children, sewing

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Holiday Blog Tour

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There’s just something fun about making dresses for the Christmas season! When I spotted this lovely red stretch velvet in the Raspberry Creek Fabrics collection, I knew it would be perfect for the Holiday Blog Tour AND a Peony Patterns Nettle Dress! I didn’t have time to sew this one during the testing period, but I knew it would be so luxurious with stretch velvet! My girls and I are so pleased with how it turned out (they have taken to petting each other while wearing this one!).

Peony Patterns Nettle Dress is designed for knit fabrics with 25% four-way stretch and good recovery. It’s ideal with cotton Lycra, brushed polyester, bamboo lycra, and rayon — I think all of which you can get at Raspberry Creek. The pattern is downloadable PDF digital print at home pattern with size layers (sizes 1-14) and projector files. I constructed it on my serger and coverstitch machine, but if you only have a sewing machine, you can easily sew it on there too. Nettle is beginner friendly – the most fiddly part is the sleeve twist – but the tutorial comes with a video that makes this step a lot easier! Peony is also having a sewalong for Nettle at the end of the month (there are prizes!), so now’s the perfect time to stock up on your holiday fabric so that you’re ready!!

Style-wise, Nettle has two sleeve options – a billowy long sleeve and a short sleeve with adorable twist cuff. There’s both a v and scoop neck bodice option, and circle skirt.

I was a little nervous about sewing with stretch velvet, but I really didn’t need to be! Here are some tips to make your experience with stretch velvet drama free:

  • Cut all your fabric according to the NAP direction. If you slide your hand down the velvet you’ll notice it glides easily one direction, and is a bit more rough the other direction. The nice smooth direction is called the “nap”. It’s important to have all of your pieces running in the direction of the nap, otherwise your dress will look like it’s been made with two different color fabrics. So, take care not to be “clever” with your pattern pieces, turning things upside down to conserve fabric… Yep, I did have to throw out a sleeve when I realized I’d done that!
  • Use a ballpoint/stretch needle.
  • If using your sewing machine, you may find a walking foot helpful.
  • Be very careful ironing. I recommend using a pressing cloth and testing a sample first.
  • When using a twin needle or coverstitch machine, you may find it helpful to have stretch thread in your bobbin/looper.
  • Line your velvet with something thinner – I used a red swim knit, but you can use cotton Lycra, or polyester knit lining.

I hope you enjoy sewing up sweet things for the holiday season! My girls have a couple of Christmas dresses now, but this one is their favorite – they’re currently plotting which events they’ll wear it to this season!

Disclosure: I received this pattern and fabric free in exchange for promotion. Opinions are 100% my own!

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