Welcome to the world of Tiger Swallow Tales, where everything is hand-made with special care and attention for special occasions, outings, and play. Please visit my Etsy shop to place a custom order or browse through the specific links to view projects already completed. Thank you for celebrating your special occasions with TST.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Converting a beautiful Wedding Gown into a Christening Gown

You can imagine how very excited I was when I was requested to convert a breath-taking wedding gown into a little boy's Christening Gown!  At first glance, I confess, I had a lot of mixed feelings.  What?  Take apart all of that beautiful work?  It must have taken an expert seamstress hours upon hours of fine stitching to get this work of art just right for a beautiful bride!

But then I met the little boy who would benefit from this thoughtful gesture from his mom and I got excited beyond words to be a part of something very special!  Picking out the right style for the Christening gown was not too difficult.  Would it be traditional heirloom with lace?  How about smocking?  How long should it be?  Can it be used for a girl at another time?

How fortunate that Sew Beautiful Magazine had just issued their special Heirloom Sewing Issue which featured a combination of a bubble with a detachable skirt!  A perfect choice for this occasion!  Complete article details and instructions are actually in a previous Sew Beautiful issue, #91, 2003, "Twice as Nice," by Marianne Schubbe, of Smocked Treasures!

Because my little customer was growing by leaps and bounds in a matter of days, sizing was a concern, so we opted to use the banded bubble Pattern #107 by Creations by Michie, which went up to 24 mo.

To make sure the fit would work, I made up a mock sample in a size 18 mo.  Turned out to be the perfect size at first try!

I could tell very quickly this was going to be a perfect marriage between traditional heirloom and uncomplicated contemporary beauty.  The sample shows traditional tucks on the front right side and decorative serger tucks on the left side.  The final version had decorative tucks.

Making that first cut into the wedding gown was really nerve-wracking!!

The buttons on the gown were so pretty, I had to find a way to incorporate them into the Christening gown! Bridal buttons are fabric covered decorative buttons for the most part, so I wasn't able to use them for buttoning the entire Christening gown.  However, they were a perfect addition to secure the silk ribbon ties in the back of the detachable skirt!

I love beautiful Mother of Pearl Buttons!

One of the nicest features of this combination gown is that the bubble can be customized in baby girl, baby boy, or neutral colors.  Upon request, I prepare samples of embroidery and fabric color choices like this.

A touch of baby blue was a perfect addition to this particular occasion.  You can see the decorative tucks better in this closeup.  

And here is the final touch that will make this a family heirloom in years to come!  

With much appreciation to the Tayloe family for sharing this wonderful occasion!