I had the opportunity to restyle a Baptismal gown for a precious baby girl. The Mother had initially approached me about creating custom Baptismal shoes and then also asked if it was possible to lengthen the gown. The mother, sweet Lundy, had always wanted a long Baptismal gown for her baby. So I took it upon myself to see how I can fulfill what she had always wanted and thought these ideas can inspire a Flower girl dress restyle as well. Feel free to follow me through the process and challenges…
(1) First, I checked the hem width under the dress to see how much can be extended. I was able to lengthen it by about 3″.
Now since I was able to lengthen it, I had to add another row of ribbon to scale the dress design. (2) So, my next challenge was finding the right white ribbon – matching width, shade of white, and sheen (or shininess). I went to several different shops and found the right width, but the sheen was difficult. I actually did not find it. So I thought I would remove all the ribbon and replace it with the one I found. I had to spot test the fabric first(3). It was a delicate thin cotton fabric that felt like linen so I had to be extra careful removing the thread. Due to the fullness of the gown, the ribbon lengths were very long. Also, the sewing thread width was very small. This all meant that removing the ribbon would be time intensive and if not extra extra extra careful, it could tear the delicate fabric:) Due to a short timeline, removing the ribbon and sewing on a new ribbon (and creating the custom shoes) was not an option. After speaking with Lundy, I learned that she liked lace. This made the process a little easier but I still faced some challenges — finding the right lace design, the right width, and the exact shade of white. So off to the shops I went again.
After visiting several shops, I would find a lace that had the right width but not the right shade of white (7). Another store would have the right shade but not the right “feel” of the lace design, and the challenge continued….until I found a scalloped trim with the right width AND went well with the scalloped bodice. Perfect!
I sewed the bias trim onto the hem, sewed on one new row of satin ribbon, and then sewed on 3 rows of the lace trim to lay over the satin ribbons. The dress turned out beautiful:) Here is the before and after:
Thank you Lundy & Precious Audrey for the opportunity to restyle your gown. As you can probably tell, I live for sewing design challenges. I had so much fun and the whole process was rewarding. Thank you Thank you Thank you:)
And here are the custom designed Baptismal shoes to go with the gown…
If you look closely, I designed the flowers on the shoes to match the bodice flowers on the gown.
Hope this inspired you to design, sew, and create. Thank you for visiting!
Original Post October 8, 2013