Tag Archives: Easter dress

Beautiful Easter ’17

What a hambone! This little girl in her smocked Swiss voile bishop loves the camera.

 

I hope you all had a joyous Easter.  Ours was beyond fabulous, with a beautiful worship service and all four grandchildren and their parents for the weekend.  It could only have been better if our pilot son had not  been flying out in the wild blue yonder.

It was a non-stop celebration.  Saturday morning a church family hosted an Easter egg  hunt for 40+ children.  Wonderful as the hunt and the huge bounce house were, the highlight for most of the children was fishing in the pond.  Those fish were hungry and hit on every line.  Every child caught at least one fish. Grandson Alastair, 8, caught 4!  He was ecstatic.

 

 

Vivian Rose also caught a fish but she seemed more disgusted than thrilled.  She was happy to have her daddy’s help dealing with her catch.  She looked so cute and comfortable in her Petite Poche Penny. Continue reading

Opinions? Easter Dress in Progress

Pink Swiss voile, ivory entredeux, cherub medallion, heirloom laces and bishop pattern from Mimi’s Heirloom Sewing Book Two.

 

My life is absolutely wonderful but SO busy!  These new puppies chew up a lot of time… and a lot of everything else.!  They are adorable and we are crazy about them.  But they are one of the big reasons it’s been so long since I’ve posted.

 

Samson and Delilah, each 21 lbs, 10 weeks old

 

At this late date I am starting on Easter dresses for 4 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.  One, of course, is for Easter Sunday.  The other is for the church egg hunt on Sat.  But that is on the back burner until Sunday’s dress is finished.

For several years I have had a piece of what must have been an exquisite tablecloth featuring cherubs and roses.  You probably figured out that roses are a bonus for anything I make for Vivi.

I’m thankful that someone had the foresight to save the remnants.  From the first time I saw it, I imagined one of those cherub medallions in a granddaughter’s dress.   Finally, the time has come.

 

each cherub is 3″ tall

 

The plan is to modify a bishop with several inches removed from the front.  That would leave a flat area on the Swiss voile for the single cherub.  As you can see, it is already pinstitched to the voile.  I love love love pinstitch and use it whenever possible.  This time a #100 needle was used instead of a wing for fear that a wing would cut through the dense portions of the lace.

 

cherub medallion secured to Swiss voile with pinstitch W 2.5 L 2.5

Continue reading

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!!!

 

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ugly stain

 

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

Scan-3 Continue reading

Not the Easter Outfits I Planned

I hope the egg dye on Alastair's fingers had dried before he laid hands on Vivian Rose.

I hope the egg dye on Alastair’s fingers had dried before he laid hands on Vivian Rose.

 

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter.  It’s not all about the clothes, I know, but for most of you readers and for this Nana, it is SOME about the clothes.

Robert Burns described my Easter ’16 when he wrote,”The best laid schemes of mice and men (read “Nanas”) gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain…”

That is not to say that my guy and I did not experience the sacred joy and meaning of Easter.  So I can’t say that I experienced “nought but grief an’ pain,”  but there were some regrets.

We had planned to join our daughter, Rebecca, and her family to celebrate Easter Suday with her in-laws, who are dear friends, across the state.  But a monkey wrench was thrown into our plans Saturday–the very day I finished Easter duds for 3 yo Vivian Rose and 7 yo Alastair–the very outfits I was to deliver Easter morning to them.  (Yes, I cut it close.  I always do.)

So Rebecca scrounged through Vivi’s wardrobe and pulled out this old bishop, which has been around the block about as many times as the mailman.  Still, it is presentable if not new.

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The ME designs are yours for the asking. Just leave your request in the comment section.

Continue reading

The Lace Dress for Easter

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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.

 

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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. Continue reading

“T’was the night before Easter…”

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I’m doing my absolute best to finish up my Easter sewing, but it seems that one thing and then another keep getting in the way of progress.  Still I plug along, hoping and expecting that everything will get  done, because I’ve done it before.

