first communion dress

my oldest daughter made her first communion the other weekend, so i made her a special dress for the occasion. truth be told, i’ve been thinking about this dress for a long time and had visions of beautiful hand work, beading, lace, tulle… you get the picture. i feel bad that time got the better of me and i ended up only having a couple days to make it. it’s been a busy spring and i haven’t had as much sewing time as i would like. i was also finishing my jacket and doing costume alterations for my girls’ dance studio on the side… basically i was too tired to come up with anything interesting.

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knowing i had to keep it simple, i picked out new look something or other (trying to look it up but their site won’t load and i’m impatient) because it has a nice low back neckline that i thought was pretty, and includes a bolero pattern. i used a stretch poplin for underlining the lace bodice, and lining the skirt. i added an additional lining for the bodice since i had some bemberg scraps laying around. then i found some sparky buttons for the back closure and for the bolero. 

i made a size 8 (she’s almost 9) but it turned out to be huge. H-U-G-E. i could have gone down two whole sizes easily! i was pretty disappointed in the fit. no, i didn’t measure her to determine size, but i’ve made other patterns and gone with her rtw size just fine, so i didn’t think it would be that off.

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she loved the dress so i didn’t bother her with my own disappointment. and technically there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just huge! fortunately the bolero covered up the back where the ill-fit is most apparent. of  course, the back was my favorite feature, so… there you have it. i’ve been kicking myself for not making a waist sash, or a hem band… i suppose i shouldn’t be so hard on myself, she looked lovely. but, seeing all the other girls in their ridiculous poofy gowns (one girl had a strapless dress. strapless. with a corseted lace-up back. whaaaat? how is that appropriate?!) and the audible crunch every time they sat down… i guess i was afraid she would suddenly wish her dress were fancier.

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seriously mom… are you done taking pictures yet?

i’m considering hacking off some length and dyeing it to give it a second life. i do have some yellow rit laying around…

—lisa g.

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17 thoughts on “first communion dress

  1. Gillian says:

    Aww, she looks to happy in the dress! I bet it was a big day for both our you – I’m glad you aren’t raising her to demand a poofy dress for everything! Well done all around!

  2. dokucug says:

    I really can’t tell it’s too big for her – I think it looks just right! And if she loves it, no need to beat yourself up. She’s a doll!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! the bolero really covered up the excess fabric–i could have taken out 4″ easily. so annoying! but, she loved the dress and that’s really all that matters!

  3. sewbusylizzy says:

    I’ve got to make one of these dresses in the next few weeks! Lovely job.
    I wouldn’t dye it, I’d simply add a lovely colourful sash. It will make a beautiful summer dress, girls look so sweet in white x

      • sewbusylizzy says:

        I had been planning a long sleeve cotton & cotton lace dress (it’s our winter) after seeing yours I think I will make a old-fashioned long sundress and add a coloured sash afterwards as she will wear it lots then!

  4. Susan says:

    She looks so great Lisa! I hope you aren’t beating yourself up too much about all you wished you had done for it — You. Made. Her. Dress. Therefore — she wins! 🙂 And it is beautiful. I think you could do any number of things to “fun it up” for the summer if you wanted — a blank canvas!

  5. Noelle says:

    How beautiful…the dress and your daughter!
    What a shame that some parents think they have to dress their daughters like mini prom queens. Just let them be little girls!
    Her dress would have been the loveliest by far because it was made with love.

  6. Tracy Young says:

    The first communion dress is lovely. It brought back memories of my own first communion dress that my mother made for me. Your daughter will always remember the love that you showed in making her special dress.

    As the owner of a first communion online boutique, I’ve seen everything when it comes to first communion.

  7. Melanie says:

    I’m glad it’s not jut me who finds these ridiculous mini bride dresses awful! How is that right for an 8 year old on a Holy Occasion? Whatever. I made a communion dress for a girl at my sons school this past May and I made her a second sash in a peacock teal silk blend that she wore for Easter too. Or any other kind of spring party, really. So she can get some use out of it.

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