Christmas dresses for my nieces

When I said the blog would return to garment sewing, I didn’t say that all my Christmas sewing was over!

Reindeer Retro Dress

Before the final fitting (after which, the hem went up about 10 cm)

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02-2011-101

I’ve made this pattern before, for Felicity.

One of the 13 year old nieces likes retro styles, so this was an easy pattern pick for her.

Size: 36-44, I made a 38 with a 36 waist and a small bust adjustment. I did the small bust adjustment ‘properly’ using the slash and overlap technique (the By Hand London blog has a good post on both small and full bust adjustments)

Fabric: Christmas quilting cotton for the bodice, cotton gingham for the contrast neck and sleeve edges (from the inherited part of my stash) and rayon shirting for the skirt from Gay Naffine’s workroom.

Changes I made:

I raised the neck by adding 15 mm extra to the base of the neckline scoop so that it was not as deep and about 10 mm to the side neck to decrease the width and adjusted the back neck up about 15 mm too.

I cut the back skirt with a centre back seam and moved the zip to the centre back.

But the main change was, of course, to add those contrast neck and sleeves edges.

I cut these out like a facing and interfaced them. I ran a line of stitching on the outer edge, clipped and pressed the edge in. Then I stitched them to the neck edge right side to wrong side.

Trimmed the seam (aren’t those reindeer cute?),

then flipped the ‘facings’ to the right side and topstitched them down.

This is how it looks from the inside

And, to finish it off, I added a button tab and a button to the back neck

Patchwork Birds Sundress

(that’s a small part of the cooking reference library belonging to He Who Cooks in the background of this photo)

Pattern: BurdaStyle 05/2010 #114

Size 34-42, I made a 34 with a small bust adjustment. Not ‘properly’ this time: I folded out half of the dart width in a wedge up to the neck, then gathered the smaller amount of width here rather than darting.

Fabric: Christmas quilting cotton, with cotton bias tape (from the inherited part of my stash) as a flat piping and lined with a soft cotton batiste, also from the inherited part of my stash.

This is a cute pattern.


And to top of all that cuteness, just look at these Rudolph chocolate tartlets!

For the tartlets you’ll need:

  • 250g packet of Butternut Snap Cookies (a delicious buttery cookie made by Arnotts)
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup single cream
  • 200g dark chocolate
  1. Place 12 biscuits over each hole of a twelve hole round based tartlet tin. Bake for 2-3 minutes at 180°C or until soft. Remove from oven then carefully press softened biscuits into tin to mould into a cup shape. Allow to cool. Remove from tin and transfer to serving plate. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
  2. Place butter, cream and chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until cool but not set – about 20 minutes.
  3. Fill biscuit cases with 1 heaped teaspoon of chocolate mixture then place in refrigerator for 20-25 min or until set and ready to serve.
  4. To turn these chocolate tartlets into Rudolph tartlets, you’ll need regular and mini marshmallows for the eyes and faces, jaffas for the noses and pretzels for the antlers. Cut the marshmallows in half and press them into the chocolate filling cut side down. Stick the jaffas on with a dot of chocalte icing, and use the same icing to add pupils to the mini marshmallow eyes.

recipe from Taste

They taste good too!

4 thoughts on “Christmas dresses for my nieces

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