Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrexit! Sicut Dixit

What do you do when a Priest asks, on the Tuesday of Holy Week, whether you could find time to make up an altar frontal for his Chapel in time for Easter? You get cracking, of course! Although I couldn't do it on the Wednesday, fortunately I had Maundy Thursday fairly free, so I was able to complete it before Good Friday.

   There was just enough fabric left over to make a lectern fall, but no time to do more than edge stitch it to stop it fraying! It will be properly backed and finished in due course.
I thought it would be easier to make up than the previous one I was asked to make - for Advent and Lent, all those wobbly bits of gold trim - so hard to get in a straight line!!

But pattern matching the edge pieces needed to extend the width is not so easy when they are on full view with no gold trim to hide the joins, so it took almost as long.

However, I think it turned out splendidly to make a fitting frontal for the Feast of the Resurrection. 

Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Last Minute Rush to Catch the Post

I had to get my skates on with these dresses, since I have a friend who was visiting the US, and willing to take them with her and post them once she'd arrived. I actually managed to make three dresses in about 3 1/2 days - a record for me! I was exhausted by the end of it, but glad to get them out in plenty of time for the First Communions, and one Confirmation at the beginning of May.

Cotton broderie anglaise with elasticated cuffs.

Embroidered cotton voile, fully lined.
This one was for the Confirmation.

The last of the Polyester Chiffon.
Fully lined in cotton, with plain cuffs,
At the request of the recipient!

 I didn't have time to get a photo of this one before I added it to the pile my friend was to take, so I was delighted to receive these pictures of it being modelled by its new owner!
Pure cotton broderie anglaise with a Peter Pan
Collar, and 3/4 length cuffed sleeves.

Well worth all the effort!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Working Wonders with a Wedding Dress!

A few months ago, I was rather surprised when the postman delivered such an odd-looking parcel, I wondered what on earth it could contain

When I undid it I found this inside

I had forgotten that a young lady had offered to send me her Wedding dress if I could use it for something.  I had said that I knew someone from Ecuador who had told me that a lot of the children there are so poor they can't afford First Communion dresses.  I suggested to the lady with the Wedding dress that I could make a First Communion dress from it, and so that was why it had turned up on my doorstep!

The bodice and chiffon over layers have been removed
and the lining separated from the skirt.

What a lot of lovely fabric!

I realised once I had de-constructed it, that there was enough there to make two First Communion dresses, and they are now having the finishing touches sewn on (some of the beads removed from the bodice) and will soon be ready to fly to Ecuador with my friend whose daughter is soon to be married there!

This one has a chiffon over skirt,
and uses the beaded straps of the
original dress around the waist
and sleeves

This one has chiffon cuffs with a
few beads sewn round the top of them,
and a chiffon cummerbund which
will have some beads sewn down
the centre. 

Thank you Mrs F. for donating such lovely fabric!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

It's Starting Again!

The orders usually start coming in around now for First Holy Communion dresses, in plenty of time for May and June, however, I had to get my skates on with this one, since the family who are in the USA had only just found out they would be moving State and their daughter would therefore be making her First Communion at the beginning of March. I said I could make it in a week, and get it in the post, which I duly did, but it was a close call!! I'm hoping that there will be no customs hitches and that it will arrive in plenty of time! (The length of time customs takes in the US seems so variable - Usually the package takes about two weeks, but it has taken up to 3 and a half weeks before, the quickest being just under a week - to Los Angeles, the place furthest away from here!!)
Now time to go and hoover up all those bits of white thread and chiffon...

 This dress is made from a pure cotton with a polyester chiffon overlay, and broderie anglaise trim.

Unfortunately, there is no chiffon fabric left (I have just cut out the last chiffon dress), so as I can not find nice embroidered chiffon for love nor money, any future orders will have to be in cotton voile, or broderie anglaise! 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Winter Confirmation Dress in the Snow

I'm afraid the last time I saw the young lady for whom this dress was destined, she was a very leetle person, and it just makes me realise how time do fly!

A Confirmation dress for the middle of winter - what better fabric to use than some lovely pure wool and cashmere suiting

I got this several years ago, and have had it saved for the right person, at the right time. God in His providence made me buy it! - I was asked at rather short notice, just before Christmas when I would never have had time to go searching for an appropriate fabric, if I could make the dress for the beginning of January. Because I already had this fabric I was able to, Deo Gratias!

There's a lovely a matching coloured silk velvet and guipure lace, for the collar cuffs and trim.

Just got it finished in time for it to be photographed in our first snow of the winter!

Which, of course, never lasts very long in these parts!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Junior Priests!

I was saying a few prayers after Mass, last Sunday, when one of the young lads rushed past me, into the sacristy.  He came out bearing a cassock, and as he whizzed past me again said, "I'm going to be a Priest!" I smiled at him, and as he disappeared into the hall where the teas and coffees are served, I wondered to myself, "how strange that he feels so certain of his vocation, and for him to come up and tell me about it." "Has one of the Priests said something to him in the Sacristy?" I mused, and then, "of all the boys in the parish, I would not have thought of Thomas as having a vocation, but of course, one never can tell..." As I made my way into the hall, it dawned on me, the children were going to have an All Saints parade, and he and his younger brother were dressing up as Priest Saints, I'm glad I hadn't attempted to reply to him! I then saw his younger brother, and he was dressed in a costume that brought back memories, it was my son's Priest costume which we'd passed on to the boys.. Good to see it still going strong!

It got me to thinking I'd like to have another go at some mini Chasubles, and since I have plenty of Chasuble type fabric lying around,  I've started to make a few more, in case anyone would like to give a young lad a nice Roman Chasuble for Christmas!



These have proved rather popular, so they are now all sold. Please contact me if you would like a similar one made.  Priced at £40 to £50 for the Chasuble, stole and maniple, (depending on fabrics used) and an extra £18 to £25 for the Alb depending on whether you want lace or not.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

First Holy Communion Dresses being worn in my Parish

This year I had the honour to make two dresses for two of the little girls in my parish who received Our Blessed Lord for the first time. Even though they were the nearest of all it has taken me rather a long time to get some pictures of them!

Miss H being chauffeur driven to the Church
(the family usually walk for 40 minutes to get there, that would have been a bit much in her finery!)


The mantilla veil was a kind gift from a parishioner,
And her Godmother ordered a matching bag to go with the dress.

Miss E's dress was made from a beautiful cotton lace, with a cotton under layer.
It should last as she has (so far) two younger sisters to come after her!

A Happy Day!

It was lovely to be able to see my handiwork being worn for the first time ever!