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Guest Blog: Lucia’s Christening gown

My name is Kathy and I own an Ellure Plus. I have been machine embroidering for about 5 years. I’ve made christening gowns for each of my grandchildren. This gown was created for Lucia.

I always start my project by deciding on an embroidery theme and stitching every selection in the design I chose that I might want to use on the garment.  I want to see the design “in person” so to speak.  Then I choose the colours I want to use.  I cut out each design and place them on the pattern piece where they will eventually go.  There’s lots of switching around and second guessing until the final designs and placement are chosen.

Unfortunately, I’ve worked all my life so I’ve had to work my sewing into that schedule.  For this particular project, Lucia’s christening gown, I would say approximately two and a half months.  Only sewing on the weekends can add substantial time to a project plus my grandchildren’s christening gowns are almost like a work of art.  I’m very particular from the fabric to the laces to the embroidery designs.

Once I saw the bees in the Beatrice Collection of embroidery design, that’s all I needed to see.  They were petite, so very sweet and charming, just perfect for a baby and I like making items that don’t necessarily conform to the standards. 

I didn’t need to see a cross or an angel on the gown.  Bees were perfect for me and, as you can see, it turned out stunning if I do say so myself!

Which embroidery designs did I use?   Several!  I used many from the Beatrice collection, including GFE-BEA-2-2, GFE-BEA-2-9, GFE-BEA-2-18, GFE-BEA-2-20 and GFE-BEA-2-10.

I added some very light pink to the colour scheme.  The bees are adorable! I used Sulky threads and the project cost me around $550 to make. Here is a list of what I used to create the gown:

Quantity Name
1 1-634, White French Lace Edging 1 1/4″ wide
12.5 1-633, White French Lace Edging 1″ wide
3 1-632, White French Lace Edging, 3/4″ wide
1 SPECIAL FIND!!! Swiss Cotton Organdy, 45″ Wide, White (2-7-18)
1 11-6207, 1/2″ Beading, White
7 Ent – 37-100214-White, Swiss Entredeux
3.5 3-1992, White French Lace Insertion, 5/8″ Wide
11.5 1-640, White French Lace Insertion, 1″
6.5 1-639, White French Lace Insertion, 3/4″
1 12-223, 1/4″ Insertion, White
4.5 Swiss Nelona, 55″ Wide, White

The most challenging part for me, was deciding on the lace which runs vertically on the gown and the placement of the embroidery designs.  There were many variations until I finally decided on the one! This pattern also has a slip.  I embroidered the full name of the child, their date of birth, a little flower and sign it “Love Pippy”, which is what my grandkids call me.

If anybody was going to create a similar gown I would advise them: “Do not, as I stated before, worry about the gown looking like the “off the rack” christening gowns.  The ceremony and the sanctity of the event are the true elements of baptism.  The gown is really just a sign of the baby’s purity. 

It doesn’t need to look like the clergy’s vestments!  Use what delights you and in this case Hazel’s light hearted, whimsical bees were perfect! 

Also, always make a sample before you do the actual embroidery on your project.  You’ll be surprised how different it can look, especially if you have resized the design.”

Would I do anything differently if I made another one? “I did love the gown and most of all, my daughter loved it.  There’s really nothing I would have done differently. 

This was christening gown number four for me so I’m pretty much a pro at these!” The biggest lesson I learnt in making this, was not to use heavy starch on a garment that a baby will be wearing!  They get very wrinkly, very fast.

Thank you Kathy for sharing this remarkable Christening gown with us all. I am sure it will be treasured for many generations. I particularly love the Swiss entredeux work around the sleeves.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

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