Sewing a First Communion Dress

Amy Friendapparel, Sizzix25 Comments

First Communion Dress by Amy Friend

My daughter received her First Communion today.  Long before I had children, I dreamed of making them dresses for their First Communions.  My oldest child is a boy so this was my first chance!  (Mind you, I did have fun dressing him in a suit too but it wasn’t something I had dreamed about!)

My daughter knows what she likes and what she doesn’t so I didn’t have complete design control!  She dislikes anything restrictive or that touches her body.  Yet she wanted a satin dress which has no give so I used the Geranium pattern as my starting point since it has very little fit.  She also asked for a lace over skirt with a scalloped bottom.  I was fortunate to find this Chantilly lace in Jo Ann and she thought it was perfect.  I used French seams when constructing the skirt and needed to match the scallops in three places, at the side seams and the back seam. Happily, after stressing out about it for awhile, it went well.  The tricky part is that the Geranium dress hem curves up on the sides so that the skirt hangs straight since it naturally pulls up in the center. I think most patterns I have used compensate for that by curving the lower bodice edge.  Since I could cut the lace at an curve while preserving the scallops, I pulled the lace layer up a bit on either side while pleating to make the lace hemline as even as possible with the bottom of the skirt, which we prehemmed. I say “we” because my mom hemmed it to save me time!  I purposely made the lace layer a bit shorter to allow some satin to show at the bottom.

First Communion Dress by Amy Friend

The back of the dress has clear glass buttons with gold edges.  And I handstitched little white lace flowers at the neckline with pearl beads in the center.  I love those little details.

First Communion

My mom gave her this sweet basket of flowers that made for an awfully cute picture!

First Communion, Hair with Baby's Breath

I French braided her hair and joined the two braids at the nape of her neck with a barrette.  I made the barrette using one of the most versatile Sizzix floral dies, Tim Holtz’ Tattered Floral. I cut several flowers using a few different bits of tulle and lace. I used a large handstitch in the center of each layer to gather up the petals a bit and then stitched three pearl buttons at the center. I used a couple of ribbons and hot-glued them to the velvet covered barrette before I attached the flower. I loved her hair. I thought it looked so angelic. Keeping it real, she hated it and cried as we left the house. But by the time we got to the church and she was told how beautiful she was by several people, she changed her tune.

I feel so content with the outcome of this sewing project, even though the lace was tricky and the satin was slippery. Lily loves her dress and said that it was just what she wanted so I am pleased!  I am sure that she will remember feeling beautiful on this special day.