Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zak's Christening Gown


Yesterday our darling twins, Zak and Carly, and their big brother Graham were all baptized in a beautiful ceremony. I have been waiting a long time to make a christening gown and when we heard there would be two babies to dress, it was a double thrill. The picture above is of Zak in church during the service. He loves to chew fabric, usually a blanket, but found the silk quite tasty as well, so a rather wrinkled gown it is.

Now I am in the Northeast where it generally isn't the tradition to formally dress babies, particularly boys, for this blessed milestone as they do in the South. But my roots are Southern and my DSIL and family are from Louisiana as well, so I decided to go all out and buck New England Puritan roots. It was a good move. The babies looked like "royalty" to quote a member of the congregation and our Graham was also just as handsome as can be in his blue blazer and chinos.

My challenge, of course, was to not be too girly with the gown but still have it elegant. I decided on the off white silk taffeta and some additional subdued details. There is a narrow band, about and inch and a quarter, of simple baby wave smocking in a soft blue. Tiny piping of the same silk taffeta borders the top and bottom of the smocked insert. There is also piping on the cuffs and collar. All the piping is whipped with the same pale blue floss. I loved whipped piping. When I make the piping I use the stitches to measure out where I whip, ie, entering in the stitch hole of every third stitch. This way the whipping wraps perfectly evenly. The center front is stitched with double featherstitching, hand done. On either side are corded pintucks. They are filled with size 8 pearl cotton.

To add to the masculinity I thought a pleated skirt would be more appropriate. The pleats meet at center front in an inverted box. I just love how the taffeta falls in such lovely folds.

On the back of the gown I used a placket and three small pearl buttons. The gown is self lined with the same silk taffeta.

On the hem is a piped edge. This is a technique I learned years ago from an old Threads and have used a lot. First you fold the fabric up 1/4 inch to the RIGHT side of the garment and press. Fold up again 1/4 inch to the RIGHT side and press again. Now, machine stitch down the center of the double fold. Now flip back to the wrong side and press to hold the hem in place. This is a great hem for any type of sheer too. I have used it a lot in sewing for the children.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, I will post about Carly's gown, more elaborate, made from antique 80 year old lace and new silk.

As usual, clicking on any picture will enlarge the details for you...Bunny

11 comments:

  1. What a tease you are! I can hardly wait to see the gown. Whipped piping...that sounds like something I may have to try.

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  2. That is a beautiful gown. The subtle details make it perfect for a male child. The hem detail is great. I'd love to see the other side. I'm confused and I think I need a visual to see how it's done. Or maybe just some sleep.

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  3. This is a beautiful gown. Your work is exquisite.

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  4. Thanks so much, gang.Paula is referring to my not being able to get the pics on. They are there now! Sherril, I was thinking of doing a tutorial on the hem treatment with some step by step photos. The nice thing about the hem is that there are no visible stitches on the front of the garment. It is great for sheers and is my hem of choice for that type of fabric. It is so easy and so much less fussy than a rolled hem sort of look. It also doesn't have the stiffness of the traditional sheer hem with the two rows of stitching on top of each other. Thanks

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  5. Bunny, you are a marvel! I so agree with you—baby boys need to be in christening GOWNS and not some mini-me suit. I love this and look forward to seeing Carly's gown.

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  6. I'm with lindsey t - it's 'christening GOWN' .. not 'christening onesie' -- and Zak's gown is just(sigh) beautiful.

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  7. Exquisite. I love that hem finish - easy and just a little different, too.

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  8. Fabulous! There is definitely whipped piping in my granddaughter's future.

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  9. Gorgeous, Bunny! You do beautiful work!!

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  10. OMG those are gorgeous. I will have to come back later and study them closer, but what beautiful christening gowns. And we know I am a sucker for a cg. Gorgeous work.

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