The Third Day of Christmas: La Gang à Nat

December 03, 2013

Today is The Third Day of Christmas, and my second guest here at sewpony for The 12 Days of Christmas sewing series, is the lovely Natalie from La Gang à Nat.  Natalie is French Canadian and has been blogging for less than a year.  Her blog name translates to 'Nat and gang'... her gang are her family (husband and three beautiful daughters).  Natalie has had a blog makeover this past week - I loved her blog before and her new look is also beautiful and so easy to read.  Natalie is a busy lawyer but has a passion for sewing which she endulges when she can!  I think the first thing of Nat's that really caught my eye was this lovely ensemble.  And, have a look at this gorgeous outfit she made her eldest daughter.  Natalie also made up my Debbie's Birthday Dress (three times!) here.  If you don't follow Natalie's blog, you should!
Over to you Nat....
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Well hello friends of Suz! I am Natalie from La gang à Nat and I am insanely excited to be here today to show you my take on holiday outfits for my girls. The holidays are a BIG DEAL for us and there will be many occasions to wear a pretty dress in the coming weeks. So I made Gaëlle and Alix festive dresses BUT casual enough so that I wouldn't completely freak out if they started rolling around on the floor (which they tend to do... a lot!!!). Here they're looking rather angelic, no? Not always so...

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Can you guess which pattern I followed? It's the Tinny Dress from An of Straightgrain. I loved how many options An had injected into her pattern and felt that it allowed me to personalize the dresses for each girl. For Gaëlle, I chose a Peter Pan collar, tulip sleeves, and a gathered skirt.

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To bring up the festive factor, I added a layer of tulle that peaks out at the bottom of the hem.

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though the pattern didn't call for it, I lined both bodice and skirt in order to ensure that it would be warm enough for Gaëlle. There was a bit of head scratching going on in my sewing room when came the time to attach the lining to the invisible zipper but I figured it out!

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This was my first time using piping! I struggled a bit at the beginning (that's putting it mildly... I am sure I made every possible mistake known to sewists) but I persevered and am super thrilled with the result. Oh, there will be more piping in my future!!!

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For Alix, I opted for a sleeveless and collarless version of the Tinny dress.

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had requested a dress that would twirl so I went for the circle skirt option.

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Alix's dress is also fully lined (now that I had figured out how to attach the invisible zipper to the lining!) with a fabric of her choice. I have to admit I wouldn't have matched the outer fabric to this particular lining fabric but it was important to me to make her something that she would love so I didn't hesitate...

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To bling up what would normally be a simple dress, I added a beautiful lace ribbon and a glitzy belt buckle. The ribbon is sewed in place so that it doesn't move around or fold over when she moves.

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I tried various options for the back but settled on two simple knots. I didn't feel anything more was needed.

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And these will be Alix's and Gaëlle's outfit for this holiday season!

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Now I feel a bit guilty as I don't have two girls... I have THREE girls! Poor Maïan's dress isn't even started... but do not fret!!! She will get something lovely too and for those interested in sewing for tweens, I'll make sure to post that on my blog shortly.
Our French Canadian Holiday
Suz and Laura asked us to share a bit of family Christmas traditions. Our family does not practice any religion so our holidays are more cultural and are all about family, food, gift giving, outdoor activities, and of course "le Père Noël" (Santa Claus)!
Here's an overview of our holidays: December 1st to 23rd: There will be various parties and celebrations on the weekends; at Chaughan's workplace, the association puts together an amazing Christmas party for the children, complete with lunch, gifts, a magician, bagpipes and of course, a visit from Santa!
At daycare, the girls will be putting on a sweet Christmas concert, complete with dancing and traditional French Canadian songs. We'll also have a pre-Christmas dinner at my parent's condo on the 22nd. December 24th: I am working but will bring the girls in with me as the office organizes a kids party; we are normally told to go home early, around noon. After a quick nap for Gaëlle, we will get all bundled up and head off to my brother Alain's place where we will celebrate with his family as well as with my parents. There will be lots of eating, drinking and gift giving. There is also bound to be lots of traditional French Canadian music being played and sung! (If you're curious as to what that might sound like, click here to see a Youtube video of traditional French Canadian music...) We'll be getting home late that night and once the little ones are in bed, Père Noël will stop by to lay out gifts under our Christmas tree (always a real tree!), as well as stuff the stockings hanging by the fireplace. Maïan will insist on leaving Père Noël a glass of milk and some cookies, as well as some carrots and lettuce for the reindeers.
December 25th: I expect to be woken up waaaaaay too early, as Maïan and Alix in particular will be excited to open gifts. We'll make some coffee and hot chocolate, turn on some traditional tunes, and the gift opening will begin! It will be crazy and chaotic but it is most definitely the best part of the holidays! That evening, we will head over to Chaughan's side of the family and celebrate with them. More eating and drinking and gift giving for sure!
December 26th to New Year: We'll be scoping out the sales in stores and on the Internet; we plan on doing lots of outdoor activities, like skiing, skating and tobogganing; plus there is sure to be more eating, drinking and gift giving, ha! And then it will be back to work on January 3rd! Here are a few scenes from last year...

