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Twin Heirloom Ribbon Embroidery Baby Dresses

Here’s some photos of the heirloom ribbon embroidery baby dresses I made for my twins.

I’ve made a few heirloom baby dresses before, but never for myself! Now that I’m pregnant with two twin girls, it was really important to me to make a very special set of heirloom christening-style dresses for my future daughters. I figured that once they are born, I’ll be unlikely to have the time to focus on making a detailed set of dresses like this for a while. Secondarily, I’ve been stuck on modified bedrest for a few months now and the ribbon embroidery I wanted to do on these dresses would allow me to have things to work on while reclining. With just about a week before my girls will be born, I’m done with the dresses!

If you want to see more baby dresses I’ve made, please see the baby dress category on my blog.

I used KariMeAway’s Fairytale Finery Gown, Slip and Bonnet pattern. I didn’t use the hand and ribbon embroidery instructions she included, though. Instead, I used some of this set of machine embroidery files from Secrets of Embroidery. When I bought the files, they were on sale for $1.50! Awesome! I used slightly different embroidery files for each of the twins dresses.

I bought French and Swiss insertion and edging laces, YLI silk ribbon in 4mm and 7mm for the ribbon embroidery and Martha’s Heirloom Batiste in pink and white from Martha Pullen.

My first step was to block out the pattern pieces that required machine embroidery. I traced the pattern onto squares of batiste that were bigger than what the pattern piece required for the smaller pieces. And then the larger ones (that would allow embroidery hooping without going over the edge of the pattern, I just went ahead and cut out the pattern piece from batiste. I then embroidered them on my machine. In some cases, I only had the machine embroider the green leaf and vine patterns (not the roses) since I would be filling in those gaps with ribbon embroidery roses later. (You’ve probably seen some of these WIP images if you follow my twitter.)

Often while one piece was embroidering on the machine, I’d do lace shaping or ribbon embroidery on another piece. KariMeAway’s pattern includes details on how to do lace shaping. I’d originally learned the technique (with some other heirloom sewing techniques) in an heirloom baby dress class I’d taken at my local Joann’s Fabrics a few years ago. (You might check your local to see if they have one, it’s fun to learn stuff like this in person.)

Below, you can see me starting to add ribbon embroidery and beads. The combination of the flat machine embroidery and the three dimensional ribbon embroidery is really pretty to me! (And the machine embroidery saved me time.) I used what I learned in the Costume College class “Silk Ribbon Embroidery” by Maryann Jones as well as the book, The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery. Ribbon embroidery isn’t that hard… you should try it!

Below is one of the finished baby bonnets!

And here, the finished gowns, slips and bonnets.

14 Comments

  • Anika

    22.09.2012 at 15:50 Reply

    Just incredible! Good for you being productive during bedrest! I crocheted during mine 😀

    1 week…o…m…g!

  • Dixie

    23.09.2012 at 02:58 Reply

    So darling! Will you add any initials or name to them once they are born?

    • aimeemajor

      23.09.2012 at 08:49 Reply

      I was definitely considering that, especially so that they could later know whose was whose. :)

  • Marisa Stefanidis

    23.09.2012 at 05:19 Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous work! You’re going to have very lucky little girls ^_^

  • Jennifer

    23.09.2012 at 07:09 Reply

    Absolutely beautiful work.

  • Angelina

    23.09.2012 at 12:10 Reply

    Very beautiful!!!

  • stephiee

    17.10.2012 at 17:14 Reply

    why are you so amazing?! and congrats!

  • Jo (jtph_jo/jackthepumpkinhead)

    28.10.2012 at 16:19 Reply

    Hey Aimee!
    We’ve kind of moved in similar circles at various points (DoA, egl) but never interacted all that much – but I was looking for a lolita mums group, saw your name on a Facebook comm and thought “Aimee has a baby?! Wow!!” and had to come look you up. So I hope it’s not creepy of me to get all up in your personal journal to say I’m so happy for you and congratulations on your beautiful little girls! Your nursery and these christening gowns are just incredible, I literally did the increasingly-high-pitched “awwww!” when I saw them, haha. I hope you guys are handling everything okay (I had a baby earlier this year and the idea of having two at once is maybe the tiniest bit daunting to me >.<) and that your daughters are doing well!
    All the best,
    Jo

    • aimeemajor

      28.10.2012 at 16:36 Reply

      Hi, Jo! Thanks so much for the sweet compliments! It’s not creepy at all! I have to admit, I’m sick with some awful cold right now and the girls are only a month old, so you can imagine how exhausted we are! But other than that, we’re doing well and they are super cute, which of course, helps. :) Thanks a bunch, hope you have a good week!

  • Margee'

    21.03.2017 at 18:50 Reply

    Beautiful work. Wish I could have made dresses like this when my daughters were infants. I have twins also but they are 42 years old now.
    Been looking for patterns to make Angel gowns with in memory of our fourth daughter.

    • Margee'

      21.03.2017 at 18:52 Reply

      Messed up last reply. Wrong email

    • aimeemajor

      22.03.2017 at 08:53 Reply

      Thank you, I’m glad you like it! Good luck in your search, I’m sure you’ll make something lovely.

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