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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Episode 4: Good Night My Someone - Sewing Nightshirts, Nightgowns and Robes

Hey!  The coolest podcast show on the web has just published it's December Show!
It's our Best Holiday Issue Ever! (What do you mean it's the first holiday season for the show? What could that possibly have to do with anything? :-

Sewing Nightgowns, Robes, Men’s Nightshirts, and Ideas for Pajamas too. Laurel is a classic romantic when it comes to nightwear sewing. This month she shares some of her favorite night garment sewing patterns, thoughts on winter gown and robe fabrics, and an audio tutorial on sewing tucks.  The show also includes an informative interview with Anthony G., another student in the Cañada Fashion Sewing Program, some of which was surprising to Laurel when it came to what Anthony shared about natural fibers and Harry Truman!

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Simplicity 9898
is the Nightshirt pattern I use for my husband
Unfortunately it's now out of print
Though I saw some for sale on the web

MccCalls's 6231 is a newer pattern that's very similar
It doesn't have a collar however

Wonder how many times I've made Simplicity 9898  flannel nightshirts for my husband? It's the ultimate, non-fashion item. I sew them and he wears them out. We turn the worn out nightshirts into cleaning and polishing rags, just as families have for generation after generation.

My favorite deep-yoke nightgown
Touches of machine embroidery

* Tucks are a great embellishment for romantic nightgowns.

* Sewing Sample Tucks on paper first

Kaity Rose obviously likes her new tucked nightgown

* Sample sewing is a blast when you sew for a doll. Have you ever noticed how non-picky a doll is? They'll wear anything! After practicing my tucks on paper, I next sewed them using a retired white cotton sheet, and began fashioning an 18" dolls nightgown to practice tucks for a springtime nightgown for myself, that's been floating around in my head. I wear out a lot of light weight nightgowns. So it's worth putting time into a special feature like tucks when I know I'll get a lot of use out of the end product.

* Tuck Sewing on Wikipedia. I'd forgotten about the reference to sewing tucks in Little Women!

* The Folkwear Gibson Girl Blouse is the perfect medium for making tucks, once I get some more practice. For the time being, a doll's nightgown is the perfect project to work on improving my tucks-making skills.

I blogged about my in-progress doll's tucked bodice nightgown recently in my posting Imperfect Tucks are Not the End of the World as We Know It

Download classic retired American Girl Doll Patterns for free! They're big files and I highly recommend that you avoid doing more than one at a time, just wait until one finishes, then click on the download link for the next one. Thanks to Pleasant Rowland and the rest of the American Girl team for sharing these free patterns.

* Here are the lyrics to Good Night My Someone from the musical The Music Man, a wonderfully classic romantic and humorous turn of the 20'th century movie

* Patterns for Future Warmer Weather Nightgown Sewing

Stephanies pj's close up
* Graphic Artist Stephanie, from my Sewing Class, gave me permission to post photos of these cool pajama bottoms she made using a basic elastic waist pants pattern. Love her use of the black knit for a band, and the way she sewed down the cord at the back seam (to avoid slippage), then pulled it across slightly before reinserting into casing to look like a designer label.

Folkwear #224 Beautiful Dreamer
is the ultimate Romantic's nightgown
It's out of print, but I found it for sale
at Lacis. They had more recently
Other vendors have it too.
Don't confuse it with the child's version 225
which is still in print.

McCalls 6472
Recently I bought these three patterns for future warm weather nightgowns. For my tucked nightgown bodice, I'll be trying view C on McCalls 6472. I'll be making it sleeveless though.

I also like view C on McCalls's 5989. I do not like the long sleep shorts, but I am likely to try out the robe as well. I would make it in a plain, slippery, satiny fabric. But it would look nice in a brocade as well. I just already have two brocade robes!

McCalls 5989

Kate Blanchett as Elizabeth I of England
Butterick 6837
is a classic
romantic's  robe
* I made my full length black velvet robe, with the satiny pale pink lining, from Butterch 6837. I altered the pockets by cutting them in a full-topped wedge shape, then gathering them up (I cut their lining regular pocket shaped) for a fun slouchy pocket. Also I embellished it with a scattering of  faux pearl beads and a few sparkly silver butterfly buttons. I love this robe and plan to have it lost forever. I always feel like a queen when I wear it!

* The movie Elizabeth starring Kate Blanchett is a constant source of inspiration to sew another robe. Her red velvet robe in the movie is stunning.

I have made several warm weather nightgowns by extending a peasant blouse pattern, which is pretty much what the the vintage pattern, braid-wearing model in this pattern is wearing, if you add cuffed sleeves and a waist casing. The pajama-trousers on the other model are straightforward to, I've made palazzo pants by angling out a standard elastic waist pants pattern. 

* A great article on Sewing Versus Shopping by the Wearing Hitory Blog

* The SewingPatterns.Com site has good prices on a variety of patterns. The dress pattern, Vogue 8810 ,that I'm working on making into  a Tried and True pattern,  (printed price $25.00) is currently selling there for $11.99

This month's show includes an interview with Anthony G. , a new sewer in my Beginning Clothing Construction Class at Cañada College in Redwood City. Anthony has sewn a ton of stuff since he began taking classes in the program. Here he's wearing a long relax around the house vest over a shorter traditional wool vest. Underneath his jeans (no, they don't show!) he's wearing loose linen drawstring pants with cargo pockets. He's also sewn four very cool long sleeved tee shirts and the hoodie below.

And yes, he has taken two other classes this year as well as having a life!

Anthony completely lined this
 Kwik Sew hoodie in linen