Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Nightgowns

Sometime ago, Meg decided she likes satin nightgowns.  Then, one day I was looking around and came across her free pattern for 45 minute raglan sleeve nightdress.  I realized this was very similar to the raglan sleeve dress pattern that I have.  But I didn't have any interesting satin (just some cream and some brown).  I was at Salvation Army and couldn't find any satin sheets, so headed to the lady's lingerie, hoping to find a big robe or something.  The selection wasn't that great, but I did find a long La Senza nightgown.  I knew I'd be losing a lot from the bust up, but thought there'd still be enough for the rest.
 However, when it came time to cut out sleeves, there wasn't enough left.  I searched my stash, and wasn't thrilled with either satin option, but found this lightweight gold material; I think it's silk.  I cut the sleeves from that, using the selvage as the sleeve hem, and then cut a long strip (actually, pieced a long strip from the leftovers) to make the ruffle.  I did a really simple hem for the ruffle that I think is neat.  I serged the raw edge, then just folded it back that much, pressed it, and stitched on the wrong side, following one of the serger threads to keep it straight.  To tie it together a bit more, I did the hem in red.  Well, actually I did that cause I didn't have a gold thread to match, LOL. 
I gave it to her for her birthday, and she loved it.  However, there is one big issue.  Her blankets slide off her and she wakes me up about three times during the night to get tucked in again!

Undeterred by the sleepless nights (and thanks to my mom who suggested laying the blanket down, having her lay on it, and folding the other half over her!), I decided that I'd make her annual Christmas Eve nightgown, out of satin again.  I was at Value Village and found this seafoam green satin fitted sheet.  I wasn't thrilled with the colour, but didn't know if I'd get back out shopping.  After VV, I headed across the parking lot to FabricLand.  There, in the remnant bin was a piece of printed satin with this exact same green shade!
 I think the sheet was homemade--there were no tags, and there was a French seam going up the middle (about 1/3 of the way across actually).  There were also some holes.  And the sides had been sewn as a separate panel.  All of this cut down dramatically on the amount of usable material, which I didn't notice till I was cutting it out. 
I laid it all out first, so I could decide how best to use the contrast fabric.  This time, the bodice and the bottom ruffle got it.
I hadn't decided on how to finish the sleeve hems, but they seemed a little short.  I opted to just serge the edge, using a combo of teal and brown threads.  I finished the larger bottom ruffle the same way as I had on the first nightgown--it didn't look right with just a serged edge...too much patterning I think.
This satin sheet was a nightmare.  It wrinkled terribly, and was SO slippery, I ended up cutting three skirt pieces, none of which were terribly accurate.  I used pins, I used weights, I traced before cutting (instead of using the uhh...the round blade thingy right next to the pattern).  I tried scissors, I tried the round blade thingy.  I've used satin before, but this was in a class of it's own.  The wrong side wasn't shiny, but it was still slippery.  Thankfully, it's  a nightgown, and not a prom dress!!

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