Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Dresses

YES, I AM CRAZY.  If you haven't figured that out yet, then you will when you see these two photos.  This year I decided to make Christmas dresses for the girls and then it snowballed into something for everyone except Dave.  But he really started the whole thing by buying that Burgundy colored shirt.  I was in love (with the shirt) it was beautiful.  {Funny side note: you can barely see it in the pictures.  Trust me it is the most beautiful color.}
So the quest began to make dresses to match the shirt.  Then the snowball began moving and TA-DA - The DRESSES.

Oh, yeah, two matching ones for the girls, one for me, and to make it fun - a vest for Peter.

I saw the idea for the girls dresses on one of my favorite blogs - Make It and Love It.  She is amazing and she made a ruffle dress for her daughter with a t-shirt and ruffle material.  I wanted to step it up a notch and so I made the shirts out of stretch velvet.  I actually found my ruffle material at Hobby Lobby, where I was able to use my 40% of coupon to bring the cost down a little.  You can buy the material at the Ruffle fabric shop but I wasn't sure how much I needed and didn't want to pay the price for it.  I can't say anything about the quality of either compared to each other.  But I liked the ruffle material, but with any of them you are going to have to match ruffles on the sides and that was a pain and I did clip some of the ruffles unintentionally when I was cutting my top out.  It worked out okay.  Anyway, when I bought the material I was a bit generous in my purchase because I had come up with an idea for me.  NO, I was not going to wear ruffles on my butt (it is NOT little and I don't need to accentuate that point.)  I think I bought 2 yards. 

For the girls I used various patterns I have at home and patterned the tops after dresses they already had.  The skirts are just pieces of the material gathered on just like Ashley did in her tutorial.  I also followed her instructions for the sash.

I had found a dress at a swap our church has yearly for clothing.  It was too large for me but I had hopes that I would be able to take it apart and adapt it for me.  When I started thinking about this project, that dress came to my mind.  It was perfect.  I cut off the top and "designed" myself a top.  To be honest, I had some knit fabric that I made a muslin out of to test the sleeves and the neckline.  It turned out okay and so I proceeded.  It took me a couple of days to get the sleeves right.  First try I looked like I was going to be playing in a Mariachi band.  I have to admit I was a bit down and didn't want to try any more.  I thought to myself.  This "designing" thing is for the birds.  But as you can see, it turned out beautiful and I was excited to walk into church as that "MATCHY MATCHY" family for Christmas.

You would not believe how close of a match the material for our sashes and Peter's vest were to Dave's shirt.  Dave even said it looked like they were cut out of the same material.  Peter's vest came together in a little more then and hour.  He was pretty grumpy this morning when we pulled him away from his toys and MADE him where THAT vest.  I promised him chocolate kisses (and mommy kisses) if he wore it and the tie.  I used a pattern I bought a year or so ago.  But you could really use an old vest and make a pattern off it.

Lastly, I am quite proud to say that I had them finished the day before Christmas Eve.  I finished up the final touches around 1 pm and was able to spend the rest of the day playing with my family.  So I made the flowers from instructions form Vanilla Joy for Satin Peony Flowers.  I made two for the girls hair and 3 for our dresses.  For the girls I used a tutorial from Make it or Love it for non-slip hairbows - and Esther's stayed in the whole time at church.

Okay so here is a better picture of the dresses.  I like all our faces (except Peter) in the one above, but this one is actually a better picture (and took less time to photoshop out the table in the background.

This is one of those times I am proud of my sewing skills.  It was crazy for me to make these but it worked.  {Of course the kids didn't get new sewn PJ's for Christmas because it took me longer to make my dress then expected - but they got a TON of things for Christmas anyway and didn't notice.  I guess I'll try and get them done for New Year's instead.:) }

**My jewelry was made by Liberty.  She is so awesome.  Now I have a really beautiful set of jewelry from her.  And for a special treat, I had her make bracelets for the girls.  They loved them.  Esther kept hers on the whole time.  She is really one of those girly girls.  She loves to put on jewelry and carry around purses.


  1. I LOVE it and the pictures turned out great. I can't believe you MADE all those matching outfits, but you all looked WONDERFUL today! I think you better wear them a few more times in the next few months to get enough wear out of them for all the work you put into them! Merry Christmas!!!!!

  2. What a beautiful family. Your pride in a job well done show on your delighted face. Good job.


  3. What a beautiful family you have! and lovely Christmas outfits!



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