Cousins’ Matching Birthday Dresses

I’m busy making spa wraps for Laurel’s 10 birthday party guests and their AG dolls. Then I’ll start embroidering button covers for my Hope Yoder button-up machine. They will be attached to ponytail holders but the girls will do that at the party. Lots of fun, but nothing to show or report now. So once again, I am posting one of Judy Day’s projects.

Her 8 year-old granddaughters are just 3 months apart in age.  Making gorgeous, matching birthday dresses, along with gorgeous matching doll dresses and hairbows is an annual challenge for their long-distance grandmother. Of course, there are also matching Christmas and Easter dresses.  If you haven’t seen Judy’s lovely creations, click on Judy Day’s Creations  in the menu on the right.

As happens so often, Creative Needle  magazine provided the inspiration for the birthday dresses.  Judy told me that the Sept./Oct. 2001 issue had been waiting its turn on her cutting table since before the girls were born.  That’s where she stacks “I definitely want to make that!” ideas.

In this issue, Carol Harris had created her interpretation of an antique garment.  According to Judy, the instructions on marking and making the tucks were excellent.  Carol used Swiss voile, but because the girls’ birthdays are in the winter, Judy used Swiss flannel.

For the same reason, Judy made her sleeves 3/4 length rather than short puff sleeves.  In order to accommodate more tucks, she cut a deeper yoke.


My favorite feature is the back bodice with its embroidered buttons.  She opted for button loops rather than button holes, which would have interrupted the pattern. By using only every 3rd  loop, Judy managed to position the buttons in perfect alignment with the embroidered flowers.  Notice that the top buttons, above the tucks are not embroidered.    Details like these make Judy’s projects exceptional.

Before the birthday frocks were in the mail,  the girls’ Easter dresses were well underway.  Knowing what a short time we have to sew for our granddaughters, Judy doesn’t miss a single opportunity.  And as she says, with two granddaughters and two American Girls dolls, she always sews X4.

I know that Jo, Donna and Beckie have all sewn multiple matching outfits. Do you get tired of them before you have finished the second?  Have any other readers made matching garments?

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