Posted tagged ‘nighties’

Perle Cotton for Embroidered Nightgowns

October 6, 2016

I’m having difficulty embroidering and sewing due to a shoulder impingement and attendant tendinitis and nerve pain, but I started embroidering the bodice of a nightie, and I’m chipping away at it as I can.

The fabric is a softly mottled aqua flannelette that I bought from Connecting Threads two years ago. I am using a variegated green Perle cotton #12 from Presencia to outline the motifs in chain stitch and then I’ll fill the shapes in. The motifs are a combination of the Kate & Rose embroidery patterns Faraway Garden and Bewitching Botanicals. I’m really getting some mileage out of those patterns. I hope to do a small motif on each sleeve as well as embroidering the bodice.


I bought some more Presencia perle cotton #12 threads from Connecting Threads during a recent sale and I bought two colourways of variegated DMC and Anchor floss which you can see surrounding the bodice that is currently being worked. BUT, I’ve always wanted to try the hand-dyed perle cotton threads from Lorraine at Colour Complements, so I ordered two skeins of her beautiful hand-dyed DMC perle cotton #12, just to try it.


One of the nighties I’m making is plain white flannelette, and I wanted a variegated thread that really popped. Lorraine’s gorgeous blue, yellow, red, and orange colourway will absolutely pop on white fabric. I think I’m going to hand draw my own pattern up for this one using some motifs from adult colouring books as inspiration. I tend to get bored following patterns so I want to do my own exuberant drawings for this second embroidered nightgown.

I also plan to sew myself a mid-length dressing gown from a navy flannelette, and I thought the second variegated colourway from Colour Complements would be a nice jumping-off point for embroidering motifs on the shawl collar of the dressing gown.

I hope my hand and arm settle down soon so I can get something done.





Another Nightie and New Sewing Patterns

July 31, 2014

I finished short summer nightie number three from Kwik Sew 3106. On this one I also made a ruffle in addition to adding a couple of inches at the lengthen and shorten line. I felt that the last ruffle I did at twice the width was a bit stiff, so this time I made it 1.5 times the width and I like it much better.

The fabric I used has a larger motif so I had to centre it on the pieces before cutting. That worked out well and the colour is lovely on me.




Encouraged by this, I’ve been searching for either a shirt or pants pattern for a couple of weeks. Pants are notoriously hard to fit but I bought a pattern when McCall’s and Kwik Sew had a sale on this week. These are pretty basic with elastic in a casing at the waist, but I thought it I could get a good fit I could make them out of light denim and corduroy in different colours. I might try the shorts first and make a “muslin” using fabric scraps as they use less fabric. Kwik Sew 3345.


As well, I bought two shirt patterns. The first is Kwik Sew 3555, a plain yoke shirt with no darts and long or short sleeves with a shirt tail hem and collar stand. This might look a bit blocky, but would be nice under a sweater for winter. I’m so tired of wearing knit shirts all the time.


This McCall’s 6076 pattern costs $18.95 plus tax up here in Canada but McCall’s had a 3-day sale and I managed to buy it for $3.99 plus shipping and tax for much less. I’ve had my eye on this for some time as it’s fitted with princess seams, has a soft collar and is one of the Palmer and Pletsch patterns with extra fitting notes and sizes.


It has quite a wide facing at the front so I’m not sure about that but it looks really stylish. Fitting princess seams is a bit tricky, so I also bought the Palmer and Pletsch Fit for Real People book that has all kinds of information. One of the things I’ve always found confusing about fitting is where exactly to make the adjustments if a conventional pattern does not fit and this has extensive information on that.


So here I am, every hopeful of tackling the fitting issue that has kept me from sewing clothes for decades. I switched to quilts in 1984 because they are forgiving size-wise, but I’ve always wanted to be able to make myself some nice clothes. The patterns today are so much easier than they were in the 1970s and 1980s when I tried so hard to sew clothing. Plus there are all kinds of tutorials and videos on the Internet to help with such things.

It will require patience, but once you get the fit right it’s simply a matter of watching for fabric sales and making multiple items from your perfect pattern. Having done this with sewing patterns for nighties for three years I really think that if I take the time I can do it.



Kwik Sew 3106: Finished Second Variation on View C

July 8, 2014

I finally got this second nightie finished that I cut out in March.

I added 2.5 inches at the Lengthen/Shorten line of the pattern, and then I also added a ruffle to the bottom using leftover fabric on the straight grain. It’s slightly longer than the first nightie I made with this pattern and very comfortable.


I might make another one of these after I finish another project. I always feel so good when I finish projects that have been hanging around in pieces.

I want to make one or two of View B for the winter, but I am waiting for quilting flannel fabric to go on sale.



Added Ruffle On Sewn Nightie

June 30, 2014

I made this nightie in March and it didn’t thrill me. It looked shapeless and was a bit short. I wore it for the first time yesterday and it is comfortable but when I sit down it rides up; I was constantly tugging it down.

Before cutting the second version I added some length to the pattern and I will also be adding a ruffle, so I decided to go back and add a ruffle to this first one, since it was bothering me to wear it as it was. Apart from the bonus of it covering me up properly, I think it makes it look feminine and not so shapeless to have the added ruffle.

I cut a piece of fabric 7 inches wide and after seaming and hemming it measure about an extra 5.5 inches. Perfect, I am happy I made the effort to modify it.


