It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Bit More Ancient History - The Christening Gown - UPDATE w/ more pics

K and D enjoyed a fun and successful wedding in the desert :)   Fast forward a couple of years, and Baby has arrived!  The plans for celebrating this event included a christening in the mountains (any excuse for a road trip, right?).  In this case, it meant a camping trip to a gorgeous, way-off-the-beaten-path spot near a river up in the Sierras.  And what is Baby to wear?  A christening gown, of course!

I really wasn't sewing much those days...mostly the occasional home dec project, or doing some mending, but my horrid little Toss and Swear Singer was still chugging along, and I relished the thought of working with some of the yummy Pena Pineapple Cloth that I used in K's wedding dress.

This project went together quite smoothly, as I recall.  I know I used a pattern....which one, I have no idea.   If K had been responsible for saving the pattern, you can bet she would still have it!  Which means that I must have kept it, and it's long gone.  I don't think there are any photos documenting the event itself, so you'll have to picture a California High Sierra scene, babbling creek running over a rocky stream bed, hardy bushes like toyon and chamaebatia foliolosa (we learned to identify this plant and say the words, and I swear I will remember them until the day I die!), majestic pines and hidden wildflowers peeking through the crumbled brown leaves on the forest floor....that sort of rugged beauty that only a high mountain setting can provide.

UPDATE:  I should have known - there ARE pics of the Christening Site :)
Playing on the Rug :)

"I'm a bit disappointed that Aunt Jilly didn't finish the seams on this dress." 
(thanks Gloria)

Mom and Baby at the Site

Me w/ Baby :)

It was, I believe, late summer, and Baby just BARELY fit into the gown by the time we made the trip (I think we might have initially planned it for Spring....or maybe I was just slow in getting it done...) I'm not sure, but we might not have been able to button the single button at the back of the neck.   But christen her we did, using the fresh, clear river water, and in the presence of all that nature offers.   It was lovely.  :)

K delivered the gown to me along with her wedding dress, and I noticed several stains on it.  Since it's been in storage all these years, and never washed, I figured the stains must have been from the river water.  I hand washed it in Eucalan, and it cleaned up beautifully.   Here she is:
Materials used:  A soft, yummy cotton, 
pina fiber (pineapple cloth) that had been used in her Momma's wedding dress,
cotton lace (I believe this was from my stash of vintage lace), and satin ribbon


Not too bad a job on the pin tucks *whew*
I think I was pretty good at making those ribbon roses by then!

One little pink pearl button.   Love that :)

That lovely Pina!

And......yep, here go again.......wait for it......

Unfinished Seams.
*sigh*
I have nothing more to say about this.


This has been a delightful stroll down memory lane for me :)   And now it's time to move into the future - I'm opening an Etsy shop!  I'll have a grand opening announcement when the shelves actually have something in them (I've actually made my first official sale...but you'll have to wait for the story....)

Meanwhile, I'm just happy to have my comments avatar back, a me-project on the cutting table, and lots of hope for the future.   May we all share a bit of joy and hope with someone else today :)

Edit to add:  I just realized this is my 100th post!  I should celebrate with.....something....happy 100 to me!  :D

15 comments:

  1. Just beautiful, Jillian! You have done a variety of sewing. And congrats on post #100. :D

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    1. Thanks shams :)

      (I'm happy to post a 2-word comment, just because I don't have to look at that big fat minus sign again!)

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  2. In your defence, it isn't like a Christening gown is going to get a lot of wear, so finishing seams seems unnecessary. To me.

    How exciting! An Etsy seller! I am sure in no time at all you will have a store front and will be having shows in Paris and New York. Best wishes and I will be sending good thoughts your way.

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  3. Very, very good reasoning on the seam finishes. I'll go with that one :)

    I'm listening to a podcast interview that a friend did, and she calls Etsy sort of like "playing store". I like playing store a whole lot more than a "real" 3D store front. Showing in Paris? OK....I'll go for that! ;D

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  4. I've loved your stroll down memory lane with both of these beautiful garments. You made me laugh out loud when you showed the seams on the Christening Gown because I KNOW I've done that in the past. Both of these garments have such wonderful memories associated with them, so the seam finishes really doesn't matter!

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    1. Thank you Carolyn....a wonderful sentiment, and I think I've now reached the same conclusion about those seams!

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  5. What a beautiful little christening gown, and your description of the occasion sounds like sheer heaven to me :) a truly wonderful day.
    Don't give those raw edges a second thought obviously they worked out just fine! In days past seams were usually not finished at all, or pinked at the most. It is only in recent years that regular seamstress' have got more sophisticated in finishing things off. Which makes me wonder sometimes how essential those extra details are to the longevity of a garment, *really*.

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    1. My darling Mumsy taught me to stay stitch and pink all seams....in my mind's memory I always did that! Clearly the memory can be an impish little liar at times ;-D

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    2. Probably too late for the sewing police to come after you.

      What a nice and descriptive story.

      How cool--an Etsy shop.

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  6. Happy 100th post! And thank you for sharing this lovely walk down memory lane. Both of these gowns were sewn beautifully, even sans seam finishes. I do think the statutes of limitations have expired on these garments, so just tend to the present - which I know you always do!

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  7. Beautiful christening gown! ...and beautiful story! Congrats on 100 posts!!!

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  8. Finished seams or not, the gown is lovely. Another idea for possible future washings, when I worked at the historical society, we washed pieces in Ivory liquid and baking soda. The Ivory liquid rinses completely out of the fibers and the baking soda removes stains naturally. I continued to use this method on lace when I would restore vintage wedding gowns.

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  9. Jilly, Congrats on your 100th post...I wonder what your post count was when I found your delightful blog. Hope you have much success with your Etsy store...can't wait to see what you will be offering

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  10. Thanks for adding these pics.

    Possible for the photo which says to add caption: "I'm a bit disappointed that (Aunt) Jilly didn't finish the seams on this dress." (Sorry, but I couldn't resist.)

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