Tuesday, 8 December 2015

All I want for Christmas is a...... plaid dress?

Ho ho ho, everyone!
Yes, it's drawing near now, isn't it?

When it finally dawned on me just how few weeks there are left until the holidays, I put my Victorian stuff aside for a bit. You have to make priorities, right?

You see, for the last couple of years, I've had grand plans of a plaid Christmas dress of some sort. But every year has been the same; so many plans, so VERY little time! Since becoming unemployed, that is not the case this year, and I will  finally (hopefully) have a me-made dress for Christmas! Yay :)
I opted for a dress not too dressy, just classic lines and a bit of grown-up appeal.

When choosing the pattern, I wanted one that had something new. I have never made anything with plaids before, so you would think that should be enough novelty for one project... But noooo.
Princess seamed dress for the win!

This is Maudella #5204, in a 35"bust.
I cannot find a year on it, but it's probably mid-sixties.

I think princess seams was why I initially bought this pattern in the first place, because the cover art design is not something that awakens my desire, if you catch my drift. Man, those ladies have properly sloping shoulders!! Luckily, the pattern inside was not made for nearly as extreme anatomical features, and my first muslin fit me beautifully with no alterations other than adding a smidge in centre front and back panel. I didn't take any photos before I took apart the pieces, to use as pattern for my fashion fabric.

Now, on to the cutting. I tried to be a brain-monster and get it all right, but you know how when you really concentrate on something, another detail that is usually a no-brainer goes wrong? Right.
So I managed to match the horisontal lines, but as I discovered when assembling the six main pieces, the two front sides, and the two back side pieces did not quite mirror each other. It is not anything glaringly obvious, but it is kind of annoying. I have extra fabric left, but I am still debating whether I'll make the jacket to match. I'll take some measurements of the faulty side piece, and if I can use it for the jacket, I might re-do. Otherwise, it is just a big waste of fabric for such a cosmetic flaw. So I am trying to live with it for now :)


I am sorry for this rubbish phone-photos, but you get the general idea. This is the back half of the dress on my ironing board, and as you can see, those two sides are not "on target". The front is better,

My plaid is a lovely wool blend fabric, that is nice and light. I will obviously need to line it because of the itch-factor, but I think I'll be fine on that one. My plan is to just make up a second dress in lining fabric and drop it inside. How hard can it be, right?

It's panning out to be a fun project with lots of new things to learn, and hopefully I'll have a finished dress to show you shortly! In the meanwhile, I wish you lots of success on your Christmas preparations ;)



  1. I wouldn't bother re-cutting! The plaid has so many lines that you can barely tell that your sides aren't exactly the same! I don't think anyone will notice unless you point it to them!

    1. Thanks, Marta :) I agree, there ARE lots of lines there!
      But I'm such a stickler for symmetry, ack...! I'll skip to making the lining while I decide on the matter :)

  2. I love plaid dresses and hope to make one early next year, although I already know that the pattern matching will cause me some frustration! However, I think that in your case the slight asymmetry is barely noticeable, especially once you start wearing the dress. A matching jacket would be nice!

    1. I love them too, and I can't believe it took so long to finally make one! I guess plaid have intimidated me, with all the matching.. But one never learn, if one never tries :)

  3. This looks like it will be an amazing dress!! Good luck!

  4. It took me ages to see the "flaw" in your matching! There is no way people will notice unless you point it out to them! That's the thing about plaids though, they are a pain to cut for sewing! Sometimes I can let it go, other times I get really particular about them! The finished dress with be so classic, great fabric and pattern choice.