It's the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas! Even though I love this season so much, I am not a big decorator or party planner, and I do not sew a lot of gifts. My traditions are a bit slower because I really love to take a step back, rest, and enjoy. Thanks to Amazon prime, I really don't even have to brave a mall. I may watch Home Alone and Elf a few times, bake cookies with my kids for the neighbors, and attend a Christmas party with family, but my one goal is usually to NOT do a ton.
I did, however, make this one sweet girl happy by listening to her request for a maxi length princess Christmas dress! For today's blogpost, I will be reviewing the Sydney pattern by 5 out of 4 Patterns and talking about what Christmas means to me! Sounds fun, right!?
I had thought about taking a break from pattern testing for December, but this one sucked me in when I saw that it met exactly what Tabitha had been asking me for! I am so glad I obliged because it was rather quick to put together, and I had a lot of fun taking photos with her.
The Pattern Review and Dress Details
The Sydney Dress has 2 skirt options and 4 skirt lengths. The circle skirt can be a peplum or knee length. The half circle skirt can be peplum, knee, tea, or maxi length. I made Tabitha the maxi length half circle, and I made myself the Tea length half circle. I initially planned the maxi for myself as well, but I would need to cut a half circle maxi on the cross grain to do so, and I really preferred my print on the grain. Thankfully, I could get a Tea length in my size when cut on the grain.
The pattern can be made sleeveless or with short, elbow, three-quarter, or long sleeves. Since it is winter in my part of the world in a few days, I opted for the long sleeves on my daughter's dress and chose the 3/4 length for myself.
The Sydney dress has 3 neckline options for front and back (V-neck, scoop neck, and jewel neck). That's right, you can have a V, scoop, or higher neck on your front or on your back, so there is a lot of mixing and matching you can do to get the look you want on the neckline. The bodice is intended to hit at your natural waist and is completely lined. I made the V neck front with the jewel neck band and made her the scoop neck front with the jewel neck back.
Since the bodice is lined, you use clear elastic to stabilize the neckline. Due to the clear elastic, though, even if you use a lower neckline on the women's, you cannot pull it down to nurse in. So, the pattern has a nursing option where you pull up an over layer. The under layer has cut outs that come from the side and can be finished with your serger. I appreciate it not having boob circles and found it really easy to nurse in.
Our dresses took 3 yards each so they are quite the fabric hogs. They were so worth it, though, because I love the fullness of both of our skirts.
Tabitha loves that her dress covers all of her legs so she can wear leggings underneath and be very warm. She is always sad in the winter when she has to put away all her girly summer dresses, and she never really likes to wear leggings or tights under shorter dresses.
POCKETS! Of course, there are pockets!
I think this dress can be made elegant or casual. Everything came together really easily, and I think having so many skirt lengths really helps to make it work for whatever fabric amount I have or look I am going for. A lined bodice is a much quicker way to do a V neck than with a facing or with a neckband.
I made an XS for myself and graded my bodice to an XXS a the waist and used an XXS skirt. For my daughter's I made a straight size 7 based on her measurements. For fabric, I used double brushed poly for both of our dresses, but you could also use stretch velvet, liverpool, cotton lycra, or rayon spandex. On Tabitha's dress, I love the way the stripes look on the sides and how easy these stripes were to match because of the way the print is.
The Meaning of Christmas
I began this post with talking about how this is the most wonderful time of the year. I understand that the holidays might not be so wonderful for everyone, especially if you have experienced the loss of a loved one. A lot of my childhood Christmases greatly involved my stepmother, and when her and my father divorced when I was in my mid-20s, it really put a damper on Christmas for several years for me. I really had to refocus myself and my energy to enjoy it again. It helps that I now have little ones of my own to celebrate and create traditions with, but I will forever remember the place she held in my life and the example she set. She was a wonderful mother-like figure to me, and I especially think of her every Christmas.
So now you are thinking, how could this be the most wonderful time of the year for me?! HA! Well, it is because I celebrate the miracle of Jesus' birth during Christmas time. Jesus' birth is the birth of my Comforter, my Prince of Peace. We wouldn't need comfort and peace if we did not live in such a broken world where things don't turn out as we expect. So, instead of filling myself full of expectations of how I wished things would go, I like to think about the miracle of finding hope and comfort and being made whole because of what He has done.
I am still working out how this looks for me each year as far as traditions go. Do you have any favorites that you do with your family? I would love to hear about them!
- The Women's Sydney pattern is available HERE.
- The Girls' Sydney pattern is available HERE. If you put both in your cart, you will get a coupon for $2 off.
- The fabric for Tabitha's dress came from Knitpop. I won it in an auction that they have in their Facebook group.
- The fabric for my dress came from Wherehouse Fabrics Dallas.
Thank you for reading my post today. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!! You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest. You may also follow my blog with Bloglovin.
Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it gives me money to buy more patterns and fabric! Any and all opinions expressed are still my own.