Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Christmas Dress and Year Wrap Up

The end of the year project that I focused on was a Christmas dress for my daughter.  It's pretty obvious that I love dressing her up and the combination of the new Liesl Gibson pattern paired with Brambleberry Ridge fabric seemed like a great idea.

I bought the book at Fancy Tiger in November when I took a break from all of my frenzied craft fair sewing and drove up to Denver with my friend Annee to meet Liesl Gibson for the book signing.  It was a really fun night and Liesl is so gracious and easy to talk to.  I'll admit I was a little star struck:

The Building Block dress book gives a basic pattern for a sweet dress that appealed to me.

I've made a dress with a Peter Pan collar before and I didn't have too much trouble:

But it was tough!  My frustration with it made me want to avoid sewing all together.  The part that gave me so much trouble was the collar.  On the dress above, the pattern "taught" me how to install a lined bodice.  With the Building Block instructions, you install a bias strip to encase everything around the neckline.  It was not easy and I did my fair share of seam ripping:

The only alterations I made to the pattern was to add handmade bias piping around the collar and I added an inch of length to the skirt on the size 5T (I'm very glad I did!).

Charlotte has loved the dress and was able to wear it many times throughout December.  I don't plan to put it away for a while, despite Christmas being behind us now.  I'll admit that the frustrations with this dress made me think about how much easier (and even cheaper!) a time I've had with Christmas dresses when I've bought off-season fancy dresses off of the Dillard's clearance rack......

I made matching plaid bow ties out of the scraps of fabric I had leftover.  The boys looked darling.  Owen looks so sad in this picture: it was well past his nap time when we took this picture.

Here's a cute picture of Gregory wearing the bow tie, I think he felt glad to be included in my apparel sewing for once but honestly I don't feel bad that I don't sew clothes for him.  He's very picky about what he wears and prefers his t-shirt and basketball shorts hands down.

Another fun thing that came to fruition in December was a feature of my thread wreath in the Australian magazine, Homespun:

This year, I made Charlotte eight dresses.  I completed five quilts.  I participated in vending at two craft shows.  I made a quilt almost completely out of scraps (Hello Kitty). I conquered my fear of sewing with knits.  I made a king size quilt for my brother.  I made lots of lovely bags.

A few weeks ago, when I was laboring over Charlotte's dress at a guild sew-in, a person made a comment  amounting to something like this, "I would never work so hard on something that would just be grown out of."  I know what she was saying but I didn't really love or appreciate the sentiment.  It feels worth it when I look at these pictures and remember the excitement she shows when I make her a new dress.  She's probably the one and only daughter I'll have and I want to relish this time when making her a dress is usually affordable (1-2 yards is enough!) and her enthusiasm for my creations is contagious:

(she can fit into this one now, I'll have to post a picture!)

Edited to add: I forgot about this Hide and Seek dress I started the night before we left for NH.  I was so stressed about taking a long flight with three young children, this project helped my anxiety calm down a little:

She wore it to Lego Land:

My husband has had a ton of time off for the holidays and my mom is coming for a visit this next week- so I've definitely been in vacation mode lately.  I haven't wanted to hide away in my sewing room while everyone's home- which is probably a good thing- although I miss it and even feel a little guilty.  But I have been cleaning up and organizing my sewing room some and thinking about my 2017 sewing goals:

  • Finish the Hello Kitty quilt.
  • Make a quilt completely from scraps.
  • Open and maintain an Etsy shop.
  • Make a quilt using some of my favorite and long-hoarded Lizzy House Constellations fabrics
  • Make a skull/Halloween quilt for Gregory
  • Finish at least 3 WIPs.
  • Make more quilts- 10 will be the goal.
  • Attend the February guild retreat.
Thanks for reading!


Kathy@KayakQuilting said...

OK, so Charlotte has natural modeling skills!! But then again she has so many beautiful things to wear! Congratulations Laurie on making her all these beautiful clothes. Each one is special to you and her! As a mother of three boys I SO wanted to sew something for them, but as you know, with boys the choices are much fewer! I imaging to be a grandmother in 2017 and maybe I'll have some little girl sewing in my future! (Either way, there will be lots of baby sewing of course!!)

Happy New Year and best wishes to you and your adorable family!

Kerry Schultz said...

Your kid is soo cute and pretty plus she has got the best clothes to wear. I can't believe that you sew those dresses on your own. That's so impressive. Btw congratulations on getting featured in Homespun :).