Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunshine and Satin: Easter Dresses 2012

While the weather was on the chilly side most of my parents' visit, Sunday morning dawned with the sort of bright sunlight that makes the whole world seem new and springlike, perfectly capturing the spirit of Easter.  And there's something about little girls in fresh dresses, a sort of blend of happiness, innocence, and hope for good things to come, that seems to similarly complement the occasion.

Unfortunately, our particular blend of happiness, innocence, and hope, is occasionally fused with a healthy dose of chaos and craziness.

In all the hubbub, I didn't end up capturing as many pictures Easter morning as I was hoping to.  Still, we did manage to get a few that I really liked, especially of my mother helping to do the girls' hair.  Growing up with three sisters, making sure everyone had their hair done when we were little must have involved quite the process week after week.  (And some of us were...umm...less cooperative...about the whole hair thing than others as I recall.  Sorry about that! :)  I'm glad we were able to lock away at least a few images of Grandma patiently doing the same things for my girls.

One of our little princesses.
So pretty!

Look!  Ruffly socks from Grandma!

Amber playing with a balloon and watching while her sisters get their hair done.

We also tried to get a few pictures outside just before leaving for church.  It wasn't super organized and we never did manage to get one of the whole family (or even of all the girls smiling at the same time) but I suppose we'll survive.

Oh well...time to abandon photo-hope at this point: the group picture just isn't going to happen! :)

I'm actually fairly happy with how the dresses turned out, even if the pictures left something to be desired.  I started Robyn's with several weeks to spare, but Amber, our future seamstress extraordinaire, found my sewing sheers and helpfully cut the bodice to shreds.  While brainstorming how to proceed with what remained of Robyn's, I started on Amber's...and goofed up her sleeves miserably.  Suddenly it was just over a week before Easter and I was at ground-zero for Katie's dress and in *negative* territory for the other two.  It wasn't the most fun I've ever had sewing, and I think at this point I have thoroughly dulled my seam ripper repairing all the mistakes I made along the way, but in the end things worked out.  

When I was shopping for fabric I realized early on I really wanted to do dresses with over-skirts.  Every spring I see the gorgeous sheer fabrics and absolutely fall in love, so I finally gave in.  It might all be rationalization (that happens a lot standing in Joann's surrounded by pretty things...) but I decided I better just do it now before the kids get any more grown-up, so I went ahead and bought an embroidered organza with little pink flowers on it.  Since I wasn't willing to do three pink dresses (too much pink even for me!) I picked out crepe-back satin in every other pastel color I could find to go with it: olive, lavender, and butter.

Pattern-wise, for the big girls I used McCalls M6238.  It's a pattern I've sewn before (so the mistakes I made this time were all the more maddening!) and I've always really liked the results.   I especially like the underskirt with tulle ruffles that gives the dress a little bounce.  A little bit of trim around the waist and tie ribbons on the sides and we were able to sneak in a little more pink without feeling too pepto-bismo-y. 

I had to be a hair more creative with Katie's pattern since the sizing on the McCalls one didn't go low enough for her.  I ended up using a basic circle dress pattern I had on hand from a few years ago when Robyn and Amber were little (B4434) , then added sleeves, replaced the zipper with a placket and buttons, and added the overskirt and underskirt.  Actually, I prefer how her sleeves turned out to those on the big girls' dresses: Katie's are just a smidge closer to puffy-perfection. :) 

Anyhow, here are three more really random pictures from Easter morning:

Mom and I decided to coordinate too, at least a little, with black/pink floral skirts and light pink tops.  We might be squinting, but at least we're still smiling!

Dah-Dee-Doh helping Amber down the little hill after pictures.
Have to admit: even when she's sad she's pretty cute.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!


  1. How did I not know you had a blog? The dresses are cute!

  2. they were adorable on Sunday. :) I guess we should have gotten together again for another sewing session, huh? Cause who doesn't need a thinly veiled excuse to get together and chat after the kids are in bed? :)

  3. Wow, wow, wow! I mean, I know you sew, and that you are good, but wow! They are beautiful! I love the colors too. The little sleeves look perfect to me. Plus, you and mom are way cute too! Thanks for posting!

  4. What pretty little Easter princesses! I love the pastel dresses with the overlays and puffy sleeves :-).

  5. i love that they each had a different pastel color, but the dresses still matched! stroke of easter genius. but seriously, the sewing talent is awesome. i would like to steal some of that for my own please (without any work on my part). ha :)