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Style 2172 vintage nightgowns

13 Oct

Ok, so I’m not sure whether this style of nightgown is “vintage” or “classic”, but considering the pattern itself is MY vintage exactly I’m calling it vintage.

I sewed a butterfly in bias lilac on the skirt! Why? Coz I could ūüėÄ

Style 2172 nightgowns

 

It was such a great pattern I made two! The second one was of flower fairy craft fabric. I was worried a craft fabric might be a bit hot but no, surprisingly not.

Style 2172 nightgown in flower fairy fabric

  • Pattern

The starring pattern. Doesn’t this envelope just look satisfyingly vintage?

Style 2172 nightgowns

  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Red: cotton poplin; lilac polyester satin bias trim around the bottom edge of the bodice and for the butterfly.
Flower Fairy: Green flower fairy fabric for main section; bodice and frill in co-ordinating “apple blossom” fabric; co-ordinating green ric-rac braid around the bodice edges and along the top of the frill.
  • Construction notes

The bodice didn’t come with a ¬†facing, it’s supposed to be cut twice, sewn together round the neckline and then use as one piece for the rest of the construction. This means the entire bodice would be two layers. TOO HOT!!! So I just made up a facing. Which of course doesn’t sit as neatly. Oh well. At least it’s cooler…

The first nightie I made – the red one – was just a bit tight around the bodice and under the arms. I’m a restless sleeper so I need night-clothes that accommodate¬†that. So for the flower fairy one I simply extended the armsyce of the bodice right under the arm another couple of cm front and back. The skirt was already pretty much the full width of the fabric so I just adjusted it to fit the wider bodice. To my surprise the whole thing worked really well and is very comfortable. Also, instead of the gathered cap-sleeve of the red one, I experimented and did more of a tab-style. Pretty much a length of fabric approx 7cm wide, sewn to the armscye top half, and hemmed narrowly. I got the idea from Handmade by Caroline, though I can’t find the exact post. I think the idea is good but in the nightie it is forever folding up from moving my arms above my head. A bit messy. The original cap sleeve works better.

Oh, and … nightie number 3 from this pattern:

For a recent trip down south to Winter (Yes that’s a place. Oh alright I know it’s a season. I went to the Southern Highlands NSW in winter. I was MAD!!!) I made myself the long-sleeved version in white flannel trimmed with soft blue flannel with white butterflies on it. I forgot to get a piccie at the time and there’s no way I’m digging it out of storage then standing round in Darwin build-up weather in full-length, long sleeved flannel while taking a photo. No no no.

Anyway I still wanted the extra width around the chest, so I simply extended the side edge of the sleeve the same amount as I extended the armscye. The shape of both armscye and sleeve were very different to normal, but to my surprise the whole thing worked and was very comfortable.

For the record, flannel nighties in Winter? FTW!!!

Here is the back view of each of the tropical nighties:

Style 2172 nightgown backStyle 2172 nightgown back

I raided my mother’s quilting stash and found some pretty butterfly fabric for the facings of the Flower Fairy nightie.

Flower fairy fabrics

  • Cost
Red:
Fabric: 2m@$5pm = $10
Lilac bias trim $3m @$2pm = $6
Thread – $2.50
Pattern – $.50 (from op-shop)
Total – $18.50
Flower fairy:
Fabric 3m @ $24pm = $72
Trim – $3
Cotton from stash – $1
Total = $76
Flannel:
Fabric 3m @ $6pm = $18
Cotton from stash – $1
Total = $19
  • Last word

Such traditional nighties! I haven’t worn something so classically nightgown-y since I was a kid. But you know, in spite of the shapelessness, and the sheer indulgence of pretty, pretty, flowery, girly, naive fabrics, my fiance still thinks they’re very sexy. Go figure eh?!

Bloomer love

7 Oct

I’m getting in early with the Christmas presents. Why yes, I am so organised, aren’t I!

The moment I made up my Madeleine mini-bloomers I could see my sister loving them too. I mentioned this to my mother. Her reaction was “Oh I don’t think that is the kind of thing K___ is likely to wear.”

“Mum,” I said patiently, “it wouldn’t be for her to wear them, but for her to take them off. Or preferably have her Gentleman Friend remove them for her!”

