Thursday, July 30, 2009

~ Christening Gown Heirloom ~











***Visit Marie’s Heirloom Party to see what everyone else has to show us today.

This exquisite christening gown was created by my grandmother Maggie Carty Neu in 1910 prior to my Mother’s birth, her first born child, in 1911. All 3 of G’ma Maggie’s children wore this gown at their baptisms at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Napavine, WA.

I wish you could see the intricate details of the stitching on this delicate soft sweet fabric. The neckline & sleeve cuffs have this tiny, fine & intricate lace trim. The yoke has cutout embroidery work … the little flowers are connected with this rope chain stitching. The layered pleating on the gown skirt has the same delicate sweet lace adorning the top. The undergown is trimmed in a scalloped eyelet type design at the skirt bottom. The third underskirt is like a heavy flannel to keep the baby warm & is very plain. The fourth gown is a half gown so that when they changed the baby it would keep the other gowns clean from soiling.

As a young girl this gown became very precious to me. I used to love to just hold it & feel it. As a teenager I made it very clear that this was the only thing I ever wanted in my life … nothing else ever mattered to me. I loved my G’ma Maggie so much. I can remember her warmth, hugs & Irish jigs on the kitchen floor entertaining us kids … her black tea freshly brewed aroma filtering thru the house. This gown is a part of her, she created it with her own hands, I loved it with all my heart.

When my first child, Emery, was born I was given the privilege by my Mother, Mary Caroline, to have my son baptized in this precious gown, then my Michael Erin, Caroline Leighanne & Sean Ean. None of Mother’s other grandchildren were baptized in it. I asked Mother if I could have this gown since I was the only one who had a deep love & sentiment for it. When Mother & I closed down her brother Bill’s estate & the family home, Mother gave me the gown as permanent caretaker. All I could do was sit & hold it & cry from such great joy & love.

It has been my privilege to have all 3 of our grandchildren baptized in this exquisite gown, which I am retiring as it has become so terribly fragile. I couldn’t bear anything to happen to it.

Thank you, Mother & G'ma Maggie, for treasured memories.

Picture order ~
Joshua Ryan Carty Ford b. 4-11-1991 St. Peter Catholic Church, Libertytown, MD
Ansel Emery Ford b. 4-16-2001 Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Kensington, MD (his Mother Cathelene holding him)
Tatiana Isabelle Ford b. 12-29-2003 Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Kensington, MD

58 comments:

  1. HelloBlushing Rose
    What a wonderful gift to be in your hands, and to have so many family members baptized in that beautiful gown,including your sweet grandchildren.
    Thank you and blessings for your dear visit.
    I look forward to getting to know you better.
    Gracie

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  2. That is just priceless. My gma sewed and I know the love and care that went into making something so intricate. What a wonderful photo collection you have of your children and grands wearing the treasured gown. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. What a beautiful gown. The work that must have gone into it is amazing. What a treasure it is. Maybe needs to be framed to protect it.

    I loved the thought of her doing the Irish jigs. What a picture it paints.

    My Nanna taught me to knit and sew, we spent lots of time together in the days before telly! Then later my Mam and I watched TV and knitted. Happy days!

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  4. What a very special treasure. I still have the gown that I was baptized in. It was also hand made, but I don't know by whom. Mine is silk. How would you keep this vintage gown to preserve it??

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  5. Such a lovely memory to have. I have a scapula that my great grandmother handmade for every student in my entire 8th grade class. I still cherish it since when she made them she was blind. You would never know by the stitching though. I remember going over to her house when I was younger and her showing me how to sew. I love the time that I was able to spend with her.

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  6. just think about the love that your grandmother stitched in to every stitch she was passing on to you.

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  7. I've often wondered about these exquisite gowns and similar women's blouses sewn with so many tucks and pleats and lace insets. I've guessed that the garments have been home sewn, probably on treadle machines, using some of those old attachments...the rufflers, pleaters, hemmers. Do you think this is so? I'm curious, for I have a treadle and I have the attachments and I've never tried them out.

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  8. A wonderful keepsake .... and you are the rightful caretaker for it now. How special!

    Thanks for stopping by and giving me some info on advertising. I had never heard of Country ALmanac mag before. I'm looking into it! :0)

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  9. This gown is just a beautiful treasure, and being made by your granma makes it even more special.
    Sweet pictures of your granbabies, I love that so many generations have been baptised in this family heirloom....hugs, Linda

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  10. What a wonderful family treasure. I have an antique christening gown as well. My Grandmother bought it for me, but I'm the only one that has ever worn it. I hate to say it, but there haven't been any other Baptisms since my sister and I had ours. Too bad yours can't continue to be used. Have you ever thought about having it framed?
    Thanks for showing your beautiful gown, I enlarged the pictures to see more detail. I'll have to show you all mine someday!

