Monday, October 17, 2016

Christening Gown from Grandmother's 1942 Wedding Gown

This a christening outfit I made from a wedding gown originally made and worn in 1942! It was made for my customer's grandmother.  Then her mother wore it (from the pictures - below - looks like it was the early 80's).  It had not been altered to fit her mother.

The gown was machine and hand stitched.  The seams were pinked inside - not something you see often. The fabric was silk satin and absolutely beautiful.  It was cream, but in certain light, looked almost buttery.  It hadn't been stored well after the last wearing and had some rust spots (from the hooks and eyes).  But since it had a train there was plenty of fabric to work with.  My customer had no children but her sister was having one soon and she thought she should do something with the gown before it deteriorated.  Her mother had passed away so it was even more special.

Grandmother in gown 1942

Mother wearing gown at her wedding
My customer wanted the finished christening gown to be unisex.  She also wanted her grandparents' and parent's' names and wedding dates embroidered on the slip.

I usually make a bonnet out of the fabric; however, in this case, there was a hand-embroidered handkerchief carried by both the grandmother and mother at their weddings so I made a "Handkerchief Bonnet" and used the silk ribbon carried by both.  Yellow is not usually a color associated with a christening gown, but since it was a special memento of both weddings and the outfit was to be unisex, it worked well.

It always takes me aback when someone sends their cherished wedding gown to me - a total stranger - and asks me to cut it into pieces and create a new family heirloom.  Each and every one has a story to tell and this one in particular was very special.


  1. What a special job to do. That silk looks wonderful and so soft for a baby.

  2. How precious and beautiful. Great way to keep cherished memories, both older and newer. The ensemble is gorgeous.