An embroidered christening gown

Contributed by Goole Museum

An embroidered christening gown

The gown was worn by Thomas Wilson, who was born at Ellerker on 9 March 1857, and christened in the village church there. The bodice and skirt are embroidered with trailing leaves and flowers in white, with some of the flower heads being worked by pulling the threads to give a very delicate, lacy effect. This sort of work - which was known as Ayrshire work - was a feature of baby clothes and adult's collars and cuffs during the 1820s and 1830s, rather than the late 1850s, when the much heavier broderie anglais was fashionable. The bodice has very puffed sleeves. Christening gowns in the 19th century tended to follow the prevailing adult fashions, and these very puffy sleeves were seen on women's dresses in the late 1820s and early 1830s, so the sleeves plus the embroidery suggests that the original wearer of the gown was probably John Major Wilson, Thomas's father, who was born in Ellerker round about 1825.
The gown was donated to Goole Museum by the Allatt family of Dundas, Ontario.

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Ellerker, East Yorkshire

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