We thought it might be cute to have all three cousins in matching dresses, and Dave and Karen's wedding gave us the perfect excuse. It turns out that locating matching dresses for a four month, six month and three year old is pretty difficult. I looked around at a number of stores, but just finding something wedding suitable was proving to be a slight challenge. So, we decided to make them ourselves.
My paternal grandmother was an extremely proficient seamstress - she actually made my mother's wedding dress (which I wore when Brendan and I were married). She even made her own bras and underpants! Not that I actually checked this. But I do recall being told this amazing fact about my grandmother in awed tones. Making underclothing always seemed like the pinnacle of sewing proficiency to me.
Although my maternal grandmother also sewed, my mom always said that this was not a skill she had inherited. I always enjoyed going through our scrap fabric basket and the button box, but I cannot actually recall my mother using them for sewing. She did make me a beautiful dress when I was about thirteen, but I gathered it was a fairly painful process. This was probably because it didn't involve darning over a lightbulb (the only kind of sewing my mom has ever confessed to enjoying). When we were married, I duly warned Brendan that he should not expect me to do any sewing, and gratefully turned over all of my mending to his care.
This is why the idea that I might help make matching dresses was met with some skepticism. I am ridiculously proud to announce that said skepticism was entirely unjustified! I can no longer claim to be sewing-challenged, because not only did I make two little dresses (for Elizabeth and Maria), but I made them underpants!!! (Here modelled on Erika's head) Erika's dress was made by Grandma J - the little girl dresses are similar.
For those wondering how this miraculous transformation was achieved, it was entirely due to the coaching of my wonderful mother-in-law Margaret who first taught me to sew and then patiently helped me figure out how to read patterns and put things together.