A fascination with vintage nighties

13 Oct

A sewing friend’s 10 yr old daughter is interested in learning to sew. They’ve decided to start with bags and move on to a nightie.


Of course, I have to do what I can to help my friend inspire her daughter to sew! Thus, I’ve been er *cough* researching nighties all afternoon. My tastes tend towards vintagey, old-fashionedy stuff, so that’s what I was *coughs* researching… I’m sure a 10 yr old will find them as fascinating as I do, right? Right!

There are a number of basic types of nightie patterns – I tried to find versions with appealing pattern envelope art but if necessary, ignore the art and just look at the lines of the garment. All these are for sale on Etsy, at varying prices.
Yoked – straight-ish, v-necked or roundish
Simplicity 8198 Misses Nightgown and Robe Pattern, Two Lengths, Size 14

McCalls 3155 1980s Misses Pullover Tent Dress Muu Muu Pattern Scoop Sweetheart Neck Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size XL B 44 46 UNCUT

Simplicity 5030 1970s Misses Baby Doll Pajamas Nightgown Pattern Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size Medium Bust 34 36 OR Small Bust 31 32

Simplicity 6047 misses size 14 bust 36" waist 28" Nightgown shortie PJ pajamas loungewear vintage Sewing Pattern
So many fancy variations on the yoke theme.

Kwik Sew 994 1970s Misses Evening Length Nightgown Pattern Raglan Sleeve Womens Sewing Pattern Size xs s m l Bust 31 - 41 UNCUT
1920s Women"s Nightgown Dress Lingerie Sewing Pattern Minerva 5783 Bust 34
7237 Simplicity petite 6 Miss Pattern Misses Nightgown in Two Lengths Panties Vintage 1975 Uncut

OOP Folkwear Sewing Pattern 224 Beautiful Dreamer Womens NIghtgown Size 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Bust 30 1/2 to 42 UnCut 1900s Nightgowns
Vintage nightdress pajamas & sleepsuit sewing pattern - Style 3388 - size 10 - 12 - 14 - 16 ( 32.5" - 34" - 36" - 38" bust) - 1981 - unused
Kwik Sew 876 1970s Misses Kimono Sleeve Peignoir and Nightgown Pattern Womens Vintage Sewing Patterns Size S M L XL Bust 32 - 45 UNCUT


This gorgeous crochet-yoked nightie was from a magazine pattern illustration. You can find crochet yoke patterns here:ย http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/crochet.htm
EARLY 1900"s COTTON NIGHTGOWN dress under layer L

Then there’s the straight thru, one-piece types.
1969 Sew-Knit-N-Stretch 214 Ladies Nightgown Sizes S-M-L Kerstin Martensson Baby Doll Nightgown Sewing Pattern Misses PJ Pattern u

This one is one-piece straight through but some views have elastic to pull it in under waist to create an empire look.
Size 8&10 Vintage 60s Misses" Baby Doll Nightgown In 2 Lengths Jiffy Simplicity Sewing Pattern 8252 Sizes 8 10

So uninspiring! Kwik Sew art just doesn’t do it for me…
Kwik Sew 2239 Misses Tank Style Nightgown and Camisole PatternLingerie Womens Sewing Pattern Size XS S M L XL Bust 31 - 45 UNCUT

I’m in love with this one and may have to either buy it or work out how to draft it myself.
Kwik Sew 993 1980s Misses Evening Length V Neck Nightgown Pattern Lettuce Edging Womens Sewing Pattern Size xs s m l Bust 31 - 41 UNCUT