Since my sister doesn’t read my blog (Hey don’t worry, it’s mutual – she’s got a work blog I never read either :-P) I can put all my ideas down here. I have plenty of white silk dupion burning away in my stash, so I will make her a chemise to go with the bloomers, from Simplicity 9769, undergarments from the America Civil War. Apparently the chemise is quite complex with underarm gussets etc and when finished as per instructions is as beautiful inside as it is out. Sounds like an enjoyable challenge.

The bloomers in this pattern however, don’t appeal at all. I’m pretty sure she’d prefer the¬†Madeleine bloomers. However, just because I know exactly which pattern I intend to use, it didn’t stop¬†me from going on a Bloomer Adventure¬†because …

I got a new overlocker!!!! Ok it is second hand, but in very good condition. And with far more bits and bobs and possibilities than my old one (the motor on it died *sniffles*). I realised if I made myself a pair of bloomers too, all the¬†lace application and pintucks and elastic would be a good way for me to really put my new overlocker through its paces and for me to practise the decorative features on it. Sensible of me eh? Try it all out while making something beyoootiful. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve put this photo here for inspiration for my sister’s christmas present. Isn’t it lovely?

Although her bloomers will probably end up closer to this in style.

I like the way the leg narrows in and the nice thick frill on this one.

This one is extra-fancy. Pintucks above the leg elastic as well as what looks like two layers of leg-ruffle. I’m quite taken with the concept of a ribbon in colour with the rest of them totally white.
These are about the length I’m looking for for myself. Mid-thigh. A lot of the bloomers I found said the elastic in them is a draw-string and adjustable. I like that idea. The most practical way of doing the leg elastic I think.

This has the virtue of being Very Simple. Maybe too simple to really try out the overlocker. Oh well…

Pretty top! Nice idea of lace along the top and the waist elastic. Oh wait, aren’t I supposed to be looking for bloomers? Oop!

Yum yum! Eyelet lace. Looks like two layers of it. I just love the white wholesomeness of this one.

I rather like the black one below the white. Mmm!

Dancers in bloomers and camisoles! Can it get much better than that?

I’m totally in love with this one. Cami-knickers ie all one piece, top and bloomers. Very nice. If I did it in another colour than white I reckon I could wear it out and about ūüėõ

Pretty top. I really like the double layer of lace. Unusual and pretty. I want! (Not sure why they show it with the woman wearing just plain lace undies. Why not a nice petticoat or something? Meh, wotever.)

Oh look! Lace around the top as well as the legs. YUM!!

This is closest to the overall shape I’m looking for, for mine. Same leg length and same fullness, and that lower waistline. I also like the effect of white trim on black.

Well, that was fun. Yay for Google Image Search. Goodness knows how my sister’s and my bloomers will end up, but never fear, I will blog about it when they’re finished!

Unexpected compliments!

27 Sep

I was in Spotlight yesterday. I know, what a surprise eh? Buying up big on some sagey green cotton lycra sateen. Lovely fabric. Destined (so I think at the moment, I reserve the right to change this at any time) to be a skirt with a bit of a circular ruffle at the hem.

The lovely lady behind the counter asked me how I was going to use it. I explained, and she exclaimed in delight. “You have to come in and show us when it is done. I love seeing the things all made up!”

I realised then that I was wearing these trousers, blogged here,

So I gestured to my trousers and told her I’d made them. “From that ribstop cotton you guys have had for ages that keeps ringing up at $2 per metre.”

At which the woman in the queue behind me said “WOW.” As the sales assistant was looking very impressed.

I said “AND I got the pattern from an op-shop for 20 cents. It’s the same vintage as me. 1976!” All the while thinking “The crotch is a bit funky. I know how to fix it but I haven’t gotten round to it. But I’m definitely not going to point it out, and I hope they don’t notice.” *

They certainly didn’t seem to notice anything untoward about the trousers at all.¬†Hey, I tell you, they were both looking pretty impressed by then. And I felt extremely well complimented about my sewing (and thrifting) skills.

Thanks guys! You totally made my day! And made me feel great about myself ūüôā

(It occurred to me on the way home the crotch seam looked fine, it’s just been feeling a bit odd since I started with pilates and built up plenty of muscle tone in my legs. It just needed taking out a bit. Which, of course, I did the moment I got home!)

