Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Flower Girl Dresses

Because my Mom made the dresses, she's here to share her story!  Take it away, Mom!

Bonnie and Tommy asked all of their under-10 cousins to be in the wedding!  It could have been many more if they all had come, but in the end they had three flower girls and one ring bearer, two from our side and two from Tommy's.  The girls were 7, 9, and 10 years old, so going into it, we knew the dresses couldn't be an adorable puffball like the toddlers wear.

Bonnie attended the Priscilla of Boston going out of business sale, and saw a darling flower girl dress. It was perfect: cotton, "Bonnie Pink", summery, and only $25. (Originally $250, holy cow)  Sorry for the crummy iPhone photos!

She called me, “Mom, they have a size 6, should I get it?” I said, "Sure, it's bound to fit one of them!"   She sent me a photo and we knew I could copy it.  Sure enough, the dress fit Ashley, the youngest, perfectly!  

I thought the older flower girls should have a slightly different silhouette.  I found a pattern that was sleeveless with round neck line like the inspiration dress, but had princess seams under the bust instead of pleats. I cut a bias band for the high waist (just like the store bought dress) and we did the fittings on my visits to Virginia and Alabama.  

I found a Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in “Melon” and ordered a bolt - it was a perfect match!

I love to fully line the bodices, instead of cutting facings. They are easier to sew and feel better inside.

When Bonnie first asked them to be flower girls, the blonde ones weren't excited.  After asking more questions, we found out it was because they were dreading "scratchy dresses"!  These were all-cotton with no fluff underneath, so we assured them the dresses would not be scratchy.  Smiles all around.

Coral ruffled flower girl dresses (the handmade are the left two, and the storebought is on the right)
Coral ruffled flower girl dresses (the handmade are the left two, and the storebought is on the right)
To mimic the ruffled trim, I cut miles of strips and narrow hemmed each side using the narrow hem foot on my sewing machine. Usually that foot is a nuisance to use, but on a straight line it works great. Once the dresses were hemmed, I drew a template on paper to line up the swoops of ruffles. I marked straight on the dress with chalk and gathered on the ruffles right on top of my chalk line. 

I covered tiny buttons with matching fabric. I always use the sort that you press into a rubber mold, they're way easier than the kind with little teeth on the back.   

We decided to skip the bows on the older girl’s dresses to give them a slightly more mature look.

Priscilla inspiration dress

handmade flower girl dress
We asked the girls to get any white sandals they wanted to wear with the dress.  That way, they were easy to find and wearable for other occasions.

Bonnie made personalized necklaces for them.  We used extra fabric for the basket liners and matching hair flowers

They all looked darling as they tossed petals down the aisle.  Thank you girls!  And thank you, Mom, for another amazing wedding project!!!

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