Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Altar Ego

When I was a kid, other girls got "Easter Dresses" every spring. You know the type of thing - confections of polyester ruffles, nylon lace, satin ribbon, lots of eyelet (it was the '70s). For the very lucky, there were matching hats. Going to church on Easter Sunday was an exercise in self-control, so as not to give way to envy - my parents weren't the Easter Dress and Hat type. I think I got one once, but I'm not sure I'm remembering that correctly.

I don't think Easter Dresses are as ubiquitous a phenomenon as they used to be - on this continent, probably more people don't go to church, than do. Not that the dress can only be worn to church, but there are very few other suitable places to wear such a garment.

I've lived to thank my parents for not giving me what I wanted all the time, or even terribly often. "I don't need all that I think I need" is a valuable lesson. I haven't even thought about Easter Dresses for ages, but a couple of weeks ago I remembered that tradition, and thought my daughters would like to have a new, springy dress for Easter Sunday.

I have plenty of fabric stashed away - much more fabric than yarn, as it happens - so I went through it and chose a linen and cotton blend for Charlotte. The one true thing about her is her palette (to misquote Nigella Lawson), so it had to be pink.

I used Burda 9755, in a size 8/10. This garment came together well - I like Burda's patterns, and construction, although their written instructions can be a little terse and their pattern markings (notches, particularly) are sometimes easy to miss.

The pattern includes an apron, which I thought was completely darling. I made it out of a satin-finish quilting cotton, and it is such a sweet addition, although I'm not sure how often she will wear them together.

I paid close attention to the details on this garment - it IS an Easter Dress - and when I got to the handwork stage, the thought of buttons and buttonholes didn't seem quite right. Instead, I went for the smoother finish of hooks and thread loops. I cut some individual flowers from the remnants of the daisy trim used for the neckline, and sewed one over each hook.

The centre back.

Hooks & thread loops.

I have three more meters of the same fabric in a pretty, light aqua, which my younger daughter has requested for her dress. I haven't chosen a pattern yet but I'll be getting on that quick-like - Easter is coming awfully fast.


And remember when I was sick and I said I was going to make myself a new pillowcase to improve my mood? I made it that very day, but forgot to show you.

And that concludes the sewing update for this week - if I can get my act together, next time I'll have Emily's dress to show you.


Lesley said...

Hi Shannon

I LOVE your pillowcase! Definitely a pick me up fabric!



The hooks and eyes, and then the flowers. I hope your daughters love their dresses!

Annalea said...

Love your title. ;o) And I need more sewing inspiration . . . cotton and other naturals are so much better for my girls, even if the poly and nylon dresses at Costco are far better than anything I could make, and cost less than materials. Urgh. Gotta love "modern" life.

I can't wait to see the girls in their dresses! (Do show us a photo, please?)

And now, off to garden with my 3yo . . . :o)

kate said...

The square neckline and pouffy sleeves are what do it for me.
And I also got a kick out of your title.

Easter Dress Mom said...

That's a nice classic look for an Easter dress!

Gwen said...

Very pretty. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Lovely dress, and your idea for the hooks and eyes with the flowers is a great one. Nice pink, too (at least on my monitor), and I don't usually like pink. Hope your daughter likes it.
- Beth

Rona said...

The dress is absolutely darling! Can't wait to see what dress # 2 turns out to be :)

I love the pillow case... what great fabric!

Dave Hingsburger said...

Your kids are getting more than an Easter Dress, they are getting and Easter message ... about how love is 'one of a kind' not one size fits all, about how God tailors for us a life that fits well at the shoulders and knees, about mothers who take fabric and make magic ... Easter, to me, is the holiday of hope, of the resurrection of love, of finding again - in me - what is worthy of love, of finding again - in others - what is worthy of respect. I hope that the dress is loved, now, but understood a few years from now ...

Geek Knitter said...

They're beautiful!

bethro said...

I wish I was 8 and had a reason to wear that dress, especially with the apron.

lizbon said...

Wow, you've been busy!

Freakin' adorable. Love those daisy closures.

And funnily enough, I've been thinking about doing various things with my own fabric stash lately.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am very new to sewing. After I made a a jumper with a firend, I decided to try the dress "A" of this pattern myself. However, it looks as if the pattern # 6 is way too big for the fabric when it is folded. I know I am doing or I did something wrong. Can you pls help?