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Christening gown #2

solosmocker | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Here is my second christening for my twin baby grandaughter, God willing.

When I was in my twenties,(now 57), I inherited an amazing stash of lace and clothing from a great aunt who had passed away in her 90’s. She was a pack rat, a spinster, and took care of all the altar linens and priests clothing at her church. Whenever anything was discarded she kept it. At her passing, those in charge of cleaning out her home gathered up all these goodies and brought them all the way across the country to me. I have been shlepping them around ever since. Finally, in my retirement, I have been able to catalogue everything, clean it and store it properly. Among the treasures was priest “alb” if my memory serves me right, made of exquisite lace netting. This is what I used to make the second christening gown, a girl gown. I have been working on these gowns for months.

The gown has an underskirt and lining of silk dupioni. The overlay is embroidered netting, very fine. I used every inch of the garment. I smocked the bodice with tiny pearl beads. I used plain netting to make a tiny ruff of a collar. The sleeves are netting gathered with silk ribbon. The armscyes are bound to the lining with more silk dupioni. I did have to do some small repairs to the skirt netting but it is unnoticeable and I think given the history totally OK. I hope to make a bonnet and booties as soon as DD gives me the official go ahead. In the meantime it is back to Christmas sewing and some more less formal smocking. I really really enjoyed making these two gowns and really felt in my element. Hope you like.

I may have to do two posts to upload them all. Cross your fingers.



  1. stashblaster | | #1

    Stunning, absolutely stunning.

  2. Josefly | | #2

    You've done such a beautiful job, making the most of that wonderful lace. The smocking complements it all. Those gowns will be cherished, and hopefully, used again and again.

  3. GailAnn | | #3

    "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother, Lois and your mother Eunice and now I am sure dwells in you as well."  II Timothy I:5 esv

    What a wonder ful legasy of faith passed down to your grandchildren!  Such an amazing and fine example!  Gail

  4. Crazy K | | #4

    Oh, Solo........I looked at both gowns and they are both absolutely stunning!  You do such beautiful work.  Your grandbabies are lucky to have such a talented grandma!!  Wow!


    1. solosmocker | | #5

      Thanks, all of you, (blush). Your comments mean a lot to me. I figure the lace is about 80 years old. I did some research on it and my other laces. Today priests are only allowed a minimal amount of lace on their albs and they are made from linen. I am so thrilled that my cousin knew to not throw this stuff out and gifted me with it. Go thru and researching all the laces I inherited has given me great pleasure. solo

      1. sewelegant | | #6

        I would also like to compliment you on the wonderful christening gowns you created.  I have dabbled in smocking and would probably have done more but did not know anyone to learn from at the time and went down other paths.  I still love it though and keep thinking I'll make a doll dress before arthritis completely rules that out!  I have purchased several Martha Pullen books.

        This is an ironic story:  My mother helped make a christening gown for my oldest child and I used it for 3 more and have it stashed away for grandchildren; alas, that is another story, all of my 5 grandchildren are Jewish.  I thought they might relent and use it for the "naming ceremony" but didn't get much feed back.  It will still be in the cedar chest when the next generation comes around and my children have taught theirs religious tolerance and what goes around comes around.

        1. Lilith1951 | | #7

          Wow, I'd have found a way to use that gown, no matter what religion I was!  Hopefully, you are storing it in acid free paper and it will be fine for the lucky great grandchildren.

          Solo, I am so impressed with how you used the wonderful delicate laces.  I do a lot of sewing, but I've never really ventured into smocking.  You really did justice to the laces.

  5. celkalee | | #8

    Just had a chance to look at your Christening Gown. Inspired, elegant, and precious come to mind. What a fabulous use for the fabric, your cousin indeed had great vision and foresight leaving them to you!!!! I have been fortunate to attend two of Martha Pullen's schools and have learned a great deal, however, I don't do much heirloom work. I did purchase a smocking pleater, still in the box I'm afraid. Your smocking is gorgeous. One day I will try, someday. Congratulations!

  6. rodezzy | | #9

    That is the most beautiful christening gown I have ever seen.  I've looked and both and you are remarkable.  What a gift to the family you are.  And, yes it was a true blessing to have been gifted that lace.  It's totally an heirloom family treasure. 

    I made a christening gown thirty years ago with smocking, I don't even remember what it looked like.  It was for a family member of my then husband.  They were truly grateful.  But I can't remember what it looked like. 

    The history of your grand daughters christening gown is enough to be put in a magazine with the whole story.  You need to be published!  I think the world needs to hear this story.

    Edited 10/22/2007 10:51 am ET by rodezzy

  7. Gloriasews | | #10

    All I can say is WOW!!!  What beautiful, careful work - these both will truly be heirlooms.  One can see that much time was spent on them, lovingly (& probably frustrating, at times, too :)   Pat yourself on the back for job very well done.


  8. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #11

    Solo, the two christening gowns are exquisite.  Such precise and detailed work, they are sure to be treasured heirlooms.  You have a true gift with needle and thread.

    1. solosmocker | | #12

      Thanks again everyone for your kind words. solo

  9. MaryinColorado | | #13

    Absolutely breathtaking!  What a treasure you are to your family! I pray your daughter's pregnancy is going well and that the twins will be the picture of health!  God bless you and your family!

      With the family history of the lace from the priest's alba, I wouldn't be surprised to see you in Sew Beautiful magazine or as a guest on Martha Pullen's tv show, or published somewhere!  If you do decide to share your story professionally, I hope you will let us know so we don't miss seeing it.  Mary

    1. solosmocker | | #14

      Mary you are too kind. Thanks to all of your for your lovely comments.

  10. WandaJ | | #15

    I don't know what ...alb is but it sure served to make a beautiful Christening Gown.

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