Friday, April 17, 2009

The Easter Dress

My grandmother could be counted on to buy me and my sisters an Easter dress every year from a wonderful store in Houston called "Chocolate Soup." But then, I believe, it went out of business and after that, every January (or February or March) my mother would say "You need a new dress for church", and I would say "I want to buy it this year". We would climb into the car (they didn't have minivans yet) and head to Barton Creek Mall. There to climb in the playground at The Children's Place (it had a slide and a tv) and look through the racks at Sears and Foley's. After two hours I would always say: "Mom, what I really want is for you to make me a dress!" So we would head off to Hancock Fabrics and I'd look through the pattern catalogs. "Not Vogue. Their patterns are too hard", she'd say and, "you can make a simple dress look special if the fabric is special."

One year my dress was light blue with white bows on each side of the waist. Another year, It was a flowery violet print with striped piping (that my mother had to make herself). One year it was a black and pink flowery calico and we bought a lace collar (my victorian phase) to go on it. The sleeves on that dress never quite worked out so I didn't wear it. But a few years later we made my sister wear it for a picture session because she didn't have a dress that looked anything like mine or baby Becca's. Sorry about that Corrie.

About halfway throught highschool, every time I'd pick out fabric for a dress (and this happened all the time, not just Easter), Mom would say "don't you already have a dress just like this?" Usually I would.

Well this year Mom, I've followed some of the rules and broken some, and I did already have a dress a lot like this that you made. But, it was two kids and a husband ago so I thought it was o.k. to have a replay.

I picked a simple pattern and a fancy fabric.

This is "dynasty jacquard" (whatever that means). When it was time for the belt I didn't want to make one, and so reverted to the old pick-out-a-nice-ribbon trick.

My philosophy on picking out a ribbon is to ignore colors and look for the prettiest ribbon on the racks. Can you tell?

The pattern was simple but it was a Vogue pattern.

Oh and I had to put in a side zipper. Never done that before!

The finishing touch? I made myself a petticoat.

I've had a "thing" for petticoats my whole life. Every petticoat we ever had in the house with three girls in it - I'm pretty sure they were all mine originally. And most of the tutus. Yeah, I was one of those girls.

But here's the kicker (as we say here in Texas): my toddler had a very high fever Saturday night so we ended up not even going to church on Sunday. I was so dissappointed. We're gonna have redo this Sunday. Everyone who has a suit will wear it. I'll wear my dress and my toddler will wear his dressy clothes. We'll all head to First Baptist Smithfield and pretend it's Easter Sunday. Then we'll go take pictures in the blue bonnets beside the highway somewhere, while hoping not to get run over!


  1. So cute, Lissa! Zippers scare me--I'm impressed at your handiwork.
    Welcome to blogging! It's so much fun.

  2. Hi Lissa! It's your cousin Nathan's wife, Beth...just had to say that I think this dress is absolutely beautiful, what an awesome job, I'm so impressed! Hope you are doing well!