Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Visit to the White House and a New Dress

State Dining Room
When we did the Tweed Ride, my friend Courtney mentioned that she was thinking of planning a White House holiday tour and asked if I'd like to join. I said of course, and asked her who her friend is. To see the White House (at least for people who live here--I don't know how out-of-towners do it) you have to have a friend who works there and can get you in. It turns out that her job is considered part of the White House and she *is* the friend. How wonderful! So yesterday morning we headed over to see the White House all dressed up for the holidays.
Felt Trees--Want
The decorations were somewhat modest for, well, the White House--a mansion of size and importance--in keeping with the economic times, but they were all clever, festive, and still tasteful. I just LOVED these felt trees in the entrance area. I don't decorate for the holidays because I'm not religious and because I always travel to Texas, but I could actually see having one of these adorable little trees. And check out the giant felt Bo!



Button Bo! Bo was quite a decorative theme. There was a Bo in just about every room/display. My absolute favorite was this Bo made of buttons! Could you die? It was just so clever and absolutely adorable. This wasn't the only place that buttons showed up. I glanced down at the tree skirt of the large family tree (decorated by the children of active duty service members) and noticed that the tree skirt was sprinkled with what appeared to be antique and vintage military buttons. Clearly, one of the decorators knows a little something about sewing.



Gingerbread White House Display The annual Gingerbread White House is always a big attraction. It keeps getting more and more elaborate and amazing and this year was no exception in this perfect replica of the White House in white chocolate. Apparently, it took six weeks to make. It was surrounded by macaron trees. I think white chocolate is gross so I'm ok with many pounds of it being used to make a decorative objects, but I had to object to wasting perfectly good macarons--very difficult to come by in the States--on decoration! Though the trees were cute.


McCall 6363 at the White House Of course I had to have a new dress for my visit! I bought this giant border print fabric on G Street's $2.97/yd table last November and thought the red flowers would be holiday-evocative without being too literal. I made it into another McCall 6363 knockoff, as described in this blog post. I didn't make any changes to the pattern--even did the same picot elastic trim on the neckline! I'll try to get a better picture of it later but there's really nothing new to tell about it. All photos of McCall 6363 are here



Trena at the Portico


Again in keeping with the festive spirit--and the quite cold weather--I wore my Vogue 8307 Armani-style coat. It's just about getting too cold to wear this, but I love the cheery color and the shape of the collar so I've been wearing it as much as possible until it gets well and truly below freezing.




Washington Monument, White House, Flag Here's my parting shot as we walked out of the White House and back to real life. I love the way the clean lines of the White House, the Washington Monument in the distance, and the colors of the flag converge. It was quite a different feeling to be on the inside of the White House grounds looking out, and not one I'll repeat too often LOL.

With all the real trees in the White House, and the wonderful decorations, and the high school choir singing wonderful a capella carols, this is a magical way to get in the holiday spirit!

All the White House photos are here.

34 comments:

Beangirl said...

Bo must have been popular this year at the White House. He's on the Obama's Christmas card too (according to my mother, I am not on the Obama's Card List apparently). Maybe the girls picked the theme? Funny!

Awesome photos! And I agree, that coat really is fabulous!

shams said...

You look fabulous! As someone who will never visit the White House at Christmas, I really appreciate a peek! Thanks for posting the pics!

Debi said...

How fun! I just love the dress you made--that border print is fabulous! And of course, your coat is so lovely!!

Harriet said...

I got to do the White House Christmas visit one year when my mother was a volunteer, back in the Clinton administration. It really is a beautiful house -- very gracious and human in scale, not like some gaudy royal's palace. I also loved being able to look out of those big windows, after so many years of passing by and seeing them from the outside.

(Another time, I went there with my mother to work on volunteer stuff in the rather grungy offices that are attached to the main building, and Hillary sent her assistant down with Socks, the cat, whom we all got to pet.)

Karin said...

Thanks for sharing your white house photos. It's interesting to see how it is decorated. Your dress is smashing too, of course!

