Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Dress planning

As I am writing this, the house is almost vibrating, so loud is the thunderstorm that has finally reached Nicosia around midnight. Rains are very rare during summer, up until November, and this one is so strong - it is loaded with energy. I have always associated thunderstorms with renewal, the new energy and so I had to get up and write the next post.

In New York, blogging was for me an escape from the daily life, especially at the beginning. Here, it seems more like a consequence of it. The day loads you with new experiences, leaving a strong imprint on every day of your life, begging for an outlet to express everything you absorbed.

We were out today, visiting friends in one of the very few mixed Turkish-Greek villages, very close to the UN buffer zone. Their house, on the outskirts of the village, is surrounded by a lemon and orange groves. We had a beautiful meal outside, while kids were chasing chickens between the trees, picking oranges to take home... The food and wine kept coming, and the conversation was flowing effortlessly, like everything else here, it seems. On the way home, my 4-year old fell asleep in the car hugging a sun hat full of oranges she picked herself. I can get used to this life...

Not so effortless is the Christmas planning this year. I need a nice dress for a formal dinner with my husband's family in Germany on the 24th, the day when Christmas candles are lit, the Bible is read and the gifts are exchanged. A conservative affair, with an oiled routine that has been perfected from year to year...

But, who said the attire, however formal it is expected to be, needs to follow the same pattern. So, when the German-speaking sewing blogosphere announced its third annual Christmas sew-along I was only too happy to join in. I was tempted to participate in the previous two years too, but I just could not nail the style. This year, however, I spotted a wonderful dress that was just perfect: original, practical and versatile.
Images: Vogue.co.uk
Obviously, the dramatic neckline that works so well for the runway, needs to be raised, but otherwise the dress needs no changes. And - what a joy - Burda issued a pattern that is so similar in style and, yet, is more wearable. Gucci has slimmer, kimono-cut sleeves, three topstitched darts (BS dress has three), the cut is slightly different - you can see it in the hip area, and, what's more important, the neckline in Burda version is not as plunging as in Gucci version.  I could even wear this dress for casual occasions over a turtleneck sweater; with wider sleeves it would be comfortable too.

Image: Coat dress #127, Burdastyle Magazine 11/2013
Of course, I went and checked first feedback on the pattern, and the first reviews on the Russian Burdastyle site (Russian members are very fast in sewing up garments) are very positive, the fit notes are helpful, issues with the pattern minimal. This week I plan to make a muslin, and will update you on the progress. I will use couture techniques as usual and try to share them with you once the fit is fine.

What about you, readers? Are you making a dress for the holiday season? Do you start early, or are you a last minute sewer? Any tips for succeeding with a deadline project? Anecdotes are welcome! 


19 comments:

  1. That's a great dress. I cannot wait to see the final product as always and what couture techniques you will use. Love the color too. So rich and deep. Are you going to use the same or choose another color? I'm so happy to see you back and so happy you are enjoying your new home. You were one of my favorite sewing bloggers and I am now realizing how much I really did miss your posts. Really cannot wait to see your dress because I really did love everything you made and it was always such and inpiration. You inspired me to take the couture dress class and buy all kinds of books so I could learn to improve my sewing techniques. Thank you for coming back. :)

    Was not sure I was going to need a dress for the holidays this year, but I went to get dressed last night for an awards dinner and since I have been running nothing is fitting so I think I need some smaller clothes for the holidays :) Your inspiration has me thinking!

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  2. das ist ein tolles kleid, und ich bin gespannt, was du aus dem schnitt machen wirst. ich werde auf jeden fall deine posts mit spannung verfolgen. :-)
    ursula

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  3. Liebe Marina,
    ich freu mich ,dich endlich wieder zu sehen!
    Auf dein Weihnachtskleid bin ich auch schon gespannt. ich mag das Modell sehr, es ist so weiblich, so elegant.waruzm eigentlich weihnachtskleid, wo silverster doch wichtiger wäre;-)?

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  4. what a beautiful choice, I can't wait to read more about it. I am not planning a holiday dress to sew, if needed I will use something I have made but haven't worn as yet :)

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  5. Your life sounds positively idyllic in Cyprus! Anxious to follow along on your holiday dress. As always, I have too many projects in my head -- and not nearly enough time between now and the holidays. Two formal occasions for myself, a dressy dress for my 11-year-old granddaughter, French jacket for my older daughter and something for the younger one. I need to get started so that I am not facing too many late nights!

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  6. What a great dress! It will be stunning for Christmas. What kind of fabric are you going to use?
    Mmmm, falling asleep with a hat full of fresh picked oranges sounds like paradise!

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  7. Beautiful dress, ohhh, fresh oranges your story reminded me of my childhood, fresh oranges were plentiful from November until New Year and so delicioussssss.

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  8. I can just imagine the scent of those orange and lemon groves. How lovely! It is great to have you back.

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  9. i just love every bit of this post, i hope you continue to share all the bits of your life, sewing related or no....

    the dress is gorgeous! at first i thought that was a verrrrrry high slit and only realized on the third look that it has that black layer underneath. i'm trying something new-- i always feel the need to create something brand new for any occasion, so i choose something i've already made in my closet, and start working on something else knowing that i have a backup plan. way less stressful!

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  10. Wow, this dress is so elegant! I'm really excited to see it made up! I've uncharacteristically already started thinking about a Christmas dress-- I decided to make one the last two Christmases at the very last second, and ran out of time both years, so this year I want to start early and have it ready to go! :)

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  11. Wow, beautiful dress! Lovely to read about your new home.

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  12. Sounds like you have found paradise :) In Australia, it is very casual but a new dress is still a fun idea. I think I will made one or two, but more casual.

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  13. You always have a knack for picking the best BurdaStyle patterns. I can't wait to follow your progress! And, I'm really glad you're enjoying your life after the move!

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  14. So glad your back. I like the dress, too.

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  15. Wow, so how many languages do you speak then, and which ones?

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  16. Du hast ein interesantes Projekt gewählt. Es zählt jetzt schon zu meinen diesjährigen Favoriten.

    Ich freue mich, dir bei der Umsetzung des Kleides zuschauen zu dürfen. Deine Ergebnisse und die Verarbeitung sind für mich erstrebenswert.

    LG Martina

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  17. I'm so excited to follow your progress in making this dress; it's absolutely perfect for what you describe: it's conservative yet elegant and endlessly stylish, and will be timeless as well. Your life in Nicosia sounds like a dream - you're very blessed indeed :)

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  18. The designer was very responsive and helpful. Very happy with my purchase, though I was very skeptical when it came to buying a new dress online. But the designer made me feel right at ease.

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