December 18, 2012

The Last-Minute Christening Gown

In November, Doldin and I were confirmed and The Precious was christened. I knew it was coming for months but of course ended up waiting until right near the actual day to start making the christening gown for The Precious. I made a practice version, which you can see here.

Based on this prototype, which was based on a dress I have made for myself a bunch of times, I got ready to make the real thing. First I had a panic upon looking at the eyelet fabric I had chosen. What had seemed like plenty now looked like it would not be enough, so I took the long drive to the nearest Joanne's to find something similar. Apparently eyelet is considered a seasonal fabric and there was NONE in the store. I found an interesting alternative fabric, however, and mentally redesigned the dress to make use of a plisse cotton for the bodice and lower sleeves (added mentally to balance the fabric usage). While I was there I grabbed some bleached muslin to use for lining and found a gorgeous lattice ribbon for a sash.

Upon actually sitting down to cut the dress out, guess what I found out? I had had plenty of fabric all along after all! GRRRRRRRRRR

So with time running out quickly, I cut out the dress pieces.

I still use the pincushion that my mama made for me when I was about six years old!

I unfortunately don't have pictures of this part, but the night before the big event, I was still making the dress and realized to my horror that I had sewn the bodice on upside down. To make it worse, I couldn't find my seam ripper anywhere. I was worn out and collapsed, thinking that I would probably have to dress The Precious in a dress I'd picked up at a yard sale--the same one where I'd bought her Halloween costume dress, in fact! It wasn't solid white, but it would be better than nothing.

The day of the christening/confirmation found me taking The Precious to the doctor (another very long drive) because her hair was disappearing at an alarming rate. It turns out that she is pulling her hair out as a way to relieve stress. I'm very glad that it isn't a sign of a vitamin deficiency or anything, but it was very unfortunate timing--she had a big bald spot just in time for her big night!

We got home late in the afternoon and suddenly I was seized with the crazy idea that I still had time to get the dress together. I used a needle to pull up a stitch so that I could snip it with the scissors and so removed the stitches holding the bodice on upside down. Then I still had to sew it on the right way round, add the sleeves, make the elastic casing, thread elastic through the top of the bodice, get it to the right degree of tightness, and finish it off. Doldin came home and was dressed and ready to go to church; I was dressed too and still trying to finish the christening dress. We were already really needing to be at the church when I managed to tack the ribbon to the waistline to make a sash.

And so The Precious was christened in a white eyelet dress that has way too many flaws in it to be considered anything but a piece of last-minute sewing. Many of the seams are not twice-turned and the top still somehow ended up being too bosomy, but she looked beautiful anyway. The service was quite long so she was pretty tired when it came her turn, but she didn't even cry when the bishop leaned her head into the font, and remained quiet through the whole service.

Here she is with our priest, who is one of our favourite people.

Her proud new godfather, James, held her part of the time. He's so good with kids! (And ladies, believe it or not, he's available!)

The bishop was very busy but he held her for some pictures too. He also blessed and signed the Bible she was given, which is, appropriately enough, covered in white eyelet.

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Please keep your comments civil and free of profanity. If you know my daughter's name, please do not post it here. Just refer to her as The Precious. Thank you!