Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg Dresses

Just prior to Christmas, my sweet Ms. C. called me, all excited, to tell me that her entire school was going to spend a week learning all about Colonial Williamsburg & that they were going to be allowed to dress the part on the final day of the school week.
Their family had just been there in the spring & Ms. C. got to rent a long, colonial style dress to wear throughout their visit. She LOVES dresses...always has!
Even when she was very little she would say
"Pweese, Nana Wett, make me a pwritty dwress? No pants...a dwress!"

They also bought her a straw hat, for which she was allowed to pick the ribbons.

Ms. C., in her sweetest little voice, asked me
"Nana, could you please make me a dress just like my Felicity's tea dress?" (her American Girl doll)
"AND could you also make a matching one for my very, very bestest friend in the whole wide, wide world, Ms. E.?"
Felicity Tea Dress, 2011 004
I told her I would do my best & then set about, searching for patterns to
mimic the laced bodice &
machine embroidery designs to go on the split, ribbon bordered front.
Felicity Tea Dress, 2011 001 size 7Felicity Tea Dress, 2011 005
This pale peachy-yellow striped fabric was the closest
I could find to match the beautiful fabric in Felicity's dress.

Felicity Tea Dress, 2011 006

EACH of the long, machine embroidered designs of trailing roses took
over 45 minutes to stitch out!!!
That is almost 3 solid hours per dress just for the decorations!
Felicity Tea Dress, 2011 010
What lengths I won't go to for this child!
It took me almost an entire week to complete the 2 dresses &
over $50 in fabrics, ribbons, thread etc.

Colonial Williams event 12-2011 016
It was worth every penny & every single minute though,
when I saw them walking towards their classroom,
arm in arm, almost skipping with joy!

Colonial Williams event 12-2011 017

White shirts, white tights & simple black slippers completed their
ensembles, plus the HATS....can't forget the HATS!
Even Felicity had one, but it wouldn't stay on very well.

Colonial Williams event 12-2011 017

On top of all that sewing, Ms. C.'s Brownie troop
met with me & 2 other teachers,
at our local JoAnn's fabric store for a lesson
on making pillowcases.
Twelve little laughing, excited, talkative little 7 year old girls,
none of whom had ever touched a sewing machine before,
(except for my Ms. C., of course)
What a hoot that was!
My ears were ringing & I need 2 Tylenol afterwards
but they sure had FUN!
Brownie Troup Pillowcases

After they all completed their sewing project,
little stickers were placed on each with their names &
I brought the pillowcases home with me
to then machine embroider the names (Curlz font) onto the bands.
I don't even want to THINK about how many hours
went into doing those!

First, I had to create each of the the names in my software &
get them sized properly, so they would fit.

The pillowcases were given back to the girls
when they had a "sleepover"
in our local library,
with their sleeping bags & favorite book.
I'm still waiting for the troop leader to send me
a group shot of them all
I heard it was a FUN night!!!
I hope you have been able to find some FUN ways
to enjoy the winter months.
Thanks for letting me share mine with you.

Oh & p.s.
I spoke too soon when I was bragging last week about
how mild our Ohio winter had been.
Just look at what happened the very next day!
snow, 1-2012 001

The photo, above, is my view out the sunroom windows
looking down across the lake, towards our neighbors house
and the one below is the amount of snow on
top of our hot tub!

snow, 1-2012 002

I'll be joining The Tablescaper for her


  1. What a lucky granddaughter! Those Felicity-inspired dresses turned out beautifully, and I know your granddaughter and her best friend felt super-special in their dresses! You win big Grandmother Points!

  2. Rett, from one of those who wear the name 'Nana', you do us proud! The dresses are so doggone sweet. My 3 granddaughters and I all have AG and DG dolls (Disney Girl). Can't count how many outfits I've made times 3 or 4. Seeing their faces, listening to their laughter and play was more than worth the hours planning and sewing. The embroidery in those dresses is so beautiful.....maybe they could be made into skirts for the girls as they grow?
    I've sewn with all 4 of my Treasures (the girls have an older brother) and they are now all in their teens. One winter break we had Camp Nana. At the end of the week each of them had made their own twin size flannel Ragg Quilts - at the time they were 10, 9, 7 & 5.
    Yes, I'm crazy..4 small children, 3 sewing machines and one exhausted Nana. Love and memories in the making.

  3. What a project! You are the BESTEST grandmother in Blogdom! I love the photo of the little girls, arm in arm heading to class. They could have stepped right out of 1760.

  4. Nana Rett, you are a hoot and a half! The dresses are just darling and the embroidery is to die for!! Just perfect! And they looked so adorable! And the pillowcases are wonderful too.

    When India was 8, we went to Colonial Williamsburg on vacation and I made her a dress for the trip. She loved it too. Now Ahnalin can almost fit into it and reminds us that she needs to go for a visit too! I just love colonial dresses!

    Happy new year, my talented friend.

