A New Dress for Christmas – My Festive Sewing Tradition

In the last few of years and totally by accident, I seem to have started my own new family tradition, sewing a dress for Emma on the last couple of days before Christmas. Since Emma was about three, she has had input into designing her own dresses by choosing her fabrics and style (with a little guidance of course).

christmas dress 2012

Emma’s Christmas dress 2012 – She wanted to be identical to the pattern cover, matching hairstyle and all.

As she has gotten older she has even sketched out her own designs, it’s been a particularly delightful challenge to interpret her drawings into a real life finished garment.

Emma's dress 2013 - Emma wanted a rainbow dress. The vintage trim really sets off the style.

Emma’s dress 2013 – Emma wanted a rainbow dress. The vintage trim really sets off the style.

I find that retreating from the Christmas madness by shutting myself away and getting productive in my sewing room on on Christmas Eve, makes me a much more pleasant person to be around during the holidays. My vintage fabric stash seems to be gathering dust these days, so it’s also a great excuse to cut into some of it, knowing it is destined for a greater purpose.

Emma designed her own dress in 2014 - I was particularly pleased to find a fabric in my stash that matched her drawing.

Emma designed her own dress in 2014 – I was particularly pleased to find a fabric in my stash that matched her drawing.

Of course Emma always loves her very special Christmas dress, and I know that she will have something special to wear over the festive season.

So as I’m about to start sewing her dress for 2015, I’m also reflecting on how much she has grown, both in height, and as her own little person. I’m sure that one day she won’t want to wear a homemade Christmas dress anymore, but I’m hoping that that day will be a long way off, and until then, you’ll find me happily tracing, cutting and stitching together a little wearable Christmas memory.

Christmas dress 2015 - Emma likes wearing black at the moment so this style from a Japanese sewing book really appealed to her. Both the floral and the gingham are from my vintage fabric collection.

Christmas dress 2015 – Emma likes wearing black at the moment so this style from a Japanese sewing book really appealed to her. Both the floral and the gingham are from my vintage fabric collection.

Dress finished with a day to spare – Go me!  My number one client is very pleased.
christmas dress collage christmas dress

Hope you and your family have a safe and joy filled Christmas.

x Cintia

Do you have any crafty Christmas traditions in your family?

6 Comments

  • Brigitte says:

    Oh my goodness, that is fantastic!!! That was always the dream I had – to sew for my daughter (and her dolls) and me once I actually had a child – but now that I have, I’m too busy with my paid graphics work and trying to keep my artwork alive … On top of everything else. This year is the first year (except for the Christmas just after she was born – letting people know of her arrival even though she was born in late September) that I’ve actually started doing Christmas cards again. They’re usually hand done so I’ve kept the tradition this year and I’m very happy to have achieved what I have. It is a lovely way to switch off and put some energy into the people we love isn’t it? I try to make it a piece of art that people won’t want to throw away after a week of it hanging on the mantelpiece. Here’s hoping …

  • Sarah Helene says:

    FABulous Christmas dress using a Japanese pattern for Emma! Love the combination of pink and white floral fabric for the bodice with black and white gingham for the skirt! Your photo shoot of her twirling is fantastic — showing Emma “love” her new dress! BRAVO to mom! Happy Christmas to your family. Sarah in Minneapolis

  • Marsha Heironimus says:

    My Christmas tradition is to make 100 Christmas ornaments (all the same) for my son-in-law to give out at Christmastime. He is a lawyer and gives one to the people who work at the court house. I also make teacher gifts for nine grandchildren for school as well as Sunday school teachers. I start very early in the year as I needed to make about 40 gifts this year. I made wool pot holders, tote bags, pillow cases, and various other gifts. The children enjoy giving them and I enjoy making them. I really loved your website!

    Marsha

  • Lisa says:

    What a very nice tradition! I’m sure your daughter will continue to cherish those dresses for a long time. This year’s dress is beautiful!

  • christy says:

    Just love that darling gingham/floral dress from the Japanese sewing book. Could you tell me what book so I can buy the pattern. I’d love to make it for my granddaughter and niece to have matching outfits. So happy to have stumbled upon your blog this morning. Lucky me !

    christy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *