A touch of Christmas sparkle

Hi there! And happy Christmas!

Hope you’re all prepared for the big day tomorrow?  For once, I’m feeling relatively calm; the kids finished school 3 days after I finished work so I actually had time for a little Christmas shopping and gift wrapping that didn’t need doing at the speed of light in the wee hours for once! Also, I finished dresses for myself and the kids over a week ago, rather than at midnight on Christmas Eve, so again, winning!

Do you think the schools could be persuaded to finish late every year?

For the last couple of years, I’ve made myself a Christmas Day dress from novelty print fabric (reindeers and polar bears, since you ask).  Much as I still love a novelty print, I just wasn’t feeling it, somehow.  So when Love Sewing arrived with a free jersey wrap dress as the gift, I decided to go for stretch velvet and copy some of the dresses I’ve seen on the high street of late.

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Obviously, me being me, I couldn’t just buy plain velvet, but found this sparkle stretch velvet on the Adam Ross website (it’s called holographic twinkle, which sounded about right!)

The pattern in question is McCalls M6884 and I went for view C which is a knee length version with an elbow length sleeve.  I didn’t make any alterations other than to grade up a size a the hip, which was relatively easy with the nested patterns.

For a jersey dress, I found this a more challenging sew, simply because I hadn’t made a dress of this style before.  The trickiest bit (and honestly, not that tricky, really) was getting the tie on the wrap front to sit nicely.  The instructions were a touch head-scratching, which is not unusual for me with big, commercial patterns. But they were eminently do-able and I finished the dress in a couple of evenings.

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With hindsight, I should have made some alterations! In particular, a hollow chest adjustment would have made the world of difference; I constantly resettle the shoulders and neckline whilst I’m wearing it and would feel a whole lot more comfortable in it if the neckline felt more secure.

I had a major wobble in the middle of making this; I tried it on before attaching the sleeves and absolutely hated it, to the point of nearly throwing it in the bin in all its unfinished glory.  I felt utterly frumpy in it.

However, a combination of a lot of lovely comments on Instagram (Thank you, everyone!) and an inbuilt inability to leave something part finished, I decided to make myself get the sleeves in the next evening.

I’m glad I did, and I do like the dress.  I even wore it for a mums’ night out with some of the mums of children in my eldest’s year at school.

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I’m still not 100% comfortable in it though.  It’s way, way out of my comfort zone and I am conscious the whole time of wanting to stand tall and suck my tummy in! However, it will be getting worn tomorrow, because I’m stubborn and that’s what I’ve made it for! Also, it’s very stretchy, which can never be a bad thing for Christmas dinner!

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So, on that note, I shall wish you all a very merry Christmas.  There has been a LOT more sewing than blogging of late (damn you, lack of natural light!) and there are some exciting things coming up early next year, but for now I wish you and yours a peaceful, happy, healthy Christmas.

Becca xx

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