Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eyelet Baby Gown

Many months ago I found a very pretty eyelet valance at the thrift store. It was wide and very, very long and only two dollars. I bought it, intending to make the baby a gown with it at some point. We had just found out we were having a girl and I had very few girl clothes for a baby. I envisioned sewing her up a dainty wardrobe of pretty frocks.

However, I did not count on the generosity of friends and family. Little Anne is now very amply supplied with clothes for at least the duration of her first year; little dresses and jumpers and frilly skirts and sleepers and nightgowns and hats, socks, headbands, shoes, sweaters and snowsuits, and onesies beyond necessity. (I counted twenty-six newborn size onesies when I last took stock of the drawers I am keeping her newborn clothes in). Making a lot of baby dresses then seemed to be a waste of time since she really does not need anything extra at all.

I still did want to make a White Dress. There just seems to be something so old fashioned and holy about a baby all in white. . .something pure and sacred and beautiful and fleeting. I decided to hold off on making the gown until closer to my due date. So, this past Saturday, as we did *not* go to the Civil War event (the heat index was 102), I made the little white gown and baby cap. It went together very quickly.

For the pattern I just traced the bodice from one of the dresses she already has. I added little loose gathered sleeves and a little ruffle at the neckline. It was fun playing around with the eyelet design. The skirt is just a tube gathered to the bodice and another strip of eyelet, topstitched to the waist, makes the waistband. I'm hoping it will be big enough for her to wear for a while. When she is little the gown will be quite long, of course, but as she grows the skirt will come to above her feet and the waistline will become more empire than natural. I made sure to make the armholes and the neck opening plenty big for this reason. The baby cap pattern is an 1860's one I used for the boys.

I have so much of this curtain left over. I wonder if I should save it to make something else for her when she gets bigger or if I should make something for myself. ;) It's an awesome feeling knowing you are repurposing fabric and that you got it for such a good price! Even cheap eyelet from Jo Anns is $10/yard and is a poly/cotton blend. (In passing, I totally have been disappointed and disgusted with the offerings Jo Anns has had lately. Their prices are just SO HIGH and the fabric feels SO LOUSY to the touch.)

Now that the dress is done I think I am really all ready for the baby to get here. Except for diaper pins. I still need to get some of those. I passed the 34 week mark (always a nervous time for me since little David was born at 34 weeks) so am feeling pretty good about that. Now she can come whenever she is ready. I feel like I'm lugging around a ripe watermelon!



  1. The dress is beautiful, I love the little fleur de lis design in the lace! Little Anne will be the best dressed gal in town, even without the generosity of friends and family, because she has such a talented Mama who can literally make a silk purse out of.....whatever is lying around!

    I love the 'green' aspect of what you do, it's true to history to salvage and waste not, want not. What a lucky family you have to have such a caring and talented, loving mother and wife.

  2. This might be my favourite of all your creations you've shared over the years, Sarah. It's so beautiful. Please make sure to post pictures of Anne in it someday!

    That curtain was quite a find. I agree with your statement about Jo-Ann's. I go in there and can't bring myself to buy anything. More and more I find myself going to Goodwill with an eye for fabric, not actual clothing. THe last time I was there, I got a beautiful natural-coloured linen jumper. I'm thinking matching knickers for the boys someday?

    I think the rest of that curtain would make a fabulous First Communion gown. You'd have to become Catholic first though. :)

  3. Very pretty :) I like to re-use fabric as well, and old eyelet curtains become very pretty petticoats for modern day wear (not that my way of dressing is usually very modern...).

  4. That's a beautiful dress. Not too long ago I also ran across a $1 valence in a thrift store and stood there wondering if it would work for a project I had in mind. Your skills, however, far surpass my own!

  5. The eyelet dress is beautiful, Sarah!
    I have a white eyelet skirt that I've worn only a couple times in the years I've owned it. I've been pondering about making it into something for a baby gift, so this dress you made is inspiring.

    If you look at the "Made In..." part of the fabric bolts or labels in JoAnn's, you'll see that these days they buy most if not all of their fabric goods from China. That's why it's more expensive at the store, yet more cheaply made: JoAnn's is making extra profit by selling junk. I stopped buying their fabric some years ago.

    Everything I buy I check the "made in..." part. Can still find things made in USA! www.stillmadeinusa.com is a webpage devoted to finding things made in USA. (I do not work for that webpage...but I have utilized it to find American-made products.)

  6. Just beautiful Sarah Jane! The leftovers would make a pretty little girl sundress with a shirred bodice and little tie shoulder straps. :-)

  7. That dress is simply adorable!! My best wishes for your upcoming delivery!

  8. What a stunning princess gown! Baby Anne will make that lovely dress shine.

    I agree with you about JoAnn Fabric's poor quality lately. It's really helped me work through my existing fabric stash though.

    I love using eyelet bed skirts and curtains for clothing. My daughter is quite a bit older than baby Anne (she's 18), but I still use the eyelet to make ruffles on her skirts and sleeves.

    Continued prayers for a safe and timely delivery.

  9. Absolutely beautiful!
    Good luck in the next month!

  10. I can't wait to snuggle that ripe watermelon! I'm so anxious for her arrival! <3


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!