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So with that, I wish you Happy Holidays my friends!!! Natalie


These dresses are BEAUTIFUL Natalie as are your little daughters!! They really look so sweet!  Thankyou so much for sharing!!


Today over at Craftstorming, you will find Simple Simon's festive creation!!


On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

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  1. Lovely! Be warned Natalie, once you start piping you just can't stop! It's adddictive. And so is the Tinny dress.... guess which pattern I'm cutting out (again) this week ;-)

  2. Both of these dresses are so beautiful Natalie. I love how you used the same pattern for both but they look so different. All of the little details you added make them both so special. It sounds like you and your family will have a wonderful month of celebrations. Thanks so much for joining the series.

  3. Natalie, the dresses are adorable. I love the fact they they are lined. Alix has a good taste in fabric! I think what you did with the lace is is enough. The dresses are both special, and yes, I can imagine your girls rolling on the floor in them (remind me to tell you about our anniversary dinner with my hubby last year!)

    Victoria is right. Once you used piping, there is no going back. It is super addictive!


  4. You did it, Nat! Both are stunning and perfectly suited to the wearer. I adore that lace and buckle detail - and well done getting those linings in! Love them both. x

  5. Beautiful fabric choices!! I'm amazed how the Tinny pattern can look so different - well done :)

  6. Both dresses are just beautiful! I love the red piping against the blue and the lace ribbon is such a prett, delicate detail! And I love the tree background. Is it wallpaper?

  7. Such lovely dresses, Natalie! Love the pop of red on the polka dot dress! The lace ribbon is such a simple, but gorgeous detail. Great job!

  8. How cute are your daughters and these dresses!!! And I love your back drop for the photos. Great job!!

  9. Gorgeous dresses! I am making a holiday Tinny dress too!

  10. Natalie, it's so nice to meet you and get to know you better. I'm a fan of polka dots, really like the blue polka dots with the red piping. I need to sew a tinny dress!

  11. A huge thank you for all your lovely comment ladies! You are all so sweet and so encouraging. And for those asking about the backdrop, it's a birch tree wall decal that I have in my entrance... the stockings are hanging from hooks that normally hold up the little girls jackets and coats and such... I moved it all of the way to that this photo shoot.

    Gros merci et bisous à toutes!

  12. Adorable dresses and little models! Next week my daughter will have Christmas concert too :).

  13. Oh, one more thing...

    To Suz and Laura: thank you so much for putting together this really fun series and for inviting little old me to participate... this is my first time participating in a sewing series and I loved every stressful minute of it, haha! (And you'll be happy to know that you quadrupled the page views on my blog today, woohoo!)


  14. Amazing - love the color combo and both dresses look so perfect on your girls!
    You're all so talented (dare I say I am not even half-way on my creation?)

  15. very cute and great colors! I can't wait to see what you make your oldest- I bet that will be a challenge. Your daughters are adorable :)

  16. Ooooh, I do love some piping!! Very, very neat detail - and such a contrast to the blue! Excellent job, April....

  17. April?? Oh dear.... Sorry, Natalie!! Trying to multitask, and not doing well at all with it. GREAT JOB, Natalie! My goof....


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