The Lace Dress for Easter



This is a beautiful, symmetrical dress–not cockeyed as it appears in this photo.   The wind would NOT stop blowing so it kept swinging on the hanger as I  tried to snap it in a moment of calm.  Note also that the hanger is an adult size, so the shoulder appears to be wider than the pattern picture.

But, hurrah!! Laurel’s Easter dress is almost done, lacking only buttons and buttonholes.  The pattern is one of Nancy Coburn’s at Ginger Snaps Designs.




Laurel’s dress includes absolutely no originality from me.  I copied this beauty as is because I didn’t think there was any way I could improve upon it.

This is a great pattern which almost falls together.  Aside from its excellent directions and photo illustrations, the pattern includes several tips.  These make construction easier and the finished product even prettier.  For instance, look at the way the collar lays across the sleeves.  Nancy recommends that you leave the center 3″ on the sleeve cap ungathered so that the collar lays flat.

The dress fabric is Nelona Swiss batiste and the double collar is Swiss organdy. My last piece of white Swiss was a tad short of the yardage requirement, so I used organdy for the collars.

The English lace edging and insertion are both a soft ivory, a color I absolutely love, especially with white.  My only disappointment was in the width of the header on the edging.




Usually, when a lace header is too wide to make a pretty, delicate join to entredeux or hemstitching, I just trim it down.  But because the gathering thread is at the very, very top of the header, trimming only works if the lace is being applied flat. So the entire header had to remain.  As you can see from the above photo of the hemline, it made for a bulky attachment.




The collar is machine embroidered with a bow design from Martha Pullen’s 2011 Embroidery Club and the trinity rings from somewhere else that I can’t recall.  This dress will also be worn when Laurel is baptised next month, so the design was carefully chosen.




The sleeve feature entredeux beading, my favorite style.  Early on in my heirloom sewing experience, I was dismayed to see the lace beading almost shredded from the ribbon being tied.  Maybe I’m just rough with it, but it had to be replaced.  So I find the extra expense of the entredeux beading to be money well spent and time saved.

Before I begin on Easter outfits for Alastair and Vivian Rose, I have to whip up 15 party favor teepee bags for Alastair’s upcoming zoo birthday party.  That’s quite a change in style–from miles of imported lace, luscious fabrics and heirloom sewing techniques to zippers, zoo themed fabric and quick and easy sewing.  But anything to make a grandchild smile!

What are you sewing for Easter…or  birthday parties or whatever?  I’d love to hear about it.

15 responses to “The Lace Dress for Easter

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! I am smocking bunnies for a Jon jon for my grandson. A very simple design since my son in law does not like “fussy” clothes. I am also sewing a machine appliqued Jon jon for a dear friend whose baby boy is a month younger than my grandson.

  2. Well, Sophie, bunnies are not fussy but just so cute for little Easter outfits. Easter sewing is such fun. Still, don’t you wish you had free reign to make whatever you want? I look forward to seeing a picture of your bunny suits.

  3. As I thought it would be Janice : The dress is stunning!! Lov the colours you have done to enhance it and it shows as a true heirloom and something your Grand daughter will be able to keep and admire all her years – and then hopefully pass to her own daughter for the next generation to wear and then enjoy. Hope we see photos of her wearing it, either at Easter or her Baptism. Our girls at nearly 12 & 13 think they are too old for “fancy dresses” with lace in their opinion, but still love the silks and satins, just not the lace!! (Growing up too quickly) Look forward to your next lot of sewing for the younger Grand children now.

  4. I love the blue sash, the ivory on white combination, and that wonderful cascading bit of lace! Can’t wait to see Laurel in it! Today is the last day of February; I need to get cracking….

  5. Oh my goodness, Janice! This is just luscious!! What a gorgeous dress & how wonderful that Laurel will get to wear it for 2 very special occasions.
    Your embroidery is just perfect for both events. I am SEW bookmarking this, as my DGD will make her 1st Holy Communion in about 2 years.

    Thanks for sharing your observations & review of the pattern.

  6. Janice, the dress is just beautiful!! I’m anxious to see pictures of Laurel wearing it.

  7. A beautiful dress, Janice. That dress has my daughter, Lydia, written all over it. She would love it… would Rachel. Lauren will be beautiful in your version of it! I also cannot wait to see. I have had good experiences with Ginger Snap patterns, primarily their yoke dress pattern. Carol Harris pointed me to this one years ago, and I’ve used it over and over again.

  8. Connie, I think almost any “big” girl would love this dress and your gorgeous daughters would be spectacular in it. I used this same Ginger Snaps pattern for the shadow smocked Easter dress last year. Nancy Coburn’s patterns are wonderful.

  9. Thank you, Betty. I’d love to see what you are working on–probably some fabulous serger project! Hope all is well with you and your family.

  10. I’m glad you like the ivory lace, Jo. Well, it’s now the second day of March. How are your Easter outfits coming?

  11. Thanks, Rett. What a joy it will be for you to make your granddaughter’s First Holy Communion Dress. I think it is so important to let children know that we recognize the great importance of these events. Making an exceptional dress is one way of saying that.

  12. Stunning! Simply stunning! I am anxious to see the dress on the lovely Miss Laurel.

  13. Thank you, Karen. Laurel loves her dress and can’t wait to wear it for Easter.

  14. Janice…… You should post pictures of Laurel wearing the above mentioned dress (when you have time!!). I bet she was beautiful and felt very loved. My Rachel (8) loved the pictures of this dress. I really need to make time for something like that! Maybe this year.

  15. Connie, I surely will post photos of Laurel in this dress. But she and her family spent Easter with her other grandparents so we didn’t see them. Laurel and Robert’s baptism is scheduled two weeks from now, so I will have lots of photos then–likely more than you want to see!

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