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Over the Top Challenge


(update) WOOHOO!! I was the First Place Winner!!!

When I saw Pattern Revolution’s Over the top Challenge, I couldn’t help myself but to want to participate even though I was in the middle of my Holiday blog tour and had already sewn two of every pattern I’ve designed this year.  I work well under pressure, so finished up all my sewing, drafted the rest of my blogs for the tour and got to thinking about what I would do for my Over the Top Look.


Pause…Over the top?!  I’m not an over the top person!  What am I going to make?  You can tell from my designs that I like clean lines, not a lot fussiness…definitely not a ruffles kinda gal.   Years of critiques from design professors telling me to “edit, edit, edit…less is more!” left me feeling like I was at an impasse.  So I turned to my four and two year old design assistants.  I asked Abigail, my youngest “what kind of dress would you like?”  She replied, “a spinny dress!”  I asked Olivia, my oldest, the same question.  She replied “I want a big dress for dance class with lots of sparkles and feathers!”  LOL, maybe asking them was a bad idea 😉

One thing did jump out…dance class!  They’ve been dancing to holiday music in ballet with songs from The Nutracracker!!  Enter: IDEA!  I would make them a ballet dress!  Oddly enough our local cultural center is performing The Nutracker so they’ll get to wear their dresses to dance class and we’re going to surprise them by taking them (well maybe just Olivia) to the theater. Yay, that got the ball rolling!!

Here are the details of the dress:

Pattern – I used the bodice of The Alley Cat Romper. The ballet inspired scoop back was just what I needed.  I’m currently working on a long sleeve version for the romper so this was a perfect time to test the bodice pattern.  I shortened the sleeves to make room for the thumbhole cuffs from The Peek A Boo Hoodie.  For the perfect spin, I added a high low circle skirt to the bodice.  And for that extra bit of high fashion, I made a tulle bolero to go around her neck, under her arms with a bow tie in the back. Sweet!

Fabric – I got lucky and found everything I needed at my local Joann’s.  Skirt: 8 yards of black tulle, 1 yard of tule with bow sequins, 3 yards of feather trim, 1 yard of skirt lining. Bodice: 20″ of pique performance knit, three bow buttons.

I’m in love with how it turned out!!  Get ready for picture overload!

Perfect Ensemble to go to the theater to watch The Nutcracker Ballet
The Bolero really completes this look :)
Can you see the sequin bows in the skirt?! The bow buttons on her top are so sweet
Thumbholes are all the rave
A big spinny dress with sparkles and feathers all in one look! Didn’t think I could pull it off but I did!
OMG, I just love the back of the Alley Cat Romper
That smile melts me!


I didn’t go over the top with Abigail’s dress, but I couldn’t leave her out so I made a scaled down version for her :)

She’s obsessed with stars ;)
My baby girl
This photoshoot was so easy because they were having so much fun in their dresses


4 thoughts on “Over the Top Challenge

  1. How did you do the bottom part of the dress and with the feather trim?

    1. Hi Amy! The top of the dress is the Alley cat romper bodice. The skirt part is just layers of tulle using a high low circle skirt pattern that I self drafted. I made the skirt waist opening slightly wider than my bodice and stretched the bodice a little to sew the pieces together. The first layer is apparel lining with a fur trim sewn to the bottom edge, then about 10 layers of tulle, and the top layer is a sequin bow tulle. I recommend sewing all these layers together before attaching to your bodice. For the bottom of the sleeve I used the peek a boo hoodie thumbhole cuff and added a layer of the same fur trim in between.

  2. Simply gorgeous! The tulle bolero looks like a big ruffle of tulle that is gathered down the center with a ribbon attached for tying in a big bow at the back of the dress….Is this correct? I must make this….Definitely Over The top!

    1. yep, the bolero is that easy :)

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