Traditional Christening Gown and Waistcoat for family S

bespoke christening gown on babe in arms

I was privileged to be asked to make two christening ensembles for Family S. We used fabrics left over from Mummy’s wedding dress to create a traditional christening gown for their baby girl and an 18th century style waistcoat, cravat and trousers for their little boy.

Baby christening gown from mothers wedding dress in brown and cream

Traditional Christening Gown with long skirt

The family decided on a christening dress made in the traditional ‘long gown’ style. This is where the skirt extends significantly beyond the babies toes. Obviously this style is only suitable for very young babies, before crawling age. In bygone eras all newborn babies clothing were made as ‘long gowns’ and the transition to their first ‘short dresses’ was a significant milestone.

pageboy waistcoat for church wedding

18th century style Waistcoat

We used fabric left over from the bodice of his mother’s wedding dress to make the waistcoat. I made the waistcoat with 18th century styling including a square bottom and high lapels. Our little man wore brown silk trousers and a matching traditional cravat to finish the ensemble.

Christening waistcoat and brown silk trousers for toddler
boys 18th century style waistcoat and cravat for toddler page boy on stand
waistcoat cover button detail with pearl and embroidery

The fabric for the waistcoat and dress bodice was incredibly beautiful and detailed. The silk organza was printed with a brown pattern on a cream background. The fabric designer had added cream and silver chain stitch detailing and well as hundreds of tiny pearls.

naming ceremony gown ruched sash
Long gown traditional christening gown back view with buttons

I made the traditional christening dress with couture details like these tiny covered buttons and french seams in the sheer silk chiffon. It had a simple round neckline and sleeveless bodice. I added a ruched sash to soften the join of bodice to the long, cream, silk chiffon skirt.

cover button and buttonhole detail on bespoke christening gown
Wedding dress by Linda Makin

Original Wedding Dress

Two pictures of the wedding dress originally made by Wendy Makin of Brisbane. I think the non-traditional wedding colours with more traditional wedding styling fitted their alternative but old fashioned tastes perfectly. We copied the styling and shapes of the wedding dress to make the the christening gown a really special keepsake.

Wedding dress by Linda Makin

See more examples of christening gowns I have made using mum’s wedding dress on my christening dress portfolio page.

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Felicity Westmacott

I write about all aspects of weddings, dressmaking, fashion history, and the human relation to clothing. I welcome comments and debate.

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from design to completionbespoke wedding dressesFelicity Westmacott
Dorking, RH4 1RT241 High Street• Visit the Studio •
Dorking, RH4 1RT241 High Street• Visit the Studio • 07762 543230TOUCHGet in