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A project to re-inspire yourself

Teaf5 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello, all!  After having lost most of my summer sewing time to an unexpected family obligation, I was despairing about my lack of recent sewing successes.  On my final vacation day, I pulled out some lovely flannel from my stash, found a nightgown pattern I’d bought years ago, and made myself a most romantic, ruffled gown for the winter.

I didn’t finish it that day but got far enough along to realize that I would really like to complete it properly with lace edging, ruffles, a roomy pocket, and nice binding.  The following weekend, I found inexpensive edging, binding, and buttons, and this weekend, I have completed it and hung it in the closet.

It’s still too hot here to wear it, but working with the comfy cotton fabric and getting reacquainted with the ruffler foot, the narrow hem foot, and a new buttonholer on a new machine has been instructive and gratifying.  It was easy to learn new techniques and produce a beautiful and practical garment that I am sure I will love to have on chilly mornings a few months from now.

Now that I’m re-inspired, I’m eager to get to those other patterns and fabrics in my stash.  I highly recommend this very therapeutic project!


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Way to go!  It sounds like a very nice nightgown.  Thanks for the project idea, they would make nice holiday gifts too.  Glad to hear you are enjoying having a bit of time to sew again. 

    What machine did you get?  It sounds as if you are really enjoying it.  Mary

    1. Teaf5 | | #11

      I inherited a Singer 385 this summer and found a free manual for it online at Sears. I'm just learning a lot of the functions; this is the first computerized machine I've ever used. It's also fairly lightweight and portable, another first for my stash.Its buttonhole foot has a jig in which you place the button you are using, and the machine automatically sizes the buttonhole for you. Since I didn't really need perfect buttonholes on the nightgown, it was the perfect chance to practice.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #14

        I think that buttonholer that you put the button in and it sizes them for you was the best thing since "sliced bread" too!  I think all machines should have that!  Mary

  2. CarolSewsAZ | | #2

    Your gown sounds like it is very pretty and feminine with the lace and ruffles.  I am sure you will enjoy the soft flannel on a cold winters night.  It is a good way to get back into the groove again, something that I also need to do.  I have been overwhelmed lately by family repair projects that look simple but take a lot of sewing time to complete. 

  3. sewslow67 | | #3

    Inspiring message; thanks for sharing the creative details too, of your new gown.  I esp. liked the idea of adding a pocket.  That is something I could always use (allergies and runny nose), no matter the season.

    Now then, how about giving us the patterns company and number as well as a photo when you get a chance.  It would be fun to see your completed creation.  Thanks.

    1. Teaf5 | | #12

      I'll post the pattern number when I get to the home computer, and perhaps a photo later. It's still way too hot to put on flannel around here!

    2. Teaf5 | | #16

      A classic nightgown pattern, complete with pajama pants and a robe, Simplicity 3573 is the pattern I used.  I lowered the waist a bit so that the seam would be below my bust, and I added about four inches of width to the skirt for extra ease, although it didn't really need that.  After I realized it was going to fit, I added a ruffle at the bottom, not quite as deep as the one called for but still making it a tea length gown. 

      I left the sleeves uncinched at the wrist and put lace edging there instead.  I used a large, gathered and curved pocket from an apron pattern on the lower right.  Made of white & pale blue sprigged cotton flannel, it reminds me of the Lanz gowns that were so popular in the 1960s, but it cost less than $10.

      1. sewslow67 | | #17

        Sounds lovely, Teal, and I checked out the pattern too, and it looks to have a lot of possibilities.  Thanks for the information, and enjoy your gown.

  4. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #4

    Nighties and jammies are wonderful warmup projects. When you make them for yourself, anything goes as far as fabric, trims, style. You get to try out all sorts of new techniques, and because it is a truly personal garment, who really cares what it fits like, as long as it is comfortable and fun. Many of my favorite garment patterns end up as nightwear in a suitable fabric. An ancient (ok late 70's era) hooded stretch dress pattern has been made more often as a nightgown or housecoat than it was ever made as a dress. And an evening style slip dress pattern is reincarnated as a pretty nightie, with the zip converted to a button and loop closure, and the facings discarded in favor of lace or bias trim. An old coat pattern converted to a housecoat without all the tailoring and interfacing, by sewing it in a thick and cozy fleece, and the wonderful wide shawl collar is better than any housecoat I have seen elsewhere. I lined it in cotton, and it was great to put on after a shower. Cathy

    1. MaryinColorado | | #5

      Those are some great ideas.  I like the hooded knit dress idea, I used to have one and it was so comfy!  I'll be looking for a pattern, that would also make a great beach cover up in a light gauze fabric.  Thanks!  Mary

    2. pinkit | | #6

      It has been fun reading yours and others thread about nightgowns and sleepware.  I have been thinking about making myself a plor fleece housecoat for the cooler weather.  It is getting a bit cooler here in VT.  You also reminded me of the time that I used a housecoat pattern (full swing type) to make a new spring coat for myself when I was pregnant for one of my children.  A little imagination goes a long way.

      1. sewfungirl | | #7

        I just bought a retro robe pattern from Butterick #5152 that I can't wait to make. It's long and flowy and  kind of elegant looking. I'm also planning a fleece nightgown that has a hood and front pocket that would be great for lounging in.

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #8

        Might as well have some fun with it! =) Might just as well make it something you like the look of as well as comfy. A cosy housecoat does not always have to look like the usual housecoat. Cathy

        1. pinkit | | #9

          Thanks for the input.  I will give some thought to extra embellishment.

      3. Teaf5 | | #10

        I love my polar fleece robe! I made a simple kimono wrap, full length, and it's very, very warm. On my next one, I think I'll go for a slightly more fitted, slim style so that there is not quite so much bulk to contend with--I could camp outside in my four- or five-yard fleece kimono!

    3. Teaf5 | | #13

      Great ideas! I, too, tried two different dress patterns for a nightgown; they turned out to be important muslins, as I discovered that both styles were completely wrong for me. Thank goodness that flannel is far, far cheaper than an elegant silk.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #15

        Lol, I am wearing a nightie? dress with pointy bust darts right now! The darts needed to be shortened a lot in the pattern, and the bust apex dropped another half inch. Otherwise, this muslin worked just fine. I wear a lot of my muslins as nightwear. Cathy

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