Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christening Gown Finished!

Little Miss C's Christening gown is completed.  I will get it in the mail to her soon.
 Her mom sent me this family heirloom handkerchief with the initial of the family's last name, which happens to be Miss C's first name.  I love the way our next generation is passing along these family names.  As you see, I used the handkerchief on the bodice.  It looks a little wanky at the sleeve cap in this photo, but it really doesn't look that way in real life.  I made tiny, tiny, tiny piping to attach the smocked skirt to the under bodice and to go around the neck and down the back opening.  I also used it across the sleeve caps.
 Miss C's mom told me she liked dainty embroidery, inserted lace, and ribbon.  So, I incorporated all of those things into this gown.  For the inserted lace, I attached lace to either side of narrow ribbon, and then I attached entredeaux to either side of the lace before sewing it to the fabric.
 For the scalloped design on the skirt, I first did the madeira applique technique, which I showed more in detail in my last post.  I embroidered along the edge of the applique, below it with a feather stitch, and above it with a little flower and French knots.  On the skirt front I embroidered a triangular shape outlined with ribbon that I attached with a modified feathered stitch, inside that is another row of feather stitches, then on the inside are more little flowers and French knots.  Along the bottom of the hem, I attached lace by hand along the shell stitch which I also did by hand. 
 Here's a fuzzy close up of the sleeve, which has the inserted lace, ribbon, entredeaux combination, a row of feather stitching, and more flowers and French knots.  For the gathering, I ran ribbon through casing that I made from the same fabric.  I made two tiny button holes for pulling the ribbon through for tying into the bows and for gathering.  There's more lace hand stitched to the hand shell stitched hem of the sleeves.
 The handkerchief makes the overlay of the back bodice, as well.  I had to cut the corners of the handkerchief off at the shoulders, and since they were embroidered with such a pretty and dainty design, I sewed it to the bottom of the overlay at an angle.  I simply added long streamers of ribbon to tie for the back closure, as well as, a tiny snap where the bodice and skirt meet.
The fabric for this gown is ecru cotton blend batiste.  I decided on the blend so it wouldn't wrinkle so badly.  The gown is ecru rather than snow white, because the handkerchief, being vintage, isn't pure white.  I didn't want it to look yellowed.  It matches very well.
 Of course, Miss C has to have a slip.  I scalloped the hem and trimmed it with the same lace that I used on the gown.  The opening is on the left shoulder and ties closed with more ribbon.
 For the slip, I made the shell stitch on my machine. I did this by tightening my tension, reversing the blind stitch (or hem stitch), and sewing on the edge, so when the needle swung out, it actually went off the edge and pulled tightly, to form the little shells.
I hope that Miss C's mom is happy with this gown.  I was lucky enough to get to make Miss C's big brother's gown three years ago.  His was a "manly gown" with tucks, pleats, and baby blue buttons and blue piping.

17 comments:

Kim said...

Julia- this gown is so beautiful- it takes my breath away! What a gorgeous heirloom you have created ♥ Your fingers work magic :)

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Julia, the gown is gorgeous. Such a sweet heritage. Your work is so beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing about it.

Jeannie B. said...

Beautiful!!

ShirleyC said...

That is a masterpiece! I'm drooling!

Crazy Mom Tats! said...

Julia, this is spectacular. I hope Miss C's mama appreciates all the fine work you do!

Needled Mom said...

It is just gorgeous. I am sure it will be cherished for many, many years.

Anna said...

It is breathtaking! Miss C's mama most certainly appreciates all your fine work! I cannot wait to see my baby girl in this very special gown on her very special day. Thank you, thank you, thank you! love, Anna

Gail said...

Julia, this is such a special gown. I love the way the linen hankerchief was incorporated.

gwensews said...

That's just breathtaking, Julia.

Jackie said...

Amazing! I love, love, love the use of the handkerchief which was a family piece. This gown is sure to be a family treasure.

Kathy said...

oh my Julia, that dress is AWESOME!!! Absolutely breathtaking...I love the way you used the handkerchief as a bib.

MushyWear said...

Absolutely Gorgeous! An amazingly beautiful job. Love the matching slip too.

Bead and Needle said...

Simply stunning! You can tell you love what you do, for sure - this was a labor of love!

Rebecca said...

What a sweet lovely keepsake!

Laurie said...

The gown is absolutely beautiful - a true labor of love!

Cindy said...

You're so sweet and special and can make some sweet and special things on the machine and with paint. Have a wonderful Halloween.. enjoy your precious moments. I'll write ya back soon!

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

I'm speechless. It's beautiful!!

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