Festive Fleetwood

My Christmas Day dress!

After spending several hours admiring this fabric while making a quilted hot water bottle cover, I became low-key obsessed with it. We still had a few metres in stock in the run-up to Christmas at Hometown and I couldn’t stop thinking about it! When I realised I had enough loyalty stamps to get two metres of fabric for free, I used them very wisely and took these wonderful Christmas kitties home with me.


The print is called ‘Festive Friends’ and it was designed by Aless Baylis for Dashwood Studio. It features adorable Christmas cats pulling crackers, sharing drinks and holding candy canes on a beautiful blush pink background. I’m SO PLEASED I got some more and if there is any left on the bolt after Christmas I will almost certainly buy that too!

A slightly hacked version of the Fleetwood dress.

We were supposed to be spending Christmas with Patsy and her family in Yorkshire, so I decided to make a dress that I could wear on Christmas Day. I wanted something that could accommodate festive overindulgence and as I didn’t have much time to sew before we left, I wanted to use a pattern from my stash that was already cut out and ready to go. It didn’t take me long to decided on the French Navy Fleetwood – I knew the bodice fitted beautifully and the dress was nice and roomy and I could make a couple of changes to make it even easier to sew.

I love these navy mother of pearl buttons I found in my stash!

The ‘hacks’ I made were incredibly simple – instead of 3/4 length sleeves with a placket and cuffs I cut them as short sleeves and I extended the top skirt tier and omitted the gathered bottom tier. These changes gave the dress the look I was after and also saved me a lot of time!

You could see the lovely gathering under the yoke if I didn’t need a haircut so badly.

I’m so pleased with my finished dress and although I didn’t get to wear it at Patsy’s on Christmas Day, it made an appearance for our Boxing Day virtual gaming session! This is my second version of the Fleetwood dress (you can read all about my first here) and I know there will be more in the future. It’s a fantastic, versatile pattern and a pleasure to sew.

My favourite minty earrings match the fabric beautifully!

Despite this being 100% a Christmas dress, I will be leaving it in my wardrobe year round and who knows – maybe it will even get an outing in the summer? It is short-sleeved after all… Do you have any ‘Christmas clothes’ that you wear year round? Let me know in the comments!

It’s impossible not to be happy when wearing this fabric!

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