Christening Gown Commission

The ultimate up-cycle, wedding dress to christening gown

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It was last autumn just after I decided to launch Stitching Kitchen that my youngest sister asked if I could create a christening gown for my nephew from her wedding dress. Of course I said yes! The idea of upcycling such an important garment to create a new heirloom to be passed on was just perfect for me.

 

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We collated ideas on a shared Pinterest board and once she had a plan and had cleaned the wedding dress we sat down and I sketched out what she had described. She was after a classic gown with an empire line belt or band which would personalised for them. She wanted it to be hand embroidered with their family initial flanked by two ears of corn which is the farm logo.

Having never made a christening gown before and dressmaking not being my main activity I decided I would need a pattern to form the basis of the design. I used Butterick 6045 and set about making a trial garment using an old sheet and scraps, I got this done in time for a fitting at Christmas and to check I was happy with the construction method.

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Next the exciting bit, slicing up a wedding dress is tremendous fun, I carefully removed the different layers, this dress was satin with a lace overlay, it was going to be tricky to find panels large enough in satin for the skirt but I knew I could alter the length if needed or increase the depth of the hem band. The deconstructed dress gave me all the necessary satin, lining and lace to construct the christening gown with plenty of buttons too.

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I think the hardest part of the whole project was keeping the gown clean, as the name suggests I stitch in my kitchen, with three daughters it is usually a little messy. Not only that I did run two Indian Block Printing sessions while making the gown, I really should have thought that through as I had to do a super clean down to ensure no fabric paint found its way onto the gown!

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Once I got going the gown came together relatively quickly, I then spend a day on the embroidery and all was complete a month before the big day.

The Christening day itself was fabulous, there were times on the Saturday I wondered if it would go ahead due to the snowy weather but most of us got there OK, one god parent was stuck in the south west. The young man of the moment looked super in his outfit and enjoyed playing with the water in the font!

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If you would like me to up-cycle your own wedding dress into a christening gown do get in touch and we can discuss options and make a plan!