Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Golden Snowflake Toddler Christmas Dress

 The idea started when I found some bright red polyester organza in my fabric stash. I bought it once upon a time for a project. And then either I failed to do that project or it didn’t take as much fabric as I thought it would. I think it was the latter, but at this point in time I can’t say for sure. Either way, the fabric needed to be used up.

And so, looking at this fabric I came up with an idea for my niece’s Christmas Dress. 

My sister and I had recently been at Joann’s where they had all their new Christmas cotton prints out. I’d glanced at them, not thinking anything of it, but I did notice a gold snow flake print. Hmmm, that would look cool under the red organza.

A mix of fancy (the organza) and practical (the cotton).

As I ruminated on the idea it became more clear. I didn’t want the entire dress to have a red organza overlay, only part of it. About 2/3rds of the bodice and 2/3rds of the skirt. The sleeves would just be the cotton snowflake fabric. 

I could have sworn I had a pattern which featured a bodice like I had in mind, but when I went through all my kid’s patterns to find it, I couldn’t. Did I just make this idea up?

I wasn’t sure, but I needed a pattern, so I altered Simplicity 7353 (A very basic dress pattern from the 90’s I believe?) to be what I had in mind.

My niece has now reached the age where she lives baby dolls, so of course I had to make her a matching dress for her baby. I pulled out my binder full of doll patterns, and then I found it.

Simplicity 1245. 

This 1940’s inspired 18” doll pattern was clearly the pattern I’d been thinking of when I came up with the “organza covering 2/3rds of the bodice and skirt” idea. Well, I’m glad I’m not going crazy and did indeed have a pattern featuring this design - even if it’s not a kid sized pattern!

That said, it wasn’t the right sized doll pattern for my niece’s baby doll anyway, so I altered Simplicity 4268 to get a baby doll pattern the right size.

Patterns sorted, I cut out the dresses. I decided to make the sleeves double puffed - a bit more interesting than standard short or long puffed sleeves. 

I used the softest bias tape I could find in my stash for the elastic casing on the inside of the sleeves - I didn’t want my niece to find her dress itchy! I used the same bias tape to finish the waist seam. Once again, itchiness must be avoided.

The top edge of the organza on the skirt was covered with matching red ribbon.

And the dress closed up the back with some pearl and gold buttons.

The baby doll’s dress closed with white snaps. 

I finished the dresses one week before Christmas- while my niece and her parents were visiting.

The dress was all ready for her to take home and wear on Christmas Day!

But before she left I had a little early Christmas gift for her to open.

A dress ornament, just like the ones I’ve given her the past 2 years.

I decided to give it to her early so she could hang it on the Christmas tree and enjoy it for a while before all the Christmas decorations got packed away.

My niece wore the dress on Christmas Day when they celebrated the holiday with her mom’s family.

And then she wore it again the following weekend when we celebrated with my family! 

She seemed to quite enjoy it, wearing it all afternoon and evening. 

Helping me feed the goats.

Playing fetch with the dogs along side her uncle.

And listening to her Mimi read the Christmas story before we opened gifts.

So I think it’s safe to say I succeeded in making a non-itchy, toddler friendly, Christmas Dress!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating our Savior’s birth with your family and friends!

I sure did!

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