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.
To say that the baptismal gown is gorgeous is an understatement. Once again, with your attention to detail, what could have been a plain outfit, turned into an heirloom gown that I’m sure you’ll want to have preserved by a professional so that your kids, one by one, can use it with their own children.
You’ve got me all teared up. Also, the look on your face (even though we can’t see your face entirely in the last picture), holding your little babe, is just precious- and that word falls short, too. Congrats!
She was grinning at me when that picture was taken. I can’t get enough of it. 🙂
and thank you.
Mary Ellen says
The sleeves don’t seem right. I would change them. They appear to be to bulky at the seam where they are attached to the bodice. I have made 4 for each of my 4 daughters first child, although not the same pattern, but did notice little things to change with each one. It is beautiful however.
Karen @ TheJuneBride says
Wow… Jodi! This is amazing. Stunning!
Our family uses a baptismal gown that has been passed down in the family and 5 generations have been baptised in it. It’s an heirloom… and seeing the care and love that went into Gladys’ gown, I know yours will be too. You have outdone even yourself, and that’s a feat!
I really hope so!
It is absolutely stunning. The details are just lovely and the fabrics you used are perfect. It is a total heirloom treasure.
That gown is spectacular! I love the detail work on it. So, sooo beautiful!
You have a gorgeous family! You’re a blessed woman indeed~!!
Maria J. says
Jodi, that is perfectly lovely. The attention you put into it display so much love. I’m quite sure it will be treasured for many more baptisms. And congratulations on the de-heathenizing!
Thanks Maria! 🙂 And I had no idea you guys were building a boat! Crazy. 🙂
Samantha Hsu says
This turned out so beautifully. What a lovely gown for an adorable little girl! I’m hoping to use similar techniques to finish my daughter’s baptismal gown this spring. I do have a question… how did you attach the ruffle so that it looks like the hem overlaps it a bit?
Samantha, I attached the ruffle to the bottom of the skirt and finished the seam. Then I folded up the bottom hem and sewed the hem and the ruffle in place.
In other words, that bottom hem is just a giant pleat that overhangs the ruffle attached to the bottom of the skirt.
Does that help? Let me know if not and I might draw you a little diagram or something. 🙂
Samantha Hsu says
That does help! Just trying to imagine… did you sew the ruffle wrong side to wrong side? When you folded up the hem was the ruffle upside-down and then you pressed it downwards? I’m sorry to be such a pain… I’m usually very good at figuring things out but for some reason this one is eluding me… and I love the look of that little pleat over the ruffle! 🙂
yes, i did. 🙂 Like a french seam. But standard seam then some sort of binding to cover the raw edges would work too.
Samantha Hsu says
Perfect! I think I got it….thank you so much! Can’t wait to try the technique 🙂
I am searching for a blessing dress for my little one to be born this Christmas, and I found your dress and am totally smitten! I cannot be satisfied with any other now!! So dang you, but thank you. 🙂 I’m not an amazing seamstress and actually am intimidated by patterns, but I’m going to give this one a try. I love it. Thank you for the gorgeous inspiration!!
We adopted our now 20 year old daughter when she was 11 going on 12 from an orphange and baptized and christened her as an infant thru the infant baptism program at our parish.We shopped around for a long time and finially found a cute,white,poofy,midthigh length baptism/christening dress with a matching bonnet for her to wear for the ceremony.With the dress and bonnet we did a cute pair of lace cuff anklets and white ‘mary jane’ shoes.under her dress we did a plain white under shirt with a cloth diaper and rubber pants over it.the morning of the ceremony,we dressed her in the parish nursery.She looked very cute and infant like in the out fit and i picked her up and held her to receive the water on her head.we then christened her and changed her name.at her reception,every one thought she looked adorable.I put her entire baptism out fit away in a box.She made her First holy communion when she was 14 with the 7 and8 year olds and we did her in the traditional communion dress and veil with her baptismal lace anklets and shoes.we did her baptismal cloth diaper and rubber pants and under shirt on her again under her communion dress.
dorie k says
OMG,Stephanie, our daughter made her First communion at 14 also and we did a cloth diaper and rubberpants under her dress as well.her communion dress was poofy,so no one knew she was wearing them.i made her diaper from the gerber cloth diapers in the 24x 27 inch size by sewing them together to make one diaper.i got the pink diaper pins at wal-mart and the rubberpants i got from a website.they fit her somewhat loose and looked cute under her dress.
clarice a. says
To Stephanie-We adopted our daughter when she was 14 and started her off right away in cloth diapers and rubberpants 24/7 due to her having wetting accidents during the day and bedwetting .We also baptized her and did her in a white,high waist,midthigh length,baby doll style baptism gown with a matching bonnet,and did a tee shirt as her top with white ruffled tights over her diaper and rubberpants,and white booties.She looked really cute and adorable in her outfit and when she would bend over,the gown went up in back and the ruffled tights could be seen with her diaper and rubberpants showing thru>
I love the look of your dress and copied your basic design to make one for my daughter’s baptism using a pattern I drew from another dress I liked. It turned out great, so thank you for posting all your pictures!
That makes me so happy to hear!
Bonita Rankey says
that is sew beautiful. Your family will treasure that forever. I have crochetter one and it turned out great, hand sewn lining inside it. I now have my first pattern to sew one from material and hope I do as well as you did. Congrats.
I love the dress that you made! And I see that you used the McCall Pattern 4865. I was curious if you knew where I could purchase the pattern? I have been looking all over the internet since I saw the gown that you made and I am having no luck what so ever in finding it. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you so much!
Unfortunately, it might be out of print. Ebay is your best bet. but there should be other baptismal gown options. I did a lot of modifications to the original design to make it look like this.
Sarah C. says
Our 15 year old daughter is going to be baptized this comming Easter vigil.Her aunt is making her white gown and matching bonnet and the lace anklets and her cloth baptismal diaper.We have all ready bought the rubberpants she will wear over the diaper and her white tee shirt.The aunt is also going to make a ruffled diaper cover for her to wear over her diaper and rubberpants. Her First Holy Communion is in may and she will wear the diaper,rubberpants and ruffled cover under her communion dress as well.
Jazimine Holstad says
I was baptized at 13,two months before my 14th birthday.Since i was in puberty,i was bedwetting because of it and was wearing cloth diapers and plastic pants[rubberpants] to bed every night because of it.My Great gramma told my parents that since i was wearing the diapers and rubberpants to bed that i should be dressed like an infant for my baptism!A white,infant style,short sleeve,knee length gown was made for me with a matching bonnet and booties.That sunday morning,two hours before mass,i was dressed in the parish nursery.Mom and great gramma and gramma put new cloth diapers on me,then a pair of my rubberpants that had lace sewn across the back and a white tee shirt.My gown was put on me with the bonnet,then lace anklets and then the booties.I felt like a regular baby in the outfit! When i was baptized during the mass,my bonnet was taken off,mom picked me up and held me to recieve the water on my head.
June K says
We have twins who are 14,brother and sister,who are being baptized this comming easter sunday mass,April 4th.The son is going to wear a suit and ty and the daughter will be in a just below the knees,baptism gown with boufant shoulders and lace at the neck bottom.Her bonnet has a lace brim and a small pink bow on each side.She is going to wear lace anklets and white patent leather shoes with her gown and bonnet.She will wear a white tee shirt as her top under the gown with a 10 ply thick cloth diaper and white adult size rubberpants over it.I am so looking forward to dressing her in the outfit!