The Making of a Christening Dress

 christeningbodice

I should have smacked myself upside the head.  I’d had a month to get the Christening gown for Sophia completed, but ended up finishing it just a few hours before her Baptism.

Beyond my usual procrastination, I have a habit of “designing as I go.”  I usually have an idea of what I want it to look like.  However, I continually change design elements and always end up with something totally different from my original design.  Am I the only one who does this?

christeningsleeve

Working with silk shantung is challenging to say the least.  And trying to set the tiniest gathered sleeves is beyond nerve-wracking!

sliplace1

Then I sewed lace and tatting to tulle.  At least I was smart enough to do it flat (before sewing up the side seams of the skirts).

sliplace2

But the worst was trying to gather 6 skirt layers (1 cotton batiste, 3 tulle, 1 netted lace and 1 silk shantung overskirt) and attach them to the tiny silk shantung bodice.

christeninggown1

Whew! DONE!  To give you an idea of size…this dress bodice is a size 3 months…LOL!  It just looks bigger in photos.  Ok, so the dress is huge…I think it measures about 48 inches.  And oh my…it was HEAVY!

christeninggown2

At the last minute, I decided to do these silk dupioni spider web roses.  I’ll post a quick tutorial this week (once I get another manicure), so everyone can make some, too.

christeninggown3

To make dressing the baby easy, I used large sewn-in snaps and covered them with no-functioning rhinestone buttons.

christeninggown4

Here’s a close-up of all the skirt layers.  I’ve made several special occasion dresses, but never a Christening dress.  This was a first.  I’ve been collecting vintage laces and tatting for ages and loved using them for such a precious little girl!

soph3

Meet Sophia, daughter of my dear friend, Diana (aka Diana of Not Just Bagels)!  The Christening gown fit Sophia perfectly!    It was such a feeling of accomplishment to see Sophia in the Christening dress.

soph1

Sophia enjoyed sucking on the big silk roses.  Isn’t she beautiful?

soph2

Diana loved the dress and is going to put it in a huge shadow box to display in Sophia’s room.

Wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July!

lisa

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Comments

  1. My beautiful friend, that dress is truly a work of art. And a labor of love. Worth every bit of effort you put into it.

    And, yes, I sometimes wing it as I go! LOL!

  2. WOW! I’ve been following your blog for a while and love all of your stuff, but oh my goodness, that dress is absolutely breathtaking! What a lucky, little girl! That is just amazing – like a beautiful wedding dress! I think it’s a fabulous idea to have it in a huge shadowbox – what a special piece of decor! It will instantaneously make the room “fit for a princess”! Have you considered something like “Project Runway”???

  3. Lisa,
    That is fabulous!!!
    Diane

  4. Michelle Jadaa says:

    ahh lovely.What a work of art and love!She will treasure it always:)

  5. That gown is absolutely GORGEOUS I love the roses on the bodice and that skirt! WOW!

    You know what is really cute about the tatted edging that you used? The name of it is “hens and chicks”! How appropriate for a christening gown for a little chicky!

  6. WOW !! Lisa! Beautiful. I read every blog post you write- but I read it in my blog reader so I rarely click over to comment (sorry!!!) but I had to come over and tell you just how amazing and beautiful this dress is. I am so glad you shared- its gorgoeus!

  7. Hello,
    The dress is truly a work of art! You are so talented and the parents are blessed with a beautiful baby.

  8. The dress is absolutely gorgeous and Sophia looks like a big beautiful doll in it. I love those roses and the buttons and laces are divine. All perfect details. You did a fabulous job on it!

  9. That is beautiful!

  10. that is so beautiful!! *sigh*

  11. That is just gorgeous!!!

  12. I’ve missed seeing your beautiful dresses, Lisa. Sophia looks wonderful in it.

  13. You did a beautiful job on the christening gown. I understand completely about designing as you go. I too have this affliction and struggle with it on many projects.

    Let me know if you ever find a cure!

  14. you girls have me blushing! Thank you so much for your sweet words!

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  15. That’s one of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever seen. I’ve only seen all white ones, the roses were an excellent departure.

  16. Awww…thanks Kathleen!

  17. This Christening gown came out just gorgeous! Great job on making it!

  18. that’s breathtaking! I love it. And I love how you casually say “oh I made this” like I’d say “oh I flossed today!” lol
    Thank you for sharing

  19. thanks!

    Lisa…you made me giggle. If you coulld have seem me sweating through it…LOL

  20. Holy Moly. That is amazing. Great job. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Oh how lovely, the christening dress is just beautiful! I made a christening dress last year for my grand neice, from my mothers wedding dress. She is 84 year young and just loved seeing her great grand daughter in a christening dress made from her wedding dress.. It was a special day. Loved your technique of making the roses, would love to try that soon!

  22. Beautiful, beautiful dress.

    Here’s a tip that may be helpful. To reduce thickness of layers needing to be gathered onto a tiny bodice. Attach 2 pettcoat layers together by stitching one layer 2 or so inches below the other. This way you still have the two petticoats for the bottom of dress but only 1 layer of fabric to gather onto the bodice. :D

    I wing my sewing all the time as I make stage cosutmes for dancing performances and get asked to create crazy things like light up skirts etc.

  23. What a beutifull dress. I also have the habbit of mking my own paterns as I go on. Imade a Crisining dress this wee and my freinds grandoughter was Babtised this morning. So yes after i changed the patern three times I got a beutiful dress and avery happy grandmother and mother an apretty little baby girl. Its good to know that i’m not the only one doing my thing as I go along

  24. Cecilia….I’d love to see a photo of the Christening Dress you made!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] de Paris, etc. and vintage tatting.  I only use these on special occasions—when making a Christening Dress or something over the [...]

  2. [...] de Paris, etc. and vintage tatting.  I only use these on special occasions—when making a Christening Dress or something over the [...]

  3. [...] In order to get my sizing perfect for this Christening Dress, I made two other silk [...]

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