Cardinals & Plaid. The Perfect Dress for Baby’s First Christmas.
Sewing Project: Violette Field Threads’ Nora Dress
I have completed one of those projects and I’m over the moon happy with how it turned out.
My baby girl has her first Christmas dress!
The Sewing Pattern
During their Black Friday Sale, I purchased the baby Nora pattern from Violette Field Threads.
It’s safe to say that I fell in love with this pattern company.
Did I mention that I purchased about five patterns total? Yeah. I’m on a budget or it would have been a lot more!
I planned to sew up the Nora first — but didn’t plan for it to be my baby girl’s first Christmas dress. That was going to be Elodie.
Did I mention that I may have been a bit ambitious? Yeah. Thought so. Elodie will happen another time.
Choosing the Fabric
After buying new patterns, I had to make a trip to JoAnn’s for supplies. So, up the hill I went to our local store to stare at all the pretty fabric and try not to overspend.
I spent at least half an hour in the cotton section trying to decide on the fabric for this dress and a couple others. Baby Elsie slept the WHOLE TIME! Impressive. (Am I the only one who hears Vader’s voice in my head whenever that word is used?)
Fabric in hand, I headed for the cutting counter. But caught sight of a pretty cardinal print in the flannel section. I knew that I wanted it — and not the cotton I had labored so long to find!
In two minutes, I had picked out a complimentary plaid flannel.
All that time wasted in the cotton section when I just needed flannel!
You can’t argue perfection.
Now I only had one problem. I had a pdf pattern, but no ink.
Smooth Sewing (Not)
Fast forward to when the ink for my printer (finally) arrived.
I eagerly cut every piece out and began sewing. Everything was going awesome! I finished the bodice up with the sleeves and decided to try it on Elsie to see how the fit was.
That’s when my ship sunk.
There was a HUGE gap between the back panel where it was supposed to button. There was no way it would fit!
So, I snapped a blurry cell phone picture (that’s what happens when you’re trying to hold a squirming four-month-old and take a photo at the same time!). Off I went to the Violette Field Threads Facebook Group for wisdom.
The ladies were awesome! It only took one comment to figure out exactly what I had done wrong.
The back bodice was printed on two pages and supposed to be taped together. I had only printed and cut the pattern piece on one page! No wonder it didn’t fit!
I was delayed, but not discouraged and refused to consider trashing the entire bodice or taking it all apart.
I had worked too hard on it!
After a few days pondering my options, I went back to work. I cut the missing pattern piece out, added the needed seam allowances, and added it to the finished bodice. I only had to rip out one seam on each side.
Win! It totally worked and looks intentional. A design decision indeed. 🙂
A (side) Note on Fabric Choice … or … That Bleeding Red!
Before I made this Nora, I pre-washed the fabric separately with vinegar to help ‘set’ the dye. I haven’t dealt much with bleeding dye, but this particular pairing had me a little nervous.
I was right to be concerned.
My little Elsie wore this dress last Saturday for a piano recital (I work at a music studio and taught piano before I had baby girl four months ago). I usually toss any outfit she’s worn into the laundry at the end of the day, because between drool and spit up they NEED washed!
Unfortunately, this didn’t end well. The photos above were taken before I washed the dress. Now I’m in the process of trying to figure out how to get dye bleed out. It’s especially concentrated at the waistline. 🙁
I had planned on having more photos and doing some lovely flat lay shots. If I can get the dye out, you’ll see those here in the future. For now, I don’t have as many photos as I’d like.
Final Thoughts & Christmas Wishes
All in all, (with the exception of the dye conundrum.) I love the way this Nora dress turned out. Sometimes the directions were a little tough to follow, but there are photos every step of the way that helped a ton.
AND the Facebook group is amazing. (Seriously, they have almost 30,000 members who are positive, encouraging and helpful!)
I made the 12-18 month size for my Elsie girl and the fit is great. She actually has room to grow.
I know. My four-month-old is growing like crazy and just doesn’t fit anything in her age range. Ironically, this same dress fits my 17-month-old niece!
It is so special to make my daughter’s first Christmas dress.
This year, we’re spending Christmas with my sister and her family. That means there will be three little girls under the age of two. That’s almost too much cute in one room!
Whatever you are doing this Christmas and whoever you’re spending it with. I hope it is warm, lovely and has a bit of handmade.
Tell me your special handcrafted Christmas story in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!