Planning for Christmas, or: Why can’t I finish one project before starting another?

WARNING: This post is basically a compilation of images of dresses that I like. So if you’re not into that, well… uh…. maybe I’ll have more posts on chickens or something tomorrow.

I’ve started to think about the annual Christmas party. Usually this entails nothing more than me figuring out how to remake my usual Plain-Jane self into eye candy for J’s arm; I found the perfect dress 4 years ago (on half-price, no less!) and have worn it ever since. I think up cool things to do to my hair, and that’s about it: see?

But that was four years ago. And twice now, people have asked me if that’s the same dress I wore last year. Harumph. So although it pains me to put aside a perfectly good dress that STILL FITS! even AFTER BABY! even WHILE NURSING! and that has BEADING! and CHIFFON! and LACE OVERLAY! and VELVET! I think it’s probably time to throw another dress into the mix.

Enter my newest project-in-making: finding the perfect Christmas party dress.

I thought this would be easy. I’m not that picky, and I had in mind a more or less simple dress. Classy, retro. As chic as Holly Golightly’s gown:

… but more suited to my rather more curvaceous figure. (Heck, I would just buy this pattern here, but it’s $95!) I was also thinking strapless, since with the whole curvy thing, extra fabric up top isn’t a great thing (though, sigh, it’s so classy). I thought maybe I could just sew up some other vintage 50’s pattern with a poofy to-the-knee skirt. Something like this, but in a raw shimmery silk:

and it would be easy. Alas. I found many, many things, and am again struck by decision paralysis. (I’ve posted most of the pictures I found, both to share with you and as a future reference for myself. Read on to see them, but be aware it’s image-heavy.)

This one looks promising: both the poofy skirt, cinched waist, and high, straight neckline.

But this one is strapless, and has ruching:

I think I like this one just because the skirts in the drawings are so poofy. Oh, and the sweeping neckline.

Here’s a simpler, more modern way to pull off the Audrey Hepburn look, and with the option of a somewhat-poofy skirt if you want to go that route. Alas, I think this is suited more for a straight figure probably.

(simplicity’s “new look” line)

This one has really fun details. I like all the squished fabric, and the pleated skirt.


But oh, this one. And it’s already made, and it’s only like $70 or something.


This one might be the one to give me the same kind of look as the one above… though I dunno about the vertically ruched bust. Might add dimensions up there that really shouldn’t be added.

This one is definitely suited for a curvaceous figure. It would certainly make me look really great. It’s retro and it’s bright red and also not that expensive so I kinda want it… but it’s really not what I was hoping for. Also, it might look like a costume because you would just have to wear a veiled hat and little gloves with it. Still cool enough to post, though.


If I decided to go the pieced-together route, this one has a nice bodice pattern. Maybe I could use the pleated skirt, too, and just add a ruched satin waistband or something.

Sigh. Too many options.

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