Holidays · Musings · Vintage

Why I won’t be making my Christmas party dress this year . . .

. . .  aka, why is it so hard to find red fabric without spandex!?

So, I’m having another Christmas party this year! Luckily, I have a co-hostess this time, so it should be a bit less work. With the activities planned out and food in the works, I started planning the most an important part of the event, which is my outift. I had high hopes of a red lace dress, like the one Chuck wears in the Pushing Daisies promos:

Luckily, Gertie has recreated this look, so I read through some of her posts about the process, which were incredibly helpful, especially this one about sewing with lace fabric.

Unfortunately, $150/yard red chantilly lace really isn’t in my budget right now (I would like to eventually move out of my parents house), so I started looking for alternatives after all of the affordable lace I could find was white, black, or cream. At first I thought I would do a vintage-inspired velvet wiggle dress, but all of the red velvet I found had spandex or something else stretchy in it. So, then I thought red wool, but that only comes in maroon or with some orange mixed in it, so there went my Joan Holloway plan:


Basically, I spent an hour looking at fabric and at the end wanted to rip my hair out.

It seems like good quality, affordable red fabric (without spandex!) is almost impossible to find these days. Which is really sad, because red is my favorite color. It could also just be that I’m shopping too early for red fabric and that come December more of it will be in stock. But, considering how long it’s taking me to complete sewing projects, that’s not really a risk I’m willing to take right now. 😉

Anyways, this story has a happy ending as, in the end, I turned to Etsy for a vintage Christmas dress, and I now have this little number on its way to me! The best part is that there’s lace on the bottom of the skirt, just like the original dress I wanted to make.

I went to the post office after work today, eagerly hoping it would be there for me to try on, but it wasn’t. Of course, my mother gave me the “do-you-really-expect-a-package-that-was-mailed-yesterday-to-be-here-today” look. So, maybe tomorrow. 😉

15 thoughts on “Why I won’t be making my Christmas party dress this year . . .

  1. Do you do all of your fabric shopping on-line? I’m surprised you don’t live at Fabric Depot!

    I adore your choice! Maybe by not doing a Christmas dress you can make a New Years Even dress?


    1. I try to get as much fabric locally as I can. And I wish I lived at Fabric Depot! I do make a trek every year to Portland to do fabric shopping since there’s no sales tax (and I live in WA), but usually, I just make it to Pendleton and have blown my budget by then. 😉

      I would love to do a 1920s New Year Party (like on Boardwalk Empire!), so New years Eve dress is a big possibility!

  2. Love the dress! Be glad you don’t live in Finland, where we only have one chain of affordable fabric stores (which are still pretty expensive), so I basically have to go with whatever they have in the store, and its not a whole lot of variety. 😀

  3. As a mutual lover of the color red, I feel your pain. Numerous times I’ve had red garment ideas that had to be put on hold because I simply can not find the right red and/or the right fiber & weave. One time, I decided to ‘make-do’ with what I could find only to be utterly disappointed by how it hung. Off to the reuse box it went. When I find it, it may work for my sewn rug once I felt it up a little.
    When your dress, which is too cute, does arrive remember to drive patiently home to try it on.

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