New Look for an Old Dress

Heirloom sewn children’s clothing is nearly timeless. Bishops, basic yokes and button-ons have been around for so long that you can hardly tell the old from the new.

Laurel, my 7 year old granddaughter, wore this 28 year old dress to church last Sunday.   Perhaps you can tell that it is not new because it is not black and hot pink or lime green.  But still, I think the color and style do not scream “HAND ME DOWN!!!” (Please advise me if I am wrong.)

The dress was made for my daughter Rebecca in 1984.  The fabric is a Rose and Hubble lawn.   How I wish that company were still in business, making almost Liberty quality lawns!

The collar is ivory linen with hand fagoting stitches joining the bias strip and lace edging.  The same edging is fagoted to the linen sleeve binding.

NOTE:  On SewForum, I posted a picture and description of a daygown with fagoted lace.   The word “fagoted” was “beeped.”   I wonder what their censorship program would do with “roll and whip?”

I need to mend the mitre on the bias.

The collar was just plain ivory linen when Rebecca wore the dress.  All week I had planned to monogram it for Laurel, but we’ve had two or more grandchildren round the clock for the past 4 days.  We had a grand time, but there was no sewing in those busy days.  So last night, after they were all bedded down, I embroidered the collar.

Careful as I thought I was, the design is not straight and it’s driving me crazy.  Since I didn’t notice it until we were walking out the door, it is probably not reason enough to throw out the dress—or pick out the stitches to redo the embroidery.

I doubt anyone at church noticed.  A young lady in the congregation, now university professor, wore this dress to a wedding many years ago.  Her mother, a  very accomplished and prolific sewing friend of mine,  had asked to borrow it even though her child had a closet full of heirloom dresses.  Neither mother nor daughter mentioned the crooked embroidery design.

Nor did they mention that Laurel was wearing two different shoes!  Her mother was in a rush when she packed Laurel’s bag and the poor child ended up with two mismatched shoes.  Thankfully, there was a right and a left.  The alternative was her hot pink, flashing-lights sneakers, so we went with the mismatched shoes .

I thought the shoes might provide a distraction from the “CROOKED!!! CROOKED!!” error message the collar was sending out.  It seems to have worked.

Have you upgraded or updated an old garment?

5 responses to “New Look for an Old Dress

  1. I don’t think it looks dated at all! It’s just right!

  2. Just tell Laurel to stand a little tilted every time she wears this…..who will ever notice??? I’m so glad those things happen to others besides me….The dress is indeed timeless and good for many more young girls to enjoy!!!

  3. Thanks, Cynthia and Shirley. Now when readers come out of the woodwork saying I should pick it out or that it is outdated, I’ll just tell them that the opinions of Shirley and Cynthia are good enough for me! Thanks for the affirmation.

  4. When Mrs Melton of Nashville taught smocking and children’s clothing at the Watkins Institute (for adult learning), she became famous for her phrase, “on a galloping horse (or a moving child), no one will notice!”. So just remember that. How often do children stand still, even when they are standing still? It’s a beautiful dress and I love the fagoting!
    Beckie

  5. What a beautiful dress. I thought it was brand new! It is timeless. I love it.

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