A tale of two christening gowns: The heirloom and the Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress
Situation: The first was my baptism dress from when I was baptised and my mother passed it on to me to use with my daughter. I was baptized at 6 months so I thought it would fit my 9 month old daughter. Unfortunately, it did not fit. That left my mother and I to start making a dress Thursday morning for church on Sunday morning at 9:00 am with the added detail that 6 additional family members were arriving Saturday afternoon, so it had to be finished before then.
Solution: We chose to flip the Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress. I wanted a peter pan collar and sleeves with an empire waist to echo my original dress that my mother had made. The fairy tale dress gave me that bodice top and the adjustments gave the long traditional bottom.
To accomplish this I had to make a couple minor adjustments to the pattern. I cut off the fitted dress at an empire waist height, and adjusted the skirt length to go down to the floor. I also took a lot of the gathering out of the skirt because of the silk dupioni fabric I chose to use, and I also felt like it would be overwhelming for such a little girl.
My daughter measured 19.5 inches at the chest which put her as a perfect size 6-12 months, but due to the compressed time frame I didn’t have time for a muslin and couldn’t risk it not fitting. Therefore, I made the 6-12 month size with the 12-18 month width as you can see in the bodice pattern photo. After it was finished, she had enough room that I’m sure the 6-12 month width would have fit perfectly fine but I just couldn’t risk it turning out too small.
I also added ruffle fabric for the skirt. I made the ruffle fabric about 4-5 inches longer than the silk just to cut down on bulk and make it easier for my daughter to move and easier for me to hold her.
I love how the combination turned out! The tulip sleeves, peter pan collar, and ruffle fabric made such a sweet dress. This may have taken more time to make than the time she wore it for, but I really love it and maybe someday this can be worn again. The wrinkles show she wore it most of the day.
Lastly, a vintage view of a beautiful girl in a dress made by her mom and grandma on a quilt made by me.