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The Josephine (Christmas) Dress

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Well, I know that Christmas is over and the New Year is here, but I wanted to share with you today the Christmas Dress I made for my daughter this year.

When we found out we were having a girl almost 3 years ago, I was a little freaked out. I was always a tom-boy and wasn’t sure how I’d handle relating to a girl when I had always been one of the boys, so to say. Well, it has truly been a blessing to have our little miss Elise. And I’m here to tell you, while she loves the color pink, she is definitely a girl I can relate to and admire.

Josephine Christmas Dress | JaimeSews

You see, she refused to have her picture taken until there was a sword in her hand. WARRIOR PRINCESS! YESSSsssssss! Ok, on to the dress. This is yet another FooFooThreads dress. (Click here to see the fancy FooFooThreads dress I made for her Halloween Costume.) You know I’m a former tom-boy when I say, if I could, I would dress her in a FooFooThreads dress every day. I can’t get over the cuteness. But my very favorite part is that while it is beautiful, it is equally practical.

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The front looks well fitted, but the back is completely elasticized. This is awesome for several reasons: 1) No closure (zipper, buttons/buttonholes) to sew. 2) Elastic means comfort. What woman doesn’t want to look amazing and be comfortable at the same time ?! 3) She can wear it much longer since there is so much give. In fact, since Halloween, she’s requested to wear her Pretty Pretty Pink Princess dress several times in dress up and it still fits even though it is a size down in the bodice from this dress. 4) It’s SOoooo easy – all you do is hand wind a bobbin with elastic thread and sew rows back and forth at an equal distance. The closer together your rows, the more it gathers and if you need a little more, a shot with a steam iron pulls it up even more. Seriously. Elastic thread in the bobbin, sew, and it magically gathers just.like.that. EASY! As I did for the Halloween dress, I made her size in the bodice, but a size 5 in the length. I wanted it to be ankle length and it’s perfect – she can run around with ease, but it has the formality of the length. Since it’s made from cotton, it’s easy to wash & wear.

sadsword(Are you done yet? )  Anyway, here are all the details:

Pattern: Josephine Dress from FooFooThreads

Main Fabric: Christmas Peace by Windham Fabrics

Sash, Red & Gold Ruffle Fabrics: From F&M Fabrics locally

Elastic Thread: Wawak Sewing

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Pretty Pink Princess Dress – In Progress

Every year for Halloween we go all out. Not because we particularly love Halloween, but mostly because it gives us a chance to go all out! What other time of year do the kids get to parade around town pretending to be someone else? And sewing for Halloween definitely is a different change of pace from the cotton I generally choose to work with.

A few months back in June, my son requested a Green Ninjago costume. Here’s a picture of the final product. You can click here to read more about how I made it.

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So since he’s still thrilled with this costume, we’re going to use it for Halloween. This leaves me plenty of time to work on my daughter’s Pretty Pretty Pink Princess Dress. I chose the pattern a while ago – The Sugarplum Princess Dress from FooFooThreads.

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I went to our warehouse fabric store and bought two shades of satin. It’s Halloween, after all. What’s Halloween without costume satin? And BOY, was it fun to cut out!?

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Day 2 of cutting...
Day 2 of cutting…

But now that the cutting’s over, I’ve been able to get some sewing done! Here is the bodice before shirring the back.

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If you’ve never shirred with elastic thread in your bobbin, it’s magical. The instructions in the FooFooThreads pattern are wonderful, but if you don’t have the pattern, here’s a great tutorial to check out.

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You literally hand-wind your bobbin with elastic thread and set your machine to it’s longest stitch and proceed to stitch back and forth. The machine does it all for you and the gathering appears before your eyes. It’s pretty amazing.

So now I will move on to the skirt. There is an underskirt made from cotton with ruffles attached to the bottom edge that will hang out below the hem of the overskirt. Then the overskirt has ruffles on the back and each side, so I’ll be pulling gathering threads for a while, but I’ll be sure to show you the finished product when it’s all said and done!

Are you working on a handmade Halloween? I’d love to see what you’ve made or are working up. Leave a link on my facebook page or in the comments below! I would love to follow you on instagram too so let me know if you’re there!

Lastly, have you heard about the $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway to Stitch Stash Diva on the Whimsy Couture Sewing Blog!? That’s right – up for grabs is $100 of free fabric! There are two days left to enter, so be sure to check it out! It would be a great boost for a Handmade Holiday or just some fun sewing for yourself! Have a great week!

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