Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Making a baptism gown for under $15 - REALLY!

Why is special event clothing for babies & kids so crazy expensive?  Baptism gowns sell for up to several hundred dollars.  Why not make one for $15?

That's what I did for my 4th & newest baby and I'm so glad I did.  Not only was it special because it was made by mom, but it didn't break the bank either.  I was even able to add in a matching cap & bib with the scraps!

So why would I even be making a christening gown when this is my 4th kid?  Well, I didn't know how to sew back when my first 2 boys were baptised, so they wore Daddy's heirloom outfit and store bought gown respectively.  I couldn't find either one and even if I had, this being a hot 90+ degree summer christening where theirs had been in frigid winter, neither would've worked.  My daughter wore my old gown, which was very girly and frilly so that option was also out. I realized I was on my 4th baby and there no gown to be had!  The prices for store bought were ridiculous, so this mom improvised.

I started by buying 1.5yds of cotton sateen fabric at my local Jo-Ann Store.  Frankly, with a baby that is likely to spit up at any moment, buying anything that's not washable AND white is insane.  Nobody needs a baby crying during the entire event because he's hot & bothered in some uncomfortable, scratchy outfit either.  So instead of sewing with a bunch of slippery (not to mention stiflingly hot in summer) synthetics, I went with the best reasonably priced cotton.  Cotton sateen fabric is soft and fluid, but can take a beating and is breathable.  It was also $12 minus a 40% off coupon so ended up costing about $7.20 total.   

I also used some small pearlized buttons, a few plastic snaps for the back closure and a little bit of 3/8in wide elastic for the sleeves.  Just a couple of bucks there.   

For my design I used a base dress bodice pattern from the book Kwik Sew's Sewing For Baby.  This book is a goldmine of baby clothes sewing patterns and options.  I've had it for years and used it loads.  Not having to buy or learn some new complicated pattern was also a win, not to mention, a timesaver.  

Since this gown was for a boy, I decided to make tucks as the main detailing on the bodice and gown.  The trick to making them easily is measuring precisely...

and doing all the folding, stitching and pressing before cutting the actual pieces.  

I did the gathered puffed short sleeves with elastic from the book, which was simple but added a bit of "fancy" to things.

I also cut lining pieces for the bodice since I was doing a peter pan collar and wanted it to feel smooth inside for my little guy's chest.  I stitched the bodice front & backs together at the shoulders first and made the collar.

After basting the collar onto the bodice, I stitched the lining to the outer along the neck and back, flipped them right side out, then attached the sleeves and hand stitched the buttons to the front.  I made a 2 foot long gathered skirt with a few tucks near the hem and attached that to the bodice.

Lastly, I set the snaps on the back.  Done! 

With my leftover scraps and a 1/4yd of Inspired Journey fabric from my shop, I used my own Emmeline bonnet pattern to make a matching cap

And also made a basic bib to keep the gown from getting drool-soaked until the big moment.  

I really took a gamble on this gown because I didn't actually try it on my baby until we were at the church.  Being so busy trying to get everything done & having mommy brain for the fourth time, it didn't even occur to me to test it on him ahead of time.  Either I'm great at figuring sizing or like to live dangerously.  Maybe both are true...

I was so happy with how well things turned out though.  My little one looked so sweet on his special day and I didn't have to lose my mind when he did in fact spit up on the gown right after I had to take the bib off, because I knew I could pop it in the washer when we got home.  We also now have our own little heirloom gown set to pass down for any future family babies which is an added blessing.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh Cheryl, this is Absolutely Adorable!!! Seeing your post makes me cry; the gown is SEW sweet & Remy is ADORBS!!! Also, I may never get the chance due to the fact that cats do NOT like to be in clothes, let alone a bonnet &/or bib! LOL (DD has 2 kitties & is single at this time, so I try to give her a hard time!!)


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