The Pioneer Dress (WIP #2)

When I originally wrote my WIP list of projects to complete before Christmas, #2—a pioneer dress for Bug’s “Pioneer Christmas Day” at school—was not my highest priority.  In fact, I figured it was probably something I was writing down, knowing it would not get done.

Roughly 36 hours before she needed the dress, Bug and I again found ourselves standing in a fabric store of all places!  She already had a dress hanging out at home that she had chosen to wear for Pioneer Day. 

It would have worked . . . it fit . . .  was presentable . . .  was a dress.  But, well, it just wasn’t “pioneery” enough.  And when she wished out loud, there in the fabric store, wistfully, for some overalls or something to wear other than her chosen dress, well, the motherly guilt that had been festering because I hadn’t had time to make her something new, resulted in a snap decision: I decided to make her a pioneer dress in less than 36 hours; a dress, most importantly that would have to accommodate a blue cast.  Not wanting Bug to be disappointed if I couldn’t deliver, I didn’t let her in on the plan.

I “suddenly remembered” that I needed to buy some eyelet lace, and had her choose the one she liked best.

Did I mention we were in the Big City at the time of said snap decision?  As Husband drove us home, I plotted my course. 

Patterns?  check.

Fabric?  check.

Time?  maybe.

Cooperative 13-month old?   one never knows . . . .

After several adjustments, pattern changes, etc., I had the dress cut out by 10 o’clock the next morning. 

I’ve never tea-dyed anything, but I boiled up 5 bags of tea and threw the eyelet purchased the night before in the pot for awhile.  ‘Cause sometimes they tea-dyed things back in the olden days, y’know.  And I wasn’t under a time crunch or anything . . . .

By 5 p.m. the only thing left was buttons, buttonholes, and attaching the eyelet to the bottom.

Did I mention Jr. and Bug were having their school Christmas concert that night?  Er, yes.  So, while this dress was making its debut on stage, I was sat in the audience, furiously covering seven buttons with fabric to match the dress.

Once the kids were in bed, I raced to the sewing machine, made the best buttonholes of my life (I hate making buttonholes), and rolled into bed at 11:30. 

Paired with new black shoes, a Civil War bonnet, specially curled, and, of course, the blue cast, she was pretty as a picture.

IMG_5280 (Fabric by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods)  How did I forget Lakehouse Dry Goods when I made my List for True Up’s contest?


Cooperative 13-month-old?  definite check.

Happy 10-year-old?  check.

1st prize?  check.  (The bonnet put her over the top.)


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