Preparing for the holidays in 2020 is just really not the same. I’m normally dreaming up something a little excessive and a little novelty and probably not quite right to wear any day of the year other than its designated holiday. I regularly plan my outfit for a fancy dinner party, even if my plans involve a simple (if not elaborately filling) dinner with family. I love getting to make different things for different celebrations – one outfit for Halloween, one for a Halloween party. One for Friendsgiving, one for Thanksgiving. One for Christmas Eve with my husband’s family, one for Christmas with my family. You get the picture. I’m all about a little extra this time of year.
I’ve made the fancy things that I won’t wear anywhere this year, and I’m definitely looking forward to wearing them somewhere, someday. However, Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I wanted something pretty enough to pretend I was doing something special, but comfy enough to match our real life plans.
As a member of the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Promo Team, I had the pleasure of picking out a couple of yards of any of their fabrics to work with this month. This double brushed poly caught my eye right away. I fell in love with the colors and print immediately, but hadn’t quite decided to go for it. I have shied away from DBP in the last year or so after using some from other companies that had a microfiber-like effect, where the fabric caught on my skin in a really uncomfortable way. It was so odd for a fabric to be so soft yet so unpleasant simultaneously! When I sewed Halloween sweatshirts for my family, I used some of the DBP from Raspberry Creek as a coordinate on an area that would not touch my skin, and I was so impressed with the quality of the fabric. It had none of the annoying “catching” problems of the other fabric that turned me off of DBP! Once I realized how soft and wonderful the fabric from Raspberry Creek was, I had nothing holding me back!
The Made for Mermaids Sylvia Dress pattern released right before I chose my fabric for this project. I had fallen in love with the neckline and the unique cut of the bodice under the bust, but I didn’t have any fabric in my stash that stood out to me to sew the dress in. However, after I decided to work with this beautiful floral fabric, I realized it was going to be such a beautiful match! I was super excited to have a “reason” to buy this pattern! It has so many options, you could seriously make 20 different dresses that look completely different!
The neckline was what first drew me to this pattern, but the big billowy Bishop Sleeves are without a doubt my second favorite element. The pattern has options for fitted sleeves at multiple lengths, as well as a cute cap sleeve, but in my standard holiday extra-ness, I went full sleeve drama. As I was sewing it, I loved the way it looked before I gathered the big sleeves into the cuffs, and I might experiment with a big wide open sleeve in future versions. I knew I wanted to wear this one for Thanksgiving, though, and I needed to be able to pass the mashed potatoes without any wardrobe malfunctions!
As I sewed this dress, it started looking weirdly familiar to me. I ended up talking to my Papa (my mom’s dad) about it after he saw an in progress photo that I posted in my Instagram stories, and we realized that I’d sewn something very much from my memory. I haven’t tracked down the photo just yet, but he confirmed that I’ve seen a photo of my Mimi (his wife) in a very similar dress back in the 60s! I have always loved seeing photos of how fashionable she was, and it made me so pleased to think I’d recreated something of hers without even trying to.
I was very tempted to turn up the 1960s vibe of this dress by cutting it at the mini length, but was a little bit nervous that my 5’8” frame might be a bit much with the mini length, so I went with the dress length – better safe than sorry! I do think that next time, I might experiment with the shorter length though – I feel like I could easily pull it off without being too scandalous. My length is mostly in my torso, not my legs. I think it would be so cute with some tights and boots in the cool weather!
I’m super excited to wear this dress for Thanksgiving and beyond – it is as comfortable as pajamas, but obviously much more presentable! (Plus, I was able to squeeze a pair of pants out of my leftovers, so now the little one and I can match!)
Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: Made for Mermaids – Women’s Sylvia Dress
Fabric: Raspberry Creek Fabrics – Rusty Dusty Pink Sage and Mustard Vine Floral Print Double Brushed Poly Knit Fabric, by Kimberly Henrie for Club Fabrics
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this make! The fabric used for this post was generously provided to me by the team at Raspberry Creek Fabrics in exchange for a blog post about my experience working with this fabric; the pattern used here was purchased by me. The words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth