Monday, January 14, 2013

A Pretty Dress for a Pretty Little Girl

So, maybe I am crazy... well, at least the hubby does a pretty descent job of making me think I am crazy from time to time.  I love that man fiercely, but he really has no faith in me and honestly makes me question my sanity {like... will I need to be locked up before I hit 40!?}.  As similar as our upbringings were, going to the same small high school in a sleepy little farm town, they were also quite different.  I grew up helping my dad build things with his own two hands.  My mom let me make my own doll clothes and well, anything else I could possibly dream up.  And when it came down to it, if we really needed something, and if it could be made using our own two hands and upcycled materials, that is how it would get made.  The hubby... well, they were "normal".  If they needed something, they went to Walmart and bought two (an extra for when the first broke!).
So when I tell my hubby something like, "We need to go to JoAnns so I can get some fabric for the baptismal gown," you may see why his reaction is, "Really?" and "Why!?" and "I am sure we could find a white dress that would make do at a department store..."

Am I crazy?  Maybe... I am leaving it open for discussion.  But I do think there is something very sweet and nostalgic about using my own two hands to sew my baby girl's baptismal gown.  Not only did it save us a ton of money, but when she is 25, engaged, and digging through our closets, she can hold that sweet gown in her hands knowing that it was created especially for her sweet self. 

So back to me being crazy... as I have mentioned before, I have no formal sewing experience or classes and I waited till a week before to even begin AND I was too cheap to buy a pattern... yes, you heard that right... $13 was too much for a pattern that would have given me step by step directions and measurements.  (Are you beginning to side with the hubby?  It's okay, really!)

So I had to make my own pattern...
It took a couple of tries but it was all worth it when big sis started making and cutting out her own patterns too {just melt my heart}.
And once I had the paper pattern looking about the right size, I took a leap of faith that it was close enough and pinned it onto my stretch (gorgeous!) taffeta and cut it out!
I used a dress we already had to try and help visualize what I needed to do.  I was doing great till I got to the sleeves... and I didn't have a pattern.  Here is where I would have paid $13 for the the dumb pattern... making your own sleeve pattern is, well, painful.  And then, once I had sleeves that would work, I sewed them together about three different times because an itty bitty seven month old arm is quite a bit smaller than the sewing machine allows for.  And this is where I got some real interesting looks from the hubby!  But the bodice finally came together and it was time to put on the nice gathered skirt... which, once again, I had no idea how to do... so I did this...
Those of you who know what I should have been doing, feel free to laugh, but it worked!  I added a little lace at the bottom, around the waist and neckline and a few clasps in the back, and my sweet baby girl had a beautiful baptismal gown!
 It cost me just under $25, most of the cost being in the lace material.  But considering the gowns I was finding online like this one and this one were nearing $200 pre-shipping, $25 was an amazing deal!  And the nostalgia... you can't forget the nostalgic factor!  
And wasn't she just a doll in it!??
 Oh- and I almost forgot!  Since I didn't have a pattern I was completely stumped on the bonnet, so I used the tutorial from Craftiness is not Optional to create my first ever pleated headband, which I just thought was the most precious of additions to the gown.  Thank you Craftiness is not Optional!

So it may have not been perfect like the ones we could have ordered, but I love that I was able to make her gown for her.  My hubby had his doubts, but he came around!  And she was just an angel on her special day.

So... I hate to ask, but your verdict... do you think I was crazy in attempting such a challenge?

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