Butterfly said...

The button Bo is so cute! I bet everyone had their fun decorating.

LinB said...

Oh, how lovely that you got to see the White House all decked out for Christmas! I understand that there were quite a lot of paper decorations; and that there were moss gardens in some of the fireplaces. Thank you for sharing your photos with us. Bundle up.

Irene said...

Thank-you for the wonderful White House tour! You look lovely, as always, on the occasion.

Jane M said...

Thanks so much for sharing this great visit. I visited the White House as a child when JFK was in office and the tour was memorable even then. The decorations this year seem family friendly as well as stately. Your dress is the perfect use for that fabric. Wonderful!

McVal said...

How lucky are YOU!!!!? And that print is amazing...

SheriNJ said...

I love these pics. Thanks for sharing.

badmomgoodmom said...

Button Bo is unbearably cute! Thanks for sharing your tour photos.

You look fab in your creations, as always.

Lisette M said...

Your new dress is very suitable for the occasion!

marysews said...

So, there were buttons and Bo's everywhere?! I'm glad you enjoyed your tour.

Nancy K said...

Lucky you! Your photo link seems to be broken. Bo is quite the start. Your dress is appropriately holidayish and pretty.

Sew-4-Fun said...

I love your new dress! Great use of a bold border print. And how lucky are you to get to see the WH at Christmas! Thanks for sharing photos. The Bo buttons is very cute!

ReadyThreadSew said...

I am beyond jealous. I'm a massive fan of The West Wing - I own the full box set and watch it all at least twice a year and I would love to be able to visit the White House. Unfortunately, I live in the UK and am very unlikely to ever visit the US so I'll just have to visit it vicariously.

Bobbi Bullard said...

Thank you for sharing so we can live through you vicariously. And... I love your skirt and coat. You look great.

Venus de Hilo said...

Thanks for sharing your visit and pics with us! Love your bold red print dress.

meli88a said...

I love that fabric. That dress uses the border print perfectly.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

I am totally jealous, how FUN !!!! I would love to do that someday. great post. and you look very festive in your border print dress.

Bri said...

The white house tour looks amazing, how lucky for you! Some fabulous decorating, definitely some ideas for me to keep in mind as fun projects for the future!

Great dress that you made too!

SueC56 said...

That's fun to see having just seen the show on tv about the White House decorations.

Mrs. Micawber said...

How fun that must have been! My sister would agree about the macaroons. Ever since she tasted the ones in Paris she has bemoaned the fact she can't get them here.

Love that dress and coat!

Aroura said...

Some really great pictures, thanks for sharing. I would never usually get to see inside the White House. Your new dress is really lovely, great buy on that border print fabric!

MushyWear said...

Thank you for sharing your tour with us! Your dress really was perfect for the occasion and looked awesome with your turquoise/teal coat.

Lynn said...

Beautiful photos--and I think you should be declared queen of the $2.97 table. What a great eye you have!

Clio said...

I love how you included some of the border print on the sleeves. Great dress! And what a festive thing to do at the holidays.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so cool! My out-of-town family and I went to pretty great lengths to get to see the White House this November, before the decorations went up. It's such a special place. I'm envious that you got to take pictures! Cameras were verboten on our big day. My dad said he remembers as a little boy just walking up to the guard shack and saying, "I'd like to take a tour, please". That was how it was done! They just waited until a sizeable group gathered, and in they went! Nowadays, we had to send a spreadsheet to the secret service with our SSNs months in advance to get in!

With all the history to think about there in that magnificent place, I found I got most choked up when thinking about the Obama family and....President Jed Bartlett!

Joy said...

What a great opportunity you had! And I love the border print dress. Very fun.

Audrey said...

Loved the button Bo. That is like the ultimate holiday house tour and the dress was perfect for it.

kathy said...

Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth said...

That would be a very fun tour to take!

The dress is great as usual :)

Sherril said...

I'm so jealous you got to tour the White House. I hope to make it to DC someday. What a wonderful city to be able to visit regularly. There is so much to do and see.