Operation Xmas Dress, Part 1 - The Pattern

12.02.2014

Last December I wanted to make a Christmas dress.  There was no exact pattern in mind, just hazy thoughts of something with a V neck, sleeves and a full skirt.  Oh and it had to be green, soft forest green.  Crazy right? You'd think little miss "red is a neutral" would be all over a bright red dress. Seems my subconscious wanted something a little different.

The dress didn't happen last year because the whole house got some sort of horrible chest cold right at the beginning of December. Merry Christmas! Hope you didn't need that lung. I spent most of December in a zombie state of sickness until finally going to the doctor to beg antibiotics.  (Side Note - Middle aged male doctors who act like you're being dramatic about a "slight chest cold" can suck it.) Annnnyway, once the drugs kicked in there was only time to whip together a quick knit dress for the 25th. Any disappointment I might have felt was negated by finally being able to lay down horizontally without going into a 10 minute coughing spasm. Thank you modern medicine.

I thought the green Christmas dress was one of those passing sewing fancies that would dissipate after the hard deadline had passed. Don't know about you, but that sort of thing happens all the time around here. Must be some weird deadline induced creatively left over from college.  However the green Christmas dress did not go away. It danced around my brain on a regular basis, a riddle that had to be solved.  The basic bones of what I wanted in the garment were still the same, V neck, sleeves, full skirt.  But nailing down an actual pattern continued to be difficult. Several options and hacks were considered, but they all felt wrong. In fact I had that annoying sensation that I'd "know the pattern when I saw it." That's great intuition, but where the heck is a girl supposed to look after tossing the stash and surfing the web?   Then late November I was browsing vintage patterns on Etsy and I SAW IT!
Christmas dress pattern also showed up a day early. Gonna have to grade that sucker up. #OperationXmasDress
BAM - McCall's 9572. V-neck? Check.  Sleeve? Check. Full Skirt? Check.  Add simple looking to sew, but still elegant. Check, check, CHECK! I was also lucky this pattern wasn't one of those wildly popular vintage designs and thus had the very affordable price tag 15 bucks. Heck I buy new patterns more expensive then that. So everything was coming up Heather except for one slight snag, the pattern wasn't my size.

Yes my sewing friends, this particular pattern was a size 14.  My vintage size hovers in the 18-20 range, depending on the manufacturer. The body measurements for the dress are  Bust - 32, Waist 26.5, Hip - 35, a full 4 inches smaller than any of my measurements. A quick search of the pattern number showed that this was the largest size available for purchase. If I was going to make this dress than I was gonna have to grade it up. So I bought the pattern and graded it up, but that is a story for another day.

34 comments:

  1. Love the dress! I'm looking forward to seeing your posts about the process and the finished dress. I always enjoy seeing your creations, they're lovely.

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  2. that's such a lovely pattern. i have the opposite problem - my prospective (and not yet started) pattern for my xmas dress is a 40" bust so at least 1 size too big. still, i may not need to add extra to the waist as i usually do! good luck!

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  3. www.tresbienensemble.comDecember 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    I'm making a green, vintage holiday dress too! I have a party to attend this weekend, so it's my top priority! I hope your grading adventures are going well. I'm sure you'll come out on top.

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  4. Can not wait to see! Hope the grading went well, this will be a stunner for sure!

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  5. Hmm, I'll be very curious to see how this all unfolds! Will remain in suspense until then. :)

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  6. This is going to be gorgeous! You will look gorgeous. Glad you're not sick this year. Now i want to make something like this too...

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  7. This is so going to be gorgeous! I cannot wait to see it come to fruition!

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  8. That will look spectacular in green! Look forward to seeing it!

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  9. The pattern is so great! I'm really excited to see your finished dress!

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  10. Let the Christmas Dress saga begin!!!! Can't wait to see how it turns out! (Do you have a luxalite broch picked out yet?)

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  11. You sound like me! I really want a bright green Christmas dress. I wanted to make it last year and even had the perfect vintage '40s pattern. Never found the right fabric, but then I found the right fabric in fuchsia and decided that would work. Didn't have the time I needed to make it for last Christmas. But it looks like I might have time this year! (I still want a green one at some point.)



    Can't wait to see yours! Such a great pattern!

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  12. Looking forward to seeing the results, Heather. What a great style!

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  13. Love this pattern, it seems so elegant! Hope to see your Christmas version soon, it would be great for sure

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  14. Beautiful pattern!
    Did I tell you how much I enjoyed hearing you on the Sewing Affair podcast? Your laugh is infectious - and not like in the crazy chest cold way.

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  15. oooo kimono sleeves.... does it have a gusset?

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  16. Ooooo the suspense you build! I can't wait to see what you have in store. I do hope it green... cause I wanted a green dress but had to settle for red. Let me live vicariously though you!

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  17. this will be lovely!!!

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  18. Thank you Katie. I'm hoping this is all going to turn out OK since I'm still in the middle. It might be one of those furious sewing before the deadline projects.

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  19. I hope you're having good luck with your own Xmas dress project Jo. At least we've got a couple weeks yet for sewing.

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  20. Sweet! Green dress fist bump. Have to tell you that I'm very smitten with your Advance 9441. Think I'm going to have to finally buy that one.

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  21. It's looking like the grading kinks are finally worked out. Might be moving on to real fabric this week. Hooray!

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  22. I should have freeze framed on the General Lee jumping off a cliff. :) Should be getting the next "chapter" out soon.

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  23. Wooo Hoooo! So happy not to be sick but we'd better knock on wood just in case. The germs don't like it when I get uppity.

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  24. I hope so. :) If Froggie give me a little of his magic then we should be great.

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  25. It does not have a gusset, though if I wasn't lazy it cold be added. Does have a nice little elbow dart on the back sleeve though. :)

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  26. You'd think I'd have a brooch all ready for this outfit but no! Wanted a red and green brooch/earring set from Luxulite and passed on some that she posted in November figuring it was early. She hasn't posted any since and keep missing the red/gold sets she's made. Oh well, thems the breaks.

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  27. Oh no, had to settle for red? Don't worry I'll make a green dress big enough for both of us. ;)

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  28. I think so if someone lights a fire under my butt to get it done. Better talk to Froggie about expanding his duties.

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  29. Do you think I can sucker Froggie into doing all the sewing for me? I do have a ton of cookies sitting in the kitchen as bribes. :)

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  30. Thanks Barbara. :) Better get my butt in gear and start on the real fabric soon.

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  31. Green Christmas dress for next year? At least you've got the pattern all picked out and I love the sound of fuchsia too.

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  32. Thanks Sue. Hoping I can do it justice. :)

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  33. Thank you :) I'm hoping to start sewing the fabric this coming week. Better get on it as the month is flying by.

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  34. You could steal the pattern piece from Gertie's first book. If I remember rightly her wiggle dress had kimono sleeves.

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