  5. That picture of the two of them walking down the hall is just priceless!

    What we grandmothers won't do! And we enjoy every minute of making are kidlets happy no matter how hard the effort. You have made some incredible memories for Ms. C. I am only worried everyone in the class will now want to be her best friend! Guess she could have worse issues, LOL!...Bunny

  6. I though I told you to keep all the snow it is 50F degrees here, BUT tomorrow we're to get between 4 and 8 inches of SNOW. UGH!!

  7. Oh, Rett, the dresses are way beyond amazing. As always, I marvel at your beautiful workmanship. I can imagine how excited the girls were to wear the dresses you made for them. And the hours you spend on the embroidery...a true labor of love. What lucky little girls.

  8. Rett, you are one nice Grandmother to go to all that work. The dresses are adorable and so are the girls wearing them.
    That would have been fun at the pillowcase craft night.
    I think of you every day when I use or look at my handcrafted tea items.
    Hugs from Ontario.

  9. Rett,
    Just absolutely beautiful. Those girls are adorable. The photo of them with one hat on and one hat off could win a prize (as could those dresses). My grandmother made clothes for my dolls and at one point I had the patterns for the American Girl doll.

    You are a special lady. "Loved" the pictures of "your" snow!


  10. You are such a good Nana! I know our Nonna will be making these one day as we plan our trip to Williamsburg! Jemma loves Colonial history so when she got her Felicity she thought she had died and gone to heaven! My in-laws are members of Colonial Williamsburg and have just been waiting for Jemma to get big enough. We are just about there! Those dresses are beyond precious! You are so good!

    That's a little bit of snow you have there... It was in the high 70's here this week but is going to drop to the 50's this weekend. Brrrrrr...... :-)

  11. I noticed these dresses in your last post and thought they were so pretty! The girls look so sweet in their "Felicity" colonial garb, walking arm in arm. I bet they had a great time learning about Williamsburg.

  12. Just adorable! I'm glad they loved the dresses.
    Now just send us some of that snow!

  13. I just knew those were Felicity inspired dresses! I know my AG! What a special treat for those girls, Caroline is so lucky to have such a talented grandma. And the pillowcases are darling too. I can see where you are spending your winter days Rett. Time well spent in the memories you are making.

  14. Oh man, is she lucky to have you!!! Thank goodness for photos so that when she's older she can truly appreciate your amazing talents and how she shared them with you.

    - The Tablescaper

  15. I don't think there could be a more accommodating Nana. Miss C is a blessed to have you as her Nana. What a wonderful gift to give these two little girls. Having been a primary teacher, I can tell you these two little girls will always remember this. I love the photo of them skipping down the hall arm in arm. Thank you for sharing this. I'll long remember it too. LOL
    You are the absolute BEST, Nana Rett! ~ Sarah

  16. OK, that pictures of the girls walking down the hall arm in arm made my heart sing. You are the bestest grandma ever!!!!

    We still don't have any snow here, 3" for the whole winter so far. I guess that's suppose to change later this afternoon.

  17. I just love Ms. C's dress. You're the best grandma EVER! I know she'll treasure your creations forever, and the photos you took of her with her friend are priceless.

    The pillowcases are fabulous and I love the names the parents chose for each of their little girls. Names that are as perfect for adult women as they are for babies.

    I love teaching children. They're like big, absorbent sponges!

    Oh, and seeing all that snow just freaked me out! lol

  18. Rett, every minute spent on those beautiful dresses. They turned out fabulous. How nice for the brownie troop to have names on their pillowcases. The photo of the girls in their dresses is adorable.. love love love!!! I am busy making little clothes for my granddaughter's dolls.. so much fun! xo marlis

  19. How gorgeous the dresses turned out dear Ret! Your granddaughter must be thrilled, little girls love to wear long dresses, mine do! I love the pretty embroidery on them too. I used to love sewing my own girls dresses when they were small, one day I gave my sewing machine away to my cleaning lady and never replaced it...shoot! Thank you for coming and for the lovely comment you left me.

  20. That's the best! What joy you gave them. The dresses are just beautiful! Worth every hour! You are such a good Nana, and so talented!
    And I love the idea of the pillow cases! I bought Lily a machine a few years ago for her birthday, but they don't live close enough for me to use it with her. And I am no Rett in the sewing department! You are amazing!

  21. Those dresses are adorable...I am in awe of those who sew...I can't even sew a button on properly!

  22. Oh Rett, those two little girls will remember those dresses for the rest of their lives! Brought sweet tears to my eyes as I remembered dresses that my mama made for my sister and me. Thank you for allowing us a peak at you beautiful workmanship and at the girls, all dressed up. Cherry Kay

  23. Rett,
    You are so lucky to be so talented. I love the dresses. And what a lucky granddaughter. The pictures are precious. Love Mr. Snowman in your banner too. Have a good day! Pat

  24. You are the most wonderful grandmother! What darling little dressed you created for your little darling and her BFF! :) I love the embroidery down the side. Wish I had a machine that could do this! They look so cute and I know they were so very proud and probably had the prettiest dresses too!
    The pillow cases are precious too! You are just too muchly wonderful!
    Just visit when you can, I always love to hear from you.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  25. The dresses are absolutely darling, Rett!! I'm "Nana", too. It is amazing what we do for our little sweethearts, isn't it??

