The 12 Days of Christmas: sewpony

December 01, 2013

Happy December everyone and welcome to the first day of The 12 Days of Christmas sewing series hosted by myself and Laura from Craftstorming


Over the next twelve days, Laura and I will feature guest bloggers on each of our blogs sharing some festive sewing to get you in the Christmas spirit!  Guests will share what they have sewn as well as some Christmas stories, traditions and memories.  Here is the great line up...


Today Laura and I are going to show you some things we have sewn for our children. But first, I will tell you a bit about my Christmas...

I love Christmas. Excepting one Christmas spent in the UK with my husband's family, I have spent all of my Christmases with my family in Victoria, Australia.  I have the most treasured memories of Christmases as a child.  I remember being so excited about Santa coming, about sleepovers with my cousins and about hearing tinkling bells while I tried to sleep on Christmas Eve.  The magic of Christmas is so special for children I think.  When I was a child and in to my early twenties, we used to spend Christmases at my Grandparents in my hometown.  As children, we would stay the night on Christmas eve at Grandma and Grandpa's after singing carols at church. Huddled in sleeping bags with my brothers, sisters and cousins, we would talk and excitedly await the morning.  We had a little tradition of lining up from youngest to oldest waiting outside the room which housed all of the lovely presents to be opened...


Here I am with my three sisters and two brothers many years ago.  I am third from right.

Then of course there were presents...dolls, handmade dolls clothes (made by Mum), books, spirograph, clothes, water pistols, quilts from Grandma, fashion plates, boardgames and lollies!



Christmases in Australia are warm.  So our Christmas days were spent playing outside with our toys, a bit of backyard cricket and a feast of yummy meats, salads, smoked trout and lemonade. 

Christmases have changed a bit since then, but not too much!  I am older and have my own family.  We still travel to my hometown, but now we spend Christmas at my parent's place (the home where I grew up).  Sadly, my Dad died in April this year from terminal lung cancer after having only being diagnosed in late October last year.  We knew last year was our last Christmas with him.  So this will be the first Christmas without Dad.  I am making my girls a special photo book filled with photos of them together - something I have been meaning to do for a while.  I know it will be a special gift.  Traditionally, the adults in my family exchange gifts in a Kris Kringle fashion.  We buy one gift and receive one gift.  This year, in honour of Dad, we will all buy a gift for each other which is somehow inspired by him.  This will be a great way to remember Dad in a funny and creative way. 

Our girls love spending time in Warrnambool and are already so excited about Christmas.  They have written their letters to Santa and I love that I can now help foster the magic of Christmas, and I find that Christmas time is a time that I reflect fondly on my own Christmas memories - such happy times!  Christmases are just great in my family and I always feel so lucky at Christmas time.  Apart from loving spending time with family and sharing food, gifts and love, something small that I love at Christmas time are the little lights on the Christmas tree at night.  I particularly love seeing them twinkling on a quick trip to the toilet in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep!

Anyway, I could go on all day...but I know you would like to see what I made for my three girls!!  Being a lover of vintage children's clothes and designs, I wanted to make vintage inspired dresses.  I decided to make dresses that on their own could be worn at any time of year, but together would look nice and festive.


 I took the girls to the 'giant presents' that are displayed each year out the front of our local town hall (a few minutes walk from our house).  The girls were super excited about wearing their Christmas dresses and playing on the presents.



"We'll take this one Mummy!"


Isabella's dress was inspired by the collar on this dress.  I created the collar myself (and plan on making up a tutorial on how to make one soon).  I used An from Straightgrain's Tinny dress bodice and made up an a-line skirt.  The invisible zip at the back is intentionally red - a little Christmas detail! I omitted the sleeves from An's pattern and drafted facings instead.  The origami collar is made from off white quilting cotton and lined with voile and has a thin interfacing in between.  The buttons are vintage.





Juliette's dress also began with the tinny dress bodice, but I think I mucked up the size and it ended up a bit short so I added a long gathered skirt.  I had a couple of failed attempts at inserting an invisible zipper at the back - the sewn in collar band did not lend itself to a smooth finish so I ended up making button loops instead. The collar band was an idea I had while I was placing the neck facing on the dress (right side to right side).  I liked the look of the white contrast so added in top of the dress. Juliette has ric rac on her dress to complement Isabella's. 
 
 


Emily's dress was made using the gorgeous Norah dress pattern by my new and lovely friend Hayley of Welcome to the mousehouse blog - from her etsy shop: MouseHouse Creations.  It is her first digital pattern and is so cute.  Hayley offered me this pattern a while ago but I wanted to save it for Emily's Christmas dress because I thought the bow collar was very festive!  I also love the sweet shape of this dress. The bow is perfect and is such a sweet and unique detail. 






