Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Yesteryear---French Seams and Christening
Seems as though some things about vintage culture have been lost. We are recovering some of the culture, especially the clothing, thru a keen desire of younger people to reclaim the styles and actual clothing of yesteryear. You commonly see people wearing the old clothes, and buying the old styles at thrift stores etc.
One type of vintage clothing, I fear, is a lost art. What type, you say? How about the christening gown worn by infants at the religious ceremony to be christened or baptised. They were long gowns, usually white, for either boys or girls, made for, or purchased especially for the ceremony. These were cherished for years by the entire family, and sometimes handed down from generation to generation. My husband still has his, which was bought for him by his fraternal grandmother. I fear that this tradition has been lost, because religion is cast away so easily in today's generation. Regardless of the transitions, these gowns were a work of art with all their tucked yoke sections, french seams,chambray or voile fabrics, eyelet or lace edgings, and embroidery work and ribbon.
My husband's gown, which was used by one of his daughters, is of a somewhat transparent fabric and so has a charming lightly embroidered slip made of the matching fabric. I would show it to you but my camera is still broken. I have to use the pictures that I have in my file. (For those who are interested, the following is a general tutorial of how to make a simple christening gown.)
The pattern is relatively easy with a yoke front and back pieces and a skirt front and back rectangular section. Small tucks are sewn first before the yoke is cut out. Then after cutting, the yoke pieces are sewn together at the shoulder. Edges are finished with a whip stitch and a pretty edging (lace, etc.) The tucks in the skirt are also sewn first. Embellishes of ribbon, lace, or eyelet are added after the side and back seams are sewn. Ribbon can be threaded thru the eyelet. Bottom seam is finished with desired trim. Gather the skirt section and attach to the yoke. Finish the back opening and the arm holes with a 1/4 seam, hand whipped. To finish you can add several crocheted chain loops for button holes and attach some pretty tiny round pearl buttons. Also, you can add a pastel ribbon bow to the front yoke seam for a sweet finish.