Monday, June 3, 2013

A Vintage Inspired Baby Blessing Dress

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As many of you may already know I am a Mormon.  In the LDS church, typically children get baptized when they are 8 and are old enough to choose for themselves (unless you are a convert like me and then you get baptized at whatever age you are).  But babies and children under 8 are not baptized.  But we do have baby blessings.  Basically, an LDS baby blessing is where a man with the priesthood (usually the baby's father) and other priesthood holders (usually other men in the family) officially give the baby a name on the records of the church and a blessing.  If you ever want to see one, go to just about any sacrament meeting in Utah on the first Sunday of the month and there will very likely be a baby being blessed.  And if there is more than one baby being blessed, you are probably at my ward.  :)

Babies usually wear white for their blessing and if the baby is a girl, it will be the first of 3 very special white dresses she will wear in her lifetime.  The other two being when she is baptized and then when she gets married.  And unlike when she chooses to get baptized or married, mommy get to choose this white dress!

Bonnie's blessing dress is quite possibly my very most favorite thing I have ever sewn.  I spent FOREVER looking around on etsy for just the right soft lace and trim to create a look that was very sweet and feminine. Supposedly, the lace is an old vintage piece taken off a wedding dress or something.  That may or may not be true.  But it was perfect for the this dress.

I took a lot of my inspiration from 1950s blessing dresses.  They were often shorter and were a baby doll cut with a puffed sleeve and an embroidered overlay.  I also referenced a picture on the front of a VERY old baby dress pattern I picked up at DI for .25 years ago. 

One of my favorite things about sewing for a baby (other than a baby's lack of opinion) is that you don't need a lot of fabric.  I bought 2 yards of the lace because I wanted it to be very full and flowy, but the rest of the dress was actually made from white satin left over after making Emma's Baptism dress.  I love that the fabric is something that my girls can share. 

Now, you can't actually see it in the pictures, but the dress is a little longer in the back than it is in the front.  I called it a baby train.  I achieved it by making the front of the bodice actually a little shorter that the back part.  It arcs up ever so slightly at her belly giving her an extra sweet chubby look.  Not a good idea if you are designing for most people, but babies and pregnant women can totally pull it off.  

In case you were wondering about the headband.  The flowers on the headband and was created by cutting leftover bits of mesh from the lace into squares and then folding those squares in half and in half again.  Then I hot-glued the folded corners together to create the center of the flower and glued a few pearls in the middle.  Then I glued the flowers to a piece of the sweet rosette trim.  The back of the headband is a soft fold over elastic.  I find I like a wider elastic with a soft stretch for baby headbands.  It seems to be more comfortable   

I love HER!   

I love creating links and tradition for my children. Bonnie didn't know it, but on her blessing day she wore a dress made for her by her mother, made from fabric she shares with her sister, she was given the names of 3 of her grandmas/great grandmas, given a blessing by her father, and held in the arms of many who love her.