening.

Looking at the weights and measurements on the back of the pattern envelope, I traced out the "new born" size, even though my niece was over 2 months old at Christmas, and wearing 3 month size clothing. The pattern sizes bear no resemblance to store bought sizes for baby clothes.
While tracing the pattern I went ahead and added the side front closure I was wanting.

I picked a green and red plaid from my stash and decided to trim the dress with some incredibly beautiful and soft red velvet ribbon I found at an estate sale last fall.

Last minute, I decided to add a bias-cut waistband between the straight-cut skirt and bodice to add a bit more visual interest.

I added more velvet ribbon to the waistband, and made a little bow to go on it as well. 

I looked through my trim stash again and found a red and green trim I liked for around the neckline, then I searched through my button stash for 3 red buttons to match the ribbons and trim. I have a lot of red buttons and it was surprisingly hard to pick just the right ones!

Finally, finally, I made a decision, sewed the buttons on, and my niece's first Christmas dress was done!

All red, and green, and Christmassy!

I made her a big plaid bow to match, because I know her mama likes big bows, then anxiously awaited Christmas to find out if the dress actually fit like it was supposed to!

It did!

Little Miss wore her Christmas dress for the duration of our family Christmas celebration.

She was spoiled, passed around, and given a lot of gifts.

The whole proceeding wore her out!

She fell asleep in Daddy's arms while Mommy finished opening her gifts.

Next year she might be more excited about her presents, or at least the boxes and paper they come in!

As a memento, since she'll have the Christmas dress outgrown before we can blink, last minute, after all the other gifts were done, I used the dress scraps and some felt to make her a dress Christmas ornament.

I love how adorable this turned out, and my sister-in-law was thrilled when she unwrapped it!

Just look at this cutie! It was well worth making her Christmas dress a priority during a busy Christmas season! Now perhaps I should start planning her Easter dress. . .

Typically the Easter Season is less crazy busy on the sewing front that Christmas is, but this year, I don't think that's gonna be the case! Why? You'll have to wait and see. . .


  1. Adorable dress for a beautiful baby! The dress ornament is a wonderful idea. Maybe this will become a tradition !

  2. Very Cute! Your niece is adorable and the dress is lovely. It reminds me of those drop waist girls dresses from the 1910s (I think it was the 10s, maybe a touch earlier?).

  3. That's precious, and the matching ornament is even cuter! What a great memento for her to have.