Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Easter Dresses

Jesus is Alive! Death couldn't hold him! He took on the sin of the world so we could be free, but even all that couldn't keep the perfect, holy, sinless Son of God down! Hallelujah! What a reason for celebration! To Church we go, all dressed up in our "Sunday Best."

Seemed like a pretty good reason for me to make my sister and me the semi-matching green striped dresses I've been planning.

I bought a set of green striped sheets at a thrift store nearly a year ago. I loved the fabric and could easily envision a dress made from said sheets. Finally, a couple months ago, I designed the green striped dresses I wanted to make. I then decided Easter would be the perfect occasion for making these dresses.

For my dress I decided to use Simplicity 1801 view C, pretty much straight out of the envelope, no major design changes. I've used this pattern twice before with good, but not perfect, results. Once for the brown shirt (used in Tori's Ren Faire costume), and a second time as the base pattern for my purple shirty dress.  Both times the neckline gaped, so I had to add elastic or a drawstring to fix the issue. This time though, I didn't want to do that. I wanted a perfectly fitted neckline. I figured out how to fix the issue with the pattern itself, then promptly forgot to do so when I cut the dress out. Uggh. I decided to research how to shirr, thinking I might just add a couple rows of elastic thread around the neckline to fix the issue. I figured out how to shirr, then made my sister a shirt to practice the skill.

All that, and I actually wound up not needing to shirr the neckline of my dress! I altered the neckline facing to fix the issue, the pleated the extra fabric of the bodice itself into the facing. Issue fixed!

Due to my worry over the neckline, then the fact that I sewed the back skirt panel in upside-down so that I had to take apart and re-sew the entire skirt (with french seams, call me crazy) I didn't get my dress done until the night before Easter morning. What can I say? I sew well under pressure?

Now my sister's dress went together quite a bit smoother, despite some major design changes to my base pattern, McCalls M6736.

Several years ago I found this dress on Pinterest. 

I fell in love with it and made a similar one for my sister. She has worn and worn that dress. This year it was (sadly) officially outgrown! It could no longer be buttoned. My sister requested a replacement. So I did my best to make her Easter dress that replacement (updated).

So, I reshaped the skirt and added an eyelet ruffle. The eyelet was originally a curtain, picked up at a thrift store for a dollar or two. It added the perfect contrast to the white and green striped fabric.  

The second design change I made was to the back of the dress.

Yep, I shirred it. The pattern called for a zipper, so that's what I was going to do. The dress was nearly done, it just needed the skirt to be attached to the bodice and the zipper to be inserted. Then I learned to shirr, and I just had to put my new found shill to use.

So, I added an extra panel to the back of the bodice and shirred the back of the dress. No zipper required! 

Once that was done, there was one last alteration needed. The dress was supposed to be a halter dress, so that's how I made it. My sister, however, found that to be rather uncomfortable. To fix this I just criss-crossed the ties in the back and stitched them down. This solution met with my sister's approval so the dress was done!

As a finishing touch, Easter morning I whipped up a coordinating American Girl Doll dress for my sister's doll. We were then all outfitted for church and ready to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior!

Hallelujah! He is Risen! 

Happy (belated) Easter!


  1. Wow those are sooooooo amazing!!!!
    Happy Resurrection Sunday!! :D!