This year, I made FOUR dresses for Christmas, and I finally got all of them clean at once and on my daughter's bodies for a post-church photoshoot. Outside lighting is always best, but it was TOO cold, so we did it in Liv and Mimi's room, and it turned out pretty darn good, considering.
I decided this year to make each of the girls a different dress, but using only two fabrics for all of them. I chose a lovely black cotton velveteen and a silver polyester dupioni. (Dupioni is that fabric that's got a dull sheen and some fun slubby--that is a word--texture.) Machine washable was actually among the most important of the characteristics I was looking for, and these dresses all wash up beautifully.
Maddies dress was my own design. I love the tuxedo ruffle and the three black buttons.
I used Oliver + S's Sunday Brunch pattern for Olivia's ensemble. I've used three of the Oliver +S patterns now, and I heartily recommend them. Liesl Gibson, the designer, gives amazing instructions, and the patterns have incredible tailored details. They are very satisfying to complete.
Mimi's dress was made from McCall 5795. It's an easy, simple, customizable dress. The lovely thing about the dupioni is that the reverse side of the fabric is shiny, shiny satin. I used that side for the linings of all these dresses. Mimi, with her obsession toward all things silky, loves this detail.
Bella's bubble dress, from another one of the Oliver + S patterns, was the fastest of the dresses to sew. Again, I love the details and the sewing lesson integrated into the pattern. (My next pattern purchase: The School Photo Dress. Google "School Photo Dress Blog", and you'll see some of the cutest dresses ever sewn.)
I think this matching-fabric-different-dresses is going to be my new strategy for Easter and Christmas dresses, as long as my girls will let me make them match. Which one is your favorite?