Are you all set for Christmas? Cards sent, house decorated, gifts wrapped and sent, sewing finished? Congratulations if you’ve answered yes to more than one of these questions.
My cards are sent and some house decorating is done, but my greatest accomplishment is finishing my granddaughter’s Christmas dress.
The white lace dress pattern included in the latest Classic Sewing magazine was made for almost 8 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose. It is lovely but was just waaaaay too big for her. She is tiny, though her mother declared she wears a size 8 and I went with it. Big mistake. Even with the accurate and current measurements I had for her, the lace has some stretch. I should have taken that into account. The silver lining for this disappointment is that now her Christmas dress for 2021 is already finished! I’ve never been ahead of the game like this!
Here she is with the shoulder seams falling off her shoulders, with her handsome 11 yo brother. He’s had such a growth spurt that his mother just discovered that the only dark shoes that fit his newly enormous feet are his soccer cleats. So that’s what he wore for this picture. Fortunately, the shoe laces match his vest. With any luck, Amazon will deliver his new black dress shoes this week.
Farmhouse Fabrics, as always, came through with the white lace fabric. I ordered a few hours after their on-line Gab and Gush featured this lace and at that time there were only 6 yards left! The ever-helpful staff matched up ribbon for the sash with the satiny rose slip fabric I chose. The hairbow, also ordered on line, was a perfect match. Of course, I ordered 3 bows hoping one would match and it did!
This dress was relatively quick and easy to make, with 4-thread serged seams and a Swiss batiste bound neckline. There was no hemming at the sleeves or on the skirt. In the Farmhouse Live video Sally suggested a crocheted thread loop at the shoulders, attached with a snap to secure the slip shoulders. That was a great tip, especially when the dress turned out to be too big. That slip would have fallen off the child’s shoulders and annoyed her all day. Another set of crocheted loops was added to the waistline for the optional ribbon sash.
The day after the fabric was ordered, Vivian was here to finish her quilt (a future post). She loves plundering through my sewing room and the nursery closet where she came across cousin Laurel’s Christmas dress from 2010, just waiting for her to grow into it. That was the nutcracker themed Christmas before Vivi was born, when Laurel was the Sugar Plum Fairy, Robert was the Nutcracker and little Alastair was the Mouse King.
Surely, I thought, Vivi is too small for this. But she insisted she wanted to try it on. Lo and behold, it fit! She desperately wanted that dress. When I explained that the fabric for the white lace dress, which she also desperately wanted, was already on its way, she replied, “Nana, a girl needs more than one Christmas dress!” Who could argue with that, even during a pandemic.
But the beading on the bib was damaged and needed repair, so I could not send it home with her. I put it off and finally mended the lace with 80 wt. Madeira thread. The dress was sent to her priority mail a full week ago. It still has not made it 150 miles across the state, but the poor USPS has been swamped this holiday season. I expect it will arrive before Christmas and one of those other 2 hairbows will match the pink ribbon.
So I’m feeling pretty smug right now, knowing that my little granddaughter is all set for Christmas 2020 AND for Christmas 2021! I bet not many sewist can feel that relaxed!
Meanwhile, I wish all of you dear readers a very merry Christmas and holiday season. Also I wish you all a happy, healthy 2021!