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Saturday, June 09, 2012

5 generations...1 little gingham dress

In some of the sewing stuff I received from mom was this tiny little unassuming box.  When I opened it it looked like some ones scraps from making a dress because the shapes where such strange shapes to me but on closer inspection it was a dress just not finished.the only original work
A little tiny dress cut out and barely started. Below is the box it all came in.
box it all came in

I looked at the pattern and I have others similar in style and company  so I am guessing it is 1940's or very early 1950's but because how old my mom in law  would have been probably the  40's is more likely.  Which means it was a dress that Grandma K. E. started for mom when mom was about 1 or 2 as it is a size 2 toddlers dress.  This is the size 2 size out of the 3 sizes I am so glad to find out grandma is like me and she did not cut her patterns so I can still make all three sizes.  I decided that I wanted to finish this one.  I got the front mostly done yesterday and will work on the back hand smocking today hope to have this done by the end of the weekend. I was explaining this dress to my oldest daughter and she asked why I was crying as I did so.  All I could say was it isn't every day I get the honor of a 5 generation dress.  She didn't understand what I meant.  So here I go trying to explain it to you started by Grandma K.E. ( 1st generation) for mom, mom ( 2nd generation) held on to it after grandma died probably to make for one of her kids (3rd generation), passed down to me ( also 3rd generation) at mom's passing, getting finished by me, to be given to one of my daughters (4th generation), on the day of a birth of a girl granddaughter to me, to be worn by that girl (5th generation).  A dress that covers 5 generations the very day it is first worn.
The box held all the supplies like grandma had set it up as her travel project to work on.
  • 1 needle threaded with three strands of embroidery floss
  • 1 skein green embroidery thread
  • 1 spool green sewing thread
  • 1 white button
  • 1 package green seam binding
  • 6 pieces of gingham all cut and ready to go and smocking embroidery started
  • 3 pattern pieces 
  • 1 pattern page all instructions intact
I have found some mistakes in the cutting of the pattern that I am having to work around to make the dress work.  The dress was not cut on the lines of fabric which means the hand done smocking I have to do will not line up the way it is supposed to.  Took me a little bit to figure out how to make that work.  Also even though the pattern said to cut the front into two pieces it would have been better to modify the pattern originally into one piece for the front and two pieces for the back.  I will make an update post with more photos as I get farther along in this.
some of my work
Encase some one wants to make one I did just look on etsy to see if there were any there for sale found .

Here and here

the first one is way  cheaper than the second one

Update Jan. 5, 2015 found the pattern again on etsy so if any one wants one here is the link


  1. Wow, how sweet! I would have been crying too. Good luck with the dress!

  2. I have this pattern and always wanted to make it for my girls! Guess I will give it a try for the next generation.
    Great to see it in progress.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  3. I have this pattern and always wanted to make it for my girls! Guess I will give it a try for the next generation.
    Great to see it in progress.
    Thank you so much for sharing this.


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