*This determination not to point out my (or my clothes, or more usually my birds nest hair’s) perceived flaws comes from my mum. When I was a teenager complaining about what I was sure was a huge zit in my face that the entire world must be staring at, mum would say vaguely “Oh, do you have a zit? I hadn’t noticed till you pointed it out.”

Did wonders for my self esteem. I’m planning on doing to my darling little girl when she is old enough to get zits.

 

 

 

Tropical dreams inspired by Folkwear’s Beautiful Dreamer nightgown

26 Sep

Nightie from McCalls 8108

McCalls 8108 1 hour dresses

  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Fabric is a quite finely woven cotton from Lincraft in Brisbane over a decade ago. Thus proving that yes indeed I do use almost all the fabric in my stash … eventually.
1 inch wide white cotton batiste and embroidery lace, and a turquoise trim (polyester) from Spotlight
  • Inspiration
I’ve been in love with Folkwear’s Beautiful Dreamer for ages, (Of which I have the adult version of the children’s one pictured below) but the whole thing is just too heavy and hot for tropical nights. So I got my TNT McCalls¬†1 hour (in their dreams, more like 4-5 hr) pattern, and went to town with pintucks, lace and woven trim.
Here’s a close-up of some of the detailing
  • Useful info
I did the pintucks the traditional (?) way of folding over the fabric where I wanted the pintuck and sewing in a millimetre or two from the edge. I lost count of how many pintucks I did. In addition to the ones pictured on the front and sleeve, I did ones on the back, and around the bottom ruffle as well. I was driven completely barmy by them. So much so that when I next went into Spotlight and saw some soft white cotton voile with pintucks already sewn into it, I bought 3m on the spot. My slightly crazed justification was “So I’ll never have to sew another pintuck!!!”
  • Construction notes

I cut the fabric into two big pieces, one for the front, one for the back. I then measured carefully where I wanted the pintucks to sit across my shoulders, and how deep I wanted them to go. I did the same for the back, but since they were in the centre it was a lot easier to work out what do to with them.

Next I did the pintucks on each piece, ironing the fold first on the ironing board where it was easier to measure them all up accurately, then stitching them. Then I cut the pattern out from the big pieces. With the side seam I just pushed all the extra fullness from the pintucks into the centre fold, so I was essentially cutting the same pattern, but just wider by the amount I’d used in the pintucks. Because the pattern is so simple it worked really well.

I also kept the side bust dart in the pattern, mainly because I am noticeably fuller in the front than back. A combination of a c-cup front and a very flat, short back means that I do need proper shaping in the front. Otherwise the fabric pulls up and sits out at the front, looking awful and feeling uncomfortable. I know it is a nightie and all, but I wanted one that looked pretty and felt pretty, not one that was a compromise.

For the ruffle pintucks I cut the ruffle the required length (For ruffles I generally use a length that is half again of the thing I’m gathering onto. So in this case, the nightie hem was 2m wide, I made the ruffle 3m wide.) I sewed the pieces together with a flat-felled seam, making sure I was creating a circle, not twisting the pieces into a figure 8! Next, I sewed the pintucks. 5 of them x 3m ruffle. O_o

  • Cost
Uh, uh… if you’ve had the fabric for so long you’ve forgotten how much it cost does that mean it is free?
Trims $6 total
Pattern: $0. This was the 6th or 7th use?
Impulse purchase of ready-pintucked cotton from Spotlight $30. (I know I know…*sheepish*)
  • Last word

This fabric gets softer and softer each wash. A very nice trait in a nightie! And I feel so romantic and delightful in my lovely nightie ūüôā It is comfortable to sleep in, and nice to waft round the house in when awake!