Empire line is another classic nightie style, but its success as a wearable garment, I’ve always felt, depends on having perky boobs, which I don’t. Probably not so much of an issue for my friend’s 10yr old ๐Ÿ˜› Here are some pretty variations!
Kwik Sew 717 1970s Misses LINGERIE Pattern Full Slip Pattern Lettuce Edging Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size s m l xl Bust 32 - 43 UNCUT
Simplicity 1136 1940s Ladies Lingerie Pattern Misses Nightgown Negligee Pattern Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size 12 Bust 30
Vogue 8887 / Vintage 70s Sewing Pattern / Nightgown Empire Gown Babydoll Pajamas Panties / Size 12 Bust 34
Never Used Pattern Pieces 1940s Butterfly Nightgown Anne Cabot"s Needlecraft Corner 5138 All 3 Sizes Possible

Some are (often strange) conglomerations ofย manyย style details.
1940s yoke and cut on sleeve fancy thingie. Or is it a raglan-sleeve straight-through nightie?
Vintage 50s Nightgown Pattern New York 1210 Size 17 Bust 35 UNCUT
1980s glam girl!

Sexy ROBE & NIGHTGOWN, UNCUT, F/F, Size 16-18, Bust 38"- 40", Butterick 4669.
1942 Simplicity 4456 Size Bust 34 Hip 37 Casablanca-Style Womens Nightgown Sewing Pattern Vintage Sewing Pattern Supply Lana Turner Gown

Then there are the ‘wtf you’re planning to sleep in that?’ nightie styles. (I think the above might qualify for this category too.)
VTG McCall"s 4731 Misses V Plunge Nightgown and Pinafore Look Nightgown Pattern, Size Petite, UNCUT

Yes this WAS designed as a nightie!

Vintage Simplicity 4980 1950s nightgown pattern Bust 30 shelf bust tie shoulder fitted waist Full skirt Grecian peasant dress

So was this!
Kwik Sew 1813 1980s Misses Lace NIGHTGOWN Pattern Drop Waist Overlay Skirt Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Size xs s m l Bust 31 - 41 UNCUT


9 Responses to “A fascination with vintage nighties”

  1. Summerflies October 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Hmm… I don’t see too many for a 10 year old… back to research! Although I do see some really nice ones there. I love the Style one.


    • Tropical Threads October 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm #


      Seriously though, she and her mama decided on a peasant-style nightie like the Vogue 8887.
      The Style one is sweetly simple isn’t it ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Megan October 20, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

        Funny, but I totally stumbled across this post, and found a picture from one of my etsy listings – the Style one! What a nice surprise! (It’s still for sale by the way! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


      • Tropical Threads October 21, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

        Goodness that’s really funny ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope someone falls desperately in love with it from seeing it on my blog, and buys it.
        Nice you stumbled across my blog. Welcome. I’ve had an eye on your etsy pattern store for a long long time!


      • amaranthadesigns October 31, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

        Ooh, I’ve finally “met” an admirer of my shop! ๐Ÿ˜€ And yes, it would be lovely if one of your readers fell in love with my pattern enough to buy it! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. Josie Brady October 14, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    I made my first dress at 10. I think it is quite a good age to start. Some of those nighties are very nice, and some of them are horrible. I think the one they chose is very suitable for a young girl, as well as being very pretty..


    • Tropical Threads October 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      What kind of dress? do you have photos?

      I was about that age when I started sewing full garments with mum guiding me. I was 11 when I sewed my first one entirely on my own including reading the pattern notes. A pair of green floral shorts from fabric mum had bought me in our local Coles. I was SO proud of myself!

      LOL! aren’t some of them awful! And others so pretty. Pattern art has a lot to answer for, good or bad.

      I think she’ll love the nightie from that pattern ๐Ÿ™‚ (Although I gather from my friend being ‘pretty’ isn’t high on her daughter’s list of priorities :-D)


  3. dixieodare October 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Oh my goodness! I would love to make a nighty from simplicity 4980, i dont care how impractical it might be to sleep in!


    • Tropical Threads October 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

      It’s so pretty, isn’t it! If it was truly impractical to sleep in, it would make a beautiful sundress ๐Ÿ™‚ Or to wear as a nightie in situations were you don’t expect much sleeping to happen ๐Ÿ˜‰


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