  26. What a wonderful grandmother you are!! Not to mention talented as can be. The dresses are adorable! Ms C must have been so proud.

    We're getting that snow today - 46" predicted. 55 degrees yesterday - unheard of for here on January 11.

  27. Rett~ ~Thanks for stopping by I really appreciate your visit and your comments. I love my new do too now I have to change my pic on blogspot. I see that you did and I love your new look too!

    Wonderful seamstress you are. The girls are just walking on air! So much fun to see. All the work you put into the pillow cases. . .what a big heart you have.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  28. Hi Rett, Your dresses are just amazing, Rett! You are one fine Nana! I love your new profile photo too, and also your header photo. We've just gotten into a cold spell with a dusting of snow. I'm hopeful it won't last long.
    Take care, Beth

  29. Oh, Rett, those dresses are so adorable and she will always remember you making her AND her little friend those dresses.
    What a good gran you are. :))

    and what a LOT, L.O.T., of that cold stuff....:)

  30. Those dresses are so adorable! Now that is love only a grandmother could give! Your reward was indeed to see them arm in arm and so happy! Precious picture of them!

    Those pillow cases are really cute too!

    Pretty snow, makes me cold tho! LOL!


  31. No you did not make Felicity dresses!! They are too cute! We have a Felicity doll here, and if my daughter sees this she will have to have one! My mom has an embroidery machine, but that is one thing I have never tried. Beautiful!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment!! I did some research and I 'had' a GE built-in mW which apparently is the kind that catches on fire while not on!! Thank you for letting me know that. I am going to email the company and go from there. Just glad we were here, and that I had not put something in there to defrost and left it running. Take care!!!

  32. Rett, You are truly the best grandmother! I remember the joy that little girls have dressing up like their AG dolls! Luckily when my daughter was that age American Girl was still selling the matching dresses so girls and dolls could dress alike, and when we went to Colonial Williamsburg Charlotte had a dress to match Felicity's. Otherwise, I can tell you for absolutely certain that she would not have one made for her! And I think it is very special that Ms. C think so highly of you that she just knows you can make this for her! The dresses are beautiful and I can see how delighted the girls were! Linda

  33. How wonderful they are! I had a little Felicity lover here in my house, too. She would have loved something like that, especially if her bestest friend (and cousin) had one to match HER Felicity too.

    You just made me smile from my head to my toes this morning. What's more, you gave me a trip down memory lane.

    You are one super duper grandma!

  34. It's me again. Rett, I do understand. I've had purgers regrets a few times. But these days one can find almost anything on e-bay. :-)

  35. Oh my gosh, Rett. How adorable are those dresses! You did a wonderful job. Seriously. What a beautiful view from you sunroom. I can only dream of such wonderful snow. :)

  36. Nana Wett~ You are the best! How wonderful to make the dress for Ms. E too!!! Your talents and energy know no bounds! What beautiful embroidery! Love the adorable monogrammed pillowcases :)

  37. Oh Rett, what a lucky little girl, and how lucky for her friend too. That picture of the two of them skipping down the hall just made my heart smile. The dresses are absolutely adorable. What a memory you created for those two. And how sweet of you to embroider the names on all of those pillow cases. More memories in the making. laurie

  38. HI RETT!!
    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!THOSE DRESSES are so CUTE!!!OH MAN< when I saw the pics of the girls skipping down the hall at school, I nearly let out a big CHEER!!!!You did an outstanding JOB on those dresses!!!!I love them!!!I have been to Colonial Williamsburg, one of my fav places to go, been there twice actually and it is so fun to learn History in such a fun place, they speak as if you have entered the time period of when it all happened, so it is like you were there!!!
    OH man what a lot of SNOW you got!!!!I love it!!!!It is so beautiful!!!MY neighbor bounces back and forth between their house here and their house in Cleveland, her hubby works in CLeveland but travels abroad all the time, so she comes here often to warm up!!!!In the 70's all week here!!!!No complaints from me!!this is why we tolerate the HOT LONG SUMMERS!!!!!
    Hugs and love,

  39. Oh, yes, Rett, what we won't do for these precious babies!! I completely understand your putting the hours into the (beautiful) dresses and the pillowcases! Though not in sewing, I devote much of my time to them--they deserve those hours and so much more with the joy they bring! I love to see other grandmothers who are head over heels in love with their babies (that's what I tell them :) ). Beautiful!

    PS - We got hit with quite a bit of snow in the Columbus area too, but not as much as you got. Mother Nature lulled us into thinking it was going to be mild this year! Ha!

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