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It’s December!! This month’s project is a holiday dress inspired by a Ulla Johnson Dress I recently fell in love with. JOANN has some really beautiful brocade fabrics perfect for sewing special occasion dresses and I chose this Floral Metallic Rio Red Brocade fabric. I had some extra fabric left over when I finished my dress so I made up a little matching dress for my daughter too. I can’t wait to wear these together to some of our upcoming holiday events.
What I loved about the design of this dress was the gathered neckline with raglan puff sleeves. Also the tiers. Can’t get enough tiered dresses in my life, obviously. I mashed up a few different patterns to make this dress, and I have a sew along video tutorial that will walk you through the whole process of creating this dress. You can find it here, or at the bottom of this post.
I used True Bias’s Roscoe Blouse pattern for the main shape of the bodice to get that gathered raglan sleeve neckline I wanted. I traced the pattern bodice front and back, and sleeve pieces. I used Simplicity 8658 to create a slightly more fitted neckline, (I try to use patterns I already have on hand to recreate RTW inspired garments). I added more fullness to the Roscoe Blouse sleeve, a dart to the bodice front and designed the bodice to be more fitted in the waist.
For the skirt tiers, I made 3 rectangles pieces measuring at: 8″ x 29″ (cut 2), 11″ x 29″ (cut 3), and 15″ x 29″ + add 2″ for hem so 17″ x 29″ (cut 4). Again, all of this is explained in my video.
I am so thrilled with the results! I was a little nervous this dress would be a little over the top but it’s just right. It’s perfect for a fancy night out, but I would also feel comfortable wearing it to church for Christmas or to a fancier holiday event.
Let’s chat about this fabric for a bit. It’s 85% polyester and 15% metallic. I machine washed my fabric before cutting into it on a delicate cycle, and hung it to dry. I probably used about 4 to 4.5 yards to create my dress, and about 1.5 for my daughter’s dress. This fabric frays big time, so make sure to finish all of the edges of your pieces before working with them. I serged mine. This helps with not only the fraying but also the mess. Other than that, this fabric was great to work with! I just love how beautiful it is!!
For my daughter’s dress, I also hacked a pattern to create her dress. I used a children’s pattern I had on hand (discussed in my video), and I love the result. She specifically did NOT want puffy sleeves, so I didn’t make them quite as dramatic as mine.
I made two muslins of my dress bodice before sewing up the bodice in my brocade fabric. I tweaked a few things to get just the right fit. I don’t usually muslin my projects but when hacking a pattern like this, it’s always good to do a test run first. I also made a muslin of my daughter’s dress bodice too.
I hope this post inspires you to make your own gorgeous dresses! Thank you so much for being here and wishing you all a wonderful holiday season! Happy sewing!