Over Christmas vacation, I found some lovely pieces of fabric in the attic of my husband's childhood home. His mom, who died in 2009, was an ambitious and talented seamstress, and she had amassed an impressive collection of fabric in her lifetime. I like to use Mom's fabric whenever possible (with the family's blessings) to sew dresses for my twin granddaughters.
I found one piece that was simply adorable: it's cream-colored cotton, sprinkled all over with light blue flowers, tiny dots, teddy bears, hippos, elephants, ducks, and bunnies. Because of the bunny rabbits, I thought it would be the perfect material out of which to fashion some Easter apparel for my little sweetie pies.
I was dragging my feet, though. I wasn't feeling particularly inspired, and I wasn't sure exactly what pattern to use. Then a few days ago, I was shopping at Wal-Mart and happened upon this pattern for the sweetest little old-fashioned baby bonnet with an appliqued tulip on the side. (Totes adorbs--as all the young whippersnappers are saying these days; don't you agree?) Now I knew just what I was going to make. And I had all the fabric I would need, courtesy of my granddaughters' great-grandma.
Just in case the girls don't have dresses that would match the teddy bear-hippo-elephant-duck-bunny fabric I was planning to use for the bonnets, I decided to whip up some simple matching sundresses. Piece of cake, right?
On Saturday, I cleared the dining room table and laid out all the fabric and patterns, and before I turned in for the night, I had everything pinned and cut out. I was ready to begin assembling the garments on Sunday afternoon. Two quick and easy little dresses and two bonnets: I would be done by bedtime on Sunday night, I figured, and I could mail them out first thing Monday morning.
Sewing tends to go one of two ways for me: either the sewing machine and I become one, everything comes together effortlessly and efficiently, and every step of the process is a joy; or every conceivable thing that can go wrong does, I have to rip out almost every seam and re-do it, the thread knots and jams up in the machine for unfathomable reasons, I poke my fingers with needles and bleed all over the material, and a project that should take four or five hours tops ends up taking two whole days. Unfortunately, this particular project fell into the latter category. It probably didn't help that I was up way past my bedtime on Sunday, and once it got beyond midnight, my brain was turning to mush.
I was up very late ('til almost 4:00 Monday morning, in fact), struggling to create two bonnets that resembled the picture on the pattern package and dresses to match. I got up again a few hours later and got back to work, and I finally finished around lunchtime. The box was in the mail by 2:00 p.m.; it should get there in time for Easter, so the girls' mommy and daddy can dress them in their new duds for Mass if they wish. Here is my porcelain baby doll, Aaron (one of the dolls I made in my dollmaking class back in the 90's), modeling a finished dress and bonnet. They're way too big for him, but I just had to see what that bonnet looked like on a baby's head--and I have to say, I'm liking it!
All I could see when I inspected the final products of my efforts before I packed the dresses and bonnets into the shipping box was all the imperfections, the sloppiness, and the mistakes I'd made; but I have a feeling people won't be checking out every crooked stitch with a magnifying glass. They'll be too busy looking at those precious baby girls! And even though the quality of the Easter finery Grammy made for them is a tad sub-par, I'm sure my granddaughters will look positively adorable when they wear it. I mean seriously, those two little beauties could wear potato sacks, and they'd still be the cutest babies on the block!