California Christmas with the Elaina Pintuck Party Dress

Happy Thursday, everyone, and welcome to the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Holiday tour! Today I’ll be showing you Abby’s new Elaina Pintuck Party Dress in blue dupioni silk. Yum…

The best part about participating in the Holiday Tour (besides sewing a pretty dress) is that I actually finished my daughter’s Christmas dress a whole month before Christmas! That’s pretty much a Christmas miracle because I’m usually sewing right up until the deadline.


For the tour I sewed the Elaina Pintuck Party Dress. This dress was an adventure for the following reasons. It was:

  1. My first time sewing with dupioni silk
  2. My first time sewing pin tucks
  3. My first time sewing a special occasion dress
  4. An enjoyable pattern

If you’ve been following me here for awhile, you already know that Abby is a fan of pink. She’s a crazy fan of pink. She wants her room painted pink and the other day she told me she wished her feet were pink. Not her toes, her actual feet. She asked me to paint them.

So, when it came to making a Christmas dress I knew red was out of the question. She would never put it on. Taupe and silver were also out (she calls silver “gray” and says it’s “yucky”). The only thing I could come up with was this blue and thankfully, she agreed! Besides, it’s a gorgeous color and so versatile.

To give the dress some pop I added black and white buttons to the back. I have about a million buttons in a jar on my sewing table and my favorite part of a project is pulling out the buttons and trying different combinations. I never buy buttons specifically for an outfit and I never use matching sets of buttons. There’s always some variety. It’s such an easy way to add the unique touch that is so important in a hand-made garment. 
As you can see, the skirt is adorned with a series of pin-tucks. The pattern instructions were clear and easy to follow and the pin-tucks came together like a dream. The instructions call for them every 3-4 inches, and mine are spaced 3 inches apart. If I could do it over again, I would space them 4 inches apart instead, because I think these came out a little too close together. It’s still beautiful, though!

The bodice was very straightforward and has a great fit. My daughter is almost 3 years old, but narrow around the chest, so I made her a 2T bodice. I set out to make the skirt a 3T, but sized it down to a 2T during construction. After all is said and done, I wish I had kept it at a 3T because this dress will be too short after her next growth spurt. But I guess when that happens I can just let down the bubble hem.
If you have a daughter who is petite for her age, or tall and slender, I suggest selecting a bodice size based on your child’s chest measurement and a skirt size based on their age.
I simply adore how this dress looks with black tights! She refused to take off her pink shoes for the pictures (*cough*), so I cropped those out of most pictures. The dress would look great with white or silver-sparkly shoes, don’t you think? (Says the mom who bought silver sparkly shoes for this very reason). 
We are calling this Abby’s California Christmas dress because it’s BLUE and reminds me of pool water on a hot summer day. Like yesterday. I like how the red sash ties it in with traditional Christmas colors. 

This dress is very light weight, which is perfect for our holiday season. I’ll probably pair it with some kind of cover, like a shawl or cape, when the weather cools a bit. No heavy winter jackets for us! If you are sewing for a little girl in cold weather, I would not suggest using dupioni silk because this dress is very light and flowy. It almost weighs nothing!
For colder climates choose a heavier special occasion fabric (but something that will still yield easily to the pin tucks) and pair it with a long sleeved shirt or nice warm jacket. 

An early Merry Christmas to each of you, wherever you live in the world! 

I truly love this dress and can’t wait for Abby to wear it in our family Christmas photos. As one last note, let me tell you that I received a LOT of compliments on this dress last Sunday when she wore it to church. If you’re looking for a Christmas dress that turns heads, this might be just what you’re looking for.

Happy sewing, everyone! 


If you’d like to purchase this or any other pattern from the Peek-a-boo pattern shop, head over there now and use the coupon code “hohoho” to save 25% on your entire order through November 28th. 
OR… You could try your luck at winning a pattern! Enter the Peek-a-boo pattern giveaway pattern here: 

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  1. says

    Haha! Why do these little girls have to be so opinionated about every single thing??? So glad she agreed to the blue, though – I think it turned out bright, fresh, and fun for Christmas. That was a lot to tackle – great job!

  2. says

    This is STUNNING! I came across this on pinterest, and so happy I did! I want to make my daughter’s Christmas dress exactly like this – buttons and all! =) Where did you find your fabric? It’s beautiful!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Jessica! The dupion silk came from Joanne’s (bought with a coupon!) and the buttons are from my stash. You could easily do the same thing with two black buttons and one white. Like I mentioned in the post, I never like to match my buttons! So glad you like the dress, and I’d love to see your version! 🙂