Earlier this spring, my dear friend Meagan put in a special request for child-sized priestly vestments and altar linens for her three boys. I was happy, if not a little terrified, to oblige and ended up sewing a number of pieces to send her way in time for Easter.
While I'm sad to say I didn't do a good job of photographing each and every item, I thought I'd post a photo dump of what pictures I do have, chat a little about construction, and share where I got the materials. I know when I see something online that I want to replicate, being able to see as many pictures as possible is always helpful. (Please don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments and I will do what I can to help.) Fair warning, this is a long post! Hang on to the end to see pictures of the boys playing Mass at the gorgeous child-sized altar their parents put together for them.
To start, I made two chasubles. The first chasuble was double-sided, red and gold:
These pics are taken with the stole underneath.
(If by chance you try this with the same fabric, note that the cross spans four of the brocade's circle motifs. This was made to fit a child whose shoulders are about 40" off of the floor.)
my mom's sewing room
I mapped out the cross and sewed the ribbon to the fabric before cutting the shape of the vestment.
Later, I went in and added fabric to the neckline in front to make it wider.
I made my own pattern and it took much more fussing than I anticipated and my first attempt was perhaps not as curvy as it could have been. (Something I realized much too late!). My second chasuble, with the white fabric, was more fiddle-ish. Or is it fiddle-esque?
I top stitched all of the way around (at about an eighth an inch) but I wish I hadn't.
It looks like I didn't take a full picture of the cross piece of the chasuble before I attached it to the front. My apologies!
It was probably fine as it was but I chose to get fancy and cut a piece out of the gold fabric and satin stitch it onto the white. A heavy fusible interfacing gave the gold the necessary stability for this.
What a difference lighting makes in the pictures, ay?
It seems I don't have a picture of the alb by itself, but I used the same pattern and method from this post and added lace at the hems. Here's a pic of a similar alb:
That's the last of the chasuble pictures and it appears I don't have any of the stoles and maniples, (blast!) but here is the whole kit and caboodle before it was sent off:
Included: chasuble (x2), stole (x2), maniple (x2), chalice veil, burse, pall, purificator, corporal, altar cloth (and a St. Terese costume for their sister)
I really enjoyed sewing with the beautiful fabrics and trims. Last time I handled stuff like this, I was working in a community college theater department making costumes for The Three Musketeers. That said, if anyone is wondering if I'm throwing my hat in the ring to sew more vestments, the answer is yes...just not this year. Or next ;).
- Red brocade: Clergy Metallic Brocade Red/Gold from Fabric.com. (3/4 yard)
- Gold brocade: Clergy Brocade Gold from Fabric.com (1 yard)
- White brocade: Clergy Brocade White/Gold from Fabric.com (1 yard)
- Cream polyester satin: (backing on white chasuble) from my mom's fabric stash. Medium weight. Probably purchased at Joann Fabrics.
- White fabric for alb and linens: Magnolia broadcloth from Hancock Fabrics
I ordered a half yard of the red, but thankfully they sent me almost 3/4 yard because a half yard would not have been enough.
- Metallic gold ribbon: Hancock Fabrics. I do not see the product online. In store, it was in the ribbons "by the yard" section and cost $0.99 per yard before a coupon. Very thin stuff, not grosgrain. I believe I purchased 8 yards and then went back for more, so it was important to find an inexpensive ribbon.
- Metallic fringe: 1 in. Metallic Fringe from Hancock Fabrics
- All of the laces and the narrow gold trim (the crosses on the stoles) were from my stash (I'm still pulling from this stuff) and for the altar cloth (which you'll see in the pictures coming up next), I unruffled some ruffled lace, like so:
Important note: I used all purpose thread for everything.
Oh, and one more thing (I promise!) -- before you sew on brocade, reinforce your corners and turn them VERY carefully because the weave is loose and it will bust open easily. Don't ask me how I know ;)
Now, FINALLY, the pictures you've been so patiently waiting for...
The littlest one is wearing the green vestment from this post.
And here is where they store everything when it's not in use:
Amazing, huh?! I wasn't privy to the making of the altar but if you have questions about it, throw them in the combox and I'll track down the answers for you.
And last but not least, meet my godson:
And future priest? Pray for me, buddy!