I don’t often volunteer to do sewing projects for other people, but I was more than willing to make an exception for this project. We are so happy to have the “Catechisis of the Good Shepherd” catechism program available to our children. It is a program based of of the work Maria Montessori that guides the children on their spiritual path to knowing and understanding our loving God, and the richness of our Catholic faith.
Our local program is always short on volunteers, but with so many children underfoot (and now with my injury) I am not in a place to volunteer my time in “the atrium.” I realized this summer that I could help in a different way, and I offered my sewing skills in anyway that it would help their classroom.
The children spend part of their time at workstations, and I was given the task to make miniature priest vestments for a learning meditation. For this activity, the child follows a booklet to dress a mannequin in priestly garments. They learn the name of each piece, it’s meaning, and read excerpts from the prayers said while the priest is “vesting” before the Mass. Through this “work”,” they are learning parts of our religious tradition while going through a meditation. so beautiful.
Let’s talk details. The catechist leader provided an androgynous 10 inch velvet-covered dress form that these pieces where designed for. (I can’t even imagine how hard it was to find a masculine decorative mannequin. If anyone has helpful links, shoot me an email.)
Note: These are child-friendly paraphrases of the actual vesting prayers. Read more about the vesting prayers here.
Symbol of Purity
“Lord, give me strength to conquer the temptations of the devil.”
Symbol of Purity of Soul and Body
“O Lord, make my heart clean.”
Symbol of Chastity
“Give me, O Lord, the grace to keep myself pure.”
Symbol of the Clerical Office and Immortality
“Give me, O Lord, the help to be able to come to you in heaven.”
Symbol of Charity
“Give me, O Lord, the grace to serve you faithfully.”
I wish I had known about these beautiful prayers as a child. It make me happy that my children are learning about them.
Because I know I will be asked, I will not be making any more of these sets for sale, or writing up a polished pattern or tutorial. However, I have scanned the pattern pieces and put them together with some project notes. I hope they can help other catechism classes or families in teaching there children.
Download of Pattern Pieces
Again, this is not the full pattern write up like my other patterns, but there should be enough information for an experienced or adventurous sewer to make their own set.
Lacy Rabideau says
And where might one get one of the booklets?
good question, the one I was given was hand drawn and written. So I don’t have a source for you. sorry!
So lovely! Thank you so much for sharing this. I would love to know more about the dress form used. Is there any chance the catechist would share the details?
This is such a gift to the children of Our city. THANK YOU! They’re gorgeous!
Olivia Power says
Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. I have been thinking about making vestments for 18 inch dolls. I am sewing a Roman cassock, biretta and facia at the moment drafting my own patterns as I go. I have been asked by a customer to make this as a gift for a priest. I don’t need the vestments for this order but you have inspired me to give it a go for my own children. I will post some photos on my brand face book page soon. I have just worked out the muslin and now feel confident to cut up the gaberdine. It is great to see another mother of five who likes to sew. I choose 18 inch dolls as they don’t take as much time to sew for. You may like to see the Nun doll clothes I have made as well, Mother Teresa, Sisters of Life, Dominican and also Our Lady of Fatima at http://www.facebook.com/pages/RomanaMa.
God bless you, Olivia
Olivia Power says
oops, I cut off the ‘i’ at the end of my brand, RomanaMai. I hope you can find it nonetheless. 🙂
I am always amazed with the things you are making. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and you just keep gettng better, maybe there is hope for me .
Thank you. It is always good to step back and see how much improvement practice has brought.
Thanks so much for sharing your patterns. Ikea has a 12″ wooden figure. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40255462/?query=GESTALTA+Artist%27s+figure
I purchased one of these for use yesterday but am seriously questioning if I should use it, Everything is supposed to be simple and essential in the atrium. Will the moveable mannequin be a distraction from the lesson at hand. Does anyone have any experience with this? I cannot find a plain small enough male doll mannequin though.
Any chance your interested in selling a set? Don’t have a single bone in my body that can sew. Let me know. I teach pre k and this would be wonderful for my class!
There are a couple of places that do sell these online, specifically for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
I was looking for a pattern for the cassock when I came across this post – and I have to say: these are lovely vestments!!! What a blessing your atrium has in you!
This is beautiful! So grateful for your write up, I’m hoping my son will start catechism of GS in sept only thing is its 1hr and half away and through London so can be longer! It would be once a month so it seems manageable…anyway the prayers and symbolism are beautiful you have included and I’m going to make full size ones for my almost 3yo as he has been doing *mass* for a year and half!
I’ve made everything so far (making for our Good Shepherd program and church) but I am having difficulty with the collar on the chasuble. Any additional information you could share would be really helpful.
Do you mean the alb? shoot me an email and we can try to help you out. sewfearless-at-gmail-dot-com
Thank you!!! I am currently setting up my level 1 atrium. The patterns on the CGS manual are very vague so I was searching for some inspiration. I would agree with you that these can be challenging to make if you are a beginner, but as an experienced sewer, I was able to figure it out. The collar was a little tricky for me. But I got it on there. The children will love this for years to come.
Thank you so much for sharing your gift.
Lisa Rodriguez says
I cant figure out how to sew the yoke together. I’m must be over thinking this. I sew the center but then it won’t inside out. I can’t figure how you sew the inside neck square then flip it to have the hidden seam. I’m a beginner so I’m learning alot with this little alb! I have sewn it 3 times now and I cant get it. Can you give a little direction please.
Vicki Sheridan says
Jodi, what size doll form did you use? Mine is 14″. Would these patterns work for that? Yours looks bigger.