Homecoming Gowns

Before each of her darling grandson’s made their entry into the world, my dear mother took charge of outfitting them in the finest manner for their homecoming.  She has a penchant for the sweet, classic and timeless styles of Feltman Brothers, one of the oldest known brands of childrens clothing.  And I can’t help but see eye to eye with her on this one.  So she thoughtfully selected one of Feltman’s hand sewn, exquisitely embroidered day gowns for each little to wear home from the hospital.  I could just eat up the precious pin tucks, swoon over the swiss beading lace and marvel over the teeny tiniest pearl buttons I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Almost makes me want a third…

So, given the exquisite nature of the day gowns and their tremendous sentimental value, they are among the few items I’ve held on to long after they were outgrown. Rather than have them tucked inconspicuously away in their memory boxes, I have been plotting how to get these Restoration Hardware shadow box frames that were love at first sight.  But, with their eighty dollar price tag each (plus tax and shipping), coupled with the fact that they are truly a bit too big, I never managed to complete the checkout (though I added them to my shopping bag many, many times.)  Needless to say, I was over the moon when sweet sister suggested that I check out Hobby Lobby’s newest addition in the shadow box department.  Having a similar distressed gray look and nearly perfect in size, I quickly made two of them mine the day they went on sale (and if you know Hobby Lobby, you know everything goes on sale.)

Here’s how I turned my little’s sweet day gowns into gorgeous works of art for my living room.

16×20 shadow box display case (regularly $24 each, on sale for $12 each!)
foam board ($1.99 each)
batting ($3.99)
fabric (I used left over natural muslin from silhouette pillow project.)
straight pens ($2.49)
duct tape

Cut the foam board just slightly smaller than the shadow box.  I cut mine 1/8″ smaller on each side.  Cut batting about 2″ larger than the foam board.

Wrap batting over the foam board and secure on the back side with duct tape, pulling as tight as possible.  After ironing the decorative fabric, repeat the process.  Take care to pull the fabric tight and make nice corner edges.

It will be ugly on the back, if you are like me.  If you are an over achiever, you could easily cover the back in a nice piece of felt or fabric.

But having a nice, taught front is really all that matters.

After ironing the gown, secure it to the foam board with straight pins.  I hid a pin at the top of each shoulder from inside the gown.  I then placed two more inside the cuff on each sleeve, and finished with one inside the bottom corner of each side.  When inserting the pins, ensure they go into the foam board at an angle where they don’t come back out the back side.

Secure the board to the back of the frame and hang.

I am delighted with the finished product and can’t help but smile each time I walk by them in the living room.  And at a total price tag of thirty-five dollars (for both!), Honey was pretty pleased to find me executing a budget friendly project (for once.)

So that’s that.  Friday is finally here and I’m officially celebrating birth month!!!  That’s the way we roll around here – just having a birth “day” hardly seems fair.  We’re kicking off the celebrations with a take out supper (hmmm…. should it be Mellow Mushroom or Thai???,) sending the littles to bed early and then playing games into the wee hours.  It’s the one night a year I can convince my ENTIRE family (that includes you, sister and mother) to play games of my choice (Cranium, Clue, Monopoly Deal, dominos…) ALL night looooong.
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