Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Christening Gown gift

Last summer I made a christening/baby dedication gown as a gift for family friends. These photos aren't very good to show the work but the best that my camera will do. We are going to get some professional photos taken and I am going to submit them to Sew Beautiful magazine.
I used The Old Fashioned Baby's T-Yoke Christening Gown pattern to start ( The fabric is a beautiful white cotton (the photo showing the monogram is what it really looks like). When I started, I was going to make a "basic, no-frills" gown and it just seemed to get away from me. My motto is "if a thing is worth doing, it's worth overdoing" and I lived up to it with this gown. I have no idea how much hand stitching I had done before I started keeping track of it. I was "just going to do a monogram." Right. I kept track of 250 hours of handwork and quit tracking after that (it was almost done by then) so I figure it was at the very least 300 hours, probably more like 350.
All of the seams (each side of all the lace, etc) have hand embroidery done in a white rayon that has some elegant shine to it. The embroidery along the seams is all feather stitch; the monogram was done in padded satin stitch. I found a font I liked for the R and printed it out and then used a light box to transfer it to the fabric.

I designed the lace diamonds down the center panel and embroidered small bullion rose bouquets in the center of each of the diamonds. I have the two bands of lace around the bottom as shown in the original pattern. I found some beautiful soft 4"-wide cotton netting lace that I used as the main part of the bottom ruffle—it was so full that I thought I would never finish stitching around the hem!
I tatted a narrow lace that is around the neckline--I liked it because it was softer around baby's face than the purchased lace was. I trimmed the finished edge of the netting lace to about 1" wide and used that around the sleeve edge and each of the sleeves had some embroidery down the center length too.
The gown has a slip of fine cotton batiste with just a touch of embroidery on it (a small bouquet) and one lace diamond in the center of the skirt. When I get better pictures, I will post them... I'm very proud of this accomplishment and it meant a lot to me to be able to gift these very precious friends with this.

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