A friend of a friend, expecting her first baby, asked me to convert her wedding gown into a christening gown.
It was a little bit daunting. Look at all that lovely lace! I didn't want to make a mess of it. But I bravely took scissors in hand and sliced the gown up.
Being adventurous as well as practical, this new mother wanted an outfit that could be worn by either a boy or a girl. So I started by making a romper out of the inner satin layer. Using the satin was a bit more challenging than I expected. First I had to find the grainlines in each section of the skirt, most of which went in surprising directions. Also, baby pattern pieces, especially in the diaper area, are always bigger than I expect. But I managed to fit all the pieces somewhere, and with matching grainlines. I used a McCalls pattern--my out of print copy is numbered 3063, but the same pattern is now offered as 6221. I modified the collar and the pleats, and added the waistband. Unexpectedly, I also had to modify the armscye. The sleeve did not fit at all. I hope that has been adjusted in the current printing, but be cautious if you use either version.
The covered buttons in front and on the back come from the back of the wedding gown, so they match perfectly. I used snap tape at the bottom which doesn't match, but you can't see it.
Next I sewed a skirt, using the lace from the train and some of the original lining. The satin band at the top includes buttonholes . . .
which attach to buttons placed under the waistband on the romper.
Thus the romper becomes a traditional length gown. (I'm curious about the tradition. The skirt is too long for me!) The baby turned out to be a girl, and I'm sure she looked darling in her flowing skirt. But I hope she has a brother someday, since I like the romper on its own, too.
As I said, this was a daunting project. It required a lot of thought, and a good deal of redoing. But I also think it is one of the best things I have sewn. It was a good challenge.