Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Picnic Dress for Summers

Happy Birthday Mommy-Delia-Grandma BooBoo!

Besides, wishing I could be with my mommy on her birthday, I have been thinking of how much I love her, how much she has taught me, and inspired in me. I still remember, fondly, hovering around her while she was sewing, and the anticipation of having something new and pretty made by her, my mommy.

Maria was hovering around me when I started this dress yesterday, and I enjoyed her giddiness, and recalling my own. I feel so blessed to remember these happy feelings, and to relive them in this new way.

On an Oregon visit three years ago, I found a red gingham dress, with smocking, and a very full, wrap around skirt. I love second-hand shops! Maria has worn this dress for three years, the last time on her field trip... it's too small really... a bit snug, a bit short, but still quite a bit a favorite. So, I measured, and traced, and adjusted for growth, and kind of pretended to know what I was doing... and I have managed to recreate the wrap dress with full skirt. No smocking, but a bit of cherry-red ric rac peaking up at the bodice waste. The fabric is a heavier weight cotton ("picnic" The Alexander Henry fabric collection, 2006). I finished the edges with a single fold bias tape. A few spots I would change if I dared to try this again... learning as I go, just like in the rest of life! All that's left to complete the dress is doing the hem, which I decided to do by hand, because I don't want to have a pronounced seam.

Mom, you had a sewing machine trick for using a stitch that caught the hem at intervals and gave it a very nice finish... it had something to do with how you folded the hem while sewing it. I wish I could remember how that was done. I will never stop learning from you, needing you, missing you.

This is the front, or is it? I am kind of liking the bright red bow, and kimono style wrap... it would make a pretty dress front. Yesterday the bodice was barely complete, and the rest I worked on this morning. I maybe should have done one more fitting before racing ahead. oops Hope it fits. For a long time. I know she will eventually out grow this dress too, but I hope she keeps her giddiness, her love of picnics, and swirling across the lawn... I have.


Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

The dress is adorable!! I bet Maria will love it for many years to come. Hmm, I just had a thought .. if you wanted to make another one with some form of smocking - have you ever tried Texture Magic? It's a product that will help you to make a smocked look without all the hassles of actual smocking. :-)

judy in ky said...

I love the dress and all the sentiment that goes along with it. When my sister and I were little, my mom made all of our dresses. I wish I had some of them now, they were so beautifully made. But I do have photos of us wearing them. It's a lovely memory, and I know Maria will have that too.

mtnchild said...

I remember sewing for my daughter when she was small. I enjoyed it and she was as giddy as Maria. I wish I had known how to knit then so she could have had many, many winter sweaters.

Enjoy that girl all you can.