By the time you read this, Christmas will have come and gone. But for now, the excitement is building as it rapidly approaches. I am particularly lucky. My birthday is precisely two days before Christmas and I have an extra special day this year. I am preparing to turn twenty-one! I can hardly believe it myself. Since these two special days are so close to each other, I am able to make one dress that will serve for both.  And I must admit, this dress is one of my most favorite makes to date. Red, polka dots, circle skirt, and adorable bias tape. What isn't to love?

I used the bodice from the Pastille dress, that can be found in the Colette Sewing Handbook, and combined it with a self-drafted circle skirt. I have made this particular bodice multiple times before (I don't think I've ever used the actual skirt portion of that dress pattern!) so I knew it would be an excellent choice for my holiday dress. I used a straight size 8. Since Colette Patterns are drafted for a C cup bust rather than the traditional B cup, I was able to get out of making a FBA.

I won't go into too much detail about the circle skirt. It is such a basic skirt style that I fear I would bore you! But, one of the best parts of this dress is the adorable Bias Tape that I used for the hem. Covered in little teddy bears and Christmas wreaths, it adds the perfect touch of holiday fun without going overboard. When I spotted it on the Minerva Crafts website, I knew I absolutely had to use it, even though I hadn't a clue what I wanted to use it on. I had five yards and ended up have just a few inches left over after completing the skirt hem.

Now I have a little bit of a sad story to tell about this dress. I was about two-thirds of the way finished with it, when I realized that I had accidentally cut the back seams of the skirt right on the selvage. Little tiny holes were peppering the length of those seams. I decided I would just use a slightly wider seam allowance to make up for it. . . I think some of you will know where this is going.

It was such a foolish decision on my part, but I was already exasperated that I hadn't noticed the selvage holes in the first place. The bodice would have been a perfect fit, but once I attached the skirt to it, due to those seam allowances, it reduced the size of the waist significantly. When I first tried it on I could have cried with frustration. The dress wouldn't zip past that ornery waist seam. I unpicked the side seams the bodice (and part of the skirt) and slimmed them down to 1/4" instead of the usual 5/8". This seemed to alleviate the issue. I was so relieved! Especially since I was supposed to be wearing the dress for a party the next day.

I thought all was resolved. The waist was still slightly too snug to be truly comfortable, but at least I could fit into it. I wore it to the party and everything went off smoothly. Unfortunately, the invisible zipper I used just couldn't withstand the strain. Right before my husband and I headed out to take these pictures, the zipper split along it's entire length. So, a moment of truth, the dress was gaping open down the back in all these pictures. I have since ripped out the broken invisible zipper and replaced it with a standard zipper using a narrower seam allowance. There are a few little holes showing just below the waist seam, but I can live with it. Thankfully, this story has a pretty happy ending. I still love this dress despite all the technical difficulties I had with it!

Would I make this dress again? Absolutely! I learned from my mistakes. Next time I will remember to double check whether or not the particular fabric I am using has selvage holes. All in all, this fabric was truly lovely to work with. It is a little stiff, but that helps the fitted bodice to be nice and snug while the skirt has a little extra volume without having to wear a petticoat. Because the dress isn't covered in a distinctively Christmas print, I will also be able to wear it year round! 

Thank you again to Minerva Crafts for their lovely crafting supplies!

Have a jolly day,