How to Sew a Christening Gown

By Kate Lee
Christening gowns often become family heirlooms.

A christening gown can add a beautiful touch to a very special ceremony. Although christening gowns take time to sew, having a christening gown that’s handmade by a loved one can make it even more meaningful, and the gown can be handed down from one baby to another, or even through the generations. Most christening gowns are sewn from white fabric, such as linen, cotton or even silk. They often have hand or machine sewn embellishments such as lace, ribbons, embroidery or decorative tucks, but christening gowns can be as simple or as fancy as you want. Traditionally, boys wear the same long gowns as girls, but more contemporary styles may include a white shirt and shorts for boys.

Sew a Christening Gown

Look for christening gown patterns. Since many typical fabric store pattern catalogs carry few christening gowns, you may have to look online or buy a book of christening gown patterns, or use a regular baby clothes pattern.

Choose a pattern for the style of gown you want to make. Christening gown patterns come in a variety of lengths, and with a variety of sleeve and collar styles. Some christening gown patterns also come with a matching bonnet. Keep in mind that heavily embellished gowns can be beautiful, but they take more time and effort to sew.

Buy white fabric for the gown, following the guidelines on the pattern to determine how much you need and what type to use. Choose any ribbon or trim at the same time to make sure it matches, since even plain white fabric comes in a variety of shades. Pick out good quality white thread, white buttons and any other notions you need.

Cut out the christening gown pattern pieces using a sharp scissors. Since baby clothes are small, there isn’t very much room for error, so make sure to cut them as accurately as possible. If you’re starting the christening gown several months ahead, you’ll need to make your best guess as to the size needed.

Fold the white fabric in half right sides together and pin the pattern pieces to the fabric. Cut out the fabric pieces and sew them together following the guidelines in the pattern directions. Take your time and sew the christening gown carefully, since it may become an heirloom that will last for generations.

Tip

To use a regular baby clothes pattern as a christening gown, make the clothes from white fabric, and consider adding simple embellishments, such as lace trim around the lower edge or decorative white buttons on the front.

Since it can be impractical to fit the christening gown on a wiggly baby, you may want to use a life-size doll to try on the christening gown.

Warning

Use caution when working with scissors, pins, irons and sewing machines.