Travel Theme: Handmade Christening Gown

Christening gown 1-023

Good morning from a very chilly Hastings day.  I was going to get up and go down to the park to get some photos of the sunrise.  Guess what, my bed was just too warm and cosy.  So I missed it.  I might think about doing it tomorrow.  We’ll see.

This week Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? has asked us for our photos of handmade items.  I have a feeling that I have showed this before.  But I had to take some new photos to show this off more clearly on TradeMe, which is New Zealand’s EBay.  I have noticed just  how much clearer these photos are, compared to those taken with my lost camera.  So maybe that was a blessing in disguise.

Anyway these photos show a christening gown that I made from Indian silk and lace.  Christening gown 2-006

It is very long as you can see, with 6″ lace and satin ribbons at the bottom.  I use this very realistic looking doll to dress up in order to get more interesting photos.

Actually this is rather appropriate as Buckingham Palace has announced the date for the christening of Princess Charlotte next month.

Travel theme: Handmade

I will catch up with you all later today.

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

A photo a week: White

Christening gown (640x480)

For this challenge Nancy has given us the colour white.

These photos show a christening gown that I have made with pure Indian silk, lace and organza with lots of ribboned bows and a little bit of bling.

I used some Christening gowns at the Victoria and Albert museum as my inspiration but then found this information about why the gowns are so long.

The Christening Gown: A Quick History

article by Sarah McGallan

Up until the seventeenth century, young babies were tightly wrapped in swaddling clothes and carried to the font in a “bearing cloth”. This was a large square piece of silk, edged with trimmings of gold lace and braid.

The Christening robe, as we know it today, evolved in the mid-eighteenth century when babies were freed of swaddling at an earlier age. In white silk, the earliest surviving examples have a front opening which was either fastened with ribbon ties or left open to show a petticoat beneath. The decorative curving lines of braid are similar to those applied to women’s gowns of the period.

Made in the same style as every day eighteenth century boys and girls, the first Christening robes wore worn by both boys and girls. Boys and girls wore “slip” dresses; these dresses had a very long flowing skirt which fell from a short bodice and a low neck and short sleeves. Other items such as bonnets and bootees could be made to go with the robe. A number of exquisite Christening sets survived from the seventeenth and eighteenth century, these included bibs, mittens, pincushion covers, head bands and handkerchiefs in embroidered linen.

Victorian babies were dressed in gowns which were beautifully decorated with Ayrshire work. Ayrshire is an exquisite form of white-on-white embroidery that originated in the Scottish Lowlands.

Pinning a piece of shortbread to the Christening robe was an old Scottish custom and was to be worn throughout the ceremony. If an unmarried girl was to eat the shortbread afterwards, she was thought to dream of her future husband that very night. It was also vital that the baby was to sleep in its Christening robe for the night of the baptism; this was to bring luck and good health into the baby’s future.

An ageless tradition

Over the years, the same fashion for Christenings has remained popular. This is partly due to the fact that Christening robes are traditionally handed down from one generation to the next, so Christening robes may be worn by dozens of babies over many years.

If your family has no tradition of an antique gown, you can begin this tradition for future generations with a gown from our range of traditionally made gowns, composed of fine natural pure silk and embellished with exquisite embroidery and tucking.

The Christening Gown: A Quick History

Christening gown 1 (640x480)

I even embroidered some tiny booties to go with it.

Booties (640x480)

And a coat hanger for it to hang up to protect it.

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I took the photos as I need to put this on TradeMe which is New Zealand’s version of EBay.

The baby is one of those realistic looking dolls which I use to try on the baby clothes I made.

Thanks for visiting.