Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Christening Gown

Our favorite niece has asked me to make her upcoming baby girl a Christening gown. I am really looking forward to this project. I thought I would try a new technique. It's actually more a style than a technique. It will be a bishop with a lace collar overlay. While I have done lace overlays, I have never done one on a bishop or as a collar. I try to do with my smocking the same that I've done for years with garment sewing, and that is trying a new technique with each garment.

The fabric is a striped sheer. Bullion roses and some tiny pearls are coming to mind for the smocking and embroidery, but that is just a thought at this point. At least I am firmed up on the fabrics and the style. A pink petticoat with shell stitching will also be part of the ensemble. If I have enough of the dupioni pictured for the slip, and I think I do, I will prewash it so it will be nice and soft next to baby's skin.

My one concern with the sheer fabric is that it will not have enough oomph to pleat nicely. It is actually pretty certain that it will be too flimsy for nice plump pleats. I have interfaced underneath the area to be smocked with Formflex or Fusiknit in similar situations. A little experimentation seems in order here before I get going. The stripes will be on the vertical and I am anxious to see how that affects the pleating. Pleating stripes and plaids always shows if you've kept the fabric on grain, part of the skill involved. It can be a real truth telling. Since I am usually pretty anal about grain I rarely have a problem with the fabric going off grain while being pleated, but you never know. Those stripes will tell all.
Got my return receipt in the mail that my bag arrived at contest headquarters. Still crossing those fingers and toes!..........Bunny


  1. Looks beautiful, your sheer fabric really shouldn't be a problem. Remeber I pleated silk organza and silk batiste, very soft but pleated did great. Can't wait to see the results.

  2. Wow, I can't wait to see it! Judith (she of the lovely lace, can't remember her last name) uses silk batiste under her lace when smocking. Remember the lace collar "Milky Way" in AS&E? The same technique should work well for your sheer fabric as well.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement and tips. I hope to get going on this this weekend.

  4. Hello Bunny
    Are you making a slip to go underneath the sheer fabric ? I think a nicely gathered skirt(slip) would open up the soft top layer showing off the smocking ... Just an idea... good luck Dana

  5. I really like that idea, Dana. Yes, the dress is unlined sheer fabric only with the lace overlay. The slip will be the washed pink dupioni. Dang, thats a really good idea. Thanks.


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