Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sewing Flower Girl dresses

Vintage flower girl dresses

My huge sewing accomplishment this summer was making flower girl dresses from my daughters. Miss E was delighted when her Aunt Angela asked her to be one of her flower girls!  Miss P was asked as well, provided she learned how to walk over the summer :)

I knew straight away that I wanted to make the girls’ dresses myself.  It was a great chance to stretch my sewing skills and create a keepsake for my daughters.  Angela (the bride), had put together a beautiful Pinterest board with lots of pictures of flower girl dresses to use as inspiration.  She also gave me a large bag of vintage lace and collars to use.  It was her own gorgeous collection she had been building for years, and I had permission to use anything I wanted!  I felt like a kid in a candy shop!  Angela wanted the girls to all wear cream or ivory dresses, with lace accents.  The style of dress was unimportant so long as it was cream colored, lacy, and romantic looking.

I started searching for patterns right away.  I decided to use Violette Field Threads, Cosette pattern for Miss E’s dress.  The pattern was a long summer dress with loads of ruffles at the bottom and a pleated bodice.  I was a little nervous at first feeling like I had picked a pattern that was well past my sewing skills, but the Cosette dress ended up being a very straight-forward, lovely pattern to sew.  It was time consuming… very, very time consuming but not complicated.

IMG_0796

I had never made horizontal pleats before but the dress instructions were very clear.  The first two pleats went slowly but after that the rest went together quickly.  The dress had no zippers or buttons, which was nice!  It did however have 4 very long, very gathered ruffles at the bottom!  I used some of Angela’s vintage lace and attached it to the top of each cream ruffle.  Each ruffle had to be cut out, double hemmed, lace added to the top, carefully gathered and sewn in layers to the bottom of the dress.  That was with out a doubt, the most tedious part of the dress!  Very time consuming, but very worth the effort!

Flower girl dresses

This is a picture of the bodice with the panel of pleats and the ruffled shoulder straps.  The main fabric I chose for Miss E’s dress I bought at Joann’s.  It was a light-weight cotton that had a criss-crossed pattern made up of pin tucks and lace.  I loved the material immediately!  Unfortunately the fabric was white, and the only request Angela had made was that all the dresses be cream.  So I brought home a small sample of the fabric to experiment with.  Tea dying is a trick that is used to “age” linens and fabric.  I was hoping I could use the tea dye to do the same to the white fabric.  My big concern was the fabric wouldn’t dye evenly and that the lace wouldn’t absorb the dye at all.  The fabric swatch dyed up perfectly!  I used a large, shallow plastic storage container to dye the 2 yards of fabric I needed for the dress.

Flower girl dress

 

Cosette dress

This is the back view of the dress.  As you can see there are no buttons or zippers.  The shoulder straps are made extra long and are threaded through a loop that is sewn to the back of the dress.  Once you thread the straps through the loop, the extra length is used to tie a big loopy bow.

Cosette dress

 

Cosette dress

For Miss P’s dress I asked my very talented friend Clarita to make a flower sash to tie around the waist of her dress.  Clarita has a beautiful Etsy shop called My Faire Lady Designs. She’s made clips and headbands for my girls in the past, and I knew she would make something very special for Miss P.  I gave her a few ideas of what I wanted and this is what she sent me!  It was perfect!  Exactly what I wanted and had envisioned.

My Fair Lady designs flower girl sash

I used my favorite girl’s pattern Rae’s Geranium dress, it’s made it out of a cream colored eyelet fabric.  The flutter sleeves are made from lace and I used a little bit of vintage lace at the bottom of the dress.

Geranium Flower Girl dress

Because Miss P had only been walking for a few months and wasn’t real steady on her feet, I made her dress mid-calf length so she wouldn’t trip on the hemline.

Geranium Flower Girl dress

And here they are together with their little dresses on!  All the flower girls wore leather ballet flats.  Their Aunt Jessica and I bought them little bow-shaped necklaces and their Aunt Andrea hand-made all of their hair clips.

My Girls

And here they all are together (minus one, I don’t know where Millie was off to)!  They all looked so sweet!  Each dress was a different style and shape but all of them were cream and lacy.  Angela made some little wreaths that hung from long bows for them to carry.  You cannot imagine how challenging it was to keep 5 little girl’s clean for an entire afternoon and night!  After the wedding vows were exchanged we gave up and just let them run!

All the little Flower Girls

This isn’t the best picture (I cut off the bride and groom’s head!) but it gives you a good glimpse of the back of Miss E’s dress.

Cosette Dress back view

Me and my girls…

Me and my girls

 

I’ve made many things for my girls, but this was special.  Something we would save, dresses that maybe their daughters would someday look at.  Or… they could get pushed into the bottom of a plastic tote, buried in the storage shed, and one day accidentally donated to the Goodwill. HA!

Time will tell…

There’s going to be a wedding

I’m still playing catch-up from our busy summer, and I haven’t even gotten around to the most exciting event that happened this summer!  My brother-in-law asked his beautiful girlfriend to be his wife and she…much to everyone’s delight…said yes!!

And this is the happy couple.  I wish I had some of their engagement pictures to show you because they turned out beautiful! But this picture of them in their work clothes will have to do for now :)

The happy couple

It’s been a fun summer of wedding planning.  Both my girls are going to be flower girls (Miss E is over-the-moon happy about it!), so I’ve been busy making little lacy dresses.

All the way back at the beginning of August, Jessica and I, threw the bride-to-be a bridal shower.  It was in the evening in Jessica’s backyard.  When we started planning the party we knew we didn’t want any over-the-top theme showers.  After several evenings of Pinterest searching we came up with an idea for a Farmhouse kitchen style bridal shower.  Lots of cream colored pitchers, wooden accents, herbs, twine, butcher paper… subtle, simple, but elegant was our aim.

Farm kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

This is the little banner I made to hang on the table, it’s their wedding date.  I made it out of pre-cut flags, chalk pens, standard cardboard stencils, and twine.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

All the flower arrangements were herbs that I had gathered from my garden and from friends’ gardens.  I added a few cosmos for a bit of contrast, but mostly I stuck with herbs.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

 

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Jessica has a collection of amazing rustic wooden scoops and trays, so we used those as decorations.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

 

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Jessica also found these great bamboo spoons and forks, which we used to make a garland for the bridal table.  Such and easy garland to make!  The tables were simply covered with white table clothes and butcher-paper table runners.

We served drinks from this table.  I didn’t get a picture of it but there were two large glass jugs on the table.  We served unsweetened iced-tea and ice water.  The two little glass pitchers were filled with lemon and mint flavored simple syrup for those who wanted their tea sweetened.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

 

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

We placed pots of herbs around the serving tables

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

For the meal we served a mixed salad with a sweet basil dressing and grilled chicken on top.  There were rolls and several kinds of cookies for dessert.  It was a warm evening so we wanted to keep the food light and refreshing.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Here are all the flowers girls (minus one who lives in Colorado)

The flower girls | Inanorchard

The littlest flower girl who was delighted to be one of the “big girls”!

The littlest Flower Girl

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | InanorchardThe three of us together at the end of the evening.

The wedding is in less that two weeks and preparations have kicked into high gear!  It’s going to be a gorgeous wedding!  And at the end of it they will be husband and wife, and we will have the pleasure of watching, loving, and supporting them as the begin this wonderful, wild new adventure.