Monday, July 19, 2010

Bristol's Blessing Dress

When I made my first Baby Blessing dress for a great niece more than 10 years ago, I vowed to myself that I would make one for each of my siblings families. I also made it a goal to make one for each of my children to use for their baby girls when the time came.
Well, the next girl that was born already had plans for something else. I decided that with such a personal gift, I needed to be sensitive to traditions and preferences of each individual family and not try to force my ideas on any of them.  Then I had a granddaughter of my own and my DIL also had other intentions for a blessing dress for the new little one.  So I just went with the flow and instead of making one for each "family" I now just make one for each child who's mother wants me too.
How's that?  Adapt and don't make my goals into someone else's.
Forward to now....
I've got to get to work on Kathryn's #2 girl's dress. She is due next month, and Kathryn has planned the dress with me, so I need to get going on it.
In the mean time, my SIL asked me to make one for their newest granddaughter and I want to show you that one.
This is baby Bristol and she is so beautiful in her blessing gown.
I made it out of natural silk dupioni, or raw silk. Her mother wanted me to make it out of her wedding dress, but we just got more of the same fabric instead of cutting into the actual wedding dress.
I started by making rows of pintucks in the fabric to use on the underskirt of the dress as well as on the bodice and sleeves.
I have a little plastic foot to use to separate each tuck from the previously sewn one.  I filled them with pearl cotton and used a double needle that had a separation of 1.6 mm.
This photo shows the beautiful sheen of the silk fabric.  I used the pintuck fabric in a "V" shape on the bodice, sleeves and bottom of the dress slip.
The top of the bodice pin tucks have french val lace gathered around it, and the seam between the skirt and bodice is finished with self piping.
Something that is easy to do, but gives a great finished look in the end.
Just cut 1 1/4 inch strips on the bias (diagonal on the fabric) because the bias is stretchier and so it makes the piping easier to go around any necessary corners.
The sleeves have the same detail but the lace surrounding the tucked fabric is not gathered. Notice the seam attaching the lace has tiny "entredeux" holes to give it an antique look.  I used a fat needle and a special stitch that most machines have, to give this affect.
Then I gathered the bottom of the main skirt up a little on the sides so that the underskirt peeks through.
Other blessing dressed I have made are in another previous post if you want to investigate further.
Here is the little bundle of joy. The day in Oregon was beautiful and the family time was really nice.
And Aunt Vicki even got to hold Bristol.
The proud father Sam with all the men in my family who were in on the blessing.  Large group, wouldn't you say, for one little child.
The whole group. We were all in town for the wedding the Friday before, so the party at Tom and Tracey's (the new grandparents) was full.

Thanks for letting me participate by making the dress Becky.


  1. Well, you are handling your blessing dress involvement just the right way, which is no surprise, but I do have to wonder in amazement that anyone would opt out of taking advantage of your considerable sewing abilities.

    What a great event...nice that it could dovetail with the wedding to have so many family members there.


  2. Whoa nelly, I am totally blown away. What a gorgeous dress! Totally one of a kind, it is so beautiful. You have some mad sewing skills.

  3. Oh my goodness! That dress is incredible Vicki!! Gorgeous!!