It’s beginning to look a lot like a Christmas Dress!

It is a tradition in my family that the girls all have a new dress to wear on Christmas Day. As time has progressed, my children are grown and my family is now spread all over Australia (and a few in UK) the tradition has changed a little.

A wonderful friend of mine includes me in her family celebration on Christmas Eve and this year I decided on something a little more special than usual.

I already had some divine white paper taffeta with black spots on it and an assortment of colored taffeta remnants that I had yet decided on their purpose – I had the fabric but was agonizing over a design!

After much discussion and debate with trusted critics I finally rested on the lovely Butterick Retro B5603, 1956.

A beautifully simple pattern to make, and I always love sewing with taffeta, everything went exactly to plan. Until my iron went on the fritz. It is amazing what you can do with a hair straightener.

And I found a giant flaw in the dots straight down the middle of the fabric, all 4 metres . . . Luckily they were printed dots and not woven. A combination of fabric paint and permanent marker averted that major catastrophe!!

I used pattern style A – on the envelope in yellow – and used the red as a contrast. You can’t see it on the pattern but the back has a deep v and unless I turn into a contortionist I don’t have one of the back yet!

I had a little extra time up my sleeve so I trimmed the hem in red satin bias. I think the result is rather festive. Nobody even noticed that half an hour before the party started my iron had died!!

Sparkly red shoes topped off the outfit.

A very Merry Retro Christmas to all, and Happy New Year!

• Meet the Author • Miss J


A full time working mother, part time university student and all the time diva... I am only 4'10" and a little size 8 (Au) and I struggle to find gorgeous retro styled clothing to fit my height - so I make my own! I have been sewing since I could hold a needle and my great grandmother taught me to sew on a 1908 Singer treadle machine.


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