From Halloween to Christmas

Remember E’s Halloween costume?


It became this Christmas dress!


I hadn’t done a great job of attaching the feather trim because I knew I would want to remove it.  E was sad at first.  And then the ends of the feathers started tickling and scratching her…  I bought some pretty gold trim at Mood and hand sewed it to the neckline.


I thought I might do the sleeves and be done but I remembered that I felt the dress was too narrow at the bottom.  I had E walk around with it and it was okay but she couldn’t run.  Or twirl.  I decided to add 6 gores from leftover fabric (and I still have some!) I went with 6 gores.


Can you see it?  Two in front, two in the back, and one in each side seam. I made a pattern piece.  24″ radius and 9″ width at the bottom with an added 1/2″ on each side (seam allowance).  I made 24″ slits from the bottom of the skirt and sewed the gores in.  For each of the front and back gores, I did lose 1″ at the point from the seam allowance, so there’s like a little gather there. I hadn’t thought of that…


There was enough wearing ease in the skirt to make that loss of 4″ total insignificant but I’d like to find how to not have that gather.  The book I used (The Art of Manipulating Fabric) has an example of a gore inserted in a slit like that and it doesn’t have the gather.  But they don’t say how to get that effect or maybe I just didn’t read well.  That does happen…

I thought of adding buttons or embroidery at the points to make them look intentional but I didn’t have anything that matched that warm gold trim and no time to go shopping.  I even tried to sew on a single trim motif but it just fell apart.

But I did add trim all the way around the bottom of the skirt!  Hand sewn as well.  That took forever…  Adding six 9″ gores does add 54″ to the circumference after all. Gah!

It twirls!




I had one happy little girl.


PS: I didn’t add gores to the lining.  I had enough lining fabric to do it but too much laziness. And I still wish I’d gotten a warm gold satin ribbon to make a sash.

Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

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Posted in Sewing
5 comments on “From Halloween to Christmas
  1. brawhem says:

    Great repurpose!


  2. Charity says:

    I love the additional fullness at the hem! As to the gathers at the tops of the gores- I suspect the seam allowance of the main fabric should ‘shrink’ near the top of the slit, similar to how a continuous bound placket is sewn.


    • Ha, you’re right! I didn’t fully read the instructions because I had no desire to insert a square of organza. Turns out that square is there precisely to help where the seam allowance tapers to nothing. That’ll teach me…


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