A Handmade, Linen Christening Outfit

This is my son’s christening outfit. It was totally handmade from approximately a metre of pure, white linen, ten matching mother-of-pearl baby buttons from my grandmothers stash (Dad’s side) and embroidered with ivory and grey Pearsall silk floss from my step-great grandmother’s stash (Mother’s side).

The shirt is made entirely from squares and rectangles, the sole exception being a slight slant put on the shoulders. The shoulders themselves have a yoke, from which hangs a placketed front and back bodice worked with pintucking, fastened with small rouleaux loops and tiny, mother-of-pearl buttons. The collar is, like the bodice, exactly the same front and back and is set across the shoulders to fold back down upon itself across them. The sleeves are square set, with diamond gussets to allow the arm some movement and there are small, triangular gussets strengthening the bottom of the side seams also. All visible seams are made by the French Seam method. Top stitching was done as a whipped running stitch in embroidery floss.

A little pair of shorts with turned-up cuffs decorated with whipped running stitch completed the outfit.

Being dunked in the same font as Grandad gives a boy an appetite to match.

View of the back of the bodice.

Side view showing the yoke.

Wider side shot showing also the triangle gussets at the bottom of the side seams.

Basting the placket openings and the collar pieces. The underarm gusset is clearly visible as is the whipped running stitch on the bodice and tucks.

close up of pinning and basting the collar.

Sewing the rouleaux into the placket front.

The completed outfit.

The cuff buttons.

The finished neckline and collar.

Copyright HA Lewington 2010

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