Project 1 Exercise 1.2 Substance 3

Christening Gown Archive Article 3

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The Christening gown was made by my Grandmother at her home in Maroota, NSW, Australia for my Mother’s Christening in 1928. It was given to me by my Mother in 1979.  It was made out of the train of my Grandmother’s wedding dress.  The material and lace for the dress and train was sent by my Great Grandparents from Nottingham England to their future daughter in law my grandmother in 1926.  I am told by my mother that it is made of Nottingham lace and silk.  The lace would have been machine made I think based on my reading of the history of Nottingham lace at that time (Lace Here Now, 2013, Black Dog Publishing Limited, London).  My Great Great Grandmother who lived in Nottingham was widowed in her 30s and she mended lace to earn an income. It is possible that the lace came from her originally.

The Gown was made out of the train of my Grandmother’s wedding dress. The material for the dress and train was sent by my Great grandparents who lived in Nottingham, England, to their future daughter-in-law my Grandmother.

It is made of handmade Nottingham lace and silk. My Great, great grandmother was widowed in her 30s and she mended lace to earn income. It is possible that it came from her originally. My Grandmother sewed on a Singer Treadle machine which has been passed on to me (I don’t use it though it is decorative now). The Christening Dress has been used by my mother, her brother, myself and my brother and my son and daughter for our Christenings.

My grandmother, who made the gown, loved fabrics, she was a doll maker and a tailoress. She did not do any housework prior to her marriage at the age of 25. Her parents (my great grandparents) had hired help to do domestic work. My grandmother loved to sew, embroider and she designed clothes. She designed the christening gown and with what was left she made a party frock for my mother to wear as a toddler.

I love the history of the piece. I like the fragility and delicate lace and cloth. The lace overlay has an etherial transparency and a beauty to it.

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