Monday, March 30, 2009

The making of Isabells christening gown

Isabella's christening was last week, Faye organised it for March and has asked me to make the dress. Which was not unexpected as I did make Dylan's outfit and his was a challenge because you want it to be special but boyish. Me I like grandiose, lace pretty etc, but for a boy well you have to curtail the pretty and lace, so I made a Satin suit, bow tie and a satin blue embosted waist coat. However for a girl, well, I could just go mad. But my daughter added a special challenge for me, that was to incorporate some family lace on her husbands side for me to use - some beautifully handmade lace which was around some pillow cases. The lace was handmade by Isabella's great grandmother it was quite heavy looked croqueted but it wasn't it was very nice but not what I had in mind, so I had to re think the whole outfit. I looked for a pattern that would enhance both my ideas of what I wanted and also bring out the best in the lace. I spent several weeks looking for material that would match this lace. If you know anything about material it fades or looses it's original colour, for whites they go yellowish or off white. I eventually found some beautiful off white satinish material, imprinted with a rose through out, it matched the lace perfectly. Faye and I both went to this fantastic store called 'Fabulous Fabrics' in Balcatta, what a store, lace galore from all prices we looked at some that were $175.00 per meter, I could not justify that, we settled for one that was $45.00 per meter and it was fabulous.

Now the hard bit was done, finding the pattern, lace and material. I set aside a whole weekend for the job of making the outfit, nobody was invited to the house for dinner and no looking after grandchildren or socialising with friends. A small problem occurred I had not used my sewing machine for at least a year an had forgotten how to use the roll hem feature - so had to call on my Shaz to help, we used to do lots of crafts together, those were the days, making teddy bears, where have they gone! just not enough time. Thankfully between us both we worked out how to roll hem the lace. I spent the whole weekend sewing - Bella had a fitting on the Saturday night, Faye cooked us a lovely dinner then it was home to burn the midnight oil, which is not unusual for me at the best of times.
You might well ask how do you fit it all in, well you know there is an old saying 'the more you have to do in a day the more you do' 'the less you have to do, the less you do' how true that is for me, however very rarely do I have less to do.
I thoroughly enjoyed challenge of making the outfit, where I added the lace was trial and error, it looked perfect on the bottom and around the sleeves of the dress, however the hat really showed off the lace and Bella, I am sure great grandmother would be smiling from heaven, both Nanni's and mum were delighted and Bella is truly blessed.

I get such joy out of making things for the children, I feel the days of hand making are over, it is so expensive now to make your own clothes. Material is not cheap any more and then off course there is your own time and labour. When my children were small it was cheaper to make there clothes, now it is not, apart from the personal pleasure there is no benefit from it at all.
My consolation is that in generations to come I will be the great grandmother smiling from heaven and I will be remembered for making this gown and a tradition continues.

I am so happy & grateful for having a wonderful family.

Dylan's Christening 16 October 2006 & Jessica

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