The Finished Product


The finished Victorian-style christening dress for the prospective grandchild, who will be delivered early in June. The original family heirloom christening dress was one of those items lost in the fire which burned my parents’ Southern California retirement home in 2003. It was made of very fine cotton lawn, with yards and yards of elaborate embroidered eyelet lace. I found a pattern here, which closely resembled the original dress and promised Mom that I would try and replicate the dress … and  that was as far as I got until this year. I bought some very fine Pima lawn, and several lots of vintage eyelet lace on eBay, and had a go at pattern-bashing, with the above results. All the seams are encased or flat-filled, and while the long seams were done on a machine, all the rest was hand-sewing, including feather-stitching around the front panel, bodice and hem.  There is a drawstring fastening at waist and around the neckline, as there was on the original dress. When we talked about this on the  last Chicagoboyz zoom meet-up, Ginny said that I should definitely post a picture when I had it done.  So here it is, although I am still waiting on the last lengths of lace to finish the matching petticoat, and baby bonnet. My grandson’s godfather will be standing at the font with a bale of lace and fabric in his arms and a small baby somewhere in the center …

6 thoughts on “The Finished Product”

  1. What a beautiful gown! The baby’s face will still be there – properly framed!
    My son-in-law’s mother is a great seamstress and she made a gown for their son; it was lost for two weeks in British Airways zombie zone, they got it the day before. I’m glad this one is in your hands now – early June is getting closer. Hope your daughter is doing well – he will be out before the heat sets in.

  2. Mike, we have pictures of all the paternal line in this dress – including my daughter, who we thought would be too well-grown at a year old to be stuffed into it for her christening. She was a toddler by that time, and for most of the family pics wore a white dress that I had made for her, but I was guided by the existing pictures that we did have.
    The main other item that we were sad about losing in the fire – the Christmas stockings that my maternal grandmother had knit for all of us, with our names worked into the tops. Mom and Dad had half an hour to grab stuff and go. They and the pets got out all right … but there were some things which we wish they had remembered to grab.

  3. The gown is beautiful! Congratulations on becoming a grandmother. I hope everything goes easily for your daughter.

  4. Beautiful work. What a blessing for your grandchild, the first of many, I’m sure. Our first granddaughter was christened in a family heirloom gown. Very special.

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