Hey y’all, today I’m sharing the velvet dress i made myself for Christmas. And this dress is going to get a lot of wear beyond Christmas for me!
This is the kind of project that rewards hoarding. I bought this fabric four years ago (!) without a project in mind, but since then it has turned into two perfect makes (see the other here). So I’m fully subscribed to the idea that sometimes you just have to buy the fabric and the right project will find it.
And for those of you who didn’t have the foresight to buy this fabric four years ago, there are some similar options here, and here (affiliate links), though none are quite the same color as mine, which I love because it’s a perfect mix of blue, teal and gray.
I shared the process of creating this dress in my Instagram stories as I did it, and I got lots of messages asking me for a pattern. This is a self drafted bodice on which I rotated part of the bust dart into fullness in the shoulder, which I gathered to the back shoulder. And then I used parts of my Daintree Skirt pattern to create the skirt. I originally wanted to make the full Daintree skirt on the bottom with the ties, but I didn’t have enough fabric for that. So this is essentially one Daintree panel cut on the fold for the back, and two of the curved front panels. However, I did have to modify the hem width and the waist length to match my bodice and how much fabric I had, so it’s more like I used the Daintree as a sloper to create a new skirt, ha! So, that being said, it’s possible I may create a pattern in my shop for this someday, but it’s not something that’s available right now.
I decided I also wanted to style the dress two ways – because even though it looks fussy and luxurious, this velour (which is the proper name for stretch velvet, even if no one really calls it that. Velvet is woven, velour is knitted) is easy care and easy to wear.
So first I went with a classic look. Black wedges, red lips and a clutch (more on that next week!) and vintage look earrings dress this look up and would be great for a holiday party (or a football banquet, if you’re me, ha!) or even a wedding.
Since I didn’t have enough fabric for ties, I used a covered button (and a flat one inside) to secure the wrap. And I hand hemmed the entire neckline and skirt over 3 days, because I just couldn’t get a nice hem on samples with machine stitching. Sometimes there is no comparison for what you can do by hand.
A little tip – the back side of this fabric is very slinky, so even with pins I was having a hard time getting the fabric not to shift while I hemmed. So I added some light Stitch Witchery (affiliate link) into the hem fold (this hem is only folded once because the fabric doesn’t fray) then I placed the dress right side down on a terrycloth towel covering my ironing board and held most of the weight of the iron off the fabric to activate the glue in the tape. The terry cloth meshes with the pile on the fabric so it doesn’t get crushed. Because I used the light weight kind of tape, this will mostly wash out when I wash the dress, but it held the hem enough for me to get my stitching in.
For the second look, I went more casual, and honestly I’ll probably wear the dress this way more often. I added a leafy earrings, a lacy cardigan, tall boots, sunglasses and a vintage beaded ribbon belt. The boots are from Frye, but they don’t make the slouchy trapunto style currently, so this pair (affiliate link) is the most similar I could find. The earrings I bought years ago, but these (affiliate link) have a similar feel. Since the sweater was a gift years ago and the belt was from the antique store, I can’t really point you toward anything similar.
A little behind the photos: This field is right near my house, and I always think it would be perfect for sunset pictures, but there’s not really parking near it, so we had to walk there. And it’s right by a busy road. In the suburbs. So I’m pretty sure there were drivers wondering what the heck we were doing, ha!
But when you get this kind of light, it’s worth it, right?
And one more without the sweater. Merry Christmas y’all!