Judy Day has continued her tradition of gorgeous Easter dresses and hairbows for both of her granddaughters and their dolls. These are very different from the heirloom confections she has always made. But as we all know, as little girls grow a little older, they like contemporary garments.
Here is Judy’s tale of how these dresses came about.
This idea for this year’s Easter dresses for my DGDs actually started last summer when I was asked to make a store sample for B Sew Inn (BabyLock dealer)in Springfield, MO. I fell in love with the dress from the picture on the front of the book, “Rosie and Me” by Michelle Griffith.
The book has the pattern, very detailed instructions on construction and a CD in the back of the book with the machine embroidery designs. The book also contains the patterns, instructions for the American Girl doll dress along with smaller versions of the embroidery for the dolls. This is a no fail book for someone who is just learning, as she walks you through each step with written directions and color pictures.
Some of the techniques included are pintucks, making piping, cutting on the bias, scallops on the hem and the collar, and embroidery design placement.
Of course I wanted exactly the same fabric that was pictured on the book. Once again Farmhouse Fabrics came to the rescue. I placed the order on line and then called as I was not sure I had chosen the correct “hot pink” gingham. They pulled the order and said there was another pink that matched better….what great customer service!
The fabric arrived in about 3 days. It was lovelier than I had imagined. I made the model for the store and decided to wait until Easter to make Kennedy and Courtney’s dresses.
I did make a few deviations from the instructions. Since my DGDs do not live close, I decided to use Children’s Corner pattern “Louise”. I have used it several times and all the needed adjustments had been made. The little girls saw the model dress and ask that I omit the collar on the dresses. Instead, I put tiny piping around the neckline and the armholes to give it a more finished look.
As I was gathering the skirts, I realized the fabric was sheer enough that the girls were going to need slips. (too late to make a full slip or a mall run…the dresses needed to get in the mail. After all, I had only known for 6 months exactly what I was going to make!) So, I cut a piece of sheer cotton batiste the width of the skirt and about 2 inches shorter, hemmed it and gathered it with the outer skirt, treating it as one piece as I stitched it to the bodice.
Also I prefer a single layer sash, so I did a rolled hem on the edges of the sashes with my BabyLock Evolution serger. I used green thread to match the green gingham and set the stitch length to 1.5. The rolled hem is almost invisible and very light weight.
The doll dresses were the icing on the cake. When I called to tell them the dresses were in the mail the first question was…”Is there a doll dress?” These days, everything is done in 4s.