Fine Heirloom Sewing, Smocking and Hand Embroidery

"Baby will be well and smiling in little garments made by Mother, Auntie, Grannie and loving friends!"

Please join me as I teach the old fashioned techniques and skills needed to sew baby clothes. You will find lessons that start at the very beginning and take you step by step as we sew little baby clothes together. May you find much joy and pleasure in making them.
It's easy and it's fun!!

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Thursday, October 15

History of Circa 1920 Handsewn Baby Gown

My Circa 1920 Gown

This Baby Gown is a reproduction of an antique  made in 1913 by Louise Walkup for her infant daughter Dorothy.  The gown is worked entirely by hand, as was the original.  The most striking feature on the gown is the unique method used to gather the ruffle at the skirt bottom (the antique gown also used it for a ruffle at the sleeves).

Hem Ruffle is gathered using the technique Snail Shirring.
I called this method Snail Shirring because of some information I found in an old sewing book.  The length of  Dorothy's gown was 27", as was standard at the time for an everyday gown.  This was considerably shorter than the gowns from the 1800's.  According to The Ladies Home Journal (1884) they were more than one yard in length at that time! I drew my own embroidery design for the gown I have made and shortened it to 25".  I also omitted the ruffle at the sleeve and have used Swiss Beading and gathered lace edging in place of it but my gown remains true to the original design.  I think it is lovely!
It was one of many  handmade garments done by Louise for her baby.  When Dorothy was two years old, her mother died, leaving the cherished clothing  as a legacy of the Mother's love.


Martha said...

Oh I don't remember the part about her mother passing away. That makes them even more of a treasure for sure. My ruffle is almost rolled and whipped. I don't stitch as well watching Project Runway as I do in the car. :)

Hallie said...

I am loving your blog--thank you for writing it. I especially love getting to follow you as you do the lessons on the Priscilla gown. I wanted to tell you that I am going to start working on your T-toke pattern daydress today, and I am so excited!

Jeannie Downs Baumeister said...

Martha, it sounds like you are really progressing on the baby gown. Can't wait to see your post of the completed dress. Can't you at least do pictorial updates!!

Hallie, I really like to write my blog. My hope is that someone out there is reading, enjoying and/or finding it useful. Thank you so much for letting me know.
I think you will like the T-Yoke Daydress. I am leaving Thursday to teach the T-Yoke Gown to the Norfolk guild and am busy getting ready!

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