Monday, 28 November 2016

Christmas Kitty Dress and matching Bowling shirt

As part of one of my secret Santa gifts I received last year, I was lucky enough to get some of  this adorable Christmas Kitty fabric (it's called Cats and Ornaments on the selvedge) Which I swear I had not seen for sale at Spotlight prior (and you all know I look for anything with kitties on it) but after I received my gift, I did manage to find it at my local Spotlight, so I purchased a bit more so I would have enough for a dress, Hooray! It has sat in my stash all year, but now it is almost silly season which means it's time to sew all the Christmas dresses!

Spotlight Fabric and Simplicity 1459

I decided to use Simplicity 1459 for this dress, opting for the sleeveless version. I am making some design changes to it, by extending the button front all the way down, and using bias tape instead of armhole facings (which I find annoying). I am also grading it up slightly, shortening the bodice, using a basic gathered skirt instead of the pattern pieces and of course, adding pockets!

Once I had all the bodice pieces cut out (I used a plain red for the under collar and front facing to save kitty fabric) I began the construction. It goes together quite easily, much like any other pattern. Darts first, press, overlock, shoulder and side seams, press, collar pieces together, seams clipped, turned right way out, press. I top stitched along the outer edge of the collar to give it a clean finish, then stitched the collar along the neckline.

Partially sewed bodice
I went through my button stash and found heaps of possibilities, so I posted on instagram and Facebook, to see what my friends thought. I had a lot of votes for both the green ones and the red ones, but ended up deciding on the red ones on the left hand side, as there are 12, so enough to make it button all the way down the front. If I had used the green ones, they would have only gone partway down.

Button choices....

When it got time to cut out the skirt pieces, I measured what I had left and found that I had enough fabric to make the skirt from 3 widths of fabric (instead of my usual 2) However, as I was deliberating cutting it, my husband asks me "Can you save me some of that fabric?" I asked him what he wanted made from it, but he had no idea, and while I don't mind stashing fabric for him, I already have quite a few kitty fabrics in my wardrobe, and would rather use all the fabric in my dress than stash it away for innumerable years.

So instead, I measured my husband and ordered the Free Men's shirt pattern from Lekala. I had to make a few changes to the design, like shortening the sleeves, I also extended the back yoke, and cut the front pieces to have a yoke, as the panel of Christmas kitty fabric was only 26" long, and the shirt was 35" long. The back of the shirt, a panel of the front and the pocket have all been made with the christmas kitty fabric (and pretty much used up the whole width) with the rest being made from the same red cotton sheet I used for the facings and pockets in my dress.

I followed this blog post for instructions on how to sew the collar stand and collar, as that was the only part of the construction I didn't already know how to put together, and Lekala patterns are notorious for their crappy instructions. As I was finishing the collar, I decided to embroider a surprise message on the collar stand before I sewed it in.

After getting my husband's shirt done (all but the buttons and button holes) I turned my attention back to my own dress. I cut and overlocked all my pocket and skirt pieces, then sewed them together, gathered the top edge and sewed it to the bodice. The facings and armhole bindings were then sewn, and finally, the button holes and buttons.

After finishing the buttons, I tried the dress on to check the fit, and I loved it!

Still not hemmed though...


After it was hemmed, I paired it with a red belt and shoes and wore it out shopping with my mum. I felt pretty adorable wearing this, maybe because it was a slightly shorter skirt length than I usually wear.

And here is a shot of his shirt, with better day time lighting.

I will eventually get the buttons on my husbands shirt done, but it is still wearable (over a singlet) without them, so this actually makes it the first garment I have completed for him (not including ties) and he is looking forward to wearing matching outfits on Christmas day.

Does anyone else make matching outfits for their spouse?



  1. That dress is amazing! I love that the fabric just looks like some random pattern until you get close enough to see the kitties hidden amongst the presents.

    I haven't sewn anything for the Chef, but I have knitted him two beanies for work and two pairs of socks.

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Thanks Katie, I'm super happy with how it turned out. My poor hubby does get neglected with my sewing, so I am going to make an effort to include him more in future (It's just more fun to sew myself dresses)

  2. Looks wonderful! Perfect length and the red detail is adorable!

    1. Thanks Wendy, it has become my favourite of my Christmas dresses, I want to wear it all year round :)