Easter Dress: Disaster Averted

Easter dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose

Easter dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose.  The pattern is Children’s Corner Betsey.

Okay, I’m done whining about missing out on Easter with the grandchildren this year.  As I mentioned (or wailed) in the previous post, this year’s Resurrection Day garments remain undelivered.  And no, that is not the disaster to which I refer in this post title.  There is no recovering that missed celebration. But the Easter dress suffered a real near disaster which I dodged, more or less.


27" wide with 10" embroidery

27″ wide with 10″ embroidery


First, the details of this dress.  The gorgeous fabric, a 27″ Swiss embroidered flounce purchased from Farmhouse Fabrics, has languished in my sewing room armoire for many years.  It was meant to be used for granddaughter Laurel, who was too small at the time to use this length.  The embroidery extends 10 inches from the hemline.  Then, like so many other projects, it was pushed down on the “make soon” list.

Now with 3 yo Vivian Rose in the family, this beautiful fabric’s day in the sun has come.  Though it was a late start, the smocking was well under way before disaster struck.

Thinking to use my time wisely, 3 days before Easter. I brought the dress along to the hairdresser’s and did some smocking while my…uh…color enhancement set.   BIG MISTAKE!!!



ugly stain


Janice Ferguson’s custom color #1234 was smeared on the dress.



Of course, the purpose of hair color is to be permanent.  And believe me, on Swiss cotton it is.

But I came up with a fix of sorts.  Due to the elaborate border embroidery, the dress was cut with no side seams to match, leaving only the center back open.  Since there is a lot of leeway in the fullness of a bishop, I had added a few extra inches to each  side of the back for ease in matching the borders at the center back seam.

The stain was 8″ from the back edge.  The offensive custom color #1234 was cut away and the two backs stitched together, the seam trimmed and rolled and whipped .   Just a few painfully tedious hours later, the pleating threads had been retied and the back seam was moved to the left of center.  But I was able to match the border nearly perfectly.  I hope that match and the fullness of the garment distracts from the jerry-rigged solution.


Would you notice this on a galloping horse?

Would you notice this on a galloping horse?


The buttonholes were made on my Brother Dream machine on the embroidery side, in the hoop.  I love the ease and accuracy of hooped embroidery for buttonholes.

Overall, I am pleased with the dress.  My initial vision was for the smocking to be a simple diamond pattern in white with blue flowerettes adding a bit of color.  I soon realized that the smocking could mimic, if not duplicate, the Swiss embroidery and went with that.


sleeve smocking xxx-001


It was fun to make up the pattern as I went.  Well, it was fun until the stain disaster.  But good times resumed after the remedy.

Of course, big brother Alastair had to have a matching bow tie.  I have used this great on-line tutorial for several ties for him.  They are quick to make and comfortable to wear.


bow tie 1-001


And, once again my excessive fabric stash had just what I needed.  This linen is a near perfect match to the blue flowerettes in the Swiss embroidery.

The linen has an interesting history.  Long time readers might recall an earlier post about a genuine, certifiable fabric hoarder.  You have to scroll down through several feet of text and pictures to get the story I want to share  (“LACE”) but it is a fascinating account of one lady’s obsession.  A little research  into her family background would probably turn up a genetic link to me.

This is how she labelled every fabric.

This is a handsewn label.

This is a handsewn label.


No doubt there will be other upcoming occasions for these Easter garments to be worn.  In fact, on a recent family cruise, 7 yo Alastair wore his Christmas bow tie at dinner.  Isn’t he a dapper little fellow?


A dines cruise


No reader Easter outfits photos have yet shown up in my in-box.  Please share!  Send to NCcabin@aol.com.



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