I keep reminding myself of  the Easter my Rebecca was 6, 28 years ago.  For whatever reason, I decided to abandon an almost finished smocked dress in favor of this peach Swiss batiste frock.  From where the inspiration came, I don’t recall.  But I HAD to make it!

That was Maundy Thursday.  I had three days, mostly filled with the activities of this 6 year old child and her 10 year old brother, not to mention preparing my Sunday school lesson, fixing dinner, etc.  I slept very little from then until Easter, but I did complete the dress.  If I did it then, I can do it again, right?  I am 28 years older, but I don’t have a 6 and 10 yo under foot.  Yes, surely I can do it!

The fabric is what Jeannie B. calls “fairy” batiste–sheer and fine enough to clothe fairies who could not bear the weight of linen or even Nelona.  The major features of the dress are entredeux beading, tatting, puffing–lots of that!–a sweet Swiss handloom.

 

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The sleeves are set in with entredeux, one of my favorite heirloom touches. Continue reading

Judith Dobson and the Tea Dress

This is my post for Freckled Laundry’s Air Your Laundry Linky party.

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From the 1989 version of the Tea Dress, this one is made of white Swiss batiste, ivory lace and entredeux, with a blue broadcloth underdress.

 

Laurel’s Easter dress has had its final press and is on a hanger, ready for Sunday. After a 22 year wait for someone to wear it, I have finally stitched this beauty.  Since finishing it,  the dress has been in my thoughts quite a lot. While my hands were occupied with mindless tasks like piping and machine embroidery for the grandsons’ outfits, my mind wandered over details of the garment.

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Bodice features fil tire’ and surface embroidery. Except for a few French knots, all embroidery was done on my beloved Brother Innovis 4500D.

 

I couldn’t help but think about Judith Dobson, designer of this pattern. She seems to have dropped out of the sewing world, at least from  my range of sight.  Still,  I have no doubt that she is out there,  stitching fervently, beautifully and perfectly. As the mother of five children, including twin girls who modeled her creations for Belles and Beaus ads in Sew Beautiful and Creative Needle magazines, she likely became too busy to spend much time way from home since I last saw her. Now, with any luck, she has grandchildren to dress.

I’d like to share some recollections I have of this amazingly accomplished needleworker who has patterns, magazine articles, a book and more to her credit. Her background and experience is extensive.

I first met Judith when we were both teaching at Martha Pullen’s school in Huntsville. She taught a variety of hand embroidery classes, most notably shadow work and cutwork.  Students lined up to get in her classes to learn how she stitched such stunningly beautiful designs.

 

Bodice back shows machine embroidered buttonholes. Flip flop lace is pinstitched above the puffing band and lace ruffle.

Bodice back shows machine embroidered buttonholes. Flip flop lace is pinstitched above the puffing band and lace ruffle.

 

Later, we roomed together in Jacksonville, Florida, where we were both teaching. I think it was a Classic Classes event, with Judith, Mildred Turner, Cindy Foose and Janet Hyde. Or it might have been the SAGA National Convention…whatever. There in Jacksonville we became much better acquainted and I certainly enjoyed our time together.

Sprigs of floral embroidery rest between ecru mother-of-pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics.

Sprigs of floral embroidery rest between ecru mother-of-pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics.

 

I learned that she and her five children had lived in Saudi Arabia for several years where her husband worked as an executive with an oil company. She described a culture which prohibited women from driving.   That shocked me. Returning home to the United States was a great joy to her.

For some time, Judith gave children’s etiquette classes, serving high tea and lessons on propriety and manners. She also offered small group handwork schools when she lived in Colorado.

In addition to her design work, her children, of course, kept her very busy all day. But she carefully scheduled her time so that every evening, from 7-11 p.m. she stitched.

Her children must have been very well behaved. And her husband must have been very helpful and supportive. With just two children, Bob and I could hardly get baths, stories and homework finished by 9:00!  I should have asked her for a class in time management.

