Every year for Christmas I really look forward to the opportunities to get my kids all snazzied up. Lucky for me, they enjoy it just as much as I do. My boys love to wear vests and my daughter is pretty much a fan of special occasion dresses any day of the year. The good news for me is that my kids seem to grow slow in width, even though they skyrocket up, making it possible to get 2, 3, sometimes even 4 years out of a dress or vest. Since I know I can get multiple years out of a dress, I really don’t mind investing in some quality fabric to make a really special dress. I was so excited when Becca with Simple Life Patterns Co. asked if I would be interested in participating in this fabulous Special Occasion Tour. My daughter was due for a new Christmas dress this year and Simple Life Patterns has so many amazing patterns that would work so well for a special occasion dress.
I’ve been eyeing the Molly dress pattern for a really long time. It’s such a simple but beautiful pattern that will always be on trend and the pattern is perfect to showcase some special fabric. I love special backs and the low scoop back of the Molly dress is so classic and elegant. When I commited to the tour, I knew I wanted to use the Molly pattern, but I wasn’t sure about what kind of fabric I was going to use. Initally, I was considering a brocade with some metallic threads in it. I thought the fullness of the fabric would be especially beautiful and I always love fabric with a lot of texture. While searching for fabric online though, I came across this muted navy corded lace at Mood Fabrics. It was definitely more than I was planning on spending, but the fabric was so inspiring I decided to splurge. Luckily, there was a 20% off sale the weekend I purchased it. After I decided on the lace, I started searching for an underlining and lining fabric. I decided on this navy rayon crepe also purchased through Mood. I wasn’t sure exactly how heavy the rayon would be, but when it arrived in the mail I was beyond thrilled. Sometimes, rayon can be too thin or wrinkle ridiculously easily. This rayon is the perfect weight, barely transparant, and doesn’t wrinkle easily at all. In fact, I really should buy some more of it before it sells out.
Since I spent so much money on my fabric, it was really important to me that I take the time to do all the extra little things to make this dress really well made. I underlined the lace with the rayon crepe. If you are unfamiliar with underlining, it’s basically just adding a layer of fabric, sewing the pieces together and then working with the layered pieces as if they are one piece. In order to prevent shifting or puckering, I hand basted all the lace pattern pieces to the navy rayon crepe underlining pieces. When putting together the bodice, I understitched with my machine around the neckline to ensure the lining wouldn’t poke out and then hand understitched along the armholes and the back. I also handstitched the lining to the skirt to close up the bodice rather than attempting to stitch in the ditch (I never seem to be very successful at that, plus I prefer no stitches on the inside too). I used french seams on both side seams of the lace and the rayon crepe. I was initially conflicted on whether to sew the two layers together on the sides, but after asking some other sewers (Thanks Sherri!), I decided to sew them separately. Thank goodness that was my decision, because I really don’t think the skirt would have laid as nicely if the side seams were connected. When attaching the skirt, I hand basted the two layers together at the top before putting in the gathering stitches on the machine. I had this horrible vision of the lace shifting and not realizing it until the skirt started to come undone. I highly recommend hand basting when working with lace. The buttons in the back are just fabric covered Dritz buttons I made using the rayon crepe. I considered doing sparkly buttons, but I decided to keep with the simple elegance of the dress.
The Molly dress pattern was so wonderful to work with. It’s such an elegant pattern and who doesn’t love a low scoop back? My daughter’s chest measures at 23.5″ and her waist at 20.5″ and she is 54″ tall. I cut a size 6 and tapered the waist down to a 5. I probably could have tapered the waist down to a 4, but the extra room makes for a more comfortable dress for her. I added 1″ in the bodice for her height and almost 3 inches in length in the skirt. The skirt currently hits right at her knees and as I mentioned earlier, I like to get 2 or 3 years out of these special occasion dresses, so the added length is super important.
I’ve sewn a lot of dresses for my daughter, but nothing this special before and I must say it has been incredibly satisfying for me. I haven’t been sewing as much lately, partly due to busy schedules and a difficult preschooler (his new thing is randomly running out the front door when he decides he wants to go somewhere), but also a bit of lack of inspiration. Working with beautiful fabrics and really taking my time to make a quality garment reignited my passion for sewing. I have a couple things I need to sew first, but I’m looking forward to the next big project already.
I don’t do blog tours too frequently because I can be a bit particular. However, there are some really amazing women in this sewing community who are so incredibly talented. Coming out of a blog tour is always so inspiring because you get to be a part of a group of really remarkable women. Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss a single blog post on this tour, especially if you sew for any young girls in your life. You will be more than inspired by these bloggers and what they have created for this tour. The full schedule for the week is listed below. Also, after viewing all this inspiration you are likely going to want to purchase some new patterns. Lucky for you, and me (I have my eye on a few patterns as well!), all Simple Life Patterns Company patterns will be 20% off this week during the tour with code SLPcoSpecial. And, keep reading for some really great giveaways!
There are TWO ways to win in this giveaway!
While both giveaways are open to everyone, contestants outside of the U.S. will be responsible for any excess shipping and fees and subject to the sponsors’ shipping guidelines.
Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the following. One winner will be chosen at random after Rafflecopter closes.
1 winner of Rafflecopter of will receive:
5 Patterns of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co.
$50 Gift Card from Cotton Coterie with FREE shipping
$50 Gift Card from Little Feather
Already sewing for the holidays with Simple Life Pattern Company? Share what you made for a chance to win the Link-Up prize! One winner will be chosen at random after the link-up closes.
1 Winner of the Link up will receive:
5 Patterns of choice from Simple Life Pattern Co.
$50 Gift Card to Harts Fabric
$50 Gift Card to Sincerely Rylee
$30 Gift Card to Punkin Head Threads
Can you believe all those amazing prizes!! Thank you to all the amazing sponsors of this tour!!