Thursday, April 17, 2014

Perfect Lady(s) For The Easter Parade

The little Colorado granddaughters needed Easter dresses from my stash of fabric this year. I have wanted to use some old pink/blue plaid fabric for a new kind of smocking for many years, and have never quite gotten to it, so this was the year. 
But, first I thought I'd grab some fine white cotton and make a fancy lace embellished dress for the little one. I've also had this fabric for several years and it has woven striping and kind of a French entredeux running down the fabric every ½ inch or so. It is really cool fabric.
I also have some Swiss embroidery insertion that I bought about 22 years ago. This was a time for me when I had just learned the basic methods of old fashioned heirloom sewing and I purchased several yards of some of my favorite types of laces and insertions, and I just looked at them once in a while when I was sorting through my sewing notions.
The picture below shows a close up of the dress bodice. Here the lined fabric runs horizontally whereas the rest of the dress fabric runs vertically. The cotton val lace and embroidery were put together without entredeux and I used the point de paris stitch (#1229) to mimic the look of entredeux. This Bernina 830 machine does such a good job and I starched the fabric making it easier to run through . Turned out great.
I sent the dress to CO with a blue satin sash, but I had to actually go to the store and buy it before I felt like the dress was finished. By then I guess I was over the pictures.
Herre from the back of the dress. I lined this with a lightweight cotton and then added a 6 inch gathered pettiskirt chiffon to give it some lift.
The base of the dress is finished with more lace and pre-embroidered insertion. The ⅛ inch blue satin ribbon adds a little more blue for nice effect.
This French val lal lace is pretty easy to sew together. I just slightly gather the top line of the 1 ½ wide lace and then put it next to the ⅝" lace and set my machine on a small zig zag and go. The wearer has to be a little careful when playing in a dress like this, and I always tell their mother to take off dresses like this before feeding little faces. Then you don't have to wash them each time they wear it.
The corkscrew ribbons and some more of the embroidery tape to mimic the dress made a cute little ribbon for her hair.
Now onto the plaid.
Like I said this plaid is needing to be turned into a new kind of smocked dress.
You don't have to pleat the fabric to start with, but rather you use the lines of the fabric to make a geometric design in the bodice. I found this heart pattern and went with it. 
Of course I had to make another hair bow to match this dress too.
The white collar and cuffs are a heavier solid white cotton pique. Now that the dress is gone, I feel like I should've put a little heart embroidered on the collar and cuffs. Maybe I'll add something when I go visit these cute little ones next month.
These little females also have a 1 year old brother. I made him a simple tie out of the plaid and so they should all match for the big Sunday celebration.
Maybe they can even walk (i.e. parade) down the halls at church showing of their finery.
Happy Easter.


  1. Wowza. You are definitely my heroine for all things sewing.

  2. Hey, Vick - as usual, I hope my kids don't see your posts, because I did NOTHING this year (not even a card). But I do love my grandkids, btw. These are beautiful, darling, and a treasure!

  3. i love these little posts!! you're my hero. If I ever have a little girl associated with the swenson name... I'll adopt you too!