Christmas at our household is relatively simple. We've sort of combined Czech traditions from my family, with those of my husband's. This means Christmas Eve has more emphasis on celebration, where gifts are opened in the evening after a fancy dinner (I usually make a wild rice stuffed seitan roast, wrapped in puff-pastry and served in a bing cherry/pepper sauce...along with stuffing and garlic-smashed potatoes). Christmas Eve also means we get to finally enjoy all of those cookies I spent hours laboring over a few weeks ago (these Czech sweets are usually made in advance and aged). We prefer to have a more quiet holiday and thus only The Pups, myself, and my better half are present.
Christmas day means fondue (a tradition from my husband's side of the family). Each year I make a different one, but it's usually beer based and with homemade or store bought vegan cheese. My omnivorous friends can never tell the difference between this and its dairy counterpart...neither can we! I usually serve it with homebaked bread, apples, and some sort of homemade seitan/grain sausage. This year we are spending the day hiking (have to work off the calories from Christmas eve dinner...naturally) out in the mountains in the snow, so the fondue after will be much appreciated.
Now, on to the sewing. Every year I make a dress for the holiday and this year I chose green velvet with cream lace accenting. I am so in love with it...I don't know where to begin! The waistline is princess cut and the drape in the skirt makes it fun to twirl in. I found some off-white lace to use for the vestee and made matching green velvet buttons. I used Simplicity 3152 for the pattern, which is the same one as my Snow White costume...but this was much easier to complete!
Photographing velvet is excruciating, to say the least. Anyone who has tried, understands how annoying (and rather futile) it is to attempt capturing an accurate colour...but the dress is a beautiful hunter green. I didn't have any difficulty in assembling the pattern pieces or sewing with them. I used a lower-cotton setting on my iron with lots of steam, pressing down on a fluffy towel on the wrong side of the fabric to flatten out seams. Because of this technique, I didn't get any unwanted creases or folds on the right side of the velvet. I also used a blind hem and cut away bulky seams before sewing together.
The finished product:
The last couple of pictures are from the first outing in my new dress. We went to see the Nutcracker...this year we scored some pretty sweet seats thanks to a promotion the Pacific Northwest Ballet was running. Going to be difficult to go back to our usual budget seats...Anyway, I ended up shortening the dress 2.5 inches and adding a tie at the waist. The pattern recommended a belt, but I'm rather obsessed with bows and so I took the opportunity to add one.
My next project is my New Year's dress...I've already cut out the fabric pieces and look forward to working with them. In case you missed my update on that, it's a peach charmeuse fabric and my first attempt at shirring.
Have a lovely and Merry Christmas everyone!