Oliver + S // Pinwheel slip dress in silk

I have quite a mammoth sewing to-do list in the lead up to Christmas. I didn’t plan it that way. In fact, I didn’t plan to do much Christmas sewing at all this year. My only goal was to sew that velvet dress, and of course, the Winter coat (that is slowly coming along).

The Winter coat now has buttonholes and a collar, but the rest of it has been put on hold while I catch up on the selfless sewing that I was trying to avoid. However, I think the Christmas bug has just caught me a little later this year, because I’m looking forward to the quick and fun sewing that is now on my horizon.

It all started with Miss Seven. It’s an annual tradition at her elementary school for all the 2nd grade students to dress up and attend the Nutcracker, by the Kansas City Ballet. It’s quite a special occasion for the little kids each year and even more special because her best friend is a part of the cast (although not performing on that day). The kids look forward to this event for literally a whole year, but I didn’t consider the ‘dress-up’ component until about a week ago when Miss Seven started muttering about the ‘fancy dresses’ the other girls were wearing, and then the email came home from the teacher requesting that the boys wear ‘nice’ jeans or pants.

Miss Seven already had the perfect dressy coat for the occasion. But I decided to sew her a special dress to wear with it. The fabric came from my stash. It is a vibrant Ralph Lauren silk CDC that I previously used to line this coat of mine. I had the perfect amount for the Oliver + S Pinwheel slip and tunic dress pattern.

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I modified the pattern slightly to sew the tunic and slip as one, instead of making separate dresses to layer as the pattern suggests. I also changed added a keyhole to the back as the method of fastening. To do this, I copied the neckline and armscye of the tunic over the slip pattern and then sewed them together at the neckline. This eliminated the need for neck binding or facing. The slip portion also became the lining. In addition, I lengthened the arms.

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I’m pretty chuffed with how this dress turned out. I made it up in a size 8 but was a little worried it would be too big. Miss Seven is taller than average and quite slim through the body and hips (her hips and waist are a size 5), but she seems to have a nice width to her shoulders which probably accounts for how the dress fits. The shoulder fit is great but the dress volumes out beneath that (which is nature of a the dress design anyway). The length is short but acceptable (I normally lengthen patterns for her).

Miss Seven is delighted with her early Christmas present and that makes me happy too. I consulted with her all the way in the making of it, because I feel like she’s old enough now to start developing a more informed opinion on clothes and styles (rather than just a need for all things swishy, ruffled, and pink). Of course, I had to pull the reigns in with regards to her initial selection of suitable fabrics and design (ie not floor length velvet like Mummy), but we talked over the options and she came up with some of her own ideas. In the cool weather, she’ll be wearing this dress with white, fleece lined tights which will look super cute too.

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Will the real little Elsa please stand up

This is the fourth Elsa dress I’ve made this year and hopefully the last! Thankfully, it’s not for any of my daughters (I’m a little sick of the sight of Elsa dresses around here), but I do have to admit that this one does look super cute on my littlest peep.

 

Because I was making it for someone else’s child, I thought I’d have a go at making it look more authentic. But before I talk about the dress, let me just throw a figure at you. $60! Yes, that’s how much these babies sell for right now. Not the cute one with the blond hair that is. I’m talking about an Elsa dress… if you are lucky enough to find a distributer online that hasn’t sold out already! And here I am, making one for free. Well, to be perfectly honest, hubby sold my sewing services to a friend of his. I’m pretty sure he understands the value of time and sewing now (which is why I don’t sew as a business) but his solution was to offer to pay me the proper value of the dress so that he could give it to his mate. I’m still trying to figure out how that actually benefits me.

But back to the dress. It’s made of a horrid, shiny blue, ombre polyester satin, with a polyester organza cape, absolutely ghastly fabrics to sew with (not to mention wear) and virtually impossible to press the creases out of. However, the blue satin does make for the perfect Elsa sheath. I snapped up the last of the roll on sale at Jo Ann which cost me well under $20, let alone $60! I made the stinking hot polyester wearable by using a beautifully soft and light silk/model jersey for the sleeves and yoke. The white fabric will pill with washing but it is lovely to wear.

 

And if you ever wonder how or when I get my sewing done. I usually do it in the evening after I’ve put my three little peeps to bed. This is me the other morning, still in my PJ’s (proof that this wearable muslin came to good use after all), trying to do a quick repair job before hubby left for work. My days of sneaking in a peaceful stitch or two while the baby slept have long since departed.