Retro Christmas Dress | 1950 Style Vintage Christmas Dress
Sewing,  Vintage

I Made a … Retro Christmas Dress

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Christmas is well and truly here and this year I am celebrating by making my very own Christmas dress. Corny Christmas fabric? Check. Super easy pattern? Check. Well then, let’s go!

 

The Fabric

For the fabric I am using a length of cotton that suddenly appeared in my stash not too long ago. Yep that’s right it just appeared there. That’s the fabric lovers dream right? 

Red christmasy fabric with a pattern of red, gold and green stars

Anyway, it turns out that my mum had found it in cupboard when moving house and had sneaked it into my fabric stash without telling me. She had previously used it as a tablecloth at Christmas parties, but decided that she no longer needed it. 

And so I found it in my stash one day and straight away thought, this will make a really cute Christmas dress!

The Pattern

For the pattern I am using New Look K6262*. This pattern was a as part of my VIP package when I went to the Restash & Destash event in the summer. I am making view B but without the lace overlay. 

Pattern envelope for New Look K6262

I love the round boat neck and the longer length sleeves as I find they are much more flattering on me than cap sleeves. Besides, I love the 1950s feel that the boat neck brings to this dress. After all this is RETRO Claude. 

I went for a size 12, my measurements suggested a 14, as I had a feeling that this was going to be one of those patterns with A LOT of ease and I am so glad I did. In all honestly I could probably have gone a size smaller as well. But more of that later.

The Process

This was an incredibly straightforward make. I didn’t make a toile and I didn’t do any fit adjustments. To be perfectly honest I just wasn’t in the mood. I wanted this to be a cheap and cheerful project to brighten up the winter months.

Putting the dress together took me less than 8 hours after cutting. The trickiest bit being inserting the invisible zip. 

I also had a few issues with getting the neck facing to lie flat although this was helped by my new tailor’s ham. When making my 1940s coat I was in desperate need of one so I decided to finally go out and buy one from my local haberdashers. 

I did a variety of seam finishes on this dress with french seams for the side and shoulder seams. However, I couldn’t figure out how to french seam below the zip and so I simple did an open seam and trimmed with pinking shears.

Similarly, I did two hem finishes, one for the sleeves and another for the skirt. For the sleeves I simple turned the hem up and zig zaged over the raw edge. I liked the way the zig zag design compliments the points of the stars.

But for the skirt hem I did my favourite machine blind hem. Partly because it is so quick and I love doing them, but also because I knew that the tiny stitches produced by a blind hem would almost completely disappear thanks to the jazzy pattern of the fabric.

The Finished Christmas Dress

All in all I am really pleased with how this dress has turned out. To say that I didn’t do a fitting, it fits pretty well. I feel that it could maybe be smaller in some places, and the body is fractionally too long but you know what? I really don’t care.

Front view of the Christmas themed dress

The whole point of this project was to have fun making a novelty dress for me to wear over the Christmas season. I might wear it again next year but who knows? This was not going to be a project that I slaved hours and hours over because it wasn’t going to be a useful addition to my wardrobe. 

As a result, there are a couple of construction issues with the dress. For example, the zip is a little funky at the top and the waist seams are a little off at the CB. Do I care? No!

Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves with our sewing. What I needed from this dress was a fun, quick and easy project after the hard work and precision of making my coat. And that is exactly what this Christmas dress was. 

Red Christmas Themed dressed

I feel like a happy little Christmas elf.

Merry Christmas all. Speak soon,

Claude x

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