Easter Dresses from the Past

Courtney wrote a sweet note asking about Easter dresses I have made in the past.  For her 2 year old daughter, she is designing an heirloom confection for this same celebration.  She was curious about my granddaughter Laurel’s earlier special frocks.

bunny bubble


She was just 10 months old, crawling at lightning speed when her first Easter rolled around.  A bubble seemed to be the most sensible solution for a baby who spent most of her waking moments on her knees.  For details of this little outfit, headband and matching bib for Easter dinner, see the post Baby Bunny Bubble.



1st birthday~Easter dress


Laurel’s first birthday was two months later.  She was toddling around, making it easy for me to justify making the heirloom dress of my dreams.  I absolutely loved making  this.  For details and more photos than you will want to look at, check the post First Birthday Dress.




For me, the matching slip was the finishing touch.

Her second Easter fell just a few months before our daughter’s wedding, which was held here at our home.  So I was really rushed and resorted to a ready-to-smock white bishop.  It was modified significantly and coordinated with her 7 month old brother’s bubble.


L bishop yellow trim


The puff sleeves were cut off to make an angel sleeve and Swiss trims were added.




Read more and see Robert’s bubble here.

The next Easter, Laurel’s family spent Easter at their cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, near Rutherfordton.  It was a casual Easter, so she and Robert were in matching mint green baby cord outfits.  I can’t find the photos, but the pattern was a simple a-line jumper lined in peach microcheck with a minkee-like bunny applique on the front.  Robert wore a Jon-Jon of the same design.

For her 4th Easter, her maternal grandmother wanted to buy her Easter dress.  I mourned in private and took no pictures.


See more photos and details of this Lemon Meringue dress.

See more photos and details of this Lemon Meringue dress.


This is Laurel’s 5-year old Easter dress.  By this time, we had 14 month old Alastair to coordinate with his cousins.  Yellow was the color theme with vintage Swiss handloom yellow ducks.  The boys wore yellow baby cord and were as precious as Laurel.    See the cousin group here.


white Nelona over blue Imperial broadcloth...see details and more photos at post Judith Dobson and the Tea Dress

white Nelona over blue Imperial broadcloth…see details and more photos at post Judith Dobson and the Tea Dress


The next year, soft aqua blue was the chosen color.  Laurel wore a sheer white Judith Dobson Tea Dress over a blue slip.  The boys wore  aqua blue baby cord shorts and white shirts with machine embroidered shadow work colors.  Poor Robert, with his skinny legs, was obviously too old for this outfit, but he wore it with good grace. It was to be his last Sweet Boy outfit.  See the group here.


shadow smocked dress detailed here

shadow smocked dress detailed here


Last year, Laurel’s dress was my first attempt at shadow smocking.  I loved it and so did she.



The pink roses make a 40′ hedge.


Courtney, I hope these photos give you some inspiration.  In a future post, I will feature Easter dresses made by Judy Day and other readers.

Please share your finished Easter dress with us.  We’d love to see what you’ve made!

15 responses to “Easter Dresses from the Past

  1. You mourned in private…. What a hoot!!

  2. Thank you so much! Your attention to detail is amazing! I would love to take one of your classes. I smock, but haven’t had a chance to learn how to do French hand sewing. I’d love to learn. I love to design their outfits, and I’m fortunate to have some very good seamstresses in my home time that I enjoy working with. I will definitely post our Easter outfits once they are completed! 🙂

  3. These dresses are all more precious than the last. What gorgeous heirlooms you are creating. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. (And can you believe I wasn’t a bit jealous of your magnificent sewing skills? No not one bit because you are clearly an artist.)

  4. Aw, shucks, Sweet Bee, you are making me blush. Thanks for stopping by so I can check out your great blog Sweet Bee Cottage.

  5. Each dress is as beautiful as the next! I love seeing your work Janice. 🙂

  6. Jan, those are all beautiful, but I’d have to say the first one is my favorite with that beautiful tatted hair band. Then again, I love those sleeves on the white bishop. But Laurel’s first dress with the beautiful embroidery and those sleeves! Okay, I don’t have a favorite after all. I just can’t choose. 🙂

  7. Oh, what fun it was to look at all these beautiful dresses! I love them all and it would be nearly impossible to pick a favorite. Thank you for showing these all in one post.

  8. Thanks, Connie, for sharing your blog! I love all the quilting projects.

  9. Pamela Koerlin

    Yes, that’s funny.> mourned in private… Good for you. However, I was more selfish. The day the 1st pregnancy was announced, I claimed Easter as “mine”!! I have ‘allowed’ others to do most of the other Event Days- if desired- but only gave up Easter once in 11yrs. Each subsequent delivery day that claim was again made. The granddaughters are ‘old enough’ this year to give their preferences, so next week is the deadline… Or I get to do the orchid & peacock which were discovered last week. The li’l boys will be in navy linen. 😉 Enjoy the coming Spring. Grammie

  10. HURRAH FOR GRAMMIE!!!! I wish I had thought of that! Except that greedy me wants to claim ALL the holidays! Readers, take heed! This is great advice.

  11. Jessica Mullins

    Hi!! I would love for you to email me back…I’m the editorial assistant for Sew Beautiful magazine. We are in the midst of working on our May/June 2013 issue. As you may know, in each issue we have a section entitled “Stock Your Stash.” This time, we are focusing on our favorite blogs! I would love to mention yours.

    I hope to hear from you soon!

  12. Hi Jessica. What a compliment this is! I will write to you privately.

  13. Jule Joffrion

    Is there a site where I can see which designs are in the 3 sets of beautiful designs that use a wing needle? How much are the wing needle sets.

  14. Jule, if you click on the machine embroidery design link under A Store, most of the designs will come up. Several photos of stitch outs were corrupted earlier and I just haven’t had a chance to replace them.

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