 

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Straight sleeves are embellished with more flip flop lace insertion and machine embroidery.

 

In Jacksonville, Judith graciously agreed to share our suite with my mother who arrived the second day of the school. When I called to extend the invitation, I chattered about what a gracious lady Judith was. Mother looked forward to meeting her.

While Judith and I were in class, my mother arrived at the hotel, picked up the key from the front desk and went to the room to get settled in.

She walked in the door just as a naked, dripping wet man stepped out of the shower to see who had entered!

Scandalized, my mother stormed out of the room and waited in the lobby until time for lunch, when I joined her. She was seething as she pulled me aside to speak privately.

 

Petticoat has 4 rows of lace, extending the too-short dress to an acceptable length.

Petticoat has 4 rows of lace, extending the too-short dress to an acceptable length.

 

“That Judith is NO lady! ” she sputtered through clenched teeth. “She has a man up there! We are NOT staying with her. I’m getting another room for the two of us!”  Righteous indignation radiated from her black eyes.

Of course, Judith WAS a lady. The hotel had given my mother the wrong room key and we all had a good laugh about it. Actually, my mother only smiled politely. Since that incident, she has been unable even to say “Jacksonville” without a rise in her blood pressure

Older issues of Sew Beautiful feature many of Judith’s designs and articles. She purchased the Belles and Beaus pattern company from Betty Rast in Alabama and added to the extensive offerings of the company’s handwork collection. These patterns are spectacular and I am pleased that in my sewing room I have nearly every Belles and Beaus pattern published. Her lovely book, Roses and Delicate Embroidery, is like a work of art, with watercolor illustrations and careful stitch diagrams.

I haven’t seen or spoken to Judith in many years. In 2007, we were both scheduled to teach at Martha Pullen’s school in Huntsville and I looked forward to a little reunion.   But there was some complication and she didn’t come. That was the last news I have about her.

I’m grateful to her for the beautiful Tea Dress pattern, first published in 1989. I am also grateful that it is now available for thos who do not have a 22 year old Sew Beautiful packed away.  And I hope Judith is happy and well, wherever she is.

Easter ’11 ~Laurel’s Dress

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In desperation, I’ve tabled all my to-do’s and should-do’s then surrendered to MUST-do, which is sewing. Not only is Easter just around the corner, but also I am in serious need of  a powerful sewing fix.   So I’ve retreated to my textile cave, AKA Sewing Machine Garage and Stash Storage Facility,  for needle and thread therapy.  If ever I were to fall seriously ill, I’m pretty sure an heirloom sewing session would cure me.

Laurel is first in line for Easter finery.  Handling Swiss batiste, heirloom laces and stitching embroidery does for me what baby cord and Imperial broadcloth cannot.   Those items, by the way, are the components of the grandsons’ outfits that I have planned.

 

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Since Judith Dobson’s Tea Dress appeared on the back cover of Sew Beautiful in the January 1989 issue,  I’ve wanted to make this beauty.  At the time, my Rebecca was already 14 years old so I knew that making the Tea Dress was not a project I would take on  in the foreseeable future.

Now that my precious granddaughter Laurel is nearly 7, the Tea Dress seems like a perfect transition between little girl high yokes and big girl waisted frocks.  The design and lines just seem a little more sophisticated to me.  Nonetheless, this confection would sweet on girls of any age–but not 14. Continue reading

Lemon Meringue Pie

zLemonMeringuewslip

 

Frothy and yellow and sweet, this dress reminds me of lemon meringue pie, which, incidentally, is on my Easter dinner menu.  Laurel will look like dessert!

I know that too many pictures of this garment have already been posted.  From gathering supplies, to slip construction,  and even the complications, it has been posted and discussed endlessly. And yet, seeing it complete with the yellow underdress and the added rows of lace at the hemline, I feel compelled to show the overall effect.

 

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From the planning stage, my vision of this frock presented a white dress with yellow shadowing through the sheer batiste.  The yellow shadow beneath the lace was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.  Continue reading