Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cross Christening Gown

I hope you are having a Happy Easter!  I've been waiting to share a project I helped a student smock and then I constructed.  Her first grand baby was baptized this weekend, so now I can finally share the pictures!!!!

We first met and scoured through pages of Sew Beautiful to brainstorm and come up with a plan for her christening gown.  Since she wanted to be able to let more than one grandchild wear it and create an heirloom appropriate for either a little boy or little girl, we decided to keep the color neutral as well as any "frills".  Although we both know that lace is appropriate in either gender's christening gown, her menfolk though differently.

The cross and trinity was to be the theme of the gown, so I located some Swiss embroidery with the trinity circles and cross.  Since the only color is came in was white, and we had chosen ivory sateen batiste, I tea-dyed it.  (See this blog post Tea Staining For a Vintage Look)

In order to have the sleeves set with the tea stained insertion, I had to sew in the insertion prior to pleating.  I used a twin needle to make the pin tucks above and below the line of insertion.

In choosing a template, we liked various elements of several templates, so we merged them together to come up with an original smocked gown.  She wanted to have a "cross" theme representing the trinity.  I pleated ivory sateen batiste and together we blocked it into a bishop styled dress.  
After Brenda, my student, completed the smocking, I began the remaining construction.  More pin tucks and insertion made antiqued with the tea stained technique I blogged on earlier. ( Let me state that I did ALL the tea staining at the same time so it would all match)
Next came the ruffle at the bottom of the skirt that was also Swiss edging with the trinity/cross theme that had been tea dyed with all the other insertion.  It was gathered and attached with entredeux that had been thrown in the tea pot (LITERALLY)with all the other insertions.
The dress was finished with a self placket and cast on loops over antique mother of pearl buttons I scooped up at an antique store in Birmingham, AL on an excursion one day with my daughter. 
(Antique Excursion blogpost)
Brenda had the idea to add a monogram with her granddaughter's initials and birthdate on the ruffle.  We ARE Southern, after all!  What Southern girl wouldn't have her monogram on her garment?????

Finally completed and ready for a picture!
It looks even better on it's proud, little owner on this Easter weekend!

Sweet Georgia peach blossoms and sweetness in her christening gown!

Sew It Goes!