Heirloom Blessing Gown – Karen

After looking at my “real” office before pictures for the last week, I decided I need a post of something pretty. I was going through some pictures of some of the blessing gowns I’ve made over the years and I thought I’d share them with you.
It all started with my former college roommate, Karen. Karen and I met in high school and even though we never lived in the same town, we ended up dating friends…twice. Weird, huh? We both went to Brigham Young University and after several roommate cycles, we ended up moving in together. Long story short, through the twists and turns of life, marriage for Karen came much later than all of us anticipated. I always thought I would get a call one day telling me she was engaged and I’d jump on a plane and go to her wedding. 
As luck would have it, I moved to Ohio the first time (1999) about the same time Karen met her true love. By the time we reconnected, Karen was married and home from her honeymoon and expecting her first baby. I was so sad that I missed it all, that I asked Karen if I could make the blessing gown for her baby and she happily agreed. It turned out, that Karen had her dress made with fabric that one of our other roommates, Brenda, had acquired for her. Karen sent me the leftover fabric and here’s what I came up with.
The fabric was wonderful. A very light ivory silk shantung. Some of it was beaded with pearls and the rest was just plain, but the hand on this fabric was to-die-for. I hand-stitched the row of daisies and pearls, but I probably should have tea-stained the daisy lace to better match the dress.

I don’t have a full shot of the dress, but here’s the bottom of the dress.

All of the seams in the dress are french seams, so there are no exposed raw edges inside the dress. I think this makes for a pretty dress inside as well as outside. She did not want a super long dress, so I had plenty of fabric left over. 
Here’s the back of the dress.

Next I had the brilliant idea to make some shoes. I had an old pair of baby shoes that I took apart and used as a pattern.
Take a look:
I bought a new bra strap to use for the shoes because regular elastic is just plain ugly. The bra strap has a nice satiny sheen to it.  
I still love these shoes.
I thought that Karen may one day have a boy that (unlike my boys) wouldn’t wear the dress. I used the extra fabric to make a blanket. I put the Karen’s last name initial in one corner and her husband’s in the other. In the other two corners, I have an embroidered section. I added some Brazilian embroidery elements to the blanket to give it some dimension. 
The edging is all hand crocheted in a daisy pattern that I modified for the blanket. I wish I would have ironed it so you can see it better. If you look on the right corner, you can see a couple of the daisy motifs. 
To embroider the initials I bought the pre-made, iron-on initials and then I did a satin stitch over the top. It gave it them some nice dimension and I didn’t have to worry about them coming off.
I hand-quilted between the embroidery sections a row of connected hearts. I used pearls as the flower centers to repeat the theme in the dress. Between the pearls, daisies, embroidering, quilting and crocheting, there was a LOT of hand work that I put into this dress.

 As luck would have it, I did this project when Man Child was playing his last season of baseball. I’m not a sports mom. Watching the action of 6th graders playing baseball is like watching grass grow. It’s interminably long and painful. Plus, I don’t sit well. I like my hands busy. This gave me a great reason to ignore the game project to help pass the many, Many, MaNy MANY hours of a baseball season.

At any rate, you should just know my friend Karen is amazing. She has her doctorate in early childhood education from Oxford and just spent the bulk of this year in England with her wonderful family. I’m so happy I was able to create an heirloom gown for her family. Her two daughters, Kailey and Jordan were blessed in the dress. I’m not sure what Seth wore, but I’m pretty sure the blanket was around.

Cost Breakdown:

Fabric – Free
Notions/Floss/Thread –  less than $10.00
Batting – @ $5.00

Total Project Cost – @$15.00

Total Time – Impossible to calculate. Probably 4 months work from start to finish.

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