Sometimes a person needs new jammies. The ratty t-shirts and faded flannel pants are a pretty sad combination anymore. Coming into warmer weather, I thought a nightgown sounded comfy. So I made one today.
I had a couple yards of ivory cotton sateen that I had originally bought to make a dress for one of the girls before I came to my senses about dressing them in white. It was just enough to make what I had in mind. I was aggravated, though, at the lousy cutting job the person at Joann’s had done. I had to cut off four inches on either side just to straighten it out. Does anyone else wonder if Joann’s fabric cutters have ever actually sewn anything in their lives? Most of the time, I just want to crawl across the counter and demand their scissors so I can do it myself.
On the same pattern that I used for my flannel pajama pants, there is also a pattern for a bias-cut nightgown with spaghetti straps. I’m not a big fan of spaghetti straps while I’m sleeping. But I had something else that I thought would work and could be fun.
This is a historical pattern based on undergarments from the Civil War era. The chemise would have served as a slip by day and a nightgown by night. It doesn’t quite cover the shoulders, but if that ends up being a problem, I’ll just tack it a little further up. The pattern only uses four pieces — front/back, sleeves, front band and back band. It’s not a difficult garment to make. I did find it interesting that, with the exception of the bands around the neckline, all other seams were flat felled. But it makes sense that in the 1860s with no sergers and the like, a smooth finish like this would give strength and a clean finish to clothing, not to mention comfort, especially in the case of the chemise. For some reason, I always thought flat felled seams were some kind of difficult, mythical thing. Turns out, they really aren’t difficult at all, they just take a little extra care.
I was surprised at how loose the chemise is considering that it would have gone under a corset as shown in the picture. Wouldn’t all those extra folds of fabric have felt lumpy and uncomfortable underneath something as tight-fitting as a corset?
I didn’t have enough lace of any sort to trim around the upper edges as the pattern called for, so my night gown is as plain as plain can be right now. I briefly considered making a trip out to buy some lace, but polyester lace is so stiff and scratchy and I don’t want to have that anywhere near my skin while I’m sleeping. So right now I’m thinking that I will crochet some lace with cotton thread and apply it once I’m done. Which could be awhile because the pattern requires 2.5 yards. I’ve been dying for a crochet project, though, so it will be nice to have something to do with my hands while we watch TV in the evenings besides obsessively clicking back and forth between Facebook and Twitter (which really isn’t that exciting of a pastime).
So here it is, all done. I kind of want to go to bed right now just to have a reason to put it on.
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