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  11. Lovely post, and story. The gown is beautiful. I too have a christening gown with much sentiment, although it is no where near as old as that one. It was the dress my parents bought when they were having me 30 years ago. I was christened in, followed by my sister Melissa a year later, then my son Keenan in 1998, Melissas daughter Haley in 2000, then her son Hayden in 2002, and the last child to be christened in it was my son Kaleb in 2003. It has been stored in a safe place to be passed down to mine or Melissas first grandchild and we hope it will continue throughout our childrens children and so on.
    I loved this post. Thank you for sharing!

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  12. A treasure indeed, what a fantastic heirloom for your family. The details are unbelievable. You should certainly have this professionally framed for protection and showcase. Thank you for sharing this!

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  13. How wonderful to have this family treasure.Beautiful work.
    Patsy

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  14. very lovely! We took my mother's lace and satin wedding gown and had it made into a Baptismal gown and a satin boy's after Baptism suit. My nephew wore the gown 22yrs, ago, and my grandson wore the suit (he could not fit the gown around his neck)in 2007. These are such cherished heirlooms! At least your gown had a little more chances to be worn. This is so wonderful!

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  15. So amazing and your sweet narrative of your feelings and story are a treasure! Thank-you for such a rich post!

    Stop by...love new friends!

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  16. The best part about the christening gown is how much it means to you. Not many teenagers would realize how much they love something like that. I'm glad you got it.

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  17. Loved to hear about this and see the photos. I made a nice christening gown for my daughter and her daughter wore it, too. I would hope it can go through another 1 or 2 generations, at least, and become a family heirloom, too.

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  18. Hello Marydon - thank you for joining the party! This christening gown is absolutely priceless. It touches my heart to hear through your words, just how special it is to you. I'm so glad you have been blessed with it and have seen your grandchildren in it.

    Blessings,
    Marie
    http://emmacallsmemama.com

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  19. These items are so precious to us. I am sorry to hear that it has become too fragile for any future christenings. The gown is very beautiful.
    xxoo, Susan

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  20. Lovely vintage gown with such memories and honors!
    A treasure for sure.
    Blessings,
    d

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  21. You are so lucky to have a treasure like this in your family. I envy. I know you will take very good care of it.

    Willow

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  22. What a wonderful post about a special treasure.
    Wendy

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  23. Oh Marydon sweet angel,
    What a beautiful treasure you have. Maybe you should have it framed where you can protect it under glass and be able to see it and love it, each and every day of your life. Would it affect the cloth if it was framed in glass, preserve it? There has to be a way to retire it, but allow you to see it, you could touch the glass and not hurt the cloth, as no oils would be touching it. I think you could even add booties and maybe a Christening card from the children that wore it. Make it like a special shadow box. Just a thought honey. I hate to see it put away and for you to not be able to enjoy something you love so much. Have a good day tomorrow my angel. I will be talking to you. Amy is not well. She is down to 76 pounds and the eye dr. said her body is very malnourished. Debbie is afraid that the surgeon will turn them away from the possible surgery when they see him Monday, as her body is very unconditioned. Debbie is not sure she could withstand the surgery. Amy does not want to be fed intravenously. She refused, so I am back to praying that someone can convince her or somehow she can gain enough weight between now and Monday for the Dr. to move forward with the procedure. It will take a mighty large miracle for this to happen, but we have been knocking at this door before. I'll talk to you tomorrow honey. I love you, Sherry

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  24. What a beautiful treasure. It is wonderful that so many generations have been baptized in the gown. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. OH that was absolutely a beautiful gown your grandmother made.

    Thank you for stoping by today to look at the fairy my mom bought for me. I love visitors.

    Cheers,
    Heidi

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  26. What a beautiful gown. I think I would have it framed so it doesn't get anymore wear and tear. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. What a special thing to have... your story was beautiful, along with the dress.
    ~Amy

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  28. What a precious legacy Marydon. Your description is perfect- I feel as though I just want to touch it. I hope that it stays well preserved for the next generation to admire and treasure.

    XOSue

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  29. So lovely. I like the idea of a shadow box, but only if it can be opened for use. I have a shadow box and a fabric treasure framed in it. I especially enjoy looking at it as my mother made the frame.

