modified wardrobe: homemade christmas outfit

January 4, 2013

As I got Jia dressed for the Christmas Eve service this year,
I realized that her entire outfit was homemade.

Someone, at some point in time, gave me this dress.
I, for the life of me, cannot remember who gave it to me or when,
but I remember them saying they thought I could make something out of the fabric.
Was it my mom?...
Anyway, my sister was over one day and found it...
What. Is THIS?
Hey! Put that back! That's your Christmas present!
She didn't buy that but it was her size so I made her put it on.
It fit. Like a glove.
She looked like a stereotypical homeschooler.
I can call her that cause she used to be one. ;)
And in case you were wondering, those puff sleeves are scalloped on the sides
and the trim is iridescent. Oh yeahhhhhhh.
Seriously. Mom. I think this was yours.

Anyway, the fabric is actually a gorgeous bluish purple velvet.
And since Christmas is really the only acceptable time to wear velvet,
and my daughter didn't have a Christmas dress I made her a skirt with it.
Baby skirts are super simple to make.
They're basically just a tube or ring of fabric thats gathered with an elastic waistband.

- I measure the child's waist 
(or use a standard size per age list that I have written down if its a gift)
and that number will be the size of the elastic needed
and then you double it for the length of the fabric.

- The width of the fabric will be however long you want the skirt to be
plus a couple of extra inches for the waistband and hem.

Do you just love this tutorial?
Most people love following directions like these.
But this is seriously how I make things. Usually I don't even measure.

- If you have one long piece of fabric you can just do one seam up the back
to join the piece together, but I usually do two pieces and a seam on each side of the skirt.

- When working with velvet, I would recommend doing some type of finish stitch
on all the raw edges as it frays like crazy.

- Once you have your "tube" hem the bottom (e.g. fold up and stitch).

- Then create a casing for the elastic, making sure its the right size for the size of elastic you're using. If its too small, the elastic obviously won't fit. If its too wide, the elastic will move around inside of it and get twisted during washing and wearing. Again, you just fold over the raw edge and stitch, but this time you leave a small opening to insert the elastic.

- Hook a safety pin to the end of the elastic and feed it into the casing.

- When you make it all the way around, lay the ends of elastic on top of one another, like a sandwich, and go over a few times on each end with your sewing machine to secure well, making sure its smooth all the way around the skirt and not twisted.

- Then stitch the small opening shut and spread out the fabric evenly around the elastic.

You should be left with a pretty, flowy, gathered skirt!


Amazingly, this was the best photo I got of my daughter modeling her Christmas outfit.
She's such a prima donna.
I mean, I'm not sure what her brothers are doing to her but still.
They look like they're trying to help and she's not having it.
Her gold polka dot onesie tutorial can be found here.
I was serious when I said she wears it A LOT.
Her headband is another Chelsea original. ;)
I had some satiny fabric that matched the velvet almost exactly
and then I glued one of my great grandma's (Jia's great great grandma Margaret)
costume jewelry earrings (probably circa 1950's or 1960's) in the center.
I'm kind of in love with it.
And might be stealing it for myself. ;)
If there's any interest in headband tutorials I'll write one.
The ones I make are pretty straightforward.


There you have it.
Jia's Christmas outfit for $0!

1 comment:

amy D said...

Her whole outfit. Adorable.
Also, I tried the gold dot shirt for my daughter, but it didn't turn out even half as cute as yours, haha. But I still love it! :)

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