Heirloom Treasures Christening Gowns

My Christening gowns were originally inspired by special babies of family and friends. Eventually the designs became more elaborate and I now incorporate a blend of more than one heritage technique.

I often start at the hem line and work upwards, repeating one or two of the hem highlights in the sleeves, such as Biltmore Flowers and Lace.

The Irish Rose was inspired by a trip to Ireland and the local pride in their individual flower and leaves designs. I love the picots and shamrocks, representing blessings for the wearer.

Two of the gowns, the Victorian Fans and the Pineapple Hem were inspired by very old patterns which I adapted to my thread lace technique and updated the overall look, as well as adding details and liners.

As mentioned in my introduction to the Gallery, the Biltmore pictures of Cornelia Vanderbilt’s Christening and baby snap shots are enough to inspire new projects after each visit.

All gowns are made from fine mercerized cotton thread and full-length gowns take 3-4 weeks to complete. I work out the proportions and details as I move upward towards the shoulders. Working with fine thread and a tiny hook allows for ornate details to emerge. Gowns have button openings in the back to allow for comfortable dressing. Each gown has a liner with lace trim, they are washable, so they can be passed down as a family heirloom. Since babies come in different length and sizes, I give the measurements in addition to the standard industry age range.

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