Thursday, December 4, 2008


My blog on Yahoo 360 has been dormant for months because of the many, many problems the site experiences. However, there are several posts that I will be copying and pasting into this blog over the next few weeks because they are sentimental to me.

This baptismal gown was made from my mother's wedding dress in 1946. This post is about the gown but not meant to take away from the true meaning of the occasion.

Above is a picture of my parents on their wedding day just before my dad left for WWII.

Displayed is the dress and bonnet but there is also a slip, and coat. There are "tucks", embroidery, and french seams on various pieces. It cost my mother $30 for this couture. During that era, $30 was probably a week's pay.

I was baptized in this ensemble, so was my sister, my daughters and two of my grandchildren. It is satin and the couture is superb. Tradition used to have boy babies as well as girl babies in a dress for their baptism.

Pictured is my 2nd grandchild, Nicholas, on his baptismal day, wearing this heirloom gown. Just to add a little humor, well now I can see it as humorous, but Joseph, then about 2 yrs. old, was quite unhappy in this picture. His grandfather had given him a Davy Crockett racoon hat and he wanted to wear it in this picture. We won that battle but in retrospect it would have been quite the picture for conversation for years. We did take a less formal picture of him in the hat a little later.

I had occasion to encounter the seamstress a few months back. I knew her as a child. Mrs. Desrochers, a redhead at one time, is now 95 and a lovely person. She was pleased to know that I treasure the gown.

There are minor stains around the neck from baby formula that did not come out at the dry cleaners but that only adds to the sentimental value of the gown. There is still the slightest faint color of blue where there is embroidery, probably from being "stamped".

I was initially baptized by a nurse at the hospital the first day I was born because they feared I would not make it through the night. I was born 2 1/2 mos. premature and was in the hospital for over a month. I've always been a "survivor" of sorts and for those of you who know me real well, will understand the true meaning of that statement.
Custom was that a newborn was baptized the first Sunday home from the hospital.

I'm hoping that the next generation of babies in my family will be able to be baptized in this gown.


  1. What a lovely story! Thanks for bringing that post and the photos here for us to enjoy.

  2. What a wonderful treasure to hand down. The gown is beautiful and because it was originally your mother's wedding dress it is so very cool!!!

  3. WOW! Thank you, Joan! The work of one's hands enduring to shine love on the next generation and the next--what a treasure, and what a treat to Mrs. Desrochers to get to see that her work matters so much to all of you. Wow.

    And two and a half months early back in the day? Wow again. Go Joansie!

  4. great story . Both of my kids were baptised in our out fits. DS a cute little silk type suit and DD in a fluffy beautiful dress .
    Both were starting to fall apart after the baptisims so they're packed away. I was debatinging having them framed .....

  5. Oh my what a treasure! Thanks for sharing this. I remember my mom telling that both boy & girl babies wore baptismal gowns. What an heirloom!

  6. Joansie.What a heart-warming story! I think your mother is beautiful in her wedding gown and photo.The sentiment in that little dress! I think it's wonderful that so many of your family has been able to enjoy the love that dress holds.What memories and tradition! Thank-you for sharing!

  7. That is just so lovely, and such a beaautiful dress originally.