Tuesday, June 23, 2009

At long last, the latest gown

How sweet is a tiny puff sleeve with just a teeny bit of lace?

The finished gown! No its not green or green in my house, the sun is blazing outside and there is a huge tree right outside this window. The gown is an adaptation of the round yoke gown in Sarah Howard Stone's French Hand Sewing for Infants. Many heirloom shops carry it, or it can be purchased through Amazon. The patterns do have to be purchased separately, but are so worth it.

I used silky voile by Spechler-Vogel. I purchased it at BessieMary and then when I realized that I hadn't gotten enough for the slip, and Jan from BessieMary was sick, Suzanne from Adrienne's Attic came to my rescue. Please patronize your local heirloom shop if you have one or from the many independent ones around the country. They are owned and operated by the most wonderful people who share our passion for all things lovely.

I LOVE this fabric. It is sheer but not so sheer it can't support the embroidery. It is not real expensive. And it keeps its soft, floaty hand even after being washed. Remember the Peter Rabbit bubble? I loved the fabric but after it was washed it became crunchy. I didn't like that as much. It is still pretty, but a little crisp for a newborn.

This gown was made to replace a family gown. The family that I made it for had a generations old family gown that made it down to the next to the last baby in this baby's mother's generation. A sister in law had it right before the last baby of the generation would need it. She independently decided the gown could not be used for future babies and CUT IT UP! So this granma (no I didn't misspell that) did not have a gown for her youngest child, or future generations. So this gown was made to create a new "family" gown. She plans to give it to all of her children to use for their babies, so it has the family monogram.

I used a Celtic alphabet that I found at Needle and Thread. I stitched it used a tiny chain stitch and seed stitch filling in the loopdy loos.

The Celtic trinity and Celtic cross are shadow work. Remember the hoop burn? I told you it would come out in the wash.

My second daughter, who has an Irish name, has already claimed that she wants the shamrocks etc. for her gown when the need arises.

The back yoke. All things can me made okay. My applique cord did not end up in quite the same spot on the yoke backs. I did not realize this until the yoke panel was complete and cut out. So a strategic placement of a button makes it look as if it is continuous. I didn't point out to granma that it was supposed to be any different. Don't tell everything you know!

The baby's name and baptismal date are embroidered on the back of the gown. Some people stitch it on the slip. Sometimes the slip gets separated from the gown, so I started a few gowns ago stitching it on the gown instead. I blurred out the baby's last name. I didn't think his parents would appreciate me blasting it all over the interwebz. The fancy band is lace insertion separated by bands of machine twin-needle pintucking.

The slip. I did a small section of pintucking and lace on the slip bottom and a shell stitch hem around the neck and armholes. The little bullion flower is really so they will know what is the front of the slip. I will take pictures of the shell hem stitch tomorrow for those that have waited patiently.

Well there it is. The baptism is Sunday. I am sure he will be handsome because I hear he looks just like his mother. Can't wait.

Ahhhhhh that feels good.


  1. Words cannot express how beautiful this gown is. What a lucky family to have such a treasure to pass down through the generations. I would put a note with it that no matter how old it becomes it should NEVER be cut up!! How could someone do that!?!

  2. Martha - you did a beautiful job on this gown and slip!!

  3. Still sick over the "cut it up"....way to make points in that family, huh?
    This gown is as lovely as those that have come before it. When it comes time for me to make gowns for my figment grands, I am going to take a room in your house and sit and stitch with you!!! So much to learn from the Master!!!
    Congratulations on another labor of love.

  4. Oh Martha, it is so beautiful!! I love every little detail. And I too am sick at the thought of the previous gown being cut up. How awful. But this gown is so lovely.

  5. Yes that sleeve is the sweetest! And the rest of the gown is awesome!!!!
    My question is, is the SIL still part of the family? Geesh, some people really need to think before they act!! Or perhaps ask at the very least?

  6. That is so beautiful! You did an amazing job!

  7. Thank you everyone.It was a pleasure and a prayer to stitch. And we all know how I love a cg.

  8. STUNNING as always, MissMartha!

  9. A work of art, Martha! Stunning!

  10. Martha
    You always astound me with your gorgeous work!!! this is beyond breathtaking!!!

  11. Martha, I got back on your blog since I had emailed you again, and when I started to read your post on the grandmother whom you had helped via phone and email to make a christening gown I thought it was me! But then I remembered that I had not sent you a picture, nor had we spent days and hundreds of emails -- but you did help me several times at length, and I, like Mary, appreciate your generous spirit and gift of 'helps'. Julie


Welcome, I am so glad you chose to leave a comment. I love getting comments, questions and even just a friendly hello. I may not respond to every comment, but rest assured I read them all. Sometimes the comments and questions fuel new posts. So comment away!

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