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The Christmas A Line Dress

I’ve always wanted to make a dress from Christmas Fabric – something that on first perception doesn’t look obviously Christmassy but on closer inspection is.

I found this lovely soft 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric, Noel by by Poppy Europe, on the Minerva website.  I love the dark background and the Christmas motifs that look like jewels scattered all over it.  It doesn’t scream Christmas, but yet it is in a subtle way. 

I needed a simply cut dress to show it off and found this ‘A’ line dress pattern by The Avid Seamstress on the Minerva website.  I’m really impressed by the presentation of it. 

You get a strong card envelope holding the contents which consist of the pattern printed on thick paper, a booklet of instructions in which you can write notes and a card on which you can record your measurements, along with another card telling you all about the pattern company.  It’s all something that I know I’ll keep and use again.

I pre-washed the fabric for shrinkage and it came out beautifully – no fading at all and no ironing either.  The deep black background also stayed that colour and still felt so soft. 

The body measurements of the pattern were consistent with what I usually expect.  I did make one small adjustment to customize the dress to my shape and I cut out the skirt section at a slightly larger size and graded out the bodice section to fit the larger skirt, which was easy to do.  4 metres of fabric allowed me to pattern match the skirt and bodice seams when cutting out, although you could get away with a lot less fabric than that if you were using a fabric with a plain ground for example.  

I also managed to pattern match the fabric on either side of the zip insertion.  This is only the second time I’ve inserted an invisible zip.  It really is worth getting your head round how to do it – it looks so effective and professional in the end.

I deep V on this dress is really flattering.  It is achieved with facings which extend down to the waistband, which make it easy to get a nice point at the base of the V.  There is also some understitching to do to make the facings lie flat.

Believe it or not, there are also pockets in this dress, they are really unobtrusive, or perhaps it’s just the soft fabric which drapes so well.

I love how the dress fits me.  It really suits my shape and I plan to make more.  I’ll be wearing this one for my Christmas Dinners at work and also at home.  I want to make some more dresses in plains for work and also some in other novelty fun fabrics.

I also loved making this because it’s the first project I’ve done on my new sewing machine.  My old one gave up the ghost after 35 years loyal service …  I was kind of sentimentally attached to it and had resisted upgrading for a long time … but I didn’t realise how I’d been ‘managing’ with it for so long.  My new one is so easy to sew with and there’s no snagging or niggly problems.  I had to buy in an invisible zipper foot for it, which delayed me a bit with finishing this dress, but there’s no stopping me now :-)  Look forward to more makes for Minerva!  Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for reading :-)

Diane @ margueritedesigns

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