Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mrs. Claus Enters The Modern Age

Way before I knew what a mashup was, I made this Mrs. Claus outfit for an organization that I volunteer with every December.   Click on the link to find out where I got my inspiration for the dress.

I'll tell you at the bottom of this post why I dress like this, but I'm so excited that my revision of this mashup worked, I have to tell you that first.

When I made this costume the first time, I took the pattern for a top of some random dress that I had and added a circular skirt to the bottom.  I literally took the fabric and laid it out flat and cut a large circle with a circle in the center that I thought might fit my waist/hip area.  No seams, just one big circle.

I had no idea what I was doing or if it would even work, but it seemed to come together the way I wanted, so I finished it and added the white trim.

In those days, I never altered patterns to really fit my small upper body, so the shoulders drooped way down and it was a pretty square shape.  But, the skirt is so much fun, it forgave the ill fitting look of the top.

Every year, I pull out the dress and every year, I think something must be done.  I've tried adding the white belt and not adding it.  One year, I finally sewed it on.

But I never liked the way it looked.

Also, the neck has always been too close.  I've thought I should maybe cut the neckline down, but I always imagined that I'd create some sort of avalanche effect where it would just keep getting wider and wider at the top and be totally ruined.

But, 2014 has  been the year of the Lady Skater, thanks to Amanda over at kitschycoo.  You can see 3 versions here and there are a few others from August if you go searching on my blog.

Someone on instagram made a Lady Skater Mrs. Claus dress and it all came together in my head.  I was pretty sure my current dress was big enough that I could take it apart and use the Lady Skater pattern for the top and make a dress that fits me more like it should.

I wanted to keep the big circle for the skirt, so I figured I could just add it to the revised top.  I really like the fullness of a circle skirt!

So, here is the original.

Too long in the waist, the sleeves are a little too long and the shoulder seams come down about 4 inches down my arm.

And I don't like that white belt at the waist.

Or the skinny neck.

It wasn't hard to pull it apart, though I had sewn on that white trim like I might be some sort of scuffle that might result in ripping off the fur.  That was the hardest part to deal with!

This was the top once I took everything off.  Plain Jane, very home made looking.

 Here is the front once I cut it up Lady Skater style.  I don't know why there appears to be a perfect V at the bottom of the neckline because that isn't supposed to be there.  Must be an optical illusion...

I still had some of the original fabric (from 8 years ago!!) but because I paid no attention to grain lines or the stretch of the fabric, I didn't have any that I could use for the edge of the neckline.

Never fear.  Since I knew I would put fur on the neckline, I decided to use some red knit fabric from my red shirt that I made this summer.

To my eyes, it's SO OBVIOUS that the neck edge is a different fabric but no one will ever see that so it doesn't matter.  Just like it doesn't matter that the entire dress was sewn with pink thread because that's what was in my serger and I was way too lazy to rethread it with red!

The sleeves were cut down nicely, but because I didn't pay attention to the layout of the original, they don't have a lot of give because they stretch the wrong way.  They are fine, but not perfection.

Luckily, the bodice was cut out on the correct lines, so it came together as it should have.

The skirt is a tad shorter than I would like because the waist is so short.  But, the whole thing fits much better, in my mind.

Sadly, there was no photographer available to take a picture of me in the dress when I wanted to write this post, so you can't see the marvelous changes.

I'd still like a big, black belt like Santa Clause himself because I feel like it's a little bare in the middle.  But it's much better without the white belt, don't you think?

I also really like the slightly larger and lower neckline.  It's not a huge difference but it's enough that it makes me happy.

So, why on earth do I need this dress that I have now sewn twice??

For a really neat event called The Spectacle of Trees.  Click here to find out the fine details.   In short, there are 16 trees that have been decorated and filled with presents by different non-profits.  People come and buy tickets for $10 and then drop them  into the box for the tree or trees they hope to win.  The last night of the event, one name is drawn from each box and the winner gets the tree and every, single thing that was on, under or around the tree.

It has gone from a few gifts under each tree 8 years ago to trees that are now valued at over $10,000.  I'm not kidding.

And you guessed it, I am the lucky person who draws the winning names.  The guy in charge liked the Bass Ale costume I wore the first year, which was the inspiration for the dress (did you click on that first link way at the top?  It explained the origin of the dress.)  and he has me wear it each year to pull the names.

One might think that once you own a Mrs. Claus outfit you  might be called upon to wear it on more than one occasion each year.  Sadly, these class haven't come in, so I just bring it out each year for about 30 minutes.

If I knew I'd do this gig for the next decade, I might completely start over with this pattern but cut the skirt shorter.

There wouldn't be a waist seam at all and I'd still have a fairly full skirt.

But that would mean buying more fabric and putting more work into something that I probably won't wear too many more times.  So I won't do it this year.

But I'll think about it a lot and probably do it next year!

Linking here: 


  1. Mrs. Claus wears a long skirt, so the one on your costume is a bit short, but I think it came out awesome.

    1. Well, that's what I mean by entering the modern age! She's more like Ms. Claus. All swankified and not frumpy.

  2. Is there a pattern for the gray dress?

    1. The top is the Lady Skater from Kitschycoo and the bottom is the idea of the bottom of that dress but I just drew out lines from the waist to extend it and get the fullness I wanted.


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