Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finished Object: Good Nightie

After languishing in my stash for ages, I finally made a night gown using Simplicity 3573 (in my stash since last spring, I think), and a flannel sheet I thrifted a year or more ago. In fact, I was so determined to make it into pj's that it came back with me from Kingston, Ontario, and it was a bulky bugger, too! I think the only reason I have this nightie now is because I joined up with the PR Pattern Stash contest, which encourages you to use those old patterns that have been collecting dust in your stash.

When I finally pulled it out to use, I discovered one of the disadvantages of using thrifted patterns: most of it was missing - including the instructions. Obviously I need to pay more attention when thrift shopping. But I wasn't too worried because it had the front bodice piece, the front skirt, the back skirt, and the sleeves.

Okay, details. I decided on view C (the green stripe on the left). I cut a size large, which actually ended up quite loose. I know they're supposed to be loose pj's, but I was looking for something a bit more girly. I think it'd be too big, if I hadn't done a whole whack of modifications to it. More on that below.

It wasn't until I had most of it cut out that I realized that I was also missing the back bodice. No worries though, I just used the back bodice from Simplicity 2599, a pattern I've used before and am pleased with the back piece. I simply shortened it to the bodice length. (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the back piece.) When I attached the back and front bodice pieces, I sort of fitted it to Mabe the Sewing Assistant, which meant off-setting the seams a bit.

I also added some vertical bust darts, because this thing is a little (*coughalotcough*) shapeless, and wouldn't work well with my curves at all. Did I mention wanting a girly nightgown? Okay, maybe I should've said womanly nightgown! Anyways, I nearly added some horizontal darts too, but I realized that would be a little bit ridiculous for pj's. The vertical darts wound up a little bit too long, but I'm fine with it.

I'd also lengthened the shoulder part on the bodice. When I tissue fit the piece, I found that the shoulder seemed a little low. I figured I'd lengthen it and pinch out what I didn't need. I think this is why my sleeves eased in really well, and didn't have the poofy sleeve cap shown on the envelope. I'm quite pleased about this, to be honest. I hate poofy sleeve caps. I suspect it also is the reason the arm hole is really comfortable and doesn't bind at all. Going to keep that in mind for the future.

I really like how the sleeves turned out! They're very comfortable and doesn't restrict motion at all. To get the subtle gathering at the end of the sleeves, I simply used 1/8 inch elastic at the desired length, tied it into a loop, marked out and lined up the 4 'corners' on both the sleeve and the elastic, and stitched it to the outside, stretching the elastic as I went. I considered sewing it on the inside, but I didn't want the elastic against my skin.

I ran into two problems, though.

Problem 1: The seam between the bodice and the skirt wound up really wonky!
I don't know how this happened. Renren at PR also had this problem, and I should've paid more attention before attaching the skirt.

That's okay, I just solved this by sewing on a thick length of really pretty lace. Lace solves all sewing woes, didn't you know?

I'm really pleased at how I matched and stitched in the ends of the lace. Yes, this next picture is definitely on my computer desktop now. Does anyone else do that?

Problem 2: I cut the skirt too short!
The "knee-length" option in the pattern wound up mid-calf on me (definitely not a petit pattern, that's for sure. Or else the models drawn on the envelope are descended from Daddy Long Legs). I sort of forgot that the nightgown was empire waist, so I cut the skirt to the length I normally do from the natural waist, and now the skirt ends a few inches above the knee.

Really, it's fine, and adding a 1 inch wide length of lace helped immensely. (I told you lace solves all sewing woes.) I just may have to make a pair of bloomers to go underneath, because bending over is dangerous!

Anyways, I'm very pleased with my very cute nightgown. I'm starting to consider moving away from the pj pants and old tee's, and this is a good step away from them. Also considering that my new apartment runs on the warm side, I'm going to like having some cooler nighties, even if this one is made of flannel. I may need to make another one in cotton!

They're very comfy to lounge in, too!


  1. That is TOO cute! I seriously need you to teach me how to sew. The most ive ever done is hem a tshirt in your dorm room YEARS ago!

  2. Sara! You know, I saw 'Jinx' and I immediately thought of you! Are you in the city? I'd be glad to show you how to sew. :)

  3. Super cute and great use of snuggly flannel in a non childish way!

  4. Well, to be fair, I am pushing 'little girl cute' with this nightie, but whatever. :D

  5. Adorable. I really love the wonky waist seam fix. Now I do know that lace solves all problems. ;D

  6. I made this one (it did not turn out as nicely as yours), and I had issues with the bodice/skirt seam too. For mine, I also found the bodice a little short in the length. But I never thought about lace on the seam line, great idea! You did a great job and nice score on the flannel sheet, the print is lovely.

  7. It turned out adorable, go you for soldiering on! I keep debating warm winter nighties... I'm getting tired of freezing when I get out of bed in the mornings...

  8. This turned out adorably! I feel your pain about getting a thrifted pattern home, only to realize you have about 1/10 of the pieces, lol. I went to cut out a T-shirt last week from a thrifted pattern and every single piece for the view I wanted was MIA. :]

  9. Super cute! I imagine it would be lovely in a lightweight cotton for summer, as well.


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