Sunday, 19 December 2021

Two Flannel Nightgowns and a rayon (?) one

 Last year I posted some pictures of two extant nightgowns I got to examine in the King's Landing collection in late 2019, and I mentioned I'd taken measurements and drafted a pattern for one of them.

I cut out the pattern in 3 different fabrics not long after that, but they sat in the unfinished things pile for quite a long time, and I wanted to blog about all 3 at once. I have finally sewn all 3!

The second one I sewed was this white cotton flannel. It's a very thick old flannel sheet that I'd block printed some fish on, which can be seen in another blog post from 2017

It's the one I took the most progress pictures of.
I started by sewing the cuffs to the sleeves, right side to wrong side, and understitched them, like on the original nightgown.

The curved edge of the cuff then gets pressed under, and the whole thing pressed up over the outside of the sleeve and secured with 2 rows of topstitching. 

Sorry about the fuzzy dots, these were taken with my older camera.
I put the placket in more or less the usual way one puts in a placket, but did a couple rows of topstitching along the folded edge before sewing the other edges down.
I accidentally did the placket the wrong way around, so it overlaps right over left. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think gendered button overlaps is a very silly concept, but it's not what I'm used to and is a bit more awkward for right handed people.
The yoke and collar are pretty similar to the way you'd sew them on a modern shirt, but there's no interfacing in the collar. As far as I could tell there wasn't any interfacing in the originals, and it makes sense, since they're for sleeping in and need to be comfortable rather than crisp looking. 

Once the collar and yoke were all together I sewed the sleeves on, and felled the seam allowances.

Then it was time to sew up and fell the very long side/sleeve seam.

Pressing the side seam.
Here are the fish!
They're printed with dye paste, so it doesn't affect the softness of the fabric.
The sheet had a nice sturdy serged edge on it, so I left that along the bottom and just hemmed the curved side bits.
There's a gusset reinforcing the bottom of the side seam on both original nightgowns, and they're sewn in differently from how I did this one. They look like they were done at the same time as the hemming, but I added mine on after, since I'm not an Edwardian factory worker doing things as efficiently as possible.

I machine sewed the buttonholes, added 5 big pearly plastic buttons, and it was done! 
The original only had 3 small buttons, but I wanted more.
I left off the pocket because I don't have any use for pockets on sleepwear, but I do intend to eventually make a more historical version in plain white cotton with pearl buttons and a pocket.
I also mean to someday pattern and sew up the other collarless nightgown.

The first version I sewed up was in this lighter weight blue plaid cotton flannel, which my mother gave to me. (Thank you Mama!)

The pattern I drafted was to the original measurements of the extant nightgown, and ended up fitting me pretty much perfectly! The only change I made to the pattern after first sewing it up was to shorten the sleeves by about 1 cm.

I put 4 red plastic buttons on this one.

The third and most recent nightgown is in a dark brown mystery fabric which appears to be rayon, and which I think was also a gift from my mother. I felt it was too soft and floppy to bother doing a collar, so I left it off and just finished the neck with bias binding.

I didn't take any progress photos of this one, since I already had so many of the fish printed flannel one, and the little white plaid pattern makes it hard to see the stitching clearly.
I did 7 little brown plastic buttons with horizontal holes.
A bit more than usual, but there was a set of 7 in my stash.

I clipped the seam allowance too high up, so the 
gusset isn't quite where I wanted it to be.

I'll hopefully take more pictures of the process when I sew up more historical versions of these! 
I'll also hopefully get through some more of my sewing blog post backlog before the year is out...

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Unlined Green Linen Waistcoat

 My goodness, still terribly behind on blogging.
I made this waistcoat this spring, because the unlined white linen 1770's waistcoat I made a few years ago doesn't fit me anymore now that my posture is so much better. I have some other waistcoats made from the same pattern that I still wear because they're stiff enough to not pull and wrinkle too badly, but that one is so thin that I can't button it up without it looking absolutely awful.

I re-drew the old pattern and added more width to the front, and took a bit out of the back. The fabric is Everyday Linen in the colour Lagoon from Pure linen Envy. (I'm pretty sure green isn't a historically accurate colour for a summer linen waistcoat, but I made this for my everyday wardrobe so I don't much care.) The facings & pocket flap linings are white cotton sheeting I got from my local Fabricville.

The construction is pretty simple, and basically the same as the previous linen waistcoat. I machine sewed the pocket flaps, leaving the top edge open, then turned them right side out and hand stitched that bit closed with silk thread. I also did a little running stitch along the edge, to help keep it flat. 
I did 3 decorative buttonholes on each flap with matching DMC cotton pearl.

I forgot to take pictures while I was making the pocket. It's a very thin white cotton. I machine sewed one half on all around the opening area, cut it open and turned it to the inside, machine topstitched it, and then machine stitched the other half to the inside.

I wish I'd used a bit of a thicker cotton for the pocket bags, because the one I used was foolishly thin, but since this waistcoat is so soft and unstructured I wouldn't be inclined to put anything too bulky in them anyways.
I whipstitched the pocket flaps on with more silk thread, but not until after the facings were done.
The facings are done in the same way the pocket flap linings. Machine stitched on and turned, topstitched with a small running stitch, then hand sewn to the inside.

Basting around buttonholes before sewing them is one of those Good Habits that I don't usually do, but I did it here because the linen is a bit shifty. It's also somewhat loosely woven, which is why I used a very tightly woven cotton for the facings. 
The buttonholes are overcast in silk thread and then sewn with more of that cotton pearl.
I used the same cotton and some little plastic rings for the 9 Dorset wheel buttons.

Tiny bar tacks at the ends.

The side, back, and shoulder seams are machine sewn and hand felled. The armholes and the bottom edges of the back are hemmed by hand.

I added a piece of facing to the back of the neck too, to prevent stretching and warping.

I wore it a bit this summer and I like it, it's one of my favourite colours. I used the same pattern for my Werther's wrapper waistcoat, and it fits quite well, though I may have added just a little tiny bit too much to the front edge.