Designing a satin christening gown

This is part 3.  Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.

I was never able to get all of the dirt out  of the lace, but it did get better after I used Resolve (the kind that mixes two stain remover gels) as well as a long Oxyclean soak.  The lace was clean enough to be used, if no one looked too closely at the hem, and I will cut off the dirty part of the satin hem.

Designing the gown was fun, but I kept wanting to include too much.  It’s a bad habit I have of wanting to do everything.  I originally knew that I would make a gown with a separate skirt that buttoned onto a baby bubble.  We don’t know the sex of our grandbaby, so this way it would be more gender neutral.  The other details were difficult to choose.  I finally decided, after testing out a couple of embroidery designs, on using a large combination design from Trinity Crosses for the skirt and a small design from Bonnets and Booties on the bodice.  Both are available from Martha Pullen Co.

I used Sulky Totally Stable for the bodice design, and Dissolve Magic Plus for the skirt design.  I chose to use two different ivory/ecru threads for a little contrast detail.

The lace on the dress was so beautiful that even though the christening gown was to be gender neutral, I wanted to use as much of the lace as possible.  I chose to leave the bodice fairly plain, with only a small embroidery in the center, and decorate the sleeves instead with the lace as an overlay.

Finally, because of the heavy satin, I chose to turn most of the gathers in the pattern into pleats.

As I designed the christening gown, I considered some of the lessons I’d learned from deconstructing the wedding gown.

1) The wedding gown had lace medallions sewn over the seams, making the seams virtually invisible.  I decided not to include this in my new gown.

2) The wedding gown bustle was made from layered ruffles.  I chose to include this idea in two panels down the front.

3) The edges of the bustle ruffle were sewn into the adjoining gore seams.  I did this in my gown as well.

4) I used the same underlining as the wedding gown.  The skirt pieces I sewed as underlining, as they had been sewn in the wedding gown.  I cut out and sewed underlining along with the sleeve and the waistband pieces like an interfacing.  For the bodice, I cut out the underlining pieces and made them into a separate lining.  The collar pattern called for 3 layers, since it was originally for a batiste gown.  I used a top layer of satin together with a layer of the underlining, and then used batiste for the lining layer.

5) When cutting out the pieces, I had to be careful about my grainlines. The skirt gores were mostly cut with one seam on the straight grain and one seam on the bias.  This way I could cut both straight pieces and bias pieces fairly easily.

Now that I know what it will look like, it’s just a matter of putting it together, right?

© Sherilyn Siegmund-Roach and Cherished Needle Creations

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Accurate marking, piping, and seams « cherishedneedlecreations

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