Easter Success and the Rest of the Dress

Let it suffice to say that Easter was pretty good this year, but as ever, I get another lesson on why I shouldn’t wait until the last minute.  The kids really enjoyed it, but, night-owl though I am, I do not enjoy staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning because of how I feel the next day.  I’ve actually considered buying an ’09 calendar and starting to fill in my commitments now as I go through these little lessons so I can at least try not to make the same mistakes again.  Something about planning one year out, though, doesn’t seem natural.  We’ll see.

easter_crafts.jpgYou can see the eggs I dyed.  (I know, I did it without the kids, but this year that was okay.  At least they had real eggs to find and make deviled eggs out of.  I should mention that the recipe I’m linking to isn’t one I follow.  Instead of vinegar and sugar, I just use sweet relish.)  I dyed the eggs the old-fashioned way with food coloring, vinegar and hot water.  I just followed the instructions on the food coloring box.  This is not necessarily preferred because of the artificial colors that make up the dye.  There are sites that have posts about using natural dyes, and I especially loved this one about making fabric eggs.  I wasn’t sadistic enough even to try it for this year.   : )

While the eggs were boiling, I made a cake from packaged mix that my daughter had picked
out.  To spruce it up, I used some cherry preserves between the layers and a snazzy stencil I got from my best pal in Germany to make a bunny out of powdered sugar on top.  Mini chocolate chips make for eyes and nose to carry out the Peeps theme.  (I personally don’t like Peeps, but we have a ton of them.  I figured this was a good way to use them!)

easter_spread.jpgMany thanks again and again to aforementioned best pal in Germany for supplying us with at least a week’s supply of chocolates (understatement, even for the 6 of us!).  I let the Easter Bunny set it all out, so the kids had quite a spread to wake up to Easter morning.   Believe me, they woke up quite early.

I managed to finish the dress Easter morning since we had attending the Easter Vigil the night before.  I made mistakes, but all in all, it makes for a nice dress.  Daughter said she feels like Cinderella, so I figure that translates into “I like it a lot.”  See a few more pictures that I added on making it at the original dress post.

I hope your spring is a good one.  As the sun shines, posts are going to be sporadic throughout the day.  Playgroups and gardening are time sensitive!  But there’s always time to write and to craft!

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Simple Easter Dress

I think it’s perfectly lovely that Easter falls so close to the first of Spring this year.  Nature seems to agree, with all the trees budding and the early spring flowers opening up.  <deep inhale and contented sigh>

In our effort to be frugal and incorporate more handmade things into our daily round, rather than speed out and buy an easter dress for our oldest daughter, we’re going to use the fabric we already have and make a nice little sundress.  She already has a lovely hand-me-down top to wear over it since it’s still a little chilly.

No, I don’t have a pattern.  Yes, I’ve made dresses before.  Yes, I’m winging it here, but what better way to let the creativity flow?

I’m just getting started, so I’ll keep adding pictures as I progress.

  • Like I said, we already had the fabric, washed and dried.  Lucky
    for me, this fabric doesn’t require lots of ironing!   In case you’re wondering, we didn’t dye this fabric.  It came that way.  I’m also using thread I already had.
  • I thought up a simple design and used my daughter toeaster_dress_fabric.JPG
    guesstimate the fabric portions and make the cuts.  I think I’ll double the chest piece to make it a little thicker and disguise the strap ends and top of the skirt.  I also think I’ll add a couple more pieces to the skirt to make it more full.  Who doesn’t like to feel like a princess?  Plus, my daughter can be active and needs lots of room to move.Easter_strap2.JPG
  • I started with the straps, folding in half, sewing along one side.  (I really should be using my serger, but that means switching out thread.  Sounds like an afternoon task.)  Anywho, turn right side out and — voila — nice straps.  Turns out that these straps are extra long.  We’ll either fold them in half and give it a double-strap look or cut one in half and use the other for a bag.  Time will tell.

(more to come . . .  as promised)


  • Straps done, I pinned them to the chest piece at the places
    necessary.  I totally just held
    the chest piece around her and
    positioned and pinned the straps.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I cut the length for the straps.  They were almost twice as long as they needed to be.  Since I used two layers of fabric for the chest piece, I inserted the straps between the layers.  Right sides together (which is interesting since the fabric seems to be the same on both sides) and making sure the straps would be facing the correct way, I
    serged the top seam (top photo to right), using the knife to trim.  Then, I turned right side out and added this decorative stitch
    to keep
    the seam from rolling.  The straps were still too long, so we just safety-pinned them in place for the time being.


  • I did cut another skirt piece to add room, and I’m glad I did. 
    Again, I used the serger toskirt_to_top.jpg make the seams.  I am loving the serger for this!  No longer am I intimidated by the threading.  Wahoo!  With all the skirt pieces sewn together, I gathered the top of the skirt.  To do this, I used the basting and pulling method; here’s an excellent video tutorial on gathering.  Then I aligned it to the top and pinned and basted it in place.  I removed the pins and then serged to clean up the seam.  This took me a couple of tries because apparently I had gotten a little crooked.
  • Almost finished, I had her try it on so I could pin the hem.  We both wanted it long.pin_hem.jpg  There’s still room to let it out (both at the hem and the straps) as she grows.  She’ll probably outgrow the bust first, though, since it has the least amount of room to grow.  I didn’t feel like switching the threads on the serger, so I just did a quick sew around the skirt for the hem.  Another thing I loved about this fabric is the straight lines!  Obviously I’m not strict about measuring twice and cutting once!

All in all, this was a simple project and relatively quick.  I ended up sewing a square over the extra strap length to keep it in place yet save it for later.  I got the center of the top in the back quite off center in relation to the straps, but that’s what I get for being so lax in my technique, if you can call it that.  If nothing else, I hope this inspires you to try your own hand at creating an original.



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