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  30. Marydon, your story of your love for this Christening gown really moved me. What an amazing piece of work - and the fact that you loved it for so long and finally have it in your care is priceless. Thanks so much for telling its story.

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  31. Oh Marydon, what an exquisite heirloom! It is so beautiful! You know, it would be so lovely framed and in your room with your mom's bed and grandmas bed quilt. It is truly a rare work of art! Marvelous!!
    Bless you friend for your dear, dear heart.
    Sharon

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  32. What a treasure! It is such precious gown! I agree with Sharon; I would also frame it.

    Jane

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  33. What a beautiful heirloom, not just because it is beautiful to look at but because it was stitched by someone you love and holds wonderful memories.

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  34. Hi Marydon :)

    What a beautiful gown and story behind it! I can see why it means so much to you :)

    rue

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  35. What a beautiful special gown and lovely story!

    :)

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  36. What a precious gown! My son was baptized in the gown his Grandfather and father wore also. A treasure for sure! Thank you for giving me a memory! Martha

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  37. What an exquisite piece of work! I got goosebumps just reading this post. I am so glad that you are able to own it.

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  38. That wee gown has a rich history. I always thought it would be nice to have one, but what a precious blessing for you!!♥

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  39. The town is fabulous, and how cool you've been able to use something in the family thats been around. What a nice way to tie the family together.

    Chuckled when I read, your hubby can sleep like that. lol Sure wish I could.

    Have a great wkend.
    Sandy

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  40. How beautiful! The sentiment behind it is priceless.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a great weekend:)_
    Cindy

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  41. This is so beautiful! I wanted to invite you to participate in my giveaway. It starts today. Good Luck!

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  42. Such a beautiful story Marydon!!!!
    What you have now is an hierloom that is totally priceless!!! You are a lucky daughter/grandaughter to be the caretaker of such a sentimental piece. I hope that you pass it on to someone who will love it as much as you do!!
    everything vintage

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  43. How precious is that?! What a treasure to have in your family. The little detail is beautiful!

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  44. Oh how wonderful for you. Such a special treasure. Such beautiful work. Thank you for sharing your story and beautiful pictures of your family. Have a lovely weekend.

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  45. I could feel the love that you have for the Christening gown in your post. I am so glad that it came to you. What a history it has!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  46. I love hearing stories like this. I think Christening gowns are the best kind of heirlooms. What a treasure you have.

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  47. What an inestimable heirloom. Lovely story, it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing darling. This is why, I love your blog.

    Have a great weekend.

    Duchess xx

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  48. Dear Marydon,
    I am speechless.....to be entrusted to be the caretaker of something so priceless...it was just meant to go to you...GOD certainly does give us the desires of our heart when it is something such so self-less....it represented your faith....dedicating your children and grandchildren to the LORD, from which blessing they came.
    I will not be so fortunate to inherit anything priceless...my sister is getting my mother's wedding ring....mother had her original wedding ring and daddy's wedding ring made into a new wedding ring and Sherry ask for it long ago....she is to receive it and I know it and will make sure my sister gets it under any circumstances.
    angel hugs
    thanks for sharing
    debbie

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  49. Hi Marydon,
    What an exquisite gown; a real treasure! Thank you for sharing the story that goes with it and have a lovely weekend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  50. Lovely, MD. We had no such gowns to pass down...sooooo

    I made Adrienne one. Not really heirloom worthy, but precious just the same. Years later I used the same pattern to make a gown for my niece...turned out much better...

    Someday I hope to see Adrie's babies in her dress...

    Love to you...

    Rebecca

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  51. This is a priceless posting of the beautiful christening gown. What a treasure. Thank you for sharing this story with us and have a blessed weekend.

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  52. What a beautiful gown...it will be treasured for years to come.
    Micki

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  53. What a great keepsake...
    It is a rainy day here in La and I have enjoyed some blog reading....So glad I stopped by yours.

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  54. How fortunate you to have something that belonged to your family and it is such a beautiful dress. The only thing I have that has belonged to my grandmother is an apron that hangs in my kitchen. Blessings

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  55. What a wonderful treasure for you to have and to hold! How perfect that you are the one chosen to keep it safe! Beautiful pics of the dress and especially your dear family members! Thanks for sharing!

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  56. Absolutely beautiful! How special to have had new life and love to fill this christening gown. The wonderful history behind the gown makes it even more treasured.
    A very sweet post.
    Enjoy your day,
    Elizabeth

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