She was baptised almost a week ago, but there is still a faint scent of sweet chrism oil in Gladys’ hair. It is one of my favorite scents in the whole world.
When my older three children were baptized, they wore a simple gown made by my mother. When I was pregnant with Gladys, I felt the need to do something special to prepare for her. Her baptism gown became that something.
Normally, I am pretty impatient to finish up a project when I get started. But for this one, I enjoyed taking the time to do things carefully – enclosing all the seams, hand-stitching when needed.
This baptismal gown is a knock-off of a silk baptismal gown available on One Small Child. I decided not to make it out of silk for reason and practicality. This was a wise move because the first thing that Gladys did when I tried it on her was spit up on it. Then, she had a diaper blow out at the baptism reception. I chose a cotton stretch sateen. It has a bit of shine to it, and it has a wonderful weight and drape.
The pattern used to make the gown and slip is McCalls 4865. It is a nice basic pattern and was the perfect silhouette to imitate the silk gown. I added a gathered inset to the bodice, and wide ruffle to the bottom hem. I also added long ties to the back of the bodice. The lace detailing and placement was a changed as well as the number of pintucks on the skirt.
I made a slip for the gown out of a synthetic taffeta which was a pain to work with. It pulled out of shape when I was trying to cut it and puckered some while being sewn. I suspect that is just a problem with using synthetics, as I have been told real silk taffeta is a dream to work with. The slip is hidden underneath the gown, so it doesn’t bother me badly.
The only change I made to the slip from the original pattern was to self-line the bodice. This changed the button placket a bit, and I used a fun technique to machine sew the bodice armholes.
I hope that this gown and slip will be treasured in my family for a long time. Maybe someday little Gladys will grow up and have babies of her own baptized in this gown. That would be amazing.
But for now, I will just hug her sweet smelling little self and enjoy her smallness.