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Christening Dress
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Title: Christening Dress
Identifier: 985.13.2
Donor: Mrs. Doris Leavers
Item Date: 1900-1915
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: White, long, full sleeves. Yoke has tucks and embroidery and drawn work patterns front and back. Neck and sleeves finished in fine lace and drawn-work. Drawn-work where sleeves and bodice connect. Hem has embroidered designs and cut away sections on reverse side which makes a 'pillar' pattern. Made in France tag sewn in back opening. Back closure with 3 tiny buttons and loops. Appears to be completely hand stitched.

The dress was worn by the donor when she was approximately three months old. She emigrated to Canada from England in 1914.

Up until the 17th century young babies were wrapped in tight swaddling clothes carried to the front in a bearing cloth for Christening This was a large square of lavishly trimmed silk. It evolved to a front opening robe fastened with ribbon ties showing a petticoat beneath, in the mid- 18th century. The first Christening robes were made in the style worn every day by 18th century children. Both boy and girl children wore slip dresses, with a very long flowing skirt falling from a short, tucked bodice, low neck and short sleeves. This fashion has remained popular for Christening ever since. REF:
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   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
   Virtual Museum of Canada