My once tiny baby will be making her First Communion this May. For years, I thought that I would sew the dress for her special day. Alas, I should have spent those years sewing! Now, I have a deadline. I don't like deadlines. I don't do well with deadlines. I get panicky, and as I'm told, hard to live with when I have a deadline. I wanted to sew something lovely, with the finest fabric. Something like this:
Wonderful mother, Jennie Chancey, made this dress for her daughter, Olivia. That's Olivia above. It was made using Sense and Sensibility's 1780's Portrait Dress. Oh, the dresses on that site are dreamy! And, yes, there are patterns for adults as well. I have a weakness for anything historical, and this is Nora's favorite period. It would have been perfect... This site is well placed in my bookmarks to be visited when I'm free of deadlines.
When I realized it might not be a good plan to sew this special dress, I looked at many dresses on-line. Most were too expensive or more likely too "princess-y" with their puffy skirts, frills, beading, and even a train! Some of them aren't even modest. I'm not sure if people understand this event. I mean, really!
I was getting nowhere, and I needed a source of beautiful, affordable, timeless dresses for children. Happily, it occurred to me that right in my own city is the exceptional designer, April Cornell. I've been wearing her dresses since college. I've worn them to weddings, garden parties (with matching hat, of course), choir concerts, holidays, and a swanky cocktail party. I tend to associate important events with the corresponding April Cornell dress. My selections have included the classic floral dress perfect for Spring events to a Boardwalk Empire worthy beaded gown. I felt so beautiful in that dress. It wasn't just the cocktails.
So, off we went, mother and daughter, to April Cornell. We had a lovely experience of trying on dresses. Well, she did - though, I was tempted! It felt as if they were expecting her. The saleswoman that we first encountered said she was Jewish and therefore wasn't quite sure what was appropriate for this event. Once I filled her in, she was abundantly helpful. In fact, a few others joined in helping us choose - along with much "Oooing and Ahhing." One even put sweet-smelling lotion on Nora as well as a little glitter so that she would feel all the more special.
After trying on a few dresses: one was deemed too simple, the other too scratchy, (she'll never wear a slip!) Nora found the very perfect dress.
Antoinette Dress by April Cornell
The embroidered tulle overlay is absolutely precious and the neckline provides the perfect space for a special necklace. I never would have thought that we would have chosen a blue dress, but truly, it is perfect. As blue is a special color for Mary, and May is her month, I thought it was just the right choice.
This beautiful young lady is of course a model. I will wait until May to post photos of Nora in this dress. At that time, I would like to focus on the special sacrament and not her attire. As Nora said in the dressing room as I was fussing perhaps too much with a dress, "Mommy, it's not about the dress. It's about receiving the body and blood of Jesus." Well stated, my dear. You are certainly ready.