The white christening gown can be one of the family's most cherished heirlooms.

It is a longstanding part of Christening tradition for the christening gown to be white, which symbolizes purity, joy, and new life.

Aside from being white, it is best if it is a family heirloom - worn by another family member at another christening years before. It's even better if the child can wear the same gown one of his/her parents wore.

Although many infant boys are being christened these days in knickers, a gown is appropriate attire for either a boy or a girl.

It is important that the christening gown, like a wedding gown, be the highest quality that the family can afford. The gown is not only a thing of beauty; it signifies a major rite of passage in life of the child and the family.

Family heirlooms are pieces of history. They tie the generations of a family together in a deeply intimate way. They open the door to a family's past and they provide a richer appreciation for family heritage. The gown itself signifies the "thread which has run through your family's history".

For the Catholic daughter, the gown she wears on her christening day will be one of her "Three White Dresses", each of which marks three major rites of passage in her life: her christening/baptism, her first communion/confirmation, and her wedding day.

Just as most women prefer to preserve their wedding gowns, so should you consider carefully preserving your daughter's christening gown for her.

Whether you have an heirloom gown to use for your baby or not, consider carefully preserving your baby's christening gown so that it may be passed down for generations to come. Stay tuned for an article coming soon about how to properly preserve christening gowns.

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Making the Christening Gown Yourself

If you are an experienced seamstress, perhaps you could make the gown yourself. There are several patterns, fabrics, and notions available that would come together to make a lovely keepsake gown for your baby.

Although making the gown yourself may be less expensive than buying one, we advise you again to spare no expense in getting the best fabrics and materials you can afford. Also be careful not to mix fabrics and materials together that will cause damage over time. In other words, if you use cotton fabric, use cotton thread as well.

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Passing Down Part of Your Wedding Gown

One emerging christening tradition is to use part of your own wedding gown to make the gown for your baby's christening. It's especially easy to do this without ruining the wedding gown if your gown has a detachable train.

One very experienced seamstress in Iowa can use your wedding gown to create a custom, handmade, one-of-a-kind christening gown for as little as $100.

Even if you don't use fabric from your wedding gown, your baby's gown can still be embellished with some of the shingerleens from your gown. You can transplant some of the lace, embroidery, and ribbon from your gown or veil onto your baby's gown. This will not only make it more beautiful. It will make it an even more treasured family heirloom.

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