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Sewing an heirloom christening gown
marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3198
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Date: 9/21/12 8:27 AM



I'm going full steam ahead on a christening gown for the new granddaughter we're expecting on Halloween.

I thought I'd share the pattern and photos along the way if anyone is interested. I'll be making "Deborah" (the gown on the far left). This is the easiest sewing I've ever done and it ends up looking stunning!

The gown will be cut to be quite long and its yoke and bottom will be heavily embellished with French laces, pin tucks, and puffing strips. I also hope to add some white on white embroidery (if nothing else, the baby's name and birth date on the back lower part of the skirt.

I need to gather all my trims and fabric and order two "beauty pins" to close the gown in the back. It will be sewn of sheer Swiss batiste - these gowns typically don't have button holes.

eta: I just worked up a schedule and this gown needs to be started NOW! Off to the races ...
-- Edited on 9/21/12 8:30 AM --
-- Edited on 9/21/12 8:49 AM --

------
Mary


TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 9/21/07
Posts: 1595
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In reply to marymary86 <<


Date: 9/21/12 11:04 AM

With no kids, I've not had the opportunity to make a christening gown, but I love using the techniques on doll clothes. Can't wait to see your gown!

I had to google "beauty pin". They're very pretty, but I am trying to picture how they are used without them pressing into the infant's back. Can you elaborate?

------
Tess

"I am a degenerate art supply junkie" - Jane Davenport

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3198
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In reply to TessKwiltz <<


Date: 9/21/12 12:15 PM

I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know.

I made a christening gown for my first grandchild who surprised everyone by being a boy. We've only had boys since.

We never even got to the beauty pin stage and for my own children, I didn't even know about French hand sewing until the girls were in their teens.

I'll find out though and let you know. I'm wondering if the back is fashioned somewhat like a safety pin on its side.

------
Mary


TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
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In reply to marymary86 <<


Date: 9/21/12 2:51 PM

Aaah french hand sewing, you are a purist. I am a big fan of "french sewing by machine" ala Martha Pullen. I dearly love handwork, though, and treasure it. I just don't have the patience (or the eyesight) to do much of it myself.

------
Tess

"I am a degenerate art supply junkie" - Jane Davenport

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3198
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In reply to TessKwiltz <<


Date: 9/21/12 3:49 PM

Got me again! I was just too lazy (and thought it might be confusing to some) to type it all out.

I will be doing some of the sewing on my new-to-me Featherweight which was made in the 50's. Does that count for any points?

I love, love, love the handwork and may well do some of it by hand.

Do you have any completed projects to share?

------
Mary


Fruzzle

Fruzzle
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Date: 9/21/12 3:55 PM

Aw, congrats on the imminent arrival!

I made a gown for my god-daughter last year, with Irish linen, and an embroidered celtic cross (for her Irish heritage) and a dove with an olive branch (the olives for her Italian side). I added an inner flap to the front of the skirt with her name and date, and space to add names and dates for subsequent babies if they are baptized in the gown.

ASiverson
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ASiverson  Friend of PR
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New York USA
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Date: 9/23/12 12:36 PM

I do not have any children, and my brothers are not having babies either. But I refuse to let that stop me. I've anted to try my hand at French Heirloom sewing a la Martha Pullen for years, so I've got everything I need, and I too will be sewing, by machine and hand, a christenng gown this Winter. Should keep me busy. I would love to see photos, and will post my own as soon as I have something to post! Good luck, and a Halloween baby, that's really good, good luck! Annette

------
Annette

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3198
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In reply to Fruzzle <<


Date: 9/24/12 7:10 PM

I'd love to see a picture; it sounds so beautiful. Did you do the embroidery by hand or by machine?

I washed (to preshrink) about 5 yards of white Bearissima (the brand name of the Swiss batiste sold by Bear Threads).

I also found some lace, batiste, and entredeux I had sewn together with pin tucks sewn by hand to make some "new" fabric" to cut out. I'm considering using it for this christening gown.

I found my camera (I'm loathe to touch DH's camera - he's actually good at photography!) and I'll start snapping pictures as I work tomorrow.

------
Mary


marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3198
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In reply to ASiverson <<


Date: 9/24/12 7:13 PM

Annette - I hope you share your progress here; I'd love to see what you're doing and hear the details.

------
Mary


ASiverson
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ASiverson  Friend of PR
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New York USA
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Date: 9/25/12 11:41 AM

Thanks Mary. I will try to post (if I remember) as I go! Thank you.

------
Annette

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