May 16, 2016

Taylor's Heirloom Blessing Gown

Taylor Evans Horst is our 12th grandchild, our 10th granddaughter.
She was born on February 18, my father's birthday.
This is the first time I met Taylor, and she gave me a big smile!
She was 2 months old :)

It's time to design her gown, her blessing day is May 22.
First, I pleated her little bonnet.
These are the pleating instructions and some of my scrap lace.

My husband constructed this board with thread holder, about 20 years ago.
Some of the pegs have broken off in our moves.
I only use quilting thread, because it's stronger and it's a real nuisance if one of the threads break!
You have to take everything apart, all threads out and start all over.

The pleater needles have curves in them so that they fit around the rods.

Taylor is tall and chubby, so I'm making the gown in size 12 months.
Usually I make them 6 months, but it's okay to have them larger.

I was making all the mathematical measurements for the pin tucks.

I made 3 sections of 7 - l/4" pin tucks.

 The lace with the holes is called entredeux, that means between two in French.
I use the zig zag stitch and set the length so that the needle goes through each of the holes, and only bites the heading of the lace.

All of the lace should be sandwiched between 2 pieces of entredeux.

I attached the wide hem lace with entredeux also.
That's what gives it an heirloom look, along with the Swiss, English and French laces.

I used leftover lace that I used in Taylor's older sister, Paisley's dress. (Paisley will be 2 on May 18)
I made a fancy band on Paisley's dress and couldn't throw away the leftover lace (I miscalculated!).
Each piece of lace is sewn together, including the entredeux!

Voila, here is the finished gown!

A closeup of the laces.
The lace on the bottom is called Swiss lace, it's a type of eyelet.

I used the same wide French lace on the sleeve that I used on the hem.
French and English lace is 100% cotton and the top of the lace has some little threads that you can pull to gather the lace.

I used mother of pearl buttons.

I attached the lace to the neck with entredeux.

This is the yoke of the slip, with some shadow embroidery and bullion stitches.

This is the slip.
A princess can't wear a gown on her special day without a slip!

Each dress that I make for my special granddaughters, is always a little different.

I embroider the child's initials on the back hem of her dress.
Taylor Evans Horst
The Last initial goes in the middle.
The idea is that each child will pass the gown to her daughter and they will embroider the baby's initials next to their own.
If the dress is passed down for many generations, it should have embroidered initials going all around the hem!

I couldn't get very low with the initials on this gown, because of all the pin tucks and lace.
I used Victorian batiste for this gown, from Martha Pullen.

If you want to see previous blessing gowns I've made, here are the links...
Paisley Louise, Taylor's sister 

I haven't finished smocking Taylor's bonnet, so I'll show you photos  when I post about her blessing day.
Here's a cute collage of the babies in their blessing outfits, that I made when we just had 9 grandchildren!

Thanks for holding out until the end, there were a lot of photos!

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  1. Oh My - what a work of art and love! Beautiful gown - as are all the others. (I looked at them all - I couldn't help myself) :)! I still keep my wedding dress - my mother helped choose it - and no matter how many we looked at - we always came back to that one. Special memories - as was the day. It will be 37 years for us this week!

  2. Just gorgeous! Beautiful gown for beautiful little Taylor!