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Classic Sewing Magazine Autumn 2018
How to Make a Christening Gown from Thrift Store Finds
Inspried by a picture of a beautiful Christening gown out of a sewing magazine, which cost hundreds of dollars to make, I went to my local thrift store to see what I could use from there to make one of my own.
The next time I was in a thrift store (weekly event by the way), I found myself looking at the baby clothes. I had no business there. My daughter was sixteen, too old for baby clothes and way too young for babies, but I drifted there anyway. That christening outfit I saw in the magazine was still fresh in my mind. I know that christening outfits can be very expensive and even though the magazine didn't tell how much she spent, I could tell by the materials she used she didn't skimp. So how hard would it be to make an elegant and heirloom quality christening outfit from thrift store finds?
From that point I was on the hunt. I had envisioned a little boys outfit that was an all in one shirt and shorts much like the bubble suit, but better able to fit it with a little bow tie and vest along with the christening skirt. I found pretty pink dress, lacy dress and not much else. In the baby boy's area there was only t-shirts and pants. I was astounded; don't baby boys get dressed up like little girls do? The answer was no, at least not at thrift stores.
Then I spied a cute little blue bubble suit. It turned out to be tiny blue and white stripes, but for a boy, right? Wrong. It had a white collar with daisies all over it and it was in the girl's section. Okay, it was a bubble suit, blue, in the right size range, but it was a girls and not a little boys' outfit. It was 2.99. I bought it anyway. Once the collar was gone, no one would know it was for a girl instead of a boy.
Next I had to find something to make the christening skirt out of. Immediately I though of a tablecloth, surely I could find one in the right color range and long enough to make a skirt out of. I found red ones, I found green ones, lots of flower covered ones and plastic ones, but none that would work.
My next though was curtain panels. There I had more luck. I found a white curtain panel with 6" wide lace along the bottom and one side edge. Then I found a white lace-curtain panel that looked good with the lace on the other curtain. Both were marked 1.99, fantastic!
After I took them home and washed them (sometimes problems will show up then like color fastness, thin spots, etc) I sat down to design my outfit. As you can tell by the drawing, it was a very rough sketch. I knew wanted to use the 6" lace on the white curtain as the hem and the other lace as an overskirt, but I had far more white than lace. What I came up with was a series of 5 lace panels, wider at the bottom than at the top.
My next problem was how do I tie together the very white skirt and blue striped bubble suit. I decided on the use of navy ribbon bought at my local craft store. I also originally thought of adding ribbon diamonds to the skirt and bubble suit to tie the pair together more, but decided against it in the end. But the top still needed something more. Then I remembered the 6" lace I had to remove from one side of the white curtain panel. Add it with some of the navy ribbon and finally I had my christening outfit for a little boy.
All total I only spent $17.26 for what I think turned out to be a pretty traffic outfit.