Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY Christening Gown from Mother's Holy Communion Dress

christening gown from holy communion dress

How I made a Christening gown or Baptism dress from the mother's First Holy Communion dress:

christening gown before and after

Thank goodness for Grandmas!  
The Grandma in this story saved the mother's First Holy Communion dress all these years and now   the Grandson will wear the reworked dress for his Christening.

diy christening gown detail

We kept the same basic style, plain bodice with narrow waistband and ruffled skirt but removed the lace and ruffled yoke! and puffy sleeves.

first holy communion dress before

I reworked the bodice and made new sleeves with a simple bias trim and collar, classic and timeless for either gender should she have a baby girl in the future.

christening gown with short sleeves

The back closure has three fabric covered buttons:

christening gown fabric covered buttons

And we kept the original skirt portion, including the lace which I think makes it a little bit fancy:

christening gown skirt portion with lace detail

The dress itself was not lined nor did I line the new version but I did make a new white cotton slip:

white cotton slip for baptism

It's perfectly adorable on it's own as a dress (for a girl) with a simple one button back closure:

white cotton baptism slip

Here you can see the slip under the skirt portion, it completes the dress:

baptism gown with slip

first holy communion dress beforebaptism gown after

Here's how I made the Christening gown from the First Communion dress:

1. Wash the dress.

2. Using a seam ripper take apart dress.
 Undo bodice, sleeves and skirt:

first holy communion dress disassembled

3. I used McCalls pattern M4865 size M, dress A, slip B:
Cut new bodice and sleeves using pattern.

mccalls pattern M4865

4. I modified the sleeve pattern (it was quite puffy) for a more tailored sleeve.
Here you can see I used the old back bodice pieces to make the new sleeves:

new sleeve from old fabric

5. The McCalls pattern doesn't have a collar so I made a collar pattern from scrap muslin:

designing collar for new baptism dress

6. Then cut out the collar pieces, I had very limited left over fabric pieces to work with which is why the collar had to be pieced at the shoulder seams: 

collar pieces for baptism dress

7. Make the 1/2" fabric covered buttons using Dritz kit:

making fabric buttons

fabric covered buttons

Ready for baby James.

diy baptism dress makeover


  1. How wonderful that you were able to rework the dress into a baptism gown! You've created a new heirloom piece for the family.

  2. What a lot of work you put into this beautiful dress. It will be treasured for many generations, I am sure. Great Job! Tonya :-)

  3. This little dress is adorable
    i would love for you to share it at our linky party over at live love laugh
    hope to see you there. xx

  4. Beautifully done, and so meaningful. I think you've just created an heirloom all over again.