Do I look like a Christmas cracker or an 80’s throwback?

Either way, I am loving it!

I don’t know if you are like me and whenever you get something new you have to use/wear it immediately?  In sewing terms, this means, I get a new pattern book and I have to make something from it IMMEDIATELY, disregarding any projects in progress or the need for more practical items!

I was sent this awesome pattern book by my friend Erin of Brooklyn Pattern Company. She knows I love a Japanese pattern book and this one was just perfect for me. It’s the Stylish Party Dress book, the description being “easy and inexpensive sew-it-yourself dresses”. I feel like it was written just for me!


So, having perused it for hours and mentally making them all, I settled on the most impractical (and unlikely) dress I could find. Hello, Taffeta Two-piece set!


The reason for choosing this piece is two fold. Firstly, I love a Christmas frock and this one screamed CHRISTMAS with that skirt of ruffles. Secondly, I had just found the most ridiculous piece of fabric in the charity store. It was a match made in sewing heaven!

I can’t be sure what the fabric is but I think it’s some kind of light upholstery fabric. It has the same body as taffeta so I knew it would work with this pattern. I love the bronze side but its way too full-on for this piece, so I used the reverse. The black side shows the subtle diamond shape with just a hint of the bronze showing through.


I started with the skirt. I went for a size 10 (I am not a standard size 10 by any stretch) so I was worried it might be a little snug, but no, quite the opposite. So I pulled in the darts and took a little extra off each side seam and that did the trick.

It’s also the first time I have inserted an invisible zip. How is that possible? I failed miserably the first few times but then got the hang of it thanks to YouTube and an In The Folds tutorial and I am pleased with how it looks. I have no idea how I have got this far and never added one!


The only other alteration was the hem, I chopped off loads, at least 20cm! It means that the skirt looks asymmetrical but I think it needed to be shorter so not to swamp me.


The top part was pretty straight forward. I cut size 8, but I really should have cut the 6, you can see that it’s gaping around the armholes. I am fine with it, it’s loose fitting which works for me. When I have time I might just make up the 6 as I have plenty of the fabric left.


The instructions also call for an invisible zip down the back seam, having inserted it and then tried it on, I realised a zip was not nesseary as it went over my head. I then took it out, it made for a smoother seam.

BEFORE – with the invisible zip
AFTER – the seam without the zip, a much better finish I think

I had a ‘do’ on Saturday night, a surprise 50th which seemed the perfect occasion to wear it. We had to leave at 6:30pm and I was still adding the armhole facing at 6:05pm sitting in my underwear! Not a pretty sight.

It’s a great silhouette!
I love the hint of bronze showing on the top ruffle
I think its quite flattering, despite the giant ruffles!
Err… I don’t do heels much!

Sometimes the most unlikely patterns can be winners. Do I look like a Christmas cracker?  Perhaps, a little.  An 80’s throwback is probably closer although the ruffles make me think ‘Victorian’ and maybe even a hint of Steampunk!

You know I love a bargain and the fabric cost me $8, so I couldn’t be happier.  I really love it, even if it was so dark in the bar that no-one even noticed!

6 thoughts

  1. It’s fantastic! I’ve also generally found Japanese patterns to be generously sized and longer than I expect. The fabric is a great match for the pattern and loving that pop of bronze. Perfect Xmas frock!


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