Hey y’all – today I’m sharing these matching Christmas dresses that I sewed for my nieces using my Fiesta Frock pattern. I had some of this Riley Blake The Sweetest Thing red floral for a while (this is an out of print fabric, but you may still be able to find it on Etsy) and could never decide what to make with it, but then we started talking Christmas dresses and I knew I had the perfect project.
Because my littlest niece isn’t walking yet, I wanted to do a circle skirt for her because I knew we’d get sitting pictures and a baby sitting in a circle skirt is the cutest.
For her dress, I sewed the bodice exactly as the instructions in the pattern, and then once I basted the waist seam below the buttons, I measured the waistline and used that measurement to cut a circle skirt. I used the chart in the pattern as the guide for what length to cut the skirt.
Then I sewed on the circle skirt and finished it with a rolled hem.
My older niece is really into pockets lately as she’s gotten old enough to realize how crazy useful they are.
And this dress has BIG pockets, which I outlined with bias tape sandwiched in the seams for a little pop of contrast.
To make the skirt, start with the waist measurements in the pattern for the size you are sewing. Cut two panels that are 1/3 of the waist measurement + 1 inch in width and the same length as indicated in the skirt chart for the pocket panels, and two panels that are 1/2 of the waist measurement + 1 inch wide and the same length as indicated in the skirt chart.
So for example, my niece’s waist measurement is 22. Divided by 3 = 7.33, which I rounded to 7 3/8 on my ruler, and + 1 inch is 8 3/8 for my pocket panel widths. Then I did 22/2=11 + 1 = 12 to get 12 inch wide front and back panels.
Finally cut 2 pockets that are the same width as your pocket panel and 1/2 of the total skirt length. My niece’s skirt is 20″ long, so I cut the pockets 8 3/8 wide by 10 inches tall.Next, fold the top edges of the pockets 1/4″ and then 1/2″ to the wrong side and stitch hems.
Mark the center of each pocket panel and pocket. Place pocket wrong side up with the panel right side up, hemmed edge of the pocket facing down. Mark the pocket panel at the edge of the hem on the pocket, then move the pocket down so the unhemmed edge of the pocket is aligned with that mark. If you’d like to add piping or bias tape as contrast, insert it into this seam. Stitch across the pocket and panel, then fold the pocket up. You may wish to baste the side seams of the pocket and panel together to keep the pocket from shifting.
Next, place a pocket panel and skirt panel right sides together. If you’d like to add piping or bias tape as contrast, insert it into this seam. Stitch and finish the seam. Repeat with other panel and skirt pieces, then fold entire skirt assembly right sides together and sew into a loop.
Mark the center of each panel of the skirt, and then gather it and attach per pattern instructions. The center of each pocket panel should match the side seams of the bodice, and the centers of the skirt panels should match the center front and center back of the bodice.
Finally, I modified the sleeves of her dress.
To do that, I set the sleeves 1 inch over the fold of the fabric as I cut them, to remove some of the puff. Then I lengthened them 3 inches. I finished each with a rolled hem and stretched a piece of elastic equal to the sleeve band measurement from the pattern around the sleeve 1 inches from the hem.