I was a little late catching on to the start date and themes of this season, but fortunately the theme for week one is "Winter Wonderland." This fit nicely with some sewing projects that I already had planned and designed and was set to sew. I mentioned before that I went a little nuts at Joann's during a fleece sale they had in early November. Dresses for all of us was what I had in mind, and potentially some leggings as well, because who doesn't want a pair of fleece leggings when it is 5 degrees outside?
So here are the girls in their dresses!
I posted about Althea's Red Riding Hood dress already, so I will just talk about Fern's Unicorn dress right now. I was trying to encourage them to pick a solid color of fleece at the store, but she fell in love with the unicorn print instantly (not surprised!) and was so enthusiastic about it that we compromised and got about 1/2 yard of the print and picked a coordinating color to make up the rest of the yardage. I love the result! I drafted the pattern myself and gave it a shawl collar, wide Aline skirt, on seam pockets and color blocked cuffs and skirt length. I also decided to make her a unicorn hat to match the one I made her sister for halloween, since she wears that hat all the time. You can't tell from the above picture since she wisely decided to wear her mud boots outside for these pictures, but she also has some color blocked fleece leggings to go along with the outfit. (Somehow head-to-toe fleece seems less absurd to me when I dress them in it then if I were to do the same for myself)
This was the first time I added a shawl collar to anything and it came together much more simply than I had been bracing myself for. I should have been focusing more attention on the sleeves probably, than the collar because they ended up getting a little bit awkward on me. It looks like there are some shoulder pads in there. This is a case where it would probably have been easier on myself if I were not too cheap to buy a pattern like the Bimaa Pattern I have read so many wonderful things about (which isn't expensive, but I have this stubborn streak where I always want to try figuring out the math of sewing myself instead of forking it over for patterns).
Nonetheless, she is so enamored with this fabric that she loves the dress no matter what. And that is why she gets to come to the store to pick out fabric with me! I am happy I got that white unicorn front and center right beneath the collar.
The dress is very long as you can see, and the cuffs are folded in half right now, so hopefully it will continue to fit her for a while!
Here she is in our "winter wonderland" reality: our muddy / wet / frozen ice skating rink of a back yard. She was quite excited to be Princess Unicorn out there though, on her Unicorn Skating Rink (until she fell in a big puddle and completely soaked herself; then indoors we went for some hot chocolate).
Here are her leggings poking out under her dress:
And here they are on their own:
I didn't have enough pink fleece for the pants, but fortunately I had one scrap left over from the purple fleece dress I made Fern last year that was big enough to make up the difference. I like that it goes along with the pink / purple theme of the outfit but is a little bit different and continues the theme of color blocking. I used some purple elastic for the waist which is basically just top-stitched right onto the waist line. I modified a pattern I made for her last summer which was created by disecting a pair of stained pants that fit her well. I did end up adding a little bit extra to the top of the rear of the pants before adding the waist band after having her try them on and squat down for me. She's a princess, not a plumber. I didn't hem the cuffs on these pants. I love how fleece provides that option. I did use a flat felled seam for the crotch, and am very happy with that. It looks neat, lays flat on the inside and hopefully will hold up to wear well.
And Althea of course needed to try on her sister's unicorn hat
Althea also got some fleecies to go under that red dress. It's hard to read the coloring here, but the pants are a dark hunter green which was the fleece that I chose for my dress. The hearts are red scraps from her dress. So now she can where them together without being too ridiculously matchy matchy. I love these little pants. They look much more finished than Fern's - although you can get away without hemming fleece, it does look nice when you do. There is a couple inches of extra length basted up in a hem on the bottom of the leg (I probably wouldn't have bothered doing it, but the extra length was sliding under her feet when she tried them on). I didn't want to lose any of the height of the waist, so I added a fleece waist band that is encasing a 1/2 " wide elastic which is a slightly shorter length than the rest of the waist band. These pants have a flat felled seam at the crotch as well. I'm hoping to get a few years out of them!
Here's a little parting shot of the back pleat on the red dress!
I hope to be posting a little more frequently now that the holidays are over. Let's see what the new year will bring!