We have back-to-back birthdays coming up next week (Sunshine and Bigboy) which is nothing compared to Auntie Leila's back-to-back weddings! Sunshine is turning 13 and has requested a Jane Austen themed birthday. Her entire birthday list included a Regency dress, a trip to Vera Bradley and some yarn from Sunshine Yarns. She's grown up so fast but oh how much do I adore sharing this love with my little Janeite! Wait until you see some of the other Jane Austen fun we will be indulging in! It's not all stuffy and proper. Fun and funky Jane Austen is on our to do list!
Using one of Marianne's dressesand one of Emma's hatsand this pattern, I made this dress complete with fichu scarf and hat. She picked out the fabric. It has some silver thread that sparkles woven in but it's hard to see here.
My final challenge with these dresses... the buttonholes. I hate buttonholes. I hate them because they are so final. Once you cut them open, there is no going back. Here you have spent hours trying to create something beautiful and one slip of your scissors and it could go so wrong. When I posted my angst on Facebook, K.C. (aka the Tutu Mistress) came to my rescue and asked if I had a one step buttonholer? I have had my new machine for 5 years now and never once have I needed to make a buttonhole so I was unsure. I looked and sure enough, I did have a buttonhole thingy! And a lovely British woman on YouTube showed me how to use it even though our machines are slightly different. It worked... just don't pay any attention to my spacing. Or my stitching.
It was a real labor of love to sew these dresses especially with a baby in the house. I am not that finished of a seamstress. I don't do things neatly. And a project like this has a tendency to take over the whole house. Husband took over baby duty all day on Sunday so that I could get most of the construction done. I don't just bend the rules when I sew... I twist them into pretzels. There are puckers where there shouldn't be and unfinished seams and a placket that just about drove me insane, but the girls are thrilled. There will be a tea party for the birthday girl and they will feel like they are living a scene from the pages of their favorite book. Sigh. Thirteen!
~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
with the lovely ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter
with the lovely ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter
What fun! Gorgeous girls and dresses:) I enjoy sewing but am terrified of zippers and buttons--my mom says I'm just a chicken-- but I agree, it's the last thing usually in a project and you don't want to ruin the whole thing--which I have done!ReplyDelete
I think you are talented! Your girls look beautiful in their dresses and I'm excited to see the party pics.ReplyDelete
The dresses look beautiful! I'm debating whether or not I really want to make my girls the colonial dresses they've recently requested. The part of me that loves period costumes is all for it, but the part of me that will have to fight with the sewing machine isn't sure it's the best idea. I'm with you on disliking button holes. I always find a way to mess them up.ReplyDelete
Fun dresses. I wish my girls were in that phase still.ReplyDelete
I always do my buttonholes by hand - snip first, buttonhole stitch. The main reason was that for years my only sewing machine was my Grandmother's Singer Featherweight. A machine I love, but it does just straight stitching, no zig-zag. I have a machine now capable of many more stitches, but I still prefer doing the buttonholes by hand, sitting in a comfy chair at the end of the project.
Oh my goodness! I can't wait to show this to Prim! I so wish we lived close enough to come celebrate with you. A very happy birthday to your sweet beautiful girl.ReplyDelete
my heart just swelled with the dream of my own daugters falling in love with jane austen the way i did. i love this. you sew like me. i leave the perfection to when i am in surgery. and obviously not when i type either. can't wait to see more pictures.ReplyDelete
LOOOOVE the dresses! I made a Regency dress for my oldest back in the day when we had a new baby and we spend many hours, nay, days, watching P&P. Now that baby is big enough to wear the dress!ReplyDelete
I'm off to watch Persuasion for the rest of the afternoon! (I wanted to do that before I read your blog; you just reminded me!)
These are so beautiful, Charlotte! Such a labor of love! I'm sure your tea and birthday parties will be so lovely. Such fun with your big girls. (And I don't aim for anything near perfect when I sew. Pretty, yes. Perfect, no. ;-) )ReplyDelete
AHHH!! I LOVE it!!! My just turned thirteen year old would flip for this! Those dresses and hats are…just WOW! Amazing job, Charlotte. I can't wait to hear more on the Austen themed tea party!ReplyDelete
Happy birthday to your Sunshine!
p.s. Sunshine has very good taste in yarn. :)
Wow, those dresses are beautiful! You are one gifted lady and a very kind, generous mom. What lucky daughters you have!ReplyDelete
I am so impressed! Great job, your girls are so blessed!ReplyDelete
those dresses are very pretty. I think they are absolutely gorgeous! happy birthday sunshine! PrimroseReplyDelete
I love when you post birthdays, they are always so sweet. I love that they appreciated your hard work!ReplyDelete
Excellent dresses and birthday theme. So much better than the Justin Beiber birthdays most teen girls are probably asking for. You're obviously doing something right!ReplyDelete
The dresses and bonnets turned out BEAUTIFUL!!! And The girls both look so pretty!ReplyDelete
It's going to be such a fun birthday!
Happy Birthday!!! YOu did a great job on those dresses!! I want one!ReplyDelete
HAve a wonderful party!
What a beautiful job, family, girls, dresses! Have a wonderful party! I hope my girls will do the same some day! Our oldest will be 11 this year! Time sure flies!ReplyDelete
So pretty! They turned out so beautifully!ReplyDelete
And I love your new blog look. Very lovely.
Oh, it's just lovely! It's a great era for an elegant look.ReplyDelete
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! HAppy Birthday to Sunshine & Bigboy!ReplyDelete
Wonderful! You are too an accomplished seamstress! What lucky little girls.ReplyDelete
Oh I desperately wish I could sew like that! They are beautiful.ReplyDelete
What a lovely labor of love. Those dresses are awesome. I missed this post earlier due to serious tutu making.ReplyDelete
Happy, happy birthday to Sunshine and Bigboy. I really need to take a road trip up there to see you and Jenn.
Yes, you do!Delete