I thought it would be fun for all of us to follow me through the
process of designing and making a Christening gown or dress. It is baby
size 9 month to 1 year with a 22 inch (55cm) chest in the finished size.
The entire gown will be sewn by hand with 1 strand of quilting thread, unless otherwise noted.
So far I've completed the bodice. The sleeves are cut out and ready to sew - perhaps tomorrow, then I'll update this page.
This particular Christening gown is going to be auctioned at the Fall
2010 event at the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Baltimore.
This is a charity dear to my heart. One of my cousins is a nun in the order. The founder, Jeanne Jugan, was
recently canonized by Pope Benedict XVI.
Here are some more views of the bodice. It is lined in the same fine
sheer cotton as the finished bodice. I crocheted a decorative stitch on
the neckline ruffle with 6-strand embroidery thread.
January 14, 2010:
The first sleeve is in
It took almost all day to sew and put in the first sleeve. The bow is a
ribbon that is run through a channel formed by making a fold of the
sleeve material to the inside and sewing it closed, then running the
ribbon through on the inside and bringing it to the outside at the
point you see it - even with the shoulder line. That way the ribbon is
adjustable. I'm keeping it on the looser side; it's just for looks.
Here are 2 photos of the sleeve:
Closeup of sleeve showing channel sewing line and lace and ribbon trim:
January 15, 2010
Both sleeves set into bodice and bodice lining sewed in place
I really pushed today and was able to sew the 2nd sleeve and set it
into the bodice. I also lined the bodice so there would not be anything
scratchy against the baby's skin. In the photo below you can tell the
bodice is lined, because it appears more opaque with the light shining
through the fabric. The sleeves are not lined.
January 19, 2010
Next comes the skirt and the skirt lining. I intend to make the whole
gown about 30 inches (75cm) long from top of shoulder to bottom of hem.
This morning I traveled to the nearby town of Alkmaar, North Holland, and bought the skirt trimmings at Böttger Stoffen - a fabric and notions store. So check back in a couple of days to see more progress ...
January 22, 2010
Skirt is joined to bodice
Productive morning: I decided to make the
lower edge of the skirt 46 inches (115cm) wide, and the lining the
same. I gathered the top edge of skirt and lining twice and folded
under a quarter inch of bodice and sewed it on top of the skirt and
lining between the 2 rows of gathering. This allows you to adjust the
gathers nicely so the skirt hangs well. And then, I topstitched
scalloped lace to the bodice topstitching. See photos below to
illustrate this - front and back of dress.