Wee Bonnie Garden: Design Strategies for a Multi-Generational Christening Gown

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2016-11-08
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Stanley, April
McKinney, Ellen
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International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Annual Conference Proceedings
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors took place in Madison, Wisconsin in June 1959. With a mission to advance excellence in education, scholarship and innovation, and their global applications, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) is a professional and educational association of scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.

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Christening garments are worn by infants and have remained a form of religious apparel in current society. As a prior research project, the authors conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with American mothers to gain insight into recent traditions surrounding christening apparel. The findings revealed babies range widely in size at the age of christening and mothers like to re-use family gowns. Design strategies were developed for a more sustainable christening ensemble to accommodate a variety of infant sizes. Other key design considerations were a traditional appearance and ease of donning and doffing to allow the ensemble to be worn by various-sized infants of multi-generations. The final ensemble allowed adjustability in the gown, diaper cover, booties, and headband. Heirloom construction methods added quality and durability to the ensemble producing a design that will last for generations. Future implications include considerations for childrenswear apparel designers and the home sewing/patterning market.

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