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Christening Dress
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Title: Christening Dress
Identifier: 985.13.4
Donor: Mrs. Doris Leavers
Item Date: 1900-1915
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: White cotton dress. Machine sewn. Long sleeved. Each sleeve has 4 tucks. Around each wrist is a band of white eyelet lace and a fine band of machine made lace in an open triangle/closed scallops pattern. Front yoke has a triangular over-piece; this is made up of bands of eyelet lace, open machine lace and tucks arranged in a vertical pattern. The yoke has 2 rows of French dots along the neck edge and lower border. The neck edge is trimmed with lace. Same lace used around the wrists. There are 3 rows of tucks around the bottom of the nightgown. The back closing is made of yellow ribbon pulled through a neck casing. A tag with the initials 'E.C.' in red machine embroidery is sewn on the back opening.

Worn by donor Mrs. Doris Leavers (d. March 9, 1987) when she was 3 months old; she was born in England and moved to Canada in 1914.

Doris Patchett Leavers married Leslie Leavers and raised their two sons, Frank and Bill, in Port Credit where they had a home located at 56 Forest Ave. Their eldest son, Frank (d. September 25, 2008) became the last Reeve for the Village of Port Credit and served for some time as a Councillor for the City of Mississauga.

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. _http://christeningbabyangel.com/tips_and_gown_history.html_
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