Hot! The “Christmas in Springtime” Dress

The Facts

⁃ Fabric: Plaid polyester (on sale $3/yd), yellow bedsheet (free)

⁃ Pattern: dress 117 from the 11/2010 Burda Magazine (free, traced from a friend’s magazine)

⁃ Year: 2010

⁃ Notions: purple invisible zip ($3)

⁃ Time to complete: 16 hours or so, including muslin making and pattern tracing

⁃ First worn: to breakfast with my lovee on a beautiful sunny morning!

⁃ Wear again? you bet!

⁃ Total price: $10!

I really worked hard to make sure this dress was a success. I spent a slightly shameful number of minutes in the fabric store trying to find a fabric that would match the Pantone Spring 2012 palette – I even had the print-out of the palette with me! So when I saw this plaid – a light green with bright orange squares, dusty purple lines with narrow yellow lines on either side, I thought it was perfect. It wasn’t until I got home and spread it out did I realize that the bright orange looks a lot like red in other lights, making this plaid shockingly similar to a cheap piece of generic Christmas wrapping paper. I felt like this:

Lucky for me, my diligence paid off and (color discrepancies aside) I made a great dress. It fits me well (thanks muslin-making and FBA) and is pretty comfy considering the cheap polyester. I made sure to match the plaid as much as possible in the bodice pieces (saving myself quite a bit of frustration by cutting the bodice as 1 piece instead of 2, and the back pieces as 2 pieces instead of 4). In a move for fashion cuteness and sanity safety, I decided to cut the skirt pieces on the bias to make a diagonal plaid in the gathered skirt. I’m quite pleased how that turned out, although cutting the skirt pieces without having them stretch all over the place was a little tricky!

I used an old yellow bedsheet as the muslin, but didn’t bother putting in the zip or hemming the bottom. After successfully finishing the muslin, I balled it up in the corner and tossed it to the side. Little did I realize how valuable that muslin would be – I used it as the lining! So now when you look inside the dress, not only do you see an old yellow bedsheet, you also see my Sharpie’d numbers on each piece! It actually might be one of my favorite details, because it reminds me that my patience and hard work paid off! I’m riding such a high from this dress that I’ve already bought my fabric for the city challenge! (Since I am a relatively new sewer, I don’t have a stash from which to choose a VIP fabric.) How many exclamation marks can I use in one paragraph? Apparently so many!

Tacoma’s beautiful Wright Park made the perfect backdrop for this springtime dress and photo shoot. If only the sun would stay!




Crysta Swarts is a teacher in Tacoma, WA whose primary focus on knitting has left little room for sewing. She believes 2012 is the year to change all that.


Comments are closed.

  1. It looks lovely! I love the plaid, and bravo on using the muslin as the lining! Very smart indeed :)

  2. Aw, thank you Meg! I can’t wait for it to get warmer so I can wear it properly – between every picture I was scrambling to put my sweatshirt back on!

  3. Not too Christmassy at all! The effort on the muslin really paid off and it is one sweet dress. (I love that you used the muslin – pen marks and all – for the lining. Brilliant!

  4. Thanks Jen! I do sort of feel like a genius every time I look at it. :)

  5. Yeah Crysta!! I love the pockets ;) And good call on cutting the skirt on the bias–much more interesting that way.

  6. I wouldn’t have thought Christmas either. I love that you did the skirt on the bias. I never think to do clever things like that! Great job!!

  7. Very cute, and it doesn’t look Christmasy, it looks perfect for a warm spring day. The fit is spot on and the colors suit you. Nice pics.

  8. Honestly, I cannot think of anything cooler than Christmas in the Spring. Bring it on! Your dress, though, is rocking! Wouldn’t have tied it to x-mas without your mentioning it…the print is fantastic and I love that you cut the skirt on the bias. That really made the dress unique! :)

  9. Great dress, and I love the plaid!

  10. Love the plaid! It’s a great dress and I love the sharpie detail on the inside. That would be one of my favorite parts too!

  11. Hey Crysta, I think it’s genius how you put the skirt part on the diagonal. Looks great.

  12. Wow, thanks everyone! I debuted the dress at work today and got lots of compliments – almost all from folks who had no idea I made it myself. Best. Feeling. Ever. Now I’m super confident going into the cities challenge!

  13. This is so cute! It looks like a great spring dress. What a great idea using the muslin as your lining!

  14. Beautiful photographed…love the bias plaid skirt.