Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY: Blue Christmas Dress

 As you read this, you might be sitting in your decked-out-for-the-holidays living room. Complete with a bedazzled and trimmed tree, wreath on the door, candles flickering in every window and lights strung outside the house.

If you came over to my house, you'd find a couple of pumpkins on my front step, flowers still blooming in planters (darn petunias just won't die!) and a bedazzled and trimmed pink Christmas tree. It kinda looks like Holiday Goulash. I'd apologize to my neighbors if they were still speaking to me.

Despite all that, what I do have is one completed Christmas dress! And not just any ole completed Christmas dress but one that Lights Up!! That's right, something that rad calls for Unnecessary Capitalization and Multiple Exclamation Points!! Eat That, Grammar Po-Po.
No, that's not my beeper. I upgraded to a cell phone last week. It's my battery pack for my LED lights.
I couldn't resist this vintage reproduction fabric when I found it at my local fabric shop. I scooped up three yards and decided to go with another version of the Simplicity pattern I used for my Cuckoo Clock Dress. This time, I went sleeveless for a coupla reasons: one, if you know me at all, you know I hate putting in sleeves. Like, hate isn't even a strong enough word. Despise. Detest. De-reallydon'tlike. And, two, I felt sans sleeves would give this dress a vintage vibe.

 But the idea to create a light-up dress didn't happen until hubs and I took a trip to his fave store in the whole universe: Big Lots.

Now, my hubs is an Idea Man. He is constantly coming up with new ideas for food trucks (my fave: the Organic Create-Your-Own-Flavor Cotton Candy Cart), clothing, and, of course, musical instruments. I usually know when a Big Idea is coming because his sentences begin with, "Tell me what you think of this..."

And that's what happened when I was wandering the isles of B.L. on Saturday, checking out where all ya'll snagged your Christmas decor. Hubs pointed out the little box of lights and said, "Tell me what yo think of this: You make your Christmas dress light up."
 Now, sometimes, hub's big ideas are just too big. But once he explained this one, I began to think it was doable. With his help, it was actually a piece of cake. 

You can make any ole dress light up. Here's how you do it:
  •  Sew a 2" hem at the bottom of your dress with a piece of twine that has a long enough tail to hang out of the opening of the hem. Leave about a 6" opening at the center front of your dress, right underneath the pockets.
  • Seam rip a hole in your pocket.
  • Feed the end of the LED lights through the hole.
Originally, I was going to sew in two strings of lights but the weight of two battery packs in my pockets didn't seem ideal. Hence the two strands of twine.
  •   Tie the end of the lights to the end of a piece of twine and pull through. I'm making that sound very was actually a two person job.
  • Untie string from the lights and close most of the hem opening.

 Dress front and back. This dress version of the Simplicity dress actually went by quickly. Skipping those four hour sleeves really helped. Normally I'd need sleeves in December but so far, no. It's been almost 70 degrees for the last coupla days.

This bodice is different than the other dress too in that it doesn't have that inverted V thingie. Thankfully.
 So you know, sewing a blue Christmas dress means I had Elvis' Blue Christmas running through my head the entire time. I managed to score this unopened album over Thanksgiving for a mere $3! It's been spinning on my record player since.
 And so there you have it! A Blue Christmas Dress. I'm pretty stoked and I can't wait to wear it to school. The kids are always full of questions and curiosity when I wear I dress I've created. 

Okay. I'm off to remove my pumpkins, planters and finish the Christmas decoratin' I've started. Because the song goes "I'll have a Blue Christmas..." not "I'll have a Pumpkin on my Porch for Two Months Christmas." Although that does have a certain ring to it...


  1. This post makes me so happy :) Love the dress!

  2. OK, Cassie, you are certifiably wonderful. I may be Jewish but man do I adore that dress! Though here in northern NY I'd need sleeves, or at least a coordinating sweater or jacket. It's a touch chilly here... Right now I'm picturing a great Chanukah version of the dress with the lights popping out at the top of eight little candles. Maybe I'd better get out that sewing machine...

    1. I hope you're serious. That sounds fabulous!

    2. Yes!! I too hope you are for realz because that, Phyl, sounds awesome!

    3. Uh, hate to disappoint, but it will have to be for next year, because Chanukah is barely days away.

  3. Anonymous12/03/2012

    OMG!! You have a LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS DRESS!! Gah!!! That is so awesome and I love it sooooo much!! Awesome!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Super easy, lights could be added to any ole dress with pockets!

  4. We have a winner!!! Just awesome.

  5. Brilliant collaboration for you and the hubs. The kids are going to love it!!!!!

  6. I love and adore this dress. What a wonderfully creative idea!

  7. That is just Awesome!!!! I may try my hand at it... maybe!

  8. Cassie, that's the best dress I've ever seen. What a crazy, wonderful idea. You and hubs are a fabulous, creative team. Congratulations!!!

  9. I think the best part of this was that your husband came up with the adding lights to your dress idea. Love that! You, with your wacky clothing, are my art teacher hero!


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