Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pilgrims–Mothers and Daughters


About 3 or 4 years ago, my sisters and I decided to make pilgrim dresses for our girls to wear on Thanksgiving Day.  We had talked about it for a couple of years, but then Thanksgiving would arrive and what with all the baking and food prep and hustle and bustle, we would run out of time to make them.  But finally, we got bees in our bonnets, and churned out 13 pilgrim girl dresses.  Most of them were done the week before Thanksgiving.  Smile

They were adorable!



The next year, we made them for ourselves.



And so of course, we wear them every year now. 



Although we moms continue to wear the same dresses each year (except for my sister due to have a baby this January!) those silly girls keep outgrowing theirs.  But because we have a lot of daughters, we have been able to pass the dresses on down to the next girl, or even make just one or two new ones. 

But this year, I had four daughters who needed Pilgrim dresses.

If you sew, you already know that fabric isn’t inexpensive.  Faced with the thought of 3 more birthdays before Christmas, and then Christmas gifts for the kids, plus the other usual medical and household expenses, I wasn’t sure I could pull off the cost for so much material.  And these dresses, cute as they are, do take quite a lot of material for the long, full skirts.

But the girls continued to remind me, gently, that they really wanted (and needed) the dresses for Thanksgiving. Smile

They’re hard to resist.


Finally, one day a couple of weeks ago, I dragged out my bins of extra fabric and sheets, etc.  When sheets or tablecloths get threadbare, we replace them with new ones, but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of the old ones.  I never know whether they may come in handy for a smaller project, as they have many times in the past.  But I knew I probably didn’t have enough large pieces for the big girls’ skirts. 

And then I spotted the old sofa slipcovers.  I had considered giving them away when I made the new ones, but then changed my mind. 




I wasn’t sure there was enough material for four dresses, but hoped I could get a couple of them at least.


So Kate and I laid the slipcovers out on the floor and cut them at the seams.  Of course we saved the long strips of elastic for future projects.  In fact, I think Kate already has her eye on some of it.

We spent an entire Saturday cutting out pattern pieces for four dresses, and in the end, we had to use some drop cloth for the front skirt pieces of Alix and Kate’s dresses.  But they looked a little like apron inserts, so we were satisfied.




With three of us sewing, we were able to make the dresses fairly quickly. 






Afterwards, I used RIT to dye them all.  The instructions for dying are on the RIT website, and it was pretty quick and easy to follow them.  I have dyed clothing before, but never in our front loader, so I made sure to follow the directions closely.


And here they are!



Never underestimate the value of old fabric! Winking smile



I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a day of feasting and fun,

and especially, of giving thanks.