Rose-pink bloomers or: I go all whimsical again

30 Jun
How to wear your jammies all day long without anyone realising: make rose-pink bloomery-drawersy-thingies out of your fave jammie trouser pattern!
(I should have held the camera above my head to create a halo from the flash and look reeeeeelly silly!)
  • Pattern/company
Butterick 4406
PJ trousers from this pattern
*sigh* This photo was the right way up on my computer. Could you all just turn your heads to look at it? Eventually I will work out how to make these photos better.
Circular ruffle from this pattern:
Kwik Sew 2756
  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Cotton homespun in rose pink. 6mm elastic. Black polyester flower trim
  • Useful info
I showed mum the drawers-thingies before the black flower trim was on it. “Too much!” she cried. “Too much colour and ruffle and not enough … something…” was her, er, useful verdict.
I stuck to my plan and added the black flower trim. Voila, it worked! The trim defined the entire look, and even my mum thought it was ok. *phew*
At first I did a narrow turned hem on the circular ruffle – ¬†turn the edge over once, edgestich it, turn that over and edgestitch it again. But the cotton was just too firm. Even after a good press it looked awful, so I braved the rolled-hem stitch on the overlocker. I’m glad I did as the rolled hem looks 10 times better than the narrow hem. However it come out so neatly when the ruffle was on the bias, which, given it was a circular ruffle, there were patches of bias, and patches of on grain hem edge. Nothing I could do about it, and I’m not sure if anything except fiddling with tension and just good old-fashioned practise will fix that for next time.
If anyone has any suggestions on this, I would love to hear!
I used the double-elastic waistband technique described for the Madeleine Mini Bloomers by Colette. Instead of using one wider width of elastic, you use two rows of narrower elastic. In the Mini Bloomers I had about 6mm between the elastic channels but for these drawers-thingies I ran the channels right next to each other and it worked just as well.
Why did I do this? Well it is more delicate than a big thick slice of elastic, but has the same holding power. A lovely and effective technique.
The original drawer-thingies in rayon cupro were very drapey, flattering even in a wide-legged elastic-waisted, no extra shaping trouser pattern. I was worried the cotton homespun would be too crisp to work well. However the ruffle and trim weighs it down so it sits flatteringly over my hips. Also I have mostly waist-defining tops, which helps. (The one in the piccie isn’t, of course, just to prove the rule!)
  • Inspiration for the garment
I first made a pair of um shorts? Drawers? bloomers? years ago. I have no picture because back then we only had one digital camera that had cost us a fortune and took crap photos. Ahhh, remember the days?
The drawers-thingies started life one cold dry season, (aka what passes for winter here) as full-length pyjama trousers from this pattern,in a delicious mushroom rayon cupro. Soft and flowing. Then the build-up came (aka the hot stinky humid season). I lopped the trousers off just above the knee and added a circular ruffle of  a leftover rayon/cotton fabric with mushroom-coloured roses that matched the cupro exactly.
It needed just a touch of added extra something, so I did a row of simple embroidery just above the ruffle (my sewing machine sadly only does simple embroidery – but I love it anyway!)
They were delicious and perfect and comfortable – after all I was wearing some jammie trousers!
I don’t think I have a photo of them, but if I ever discover on hidden away somewhere I’ll definitely blog about them.
Tragedy struck when they got some bleached spots. The mother of invention came to my rescue. I cut out some roses from the leftover fabric and appliqued them artistically over the bleached spots. and a few other places to make it look deliberate. It turned out very nicely, and saved the day. Well, saved the drawers-thingies, actually.
Ever since I’ve been very fond of this general style of garment. So easy to wear! Soft and swishy and feminine, with all the convenience (and coolness) of shorts.
I’ve made a few from the drawers from Folkwear Edwardian Underthings (click on it to go to the site). I haven’t blogged about the drawers from this pattern. Must do so! But the presumably period-style crotch is not as comfortable for this modern gal as my pyjama pattern which is a bog-standard modern crotch shape, hence I prefer using that.
  • Cost
Fabric: cotton homespun 2m @ $6pm. Half a metre left over for little girl’s dolls dresses… ;-P
Trim: 2m @ $4
Threads and elastic from my stash
Patterns – Jammie pattern – Butterick 4406: third use
Kwik-sew 2756 skirt pattern – 4 skirts already from it and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve used that ruffle pattern piece.
Total: $20
  • Last word

I wore them to my pilates class the other day. The teacher’s reaction was “Oh are we having a fashion show today? They are so beautiful!” Always nice to get random compliments on clothes you’ve sewn!¬†For the record, they work just fine for a pilates class. No binding or catching.

Wandering round in jammie trousers is a very comfortable way of spending the day. Highly recommended!

