Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Anne's Other Easter Dress

I hope you all had a truly wonderful Easter! Ours dawned glorious and warm and after church services we spent nearly all the day out of doors, knowing that the next day would be cold and rainy. When the sun is shining, get out in it!

Anne did not wear her pink 1860's gown for Easter. On Saturday I was getting ready to sew on the hook and eyes and she solemnly informed me that she could only wear a white dress to church the next day. She pulled a rather skimpy and sad looking white dress from her closet, a relic of last year when she was (much) shorter and the dress was much newer. She put it on and I was reminded of the scene from the book On the Banks of Plum Creek where Laura and Mary wear their too-short dresses to school and are called long legged snipes.

Luckily, I had a pretty white peasant skirt in my closet. I bought it for half price at the thrift store last year but had never worn it much since, it seems, white is not a practical color to wear around children. It had an elasticized smocked wide waistband and ruffles and ribbons and lace. Anne loved it.

We quickly converted it to a dress by cutting the skirt off the waistband, shortening both, and reattaching. The waistband became the bodice and the skirt was made just long enough to brush the tops of Anne's pink-painted toenails. I used up the pink net to make a petticoat, which was sewn to the skirt, sandwiched between it and a smaller plain innermost petticoat made of cotton. To finish it off, we attached purple ribbon straps and pinned a purple ribbon bow to the front bodice. The remaining purple ribbon we sewed as a header onto some lace from the stash (which came from some beautiful antique curtains a lovely reader sent me several years ago!) which was then sewn onto the skirt.

We added a little purple sweater. On Easter Day, Anne wore a white shirt beneath the dress and soon discarded the sweater as the day grew unseasonably warm.

We spent a very happy afternoon at the river, where a light breeze came through the trees and ruffled curls and dress skirts. The boys looked for rocks and fossils along the shore.

Christ is risen!

Much love,


  1. Your Anne is adorable in every way. I love her white dress!

    Question: I have followed your blog for several years but have always felt shy to ask this because I should know the answer being a history buff and reading as much 19th century literature as I do. However I don't know the answer. why did little boys wear dresses in the 19th century? Was it tor ease of access for changing dirty bloomers?

    -oldfashionedeliza from instagram :)

    1. Well I don't really know why either! There's a lot of reasons why it would have been practical to put little boys in dresses but I personally (and this is just my opinion!) think that the mamas of little boys in the 19th century didn't really think about putting their boys in dresses or not. It was just what was done, and they did it. Just like today babies wear onesies and sleepers no matter if they are boy or girl...its just a baby and toddler type of clothing! Of course, wearing skirts is convenient for diapering a baby or toddler not yet potty trained. However, removing the drawers (which may have been buttoned around the waist to an undershirt) would be just as time consuming and awkward as taking trousers down for a little fellow. So, I think that boys wore dresses just because thats what was normal for them at that time.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!