Sunday, January 9, 2022

A Christmas Dress of Woodland Creatures and Glitter

I thought it would be really fun to use a print for my niece's Christmas dress this year, rather than a solid or a plaid. Something whimsical, fun and Christmas-y. But not too casual. I still wanted the Christmas dress to feel fancy. Little girls' Christmas dresses are supposed to feel fancy!

I really wasn't sure how I would accomplish this "fancy printed dress", but once the idea was in my head I decided to run with it. The next time I was in Joann's I kept my eyes open for just the right print.

A cotton knit featuring the silhouettes of woodland animals on a red background caught my eye. The graceful woodland animals frolicking in the trees, flowers, and snowflakes felt both elegant and fun - perfect for a toddler's Christmas dress!
Even better, the fabric was a knit, thus on the stretchy side, making it comfortable for an active toddler to wear and easier for her parents to put on her. Last year my brother's only complaint about the Christmas dress I made for his daughter was the lack of stretch. He found it much harder to put on the baby than her normal, stretchy, clothes. So hopefully this year's fabric choice would be more acceptable in his eyes!

As for the pattern, I started with the top pattern from Simplicity 8963, and cut it off at the marked waistline on the bodice front and back pieces. I used the pinafore pattern as a guide for how long to make the skirt and cut out a 3 tiered skirt. Last minute I decided to also cut out the shoulder ruffles from the pinafore pattern to add to the dress because the more ruffles the better!

To "fancify" the dress, and add some definition between the skirt tiers, I decided to trim the dress with some sparkly silver ribbon and fold-over elastic I found at Hobby Lobby. The wide "ribbon" at the waist is the elastic, while the narrower trim is actually ribbon. 

 The dress came together in less than a day, and when it was done I loved it! It was everything I wanted it to be!

My niece loved it too! Her mama (who also quite liked it!) said she was very excited to put it on and found it comfortable and acceptable for playing, crawling, and walking! (Yes, somehow she's walking now. How did that happen?!?!)

 She wore it to visit Santa, and then all day on Christmas. She got very into unwrapping presents this year!

One of the (many!) gifts she opened was a new Christmas tree ornament I made. I'm not sure she fully appreciates it right now, but I think she'll like it a lot when she's older!


I made her a little dress ornament last year from her dress fabric scraps and trimmings sewn onto felt, and this year I decided I might as well continue the tradition. 

Kids outgrow there clothes before you can blink, so this way she and her mama will have a tangible reminder of each year's dress that they can hang on the tree together!

On the back of the ornament is embroidered her name and the year. Now I've just gotta keep this tradition up!

Both the ornament and the hand-made Christmas dress every year. When she gets older she can help me design her dresses!

It is so much fun to have a little girl to sew for!!

A huge thanks to my sister-in-law for sending me pictures and allowing me to share them!


  1. As usual a beautiful dress. And a beautiful girl to wear it. I love the idea of the ornaments for each year. Great job.

  2. Such a happy little girl. I'm happy to see her smile that way. It's precious these days.

    All the best!