I had so much fun making these dresses.  They will be wrapped and ready to wear on Christmas day.

Now, it's time to hop over to Craftstorming to see what festive goodness Laura has whipped up!  Click on the image below to take you there...
www.craftstorming.com
And if you feel like joining in, please do!  You can add your photos to The 12 Days of Christmas flickr group.  Laura and I will do a round up of all the creations on the 19th December here on our blogs.


 That's all from me for today!  Please come back tomorrow for more festive goodness...

*****
 
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me...
A partridge in a pear tree.



Pssst...if you are visiting today to find out about Secret Squirrel, please click here.

 

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42 comments

  1. Oh Suz - awesome dresses and photos. I'm crazy about the green dress - well done!! And your beautiful girls <3

    May you all have a very merry Christmas.

    Trine

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  2. Suz, all three dresses are gorgeous. Like you said, they can be worn any other day too. The girls look great together in their mummy-made dresses :)

    Now, about looking at the lights wile running to the lo in the middle of the night? You should have heard me giggling :) My husband gave me a funny look :)

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  3. They are beautiful dresses! I especially love the pleated collar on the green dress - that's a gorgeous detail.

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  4. I adore the collar on the green dress! What lovely work!

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  5. These dresses are so beautiful. The collar on Isabella's is amazing and you were right that Hayley's pattern would be perfect for a Christmas dress. I love how they are all different but look so festive together. Also, the back of Juliette's dress is beautiful.

    Your childhood Christmas traditions sound magical and I hope you all have a wonderful day this year.

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  6. These are all so sweet! I love the contrasting details at the top- the collar, the bow...really beautiful, Suz!

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  7. Loooooove all those three dresses and your girls are just the perfect models. So so cute!!

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  8. Suz, really really gorgeous!!! And I love how they are all different yet lined up together go perfectly!

    Thank you for sharing some of your Christmas traditions with us... I always love learning more about my favourite bloggers and that way, get a little inside as to who they are, their background, their influences etc... I think you have wonderful ideas as to celebrate the memory of your dad this Christmas... that will be so special for your girls!

    Lots of love,
    Natalie
    XX

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  9. Beautiful dresses, photos and story, Suz! Have a wonderful Christmas to you and family!

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  10. So fun! My husband used to line up the same way before opening gifts. And now we do it with all the spouses and grand kids. These dresses are adorable and I love the vintage feel and details. The origami collar is perfect and I love the ric-rac detail and the Norah dress is just too cute!

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  11. Oh, wow! Love them all, Suz. They're perfectly different from each other but fit together so well. Lovely photos and story - the perfect Christmas inspiration!! Lx

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  12. Thankyou for all the lovely comments!

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  13. So cute! Love all the details. The folded collar is awesome, would love a tutorial. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Olga. Tutorial coming soon. Hopefully before Christmas if my blog has time!!

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  14. So pretty Suz! I love the little red zip and the origami collar.

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  15. I agree with the previous comments - it's lovely how all the dresses are different yet they go together so well. Emily's is my favourite :)

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  16. Well, first of all it sure is warm and sunny right now where you live!
    I am so looking forward to your origami collar tutorial, so I can give it a try.
    How fun that you put a red invisible zipper on the green dress :)
    You really outdid yourself sewing THREE dresses!

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  17. Absolutely beautiful, love the vintage feel, the details, the Christmassy colours.

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  18. Suz, your creations are beautiful! I love the ready made backdrop too!

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  20. Wow! I like all three of them, and I'm happy to see I've been able to inspire you!

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou!! Your sewing is amazing!!

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  21. Such lovely detail in these! Please do share a tutorial on those collars soon. I am so sorry you will be missing your dad this Christmas. I hope the season brings wonderful old and new family memories!

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  22. These are just gorgeous - and I love the old family photos!

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  23. BEAUTIFUL Job Suz! I can't believe you did three amazing dresses... lovely!

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  24. Those are really pretty. Love the little details. Looks you spent a great time during photo shooting.

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  25. I cannot believe you managed to sew 3 outfits! The green one is my favorite, but they're all so pretty...

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou an! Can't wait to see what you make!!

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  26. So beautiful!
    I really can't pick a favorite and you girls look like they were having so much fun!!
    I'm having a hard time catching up with all the gorgeous creations - you're all so talented (and productive).

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  27. Beautiful outfits, Suz!! Your traditions and memories make me want to know more about your Christmas 2013 - and what you and your siblings gift each other....It is bound to be special!

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  28. Lovely to read about your Christmas fun... and see three dreamy dresses! So sweet

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  29. Oh I love everything about these dresses- so cute! The colors and details and your daughters perfect!

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