Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dandelion delight

In an earlier post I told you about the Easter dress that originally influenced my desire to learn to sew. That dress is called "Dandelion Delight" and is a vintage reproduction of a baby dress, featured in the 1998 Easter issue of Sew Beautiful Magazine.

This is my version of Dandelion Delight.

This dress was my original "first project", one that I failed miserably at. The experience made me determined, however, to learn to sew (and sew well) so that I could one day return and make this dress for my baby girl, Lu. I'm happy to say that Lu wore Dandelion Delight for her 2nd Easter.

This dress is so beautiful, and it featured so many difficulties for a new seamstress! The skirt is a full circular skirt, and it is in 2 layers, a batiste underskirt (trimmed in wide lace) and a point d'esprit netting lace overskirt:

Finding materials to make this dress proved difficult. As a single mom, there was no way I could afford traditional English netting point d'esprit (which is cotton). I found nylon point d'esprit netting lace in the bridal section though, and batiste in the cottons.

The wide lace for the hems is cotton lace. I purchased it from a mail order catalog, "Home Sew". This was still pre-internet days for me! The wide lace is zigzagged onto the hems of the netting skirt and the underskirt.

The shaped yoke gave me fits, I do remember that. I was stitching 2 layers of skirt remember, to a curved shape. Then, you apply the wide lace to the yoke seam, "pinstitching" OVER the lace header. It was nervewracking. But it turned out lovely.

I found a tiny stash of entredeaux at Hancocks too, and used it to trim the neckline, followed by a narrow cotton lace edging.

The tiny puff sleeves are netting lace with a row of entredeaux beading and gathered edging. I ran a narrow satin ribbon through the beading holes to draw up the sleeves to fit, then tied in a bow.

Sue Pennington Stewart designed the original reproduction, and the pattern was featured free in that issue of Sew Beautiful. Unfortunately that issue (the most beautiful of all my Sew Beautifuls!) has been out of print for more than 10 years. The good news is that Sue is now offering the Dandelion Delight pattern on her website! You can purchase it here.

As a special treat, here's a photo of Lu on that long ago Easter morning, wearing this dress I was so proud of, and a sweet bonnet (also a Sew Beautiful free pattern!)

And of course my gorgeous G-man at age 4, wearing a mommy-made button up shirt complete with a paper pieced farm scene. This was his all-time favorite shirt for a very long time!

It has special meaning for me too, because it was my first published piece. I wrote an instructional article for Sew Beautiful magazine the fall 2003 issue. The article includes the directions for inserting paper-pieced or smocked blocks in little boys shirts. If you have back issues, dig that one out and have a look!


  1. Awwww!!! The dress is gorgeous and I especially liked seeing it on baby Lu. So sweet!

  2. WOW....that little dress is just so sweet and adorable....and so is your little girl. You did an amazing job, you would never know it was a first project!! our sons shirt is pretty awesome too :)

  3. What an adorable dress. This is an heirloom that hopefully will be in your family for years.

  4. amazing! that is a great great dress.

    Um. My word ver. is "fookstat", which seems very rude for such a sweet post about a beautiful baby dress. For shame, Google.

  5. That dress is absolutely stunning!!!! It makes me miss sewing children's clothing. I just love all that lace!!

  6. This is just stunning. Very dainty and impressive! The pictures of the kids are absolutely precious! And I remember that article in SB!!! I wonder if Bryan would let me make him a shirt like that?

  7. Beautiful! Maybe that little dress will be worn by a little granddaughter someday!

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  9. Love it, love it! It is so much fun to see what people have made from the magazine.

    I'm posting here because I don't see a contact email address for you anywhere, but I'd love to talk to you about taking part in a Sew Beautiful project we have coming up this year...please email me if you're interested! So sorry to post this on your blog as a comment, I hate to be spammy! My address is

  10. So beautiful. And if you struggled with it, it sure doesn't show. And the pictures of the kids make me smile. That little dress is adorable but you can tell she loves it too. Great job and I will have to go dig out that old SB and check out your article.

  11. this is so beautiful; and G-mans shirt is precious too!

  12. That dress is gorgeous! You may have struggled making it, but it sure doesn't show. I love the little shirt too!

  13. O what a BEAUTIFUL dress!! And look at sweet baby Lu!! She was adorable then and beautiful now!!



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