Kick Sew 3106, View C with a modified hem.



The First of Two Summer Nighties

April 3, 2014

I love this pattern because it is so uncomplicated to cut out and sew. This view was even easier than the long-sleeved version that I previously made two winter nighties from. My new tracing paper came in handy and I was able to trace the pattern off and not worry about cutting into the original pattern.

Kwik Sew 3106, View C, without the lace trim. I added 1/2-inch to the length of the sleeve hems and the bottom hem to allow a bit more fabric for sewing the hems the regular way. My regular way being to press them under 1/4-inch and then turn up 1/2-inch for the sleeves and 1-inch for the bottom hem.


I think I will probably adjust the pattern to add two inches to the length when I do the second one. I’d add more but the remaining fabric I have is only 3 yards (not meters as we use in Canada) so there won’t be enough for more. I bought the fabric from Connecting Threads.

Easy to sew and I finished the seams with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying as these seams are only 1/4-inch and the seam finish keeps them from falling apart. You don’t press the seams open, they get pressed to one side, so a seam finish keeps them together and nice and flat when you do the hems.

This pattern is way, way over-sized. I made the large size before and it was huge, so this time I dropped down to a size small which seems comparable to size 14 or 16, so not exactly small, I would consider that a medium. This size is not too baggy and muumuu-like, but not too tight; just right for summer.

It’s so nice to complete something successfully.



Another Two Nighties and Two Smocking Patterns

March 6, 2014

Three years ago in March I made myself two long nighties out of flannelette from the Kwik Sew 3106 pattern. I made a large size and it was really big so this time I’ll sew up a medium. The Kwik Sew patterns generally run large.

I am still wearing these though and they have held up really well.


In my ignorance, not having sewn any clothes for years, I mistakenly cut the pattern rather than tracing it, and thus destroyed the multiple sizes in the packet. I then discarded the View C pattern pieces entirely since I wasn’t going to sew it. I have since learned that you are supposed to trace the patterns and keep the original, plus I actually do want to sew View C.

I like this pattern because it’s easy and wearable, so I waited and waited and finally there was a half price sale and I bought a new copy of it from Kwik Sew. I desperately need some summer nighties and the short version in View C is perfect. I suppose they are somewhat old-fashioned but this is the style I like. They look a bit fresher in modern fabrics and colours.


Then I hunted up some clearance fabric online at Connecting Threads. The blue fabric was $3.56 a yard and the striped fabric was $2.96 a yard, even better. “Cheap and cheerful” as the saying goes.


I can never find nighties I like in the stores, they are usually too short and then shrink in the wash, and are often made from uncomfortable synthetics. I prefer cotton nighties so I am very pleased that I’ll be able to sew some cotton ones up for summer that won’t cost me a lot.

I’ll keep my eye out for further bargains in fabric and maybe sew up a third one.

Big plans, always big plans, big ideas.

While I was at it I decided to finally order two patterns for 18-inch doll dresses that can be made smocked or plain. I have always wanted to learn to smock, and had thought to do myself up a nightie with a smocked insert but I don’t think I’m quite up to the challenge on an adult smocking project.

In a doll-sized outfit I think it would be manageable, so I bought two patterns from Judith Marquis: The Classic Yoke Dress, which reminds me of Princess Anne and all the baby boomers in the fifties. My older sister has a picture of herself wearing a dress smocked by my Mom which I think might be similar to these.


The second pattern is Dolly Breeze which can be a sleeveless dress or pinafore and comes with an alternate harlequin-pointed skirt. You can also do flat heirloom sewing on the bodice or embroidery, it seems very versatile.

Good things ahead. I like to have plans, it makes for a cheerier outlook in life.

Two Nightie Jude Sews On

March 16, 2011

I finally got around to sewing the two nighties I cut out in January of this year. I didn’t realize it had been so long (October 2009) since I had bought the pattern and fabric.

It went well, I really like the Kwik Sew patterns, although they are sized very big. I made a large and a medium would have fitted me better. Still, they are both nice and cozy and felt more substantial than store bought. I also learned how to sew buttonholes for the first time in my life.

I’ve had this sewing machine for 18 years and I’ve really never used it for anything but piecing and quilting, so it has felt strange to use the zig-zag stitch and use the measurements on the plate for seam allowances instead of my quarter-inch presser foot. I bought some simple patterns to slowly build my sewing skills again and make more clothes.

My next project will be some short-sleeved summer shirts for the spouse. I bought some fabrics on sale and the black print I had in my stash. It only takes about 1.9 metres to make a shirt and I have all the interfacing. Last week I went on a mad dash throwing out old shirts and snipping off the buttons to save them so I don’t have to buy buttons, I’m all set. Thanks to 27 years of quilting I’ve got lots of thread in matching colours.

After reading reviews and seeing some finished projects of shirt patterns on Pattern Review, I decided on this Kwik Sew pattern.

To help myself in this endeavour I bought an inexpensive copy for $12 of a book that everyone seems to rave about, Shirtmaking by David Coffin. I have my old trusty 1979 edition of the Reader’s Digest Sewing Book but I felt for sewing shirts, which can be more like tailoring depending on what you’re doing, I wanted a book with more details.

I will use the technique of sewing two shirts at once like I did the nighties, because I found that although it slows me down a bit while cutting and sewing, I get two items done without having one of them half done. That worked very well for me, a serial procrastinator.