Winter Holidays Dress

The Details:

This dress is a slight modification of the dress in the Long Sleeve Peasant Dress Tutorial   by Amy of Little Bean Workshop at Prudent Baby.

The main changes are (1) I scaled it down for my then-4-month-old-then-6-month-old-now-7-month-old, M, using one of her dresses for reference and (2) I just hemmed the sleeves without adding elastic.

Instead of the dimensions at Prudent Baby, for the body pieces, I used 4″ wide on top, 17″ tall on the straight edge, and 8.5″ wide on the bottom. The sleeve pieces were 4″x13″.

I call it the Winter Holidays Dress because the print reminds me of snowflakes on a cool winter evening . . . and I finished it just in time for M to wear it to a New Year’s Eve Party!

The matching headband is what one of my friends in college called a Monet (looks great from afar, but not so much close up), as I only decided M needed it half an hour before we had to leave for the party. I pulled it together quickly from scraps and a 4″ length of 1/4″ elastic.

The peasant dress tutorial at Prudent Baby was easy to follow, and I love the dress. I’ll definitely make another one when she gets bigger.  So go on over there and get it!

M in the Winter Holidays Dress

The Paragraphs:

This dress is special because it’s the first real thing I made on my new sewing machine. (I made my husband some very basic pillowcases first, but that wasn’t much of a challenge.)

My mom got me a sewing machine for my birthday … in May.   I started this dress in October, I think. It’s absolutely possible I started in September.

Anyway, the fabric is 100% cotton  from the Walmart clearance shelf for $3 a yard. I never actually go to Walmart as the nearest one is 15 miles away, and I’m more of a Target person. But I had a gift card, and knew that Walmart had a sewing section. I planned to buy a snap tool because I had some projects in mind that required snaps. I, of course, also bought a few different clearance fabrics, an assortment of elastic, a fabric pen, and a couple other odds and ends (like safety scissors for H).

The fabric isn’t particularly soft, but I liked the pattern and knew I would layer the dress over a onesie. According to the selvage it is a Care Bears print, though no bears appear.

I picked the Peasant Dress Tutorial because it looked simple, and it had sleeves. The weather is mild here and when we go out we dress in layers and long sleeves. But most tutorials are for sleeveless dresses so this one was exactly what I wanted.

When I started the dress in early fall, I got as far as doing the elastic in the neckline. I was pretty pleased with it at that point – it looked like a real dress! I wasn’t looking forward to putting elastic in the sleeves, so I put the dress aside to make a couple other items of clothing for the kiddos and then the Christmas gifts.

Fast forward almost three months later to a few days before New Years’ Eve. We had been invited to a party, and I realized the little aqua dress was perfect for the event so I quickly hemmed the bottom and sleeves. I skipped putting elastic in the sleeves because sleeves are the hardest part of getting M dressed (she likes to grab the fabric on the way through) and elastic would only make it harder!

I threw the headband together by folding over and edge stitching a scrap rectangle that was about 4″ short of M’s head circumference. I folded over a smaller piece that was 6″ long and about 3/4″ wide and sewed it, making a tube. I stuck a 4″ length of 1/4″ elastic in the tube, scrunched it up so the ends of the elastic stuck out the ends of the tube. I sewed the ends of the tube into the ends of larger part of the headband. Voila!

Though I had to go back and do a little hand sewing a few days later to shore up some weak spots in the the headband. It looks fine from afar, but a bit of a mess close up!