I love sewing with luxurious fabrics ….. silk, satin, chiffon, organza and lace. They aren’t easy fabrics to sew with, more of a challenge. But, sewing in adult proportions is an exercise in $$$$$. My daughters yr 10 graduation dress cost close to $150 in materials, and her year 12 graduation dress & coat was closer to $350 in materials.
Many years ago, back when I first started sewing, I picked up a vintage baby dress pattern in a charity shop. I used the pattern to make a matinee jacket and bonnet for a friend’s baby. Since that time, I had an idea that I could use the pattern, to make special baby clothes. In part this is because of the simply beautiful gown we were gifted when we lost Isabeau; a stunning smocked affair donated by the Smocking Guild. Dealing with bridal fabrics a few years back, I realised that I could combine my love of special fabrics, and experimenting with these vintage patterns, and make christening gowns. Perhaps I will have a go at heirloom sewing techniques eventually (although I just don’t feel I am artistic enough for smocking), but for now, its just a pleasure creating something pretty.
And here is the first part; a simple a-line petticoat, edged with wide lace at the hem, satin ribbon, with the neckline and armholes bound with satin bias. The fabric is silk/cotton voile; in hindsight just too fine for this work. I think I will probably use the rest of this fabric to underline future gowns, where the fabric is rough underside. And I may do this petticoat as a double layer in future, to present a neater neckline/armholes.
And the gown; this is a buttery soft (possibly silk) satin, really luscious to touch. I say possibly, because its a piece of thrifted fabric, that I found in an op-shop many years back. The colour reminds me of the gown a friend wore at our debutante, which she accessorised with lilac, which is what inspired me to use the lilac ribbon. My friend was a redhead, a real strawberry ginger, but she just glowed in this colour, and it was beautiful.
I haven’t decided what I will do with this sort of sewing. I may give away, or sell, I don’t know yet. This outfit is an experiment, just to test the pattern. I may make more, I don’t know.