The Poofy Dress


So, it is November and I still have not finished blogging about the girls' Easter dresses. The thing about the navy and white theme this year is that they are so versatile. It just looks classy for any season.

This dress turned out so beautiful and - even if the pictures don't show it by her refusal to smile - she loves it! I made a sparkly satin bodice (remnant from Joann's) using The Party Dress free pattern from Cottage Mama. I adjusted it to use buttonholes in the back, though.

The skirt is about 3 yards of shimmer tulle that was cut into strips the desired length, sewn together to make one very long piece, and gathered tightly to fit the bodice. I added a lining with a built in petticoat for a little more "poof" at the bottom. Gathering the tulle was very tedious, but definitely worth it. She calls it her "poofy dress."

The other reason I have not blogged about this dress is because within minutes of putting it on Easter morning, she went up the steps and stepped on it, ripping out a chunk of tulle from the front. I sewed it back together, but it is still visible. It just about broke my heart.

I have been meaning to fix it, but just haven't gotten around to it because I know it is going to be a huge pain in the behind. In the meantime, I have relaxed a bit and if she wants to wear it "just because" that is OK with me. You probably would not have even noticed it before I mentioned it, but now you can't unsee it. Right?
However, she loves it and wears it often. I might get around to fixing it in time for her younger sister to wear it as a hand me down. My mending pile is very neglected. Does anyone else that sews have that problem?
Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

Lace Overlay High Low Dress


I should be getting ready for Halloween, but I am procrastinating. Instead, I am backtracking and blogging about another Easter dress.

This was one of the dresses that was completely dictated by my daughter's preferences. It also ended up costing me nothing to make! So, we both won.

The navy lining, made from another layer of my old bridesmaid dress, stops above her knees and the high-low lace overlay is much longer. It is a basic, gathered skirt, but I cut the hem in a curve.

A friend gave me this beautiful lace to work with- it is a heavier, stretch lace, but I didn't use the stretch factor in the design. I just drafted a basic bodice pattern and cut the lace. I left the shoulders and top of the bodice unlined for a sheer lace effect. So, I pieced the unlined and lined portions together and overlocked the inside seam. Then, I used some vintage navy bias tape around the neck and arms. Using wash-away wonder tape was key for holding that in place to sew. The back has an invisible zipper (which I already had from changing my mind last year and using buttons).

One thing I loved about these navy and white dresses is how fun they are to pair with contrasting accessories. The box dress has a yellow tie, the lace and chiffon dress was paired with an aqua statement necklace when she wore it on Easter, and this dress is fun with pink contrasting shoes. It looked a little better back at Easter vs. the fall when I did the photo shoot, but I had put all of her white shoes away (as per the Labor Day rule) and told her to put these on. It is still fun.
Two more dresses to go, but first, I need to finish an Elsa cape. Happy Halloween!

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

Vintage Easter Dresses

Oooh- the word "vintage" has become oh, so trendy.
Yes, I am jumping on the bandwagon.
It started out with this...

...two flat vintage sheets that my nana bought maybe in the 1970s and vintage trims, notions, and buttons given to me by some friends. The colors matched perfectly. There are 5 colors in the sheets (other than white) and I have 5 girls, so they each got their own accent color.

So, after 6 days of wild sewing, early Easter morning my girls were wearing new dresses from the vintage sheets that belonged to their great-great-grandmother.




I am so blessed to be able to do something special like this for my girls.

Tutorials coming soon(ish)...

***UPDATE*** Here are the tutorials and full posts for each dress!


Little Diva Dress

As soon as she found the chapstick, I knew I wasn't getting her to cooperate and look at the camera anymore. Oh, but she looks like a little diva in this ensemble! (For the record, I totally would not put up with diva behavior from my girls, though!)
This was my absolute FAVORITE Easter dress this year. It was a lot of work, but totally worth every bit of it! I started making a tutorial for it, but ended up sewing long into the night/early Easter morning. My sewing table is in a corner of our bedroom and my old beast of a machine is LOUD, so I wasn't going to subject my sleeping husband to flash photography on top of all of that racket.  
The construction of the skirt is similar to THIS tutorial from GirlInspired, except I cut my curved edges on more of an angle, used a rolled hem on the ruffles, and also made the ruffled inner section triangular (I wasn't ruffling any more than I had to!)
It was so heavy that I knew it would need a petticoat underneath, so I built one of those into the dress. It was definitely a good call and makes it super adorable on her, even if it is a bit more impractical when squeezing into a crowded pew on Easter Sunday.
The halter part was a breeze, so I might incorporate that part into a dress later and show you how to do it. I just don't think I have it in me to make another dress with this much ruffling. I am ruffled out. Seriously.
Now, for the twirling picture:
Oh, well, not so much. :)
Making (elaborate) Easter dresses for my girls is a lot of work, but it makes me happy to see them all dressed up and I know we are making some memories here...

To recap, here are the other dresses shown above:

Next Easter, I wonder if I will have four or five dresses to make? :)

I am linking this up to Project Run & Play's Sew-Along for Week 4: Spring Formal Wear.  I just couldn't wait until Week 4 of their competition to show everyone what I made this year. :)  These dresses make a great formal wear collection all together, although the Little Diva Dress is probably the fanciest one. :) You can read more about Project Run & Play HERE.

Linked up at: Craftastic Monday, Take A Look TuesdayYou Inspired, Show Off Your Stuff Party, Whatever Goes WednesdayMake It Wear It Thursday, Somewhat Simple, What We Wore, Read, and Made, Sugar and Spice, Friday Favs Party, Show and Tell Saturday, and Threading Your Way.

Flutter Sleeve Sundress

Besides the zipper, this dress was the easiest Easter dress I made this year. Making the dress was definitely easier than taking pictures of her wearing it! You see, she has an ever-evolving "picture smile" and it has recently morphed into this:
Painful, right? One day she will be very embarrassed that I posted these pictures. I am sorry, dear. Just keep practicing that smile, OK?
I even tried to get a picture of her having a ridiculous tantrum, but she flipped back to that smile before it snapped.
OK, but this post is not about her modeling skills. It is about the dress...
I was tired of gathering after the last dress, so this waist has pleats instead. Love them!  It has fluttery sleeves that were super easy (especially with my new rolled hem skills)
For a little something extra, I made a fabric flower for the front to pin on. It is made similarly to THIS one, but I used scraps of the white cotton fabric instead of felt.
The back has an invisible zipper that tripped me up a little. I couldn't find my zipper foot and tried to make do (not a good idea there) and then I found out I got carried away and twisted it so I had to start over. Oops. The sash in the back ties things together nicely and fancies things up a bit.

I did make a ruffle at the bottom. Bleh. :P Ruffles. Can you tell that I am sick of ruffles? Wait until you see the next one!
So, here is the finished product:

One day I might make a tutorial for this one. It was easy enough. One day. Maybe. I am not promising anything.
This dress was super easy and I was happy with how it turned out.  The important thing is that she can still twirl with her sisters...

One more Easter dress left to show you! I am saving the best for last!!!

UPDATE: If you would like to see step-by-step pictures of how I made this dress, essenitally, you can click HERE. I made a doll-sized version- the only differences are that I did a snap instead of a zipper and, of course, the sizes.

Linked up at: You InspiredShow Off Your Stuff Party, Make It Wear It Thursday,and Threading Your Way