Thanksgiving dresses, just in time for the new year

Apparently when it comes to finery, it takes a village and nearly a year to make my daughters some matching dresses. Last summer my mom and grandmother and I found some lovely fabric that I thought would make beautiful matching dresses for Hannah and Sarah. I was supposed to make the dresses and smock the collars. First my aunt put in a hand rolled hem on each collar – it’s not strictly necessary to do that, but it adds a pretty touch. Next my mom pleated the collars on her pleating machine. I eventually smocked the collars and made the dresses, but my machine refused to put in the tiny sleeves so I had to take them to Mom to have her fix it on her nice sewing machine. Eventually I added the entredeaux (the trim with tiny tiny holes between the fabric and the lace above) by hand and then the lace by hand and finally sewed on the neck binding by hand. Then I realized that Hannah’s collar was too big and had to send it to my mom to fix on her machine again and at long last the whole project was completed last week.

Anyway, the first picture above shows Sarah’s collar.

Close up detail from Hannah’s collar: it turns out I really enjoy smocking, it’s detailed and pretty but a fairly forgiving form of embroidery.

I finished the dresses with tiny pearl bead buttons and knotted loops instead of buttonholes. I did that partially because I think it’s pretty and partially because my machine does not make buttonholes.
Here are the girls in their new dresses and matching hairbows. Characteristically, I could not get them both looking at the camera at the same time!
Sarah is very good at these pensive profile shots. She does pensive like a pro. She also smiles a lot in real life; it’s just exceedingly difficult to capture that on film!

A sort of smile!

Because I’m rarely in pictures with the kids, I’m including this one even though my hair was looking ick and the girls aren’t really looking at the camera. Oh well, it’s proof that I exist!

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