My sister in law Sandra has long been a fan of my vintage nighties. I’m planning on making her a christmas present of a pretty floral vintage nightie of her own. And as she wants to learn to sew better, but hasn’t had much chance to learn, as part of her present I’ll give her the nightie pattern and a tutorial on how to sew one herself.
My main issue is fit – she lives some thousands of kilometres away. Badly organised of us, isn’t it 😦 Sandra’s sending me a top that fits her to help me get the size right. I’ve been trying to figure out a pattern for her – my go-to vintage nightie pattern is originally a vintage (ie tiny!) size 10. I’ve upsized it to fit me, but I don’t feel confident it can upsize further (She’s a tad bigger than me) while keeping the integrity of the pattern. You know how it is! Patterns can be sized up or down approximately 2 sizes, but usually not more before the fit gets so warped you have to start over again with a bigger or smaller draft.
I’ve been looking for a solution… and I found this in a local charity-run op-shop.
Isn’t it deliciously hideous???
It’ll probably be too big (given it’s modern sizing, thus huge …) But between it, my go-to pattern, and her nicely-fitting top, I feel confident I can create a decent nightie pattern. Here’s my tiny-sized vintage go-to nightie pattern, isn’t it pretty?
It makes up like this:
I reckon I know how to turn Hideous into Pretty. There are two big differences between the patterns:
1)Hideous has a very full, straight skirt, Pretty has a gently-gathered, moderately-full at the top, a-line skirt.
2)Hideous has a yoke that comes across from the front of the armscye, Pretty’s yoke goes just underneath the armscye. I know from a pattern similar to Hideous but much prettier (also, sadly a tiny size) shown below, a yoke finishing at the mid-armscye can look Pretty, and is also roomy for sleeping in. My go-to yoke under the arm pattern can be restricting across the upper bust when wriggling in your sleep like I do. Mid-armscye yokes have their merits.
Hmm…. I notice this pattern’s skirt is also a moderately-full A-line.
A minor difference between Hideous and Pretty, is how the gathers are arranged. Hideous is gathered evenly across the yoke. Pretty has them gathered where the fullness is actually needed – above each bust. The back gathers are concentrated in the centre, which also looks pretty.
Then there’s the pattern art. Pretty’s pattern art uses Very Pretty Fabrics. Hideous’s pattern art uses, well, hideous fabric. I can’t imagine that blue fabric being anything other than ugly, staticy harsh nylon stable knit of the type my Granny would be very familiar with. Ugh.
But that needn’t bother anyone as, of course, Sandra’s nightie is going to be made in Very Pretty Fabric!
Oh, and the Hideous pattern cost 20c. The woman at the counter tried to charge me only 10c.I said ‘Oh it said patterns were 20c.’
‘Oh! … Well I’d better charge you 20c then!’
‘Yes I think you ought to!’
beloved partner proofreader seemed to think the Hideous pattern wasn’t all that Hideous, really. Well, each to their own, I think it’s Hideous 😛