A Summer Dress for My Granddaughter

Phyllis Inspiration, Lifestyle 25 Comments

The second issue of Classic Sewing has been released to subscribers and sewing shops. You know I just love antiques and vintage collectibles, and I wanted to share with you the dress I made for my granddaughter, which is featured in this issue.

I have a wonderful collection of vintage reproduction handkerchiefs that Lori Taylor of Dallas gave me when she had her design house, Taylor G. She always had the most wonderful embellishments to the garments she designed. I first saw her work in a boutique, where I spotted this wonderful linen outfit with handkerchiefs at the hem. (Hers were box pleated.) I just fell in love with this outfit. She has since gifted me with many hankie reproductions.

When I was dreaming of summer clothes for the magazine, I thought of those hankies and pulled them out. The summer colors were so bright and cheery. I thought back to that outfit Lori designed. I decided that this dress would be white but that instead of linen, I would use piqué.

I carefully cut the corners off, forming triangles, then made a chain of them and attached them to the hem. I took the remnants of the hankies and pieced together enough to make the collar ruffle and cover the buttons. You could take the same hankie corners and sew them to the hem of a linen blouse.

If you love to sew, you will love Classic Sewing. Kathy McMakin is a marvelous editor, and the sewing projects in this second issue will delight you. She has selected some amazing designs from the top people in the industry.

Do you sew? What are some of your favorite projects?

Comments 25

  1. Beautiful dress on a beautiful little girl! And I know how much joy you had in making the dress.
    I am 77 years old and I have sewn for my children, 2 boys and 2 girls, my mother and my daddy, my grandma and my grandpa, my sister, and all of my nieces (6) and 1 nephew as well as my 2 grandchildren. Sewing for others is my joy and a special thing I can do for myself and others. I meet with a few ladies at my church twice a month and we make “pillowcase” dresses for little girls in the Bahamas and in Haiti. We also make hospital gowns for little girls who undergoing cancer treatment.
    The ability to sew is gift that God has given me and I have to share it. I enjoy it and get lost in the process. And it is especially rewarding when I do it for someone I love.

  2. Such a lovely dress, on a beautiful little girl! Thank you for sharing your love of antiques, sewing and all things beautiful.

  3. Phyllis,
    What a beautiful dress you have created for your charming little granddaughter. My paternal grandmother & my Mother sewed for me when I was a child & I still have a few pictures of their handiwork. My maternal grandmother was a wonderful seamstress, but she died when my Mother was 4. I have a lace baby cap that she made all by hand when Mother was a baby. It is cherished & one of the few things that I have that she made. Your granddaughter is so fortunate to have such a wonderfully talented grandmother. Keep these great articles coming.

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  4. Love feminine beautiful clothing. When I was young I had a pretty white dress with Embroidery on the bodice and was wearing a hat and a smile from my parent’s love. I was fortunate that my Father was a photographer to capture those times.

  5. This is one of those times I wish my one grandmother was still living. Whether it would be I was still a little girl or I had a little girl this would have a PERFECT project for her to do. Besides being an incredibly avid quilter she also was an amazing seamstress and during different times in her life sewing EVERY garment she wore except nylon stockings. She also was the only person I ever knew in my life who mended their stockings or pantyhose or anything along that line. Me, I can’t begin to imagine the nightmare they would have been after just attempting to mend something along that line. One thing though that she did teach me was her love of ladies handkerchiefs. Numerous women relatives only used handkerchiefs and I have many of them. I have numerous boxes of them so I would have more than enough to do a child’s dress with this project.

  6. Sew beautiful on your beautiful granddaughter. We are blessed to have seven and they outgrow my sewing quickly. Thank you for sharing. My Sew Beautiful magazines are cherished.

  7. Darling outfit! Yea, I’m lucky enough to have some of those Taylor G outfits with handkerchiefs! Better get busy sewing for grandgirls!

  8. As the mother of ten children, making new outfits for her children just didn’t fit into my Mom’s daily routine. However, her mending basket was always full of shirts with worn out elbows and jeans with no knees left in them. One day I watched as she patched one of my brother’s pair of jeans. She found the perfect patch for the gaping hole in the knee, basted the patch by hand into place, and when she held the pair of jeans up, she realized that she had cut the patch out of the other leg of the jeans. After her initial look of dismay, we looked at each other and laughed until tears ran down our faces. We still laugh at it. Thanks so much, Phyllis, for bringing back such good memories!

  9. Oh, Phyllis, your granddaughter is so beautiful and the dress also. She is the perfect little model for your creations. I know she just loves you sewing for her. My five year old granddaughter, Maddie, thinks it is wonderful that I sew. Yesterday I had to repair a doll and have had lots of practice “repairing” Frozen costumes. Right now my 96 year old mother in law has requested I make a new pillow for her wheelchair. These two people think I am the cat’s meow because I sew. Makes me so happy! Maddie has her own little sewing machine. We made her first dolls’ dress in February. Sewing was passed down from my mother and grandmother. Besides being the greatest homemaker ever, Mother was a main semstress for a large parachute factory in Asheville where she retired after 20 years. She was also a rug maker at age 17 and bought war bonds from her earnings. Legacies that live on and on. Thank you for who you are Phyllis and for sharing your gifts with us. God Bless.

  10. Oh I’ve said before how I would love to sew. I’ve told the story many times of my sewing machine as a “book end” on my desk.

    I love all things creative! Decorating, calligraphy, gardening, knitting and needlework….. but I have not an iota of sewing sense!!!

    My grandmother would make beautiful cloths for me when I was little and for my children (even a dotted Swiss canopy and dust ruffle for our daughter’s bed). I have the quilt she pieced together when she was 7 at her mother’s feet …. She was such a delight!! But, not a single sewing skill rubbed off on me!

    Your work is soooo beautiful! And your granddaughter soooo precious!!! I love seeing It and reading your stories. Please please..: teach your sweet granddaughter. I so wish I had taken the time to learn from mine! She passed away years ago, at age 95. I treasure all that I still have that she made many years ago.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog!!!

  11. I don’t sew…never inherited my mom’s talent for it. She used to make so many summer dresses for me and with left over fabric, matching outfits for my Barbies. Phyllis, you should have a line of clothing…you are so creative…and that dress for your granddaughter is stunning…would be wonderful in an adult size too! Bravo!

  12. I have LOVED summer dresses since I was a little girl 66 years ago!! This dress for your precious granddaughter is simply adorable — one of the cutest that I have ever seen!

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  13. So sweet! She is one lucky little girl! I love the gentle graciousness of the way you southern ladies approach every aspect of life……….from dressing everyone in the family to entertaining friends and family!! Keep up the wonderful work and inspiration for the rest of us ~ Thanks!

  14. Such a darling dress! It brings memories of a white pique sundress trimmed with red, black, yellow and white plaid fabric I had in the mid-1940’s as a little girl. I loved that dress dearly! Your granddaughter is a lucky little girl to have such an accomplished seamstress as a grandmother.

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