Opinions requested (again ;-P)

15 Nov

First of all, thankyou to everyone who gave me their opinion on whether to shorten my grey pinafore¬†or not.¬†I am pretty sure I will take the hem up, as was the general consensus. I confess, however, I am wearing it today still long, not having gotten round to the big chop yet. You see, I just wanted to wear it today. It is so comfy…

But I do intend to take it up ūüėÄ

And, so, what’s she up to now, you wonder? Getting sidetracked from schoolhouse tunic-inspired sewing by crocheting a huge doily, is what. Well, ok, it is a shawl inspired by a doily, apparently.¬†My friend over at¬†Studio Pyraxis¬†commented it looks like a butterfly wing. So true!¬†The pattern is from Caron International, clicking on the picture will take you there.

 

One of my dance dresses is the most boring black thing you’ve ever seen, but not long ago I realised I could dress it up to the nines for a tango Milonga with a scarf around the waist, suitable jewellery and hair ornaments. (A revolutionary idea, I know! But forgive my being so slow on the uptake. I find interesting garments¬†the most fun to sew, thus most numerous in my wardrobe.)

But what kind of scarf to dress it up with? I thought something like the above shawl in the classic latin red fine crochet cotton.

Off to Spotlight I went, and returned with cotton (a lot of cotton, to be precise) shaded like this … (Here crocheted into the first 6 rows of the huge doily pineapple shawl.)

 

 

While cutting out the schoolhouse tunic-inspired tunic dress (what a long phrase!) I realised the red of the fabric and the darker red of the cotton work beautifully together. Actually though, when I look at it in this photo, they look quite different, but I think that is due to the way the light coming off the different textures affected the camera. The reds are close enough that I suddenly envisioned my new tunic-dress with a wide band of crochet in this cotton along the hem. Preferably in a medallion-type, fairly geometrical pattern that echoes the fabric design. I’ll have more than enough cotton left over for it.But! but but but! do the two work well enough together? If you trust me on the darker red cotton matching the red in the fabric, the rest of the colours are fairly true to reality in this photo, though the fabric’s beige is a tad softer.

When I look at it, I see sadly that the light bits of the cotton are pink, and the light bits of the fabric are beige. Nonetheless, they certainly don’t clash. But I’d rather not put lots of effort into making a band specially for a dress only to find it doesn’t work. I suspect it would be more effective, and less like a random add-on if I also put a narrow edging of crochet around the neckline as well.

So…. what do you guys think?

Decoupage casualty – refashioned trousers

1 Nov

They do say on the bottle of Shimmer-effect mod-podge I was using for decoupage, that once it is dry, it doesn’t wash out.¬†Silly me just figured if I got any on the fave pair of trousers I was wearing that day, I would just wash it off while wet.

Except… I didn’t see it till it was too late.

And then discovered what is strangely not mentioned on the bottle: if you spill it on clothing it dries to look like … not putting too fine a point on it, SNOT.

Good thing I like refashioning, right? They really are great trousers. And SNOT dried shimmer-effect mod-podge right over the right knee is just not a good look.

The trousers long before their encounter with Shimmer Effect Mod Podge.

I made the inside yoke of the trousers with some green/grey floral craft fabric left over from a long-ago pair of shorts. The colours work well with the soft khaki green and beigey green. I found some more of the same fabric left over in the back of mum’s quilting fabric drawer. YAY! It has quite clear flower motifs in amongst a vague leafy background. Perfect!

Deciding that one flower might look lovely but a whole lot of them would not only look awesome, but less like I was covering SNOT shimmer-effect mod-podge and more like I had designed it this way, I made 7 flower motifs. I’m pointing to the all-important SNOT shimmer-effect mod podge-covering flower, for the record.

(Just as an explanation, I HATE ironing, hence all the wrinkles :-P)

What I did:

  • ironed bondaweb (well, mum thinks that is the name of it) onto the back of the motifs
  • used my beloved stork-scissors with their narrow sharp point to cut the flowers out
  • played around with placement
  • ironed the motifs on, including the all-important one over the mishap on the right knee
  • hit my mum up for instructions on how to set my machine for¬†appliqu√©¬†as she does for her quilts
  • asked her for a quick rundown on how to do said¬†appliqu√©
  • appliqu√©d¬†the motifs on
This so totally restored my trousers as a useful member of my wardrobe, while making them slightly more casual, I have been wearing them probably more than I used to.
Including the other month when the tide was really really low, and I went out with some friends and people from work to look at the reef in Darwin harbour.
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