A christening is often a baby’s first big celebration. To honor such an event, christening dresses are carefully selected to be a symbol of purity and hope. The delicate christening gowns are an outward sign of a baby’s innocence. While many families relish selecting such an outfit, it is not always easy to know what to do with the gown after the big day. Here are four ideas to keep the legacy of the christening strong.
Preserve the gown for future use
Some parents choose to have all of their children wear the same gown, while other families purchase a new gown for each child, with the intention of gifting the gown to their child’s future children. In fact, many gowns become cherished family heirlooms and are passed on through the generations. Whether you save the gown for a sibling or for a future grandchild, how you preserve the gown is crucial. Remember to keep in mind the following tips:
- Always wash the gown prior to long-term storage. Body oils, sweat, baby milk, or even Chrism oil can cause staining on the delicate fabric. Gently wash the gown according to the instructions.
- For long term storage, consider using a “preservation kit”, which is an acid-free storage box.
- Fill the gown with tissue paper to keep the gown from wrinkling. Pay particular attention to any pleats when laying the gown in the box.
- Avoid the use of moth balls.
Donate the gown
Donation is another great way to reuse a christening gown. You may simply donate the gown to a family in need of a gown. Additionally, non-profit organizations, such as volunteer grief support groups for parents of stillborn babies, accept donations of wedding dresses and christenings outfits; these outfits are then sewn into beautiful memorial garments for those children.
For those with a craftier side, repurposeing a christening outift is a beautiful way to extend the life of the gown and let its legacy live on.
- Wedding handkerchief: A very popular trend is to repuprose a baby’s gown into a handkerchief. For girls, she will use this as her handkerchief on her wedding day. For boys, they can present the hankerchief to his wife-to-be.
- Clutch: With even more sewing skill, a gown can be transformed into an elegant clutch, suitable for a wedding day.
- Ornament: Using the fabric of the gown to create an ornament allows the specialness of a christening to be present each year during Christmas.
Show it off
A christening gown is one of the most elegant and meaningful outfits that a person will ever wear. Displaying a gown in a shadow box is a wonderful way to be reminded daily of such a special event. Other mementos from the day can be included in the shadow box for a truly customized display.