Christmas Dress and Boys’ Outfits

Four years ago, yes that’s right.. four, I was going to make myself and my two boys semi-matching Christmas outfits. I found this holly material that I thought was just beautiful.

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I started the boys first cause theirs were going to be more work, and I wanted to be sure to get them done. Ace’s was by Simplicity 4711, which I had already made once before for Rhode. I extended the legs and sleeves for December. DSCN5504 On both of the boys’ outfits, I appliquéd and embroidered holly leaves and berries…. to match my dress, of course.  😉

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Rhode’s was McCall’s M4756. DSCN5505 Rhode was still in diapers when I made the overalls. So, I put a snap strip through the crotch. It absolutely would not hold. They kept popping open.  Sometimes you can hammer the pointed end a little to make it hold tighter… Nope. So, I ended up sewing the crotch seam together. I wish I had taken better pictures of his whole outfit. Oh well.

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The boys were two years and three months old at the time. I had been telling my great-aunt Mary how I was looking for a dress pattern that buttoned down the front, as I was nursing at the time. She brought me this pattern. She said she had had it for a while. Fast forward to now. I decided I was finally going to get the holly material out of the stash and make the dress. First I had to cut out the paper. Mary, or somebody related, had started cutting out one of the designs of the dress, but it was not the view I was going to make. I found one facing piece that was torn with half of it missing and hoped that would not be a piece that I needed. Wishful thinking. When I got done cutting them out and checked to make sure I had all the pieces I needed, there was one missing. Sure enough, it was the one that was torn. SIDE NOTE: Like nearly everything else, the quality of the paper patterns now is just not what it used to be.This paper is at least twice as thick as the stuff you get now. I tried unsuccessfully to find a year on the pattern. It did have a website and email address. So, I would think twenty-ish years old at the oldest. ?? New Look 6140. DSCN5507 The bodice and sleeve of this pattern are all one piece. I have never done a pattern where that is the case. For anyone who doesn’t know what that translates to.. The bodice portion of the dress, shirt, whatever fits your torso, and the sleeves are always cut with extra material in the back to allow for movement. Since you don’t have that starting/stopping point on this dress, the pattern must have “batman wings” to allow for movement. I was worried that I wouldn’t like the extra material there under the arm and that it would make it look bulky and annoying. But, in my opinion, they turned out just fine. Does it look wingy to you?

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About the belt. While I definitely love the holly print, it is a bit much. I knew I really needed a belt to break up the print. I wanted it to be red to pull out the berry color. I had a skinny red belt that I thought would work. Tried it on. It was way too big at the waist of this dress.(I normally wear it with pants, so much lower on the hips.) Shopping! Mom and I went Christmas shopping and found this belt at Kohl’s. It is elastic all the way around the back. I wasn’t sure how it would look. Since this is cotton material, I thought it might pull it in and make it look bunchy. So, I bought another skinnier red belt as a back up plan, but I am so glad this one worked. I love it! DSCN5484 When I started I thought I would use some metallic buttons I already had. That turned sour, since they were less that 1/2 inch.. way too small for this dress. I don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway. Second shopping trip. Hancocks had several I liked, but I needed at least eight. Most of the bigger buttons are sold in one or two packs. Of the ones I liked, NONE could you buy more  than six. I did buy six metallic brass ones that Spencer later labeled “old grandma” buttons, thinking that if all else failed, I could use them toward the top of the dress and find some other way of closing up the bottom. I bought some sew in square snaps and a sew in snap strip for that purpose. Hobby Lobby? Yes. They had 7/8 inch plain red circle buttons in four packs. Bought three. Got home. Nope. I don’t like any of them. I already told you what Spencer thought of the brass ones. I rejected the red. They took away from(toned down) the red belt. We can’t be having that! So what now? Hmm… Snap strip? I hate snap strips, as mentioned above. I had individual snaps. I hated to use them though. Once they are in, there is no coming out. Basically, they can absolutely RUIN the fabric, the garment, and all the hard work you have put into it. I will spare you the details, but after many problems, much complaining and meticulous smoothing, marking, remarking, I got them in. SIDE NOTE: If you are putting snaps on a “stressed” seam, which turns out to be any seam, you really should put it as close to the edge as possible to prevent rolling. I wasn’t really thinking or worrying much about it on the bottom half of the dress, but I should have been and had to repent by safety pinning in between the snaps on the inside to make it lay smoothly. Now I will either have to put more snaps where the safety pins are.. on the outmost edge(of course), or just sew on the seam between the snaps. I think the latter is the safer option… I wish I had thought of that to begin with. It would have saved me a lot of headache. Standing views… DSCN5448    DSCN5446  DSCN5462

Sitting views…

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“I think it’s time for my Sunday nap” view.

DSCN5482 Hallelujah for the Christmas dress!!! I am sick of it now. Good thing I don’t have to think about it, wear it, or fix it for another eleven months. I do need to make another trip to Cookeville though. I have snaps, buttons and belts to return. 😉

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