Like a hole in the head

8 Dec

I’ve bought only a handful of children’s clothes since Jade was born because we’ve been so lucky with hand-me-downs from friends.  At Jade’s age, though, the hand-me-downs are naturally getting scarcer.  I got the girls dressed up for a recent Christmas event and realized that Jade doesn’t have a Christmassy-type dress this year.  The options for buying children’s clothes in Whitehorse are pretty much limited to Wal-Mart and Please Mum. And so I decided to make Jade’s Christmas dress.

Because I needed a new project like I need a hole in my head.

(Or, as a friend on Facebook pointed out, a new hole in my head, since the existing ones are actually pretty useful.)

I picked out the pattern in a hurry on a rushed errand run.  Since I’m not a very experienced seamstress, I was looking for something easy, but still cute.  Simplicity #3859 seemed like it would do.

I’ve sewn only two items of clothing in my life.  One was a skirt and the other was a spaghetti-strap dress of my own design.  Having to deal with a full bodice and neckline and facings and armholes and bias tape* was a whole new adventure for me.  I think my stitch-ripper got just as much mileage as my sewing machine did. 

When I finished putting the dress together, it still didn’t look quite finished to me.  It was pretty enough, but it lacked that extra something special that made it look like it was lovingly put together.  Then I remembered the tiny crystal beads that were left over from the construction of my wedding dress.  After scattering about a hundred in a random fashion along the bottom hem, the dress gained just that little bit of sparkle that it needed.

And voila!

Le dress!

Close-up on the bling. How the heck did this thing already pick up so much cat hair?!

Ready for Christmas!

Despite all the mistakes and alterations I made, I actually enjoyed the whole process — it’s just like putting together a puzzle.  The icing on the cake was how thrilled Jade was with her new fancy dress.  I think I’m going to want to sew more stuff after this.  And, oh my God.  I need a new hobby like I need a new hole in my head.

*home-made bias tape, at that, since I forgot to buy it, ruined the application of the single-bias tape by cutting notches into the seam allowance and then finally decided to fix it using (home-made) double-fold bias tape. Whew!

31 Responses to “Like a hole in the head”

  1. YukonJen December 8, 2009 at 12:52 am #

    Your dress is lovely Fawn. Today, I bought fabric to make napkins. I thought I’d start with something simple.

  2. Nai-Nai December 8, 2009 at 1:07 am #

    Very nicely done.

  3. MFA Mama December 8, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    Holy crap, Fawn! First of all Jade is SO cute and festive in her dress, and I love the picture of her in it–you can just make out the look of great satisfaction as she surveys her finery.

    Second? I know juuust enough about sewing to say that YOU ARE INSANE. Home-made bias tape??? Wow.

    (My concerns over your sanity aside, the crystal beads were an inspired addition)

    Finally am I the only one who wonders what Simplicity was thinking with that photo? The little girl is flashing her leg like…well…you know.



  4. Marian December 8, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    Great job Fawn. Jade looks very satisfied with the results!! Cute.

  5. Vivian Lee December 8, 2009 at 3:28 am #

    Hi Fawn,

    Very beautiful! Daughter was very cute! I wish your family a merry Christmas in advance!

  6. allmycke December 8, 2009 at 3:33 am #

    Pretty dress on a pretty girl – I’d say you’re doing OK in the sewing department.

  7. Jenny December 8, 2009 at 4:28 am #

    I hate to sew. I haven’t tried it though since high school. I love to do cross stitch and would like to know how to knit or crochet, but something about sewing never appealed to me. Have you ever checked out the site You can just buy a handmade dress 🙂 There’s so many women around here that do sew I never had to learn.

  8. Kara December 8, 2009 at 5:29 am #

    That dress is so beautiful! Great job!

  9. laura morning December 8, 2009 at 5:41 am #

    Beautiful work and fabric selection! It is fun to sew for kids. They are small and undemanding. I started with pyjamas – it didn’t really matter if they weren’t perfect. Gift bags in Christmas prints are lots of fun too. Make them once and save hours wrapping every year.

  10. Tammy December 8, 2009 at 6:08 am #

    I tried to sew once. I wrecked the machine just trying to thread it. YOU are my new hero!!
    What a cute little dress. And of course, Jade is adorable!

  11. jen December 8, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    Wow! Gorgeous dress and Jade looks very beautiful all dressed up in it!

  12. Vivian Lee December 8, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Hi Fawn


  13. Heather December 8, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    I as so very impressed! The dress is beautiful!

  14. Maija December 8, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Awesome. I approve! haha…if that makes any difference! 🙂 Good Job. I caught the sewing bug a long time ago, and both my kids LOVE it.

  15. Omichen December 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    Be proud of your own, Fawny. The dress just looks marvellous and Jade too. Küsschen Omi

  16. Opa December 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    All she’s missing now is coloured toenails to match

  17. Bubblybunny December 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    Wow! It’s beautiful. I don’t believe this is only your 3rd sewing project!! It looks like you bought the dress from a store!

  18. Captain Momma December 8, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Great job!!!! You needed to use the new sewing machine otherwise it would be useless!!!

    I completely understand, I decided it would be easy to make necklaces for some Christmas gifts…thus a new hobby has been born and I also needed one like a whole in the head!!!!

  19. Marie December 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    Congratulations – something you can both be proud of!! I love to sew but just don’t have time for it anymore. My sewing machine hasn’t seen the light of day in almost a year 😦

  20. Claire December 9, 2009 at 5:47 am #

    It’s just not fair to manage all those holes in your head and to be able to sew too! Wow! It’s gorgeous! I am indeed envious…I can sew sort of straight lines….

    • Fawn Fritzen December 9, 2009 at 8:41 am #

      Ah well, there are plenty of things I’m useless at, believe me!

  21. Adventures In Babywearing December 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm #



  22. Christiane December 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    Great job! Jade looks adorable!! 🙂

  23. Barbara December 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    You done good!

  24. Cristina December 10, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    Oh my goodness! That dress is adorable!!! And Jade is a DOLL! Darnit! Now I want a little girl to sew dresses for too! But, I need another child, like I need another hole in my head. 😉 Must be a great idea then, right? 🙂

  25. Cathy December 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Seriously Fawn! Could you be any more awesome??? We so need to chat on the phone or meet up somewhere! This Keto/Epilepsy thing is aging me!

    Miss ya!
    Noah’s Mom

  26. MommyTime December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    What an absolutely lovely dress. You picked the perfect style to go with that blouse (or did the blouse come second?) And the beads were inspired. Beautiful job.

  27. Marianne December 12, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    The dress if fabulous and the blouse is perfect with it. I remember my mom making Christmas dresses for my sister and I when we were little and I loved them. (I also remember that the dresses were sometimes still being finished late on Christmas Eve!) I think it’s too late for me to get mya ct together to try to sew a dress for Maya this year, but you’ve inspired me to consider it for next year.

  28. Marianne December 12, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    Oh, and my mother refers to extensive use fo her seam-ripper as “reverse sewing” … where everything has to come undone!

  29. Megan December 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Hey, you’ve made it to the second round in the Canadian Blog Awards! I’m pulling everything together into a single post.

  30. Jazmin Pehler August 31, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    I fully agree with your knowledge. 🙂 There’s absolutely nothing much more calming than resting and crafting with good friends.

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