One of the pre-baby sewing projects that promptly found it’s way into the “will it ever get done” list after our sweet babe arrived a tad earlier than expected, was a blessing dress. It remained uncompleted so close to her arrival largely because the concept of just what I wanted for the dress was still vague. I knew one thing…the rest was illusive. In my mothers sewing closet sat a bundle of embroidered satin used to make my wedding dress many years ago. I thought it would be just perfect for a blessing dress, so began to search for just the right pattern. I was nearing the date for blessing with still only a pile of satin on my sewing table, though truth be told that little one could have been blessed in nothing but a white onesie and she would have been absolutely perfect!
In the end I fell completely in love with the style of a dress Emma received as a gift perfect pattern for a blessing dress.
With the minimal styling of infant clothes drafting your own pattern for one is really a breeze. Here’s what I did for this project:
The darling pleats on the front of the dress really make the design…but pleats take math, which I really wanted to avoid (!)…so I took a short cut. With a large piece of paper I folded pleats to mimic the ones on the dress. With the “pleats” folded into the paper I laid out the dress on top and traced the finished shapes, allowing for seams. Once the pattern was cut out of the paper I unfolded the “pleats” that I had made in the paper and I had a pattern piece!
The sleeves took a bit of guess work. I know everyone has different levels of comfort with “guesswork” in their sewing, but the more you go for it the easier it will become! I measured the underarm sleeve length, the length of the top of the sleeve from the shoulder seam of the dress, and the finished width of the sleeve. I drew a gentle curve on the seam side of the sleeve and a straight line for the hemmed side. The sleeve is gathered so prettily, so I added several inches to the width of the sleeve to allow for gathers.
Once I had my pattern pieces I was good to go! I decided not to add the ruffles to the neckline because of the heavier weight of the satin versus the cotton of the original dress, and opted for a piped neckline instead. I love piping! It has such a timeless look. In fact, after this small little piping project I have been itching to do another! I’m looking at this for Easter dresses for my girls…in a lovely lavender with white piping added to the bodice. What do you think?!
I can’t wait for a little sewing time to whip up a few more of these dresses, jumper style, in some cheery spring prints for my girly. Because, despite the icy driveway outside I am determined that spring is on it’s way!!!