Katie has been bugging me about getting her some nightgowns. I think it started when I brought home some new ones for myself. In fact the other day she got one of my nightgowns out of the hamper and put it on — with a t-shirt over top since the neckline was around her waist — and wanted to sleep in it. Have you ever been shopping for nightgowns for a four-year-old? It is a fine example of what is wrong with the US children’s clothing market. Because of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s stringent flammability standard all the nightgowns I can find are scratchy and stiff. Looking like Disney World exploded on them is also a drawback. Seriously, must our underwear and pajamas be merchandise tie-ins?

New Nightgown

So, I told Katie I would make her some nightgowns and last night while I was waiting for my sewing machine repairman to get home from work and help with my broken even-feed foot I decided to give it a go. I had already decided to try the first version in muslin since it is cool, soft, and cheap. I also decided that I could use the smock pattern as a starting point. I didn’t want to do a facing on the neck though, the bias tape on the sleeves, or the button in the back. Because of the plainness of the muslin I decided to add a raw-edged ruffle at the neck, arms, and hem. I also needed to increase the overall length.

New Nightgown

I used my new serger to make the ruffles and can I say again how much I love that thing. Meanwhile, the regular machine in a jealous fit of range started spitting tiny metal discs from the pedal — I am not kidding. This, after it already destroyed the aforementioned walking foot when I was quilting on a deadline. Stefan says to me, You need to call your mom and find out if she really wants you to repair that piece of junk. Hopefully today the machine will be feeling better and I can finally finish my half quilted doll quilts — unfortunately each is half quilted instead of one being fully quilted — and get some binding on. A new soft nightgown though, that’s definitely going to be on tonight.

Edited to add: the cat is from Josie which she very kindly sent me from a drawing on her blog. As you can see I am no longer the owner of said cat. Thanks Josie! Now, why can’t I be so lucky with my sewing machine, arghh….

Pattern: Adapted from Burda 3026 but really my own, I guess.
Fabric: Muslin
Yardage: less than one yard
Size: 110-ish
Modifications: To avoid the button closure I made two front pieces which I lengthened by about 4 inches. Then I increased the size of the neck and arm openings. I also added a raw edged ruffle to all openings omitting any facings called for in the pattern.


16 Responses to “Unmentionables”

  1. 1 Alicia A. May 2, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Cute! Cute! I love her all cuddled up with the kitty.

    (I know what you mean about the Disney characters. Enough with the princesses already!)

  2. 2 Jen May 2, 2007 at 9:38 am

    I love that nightgown. I am tired of the gross feeling fabrics and I am doing the organic fibers thing now with my sleepy sacks. It is beautiful fabric and well worth the slurge.

  3. 3 martha May 2, 2007 at 10:41 am

    look at you designing your own patterns!!! Time for a new machine -pronto. Can I suggest a Bernina?
    This is adorable.

  4. 4 amandajean May 2, 2007 at 11:23 am

    wow… look at you sew! Love the nightgown.
    I haven’t had the princess problem yet. Boys are much easier to dress.
    I am glad mentioned the cat ….it definitely caught my eye since I still have the Denyse Schmidt fever…

  5. 5 Anina May 2, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    That is wonderful! This might be a gap in the market you could make use of…
    And the cat if Denyse Schmidt’s Steve. I made one myself a while ago. He’s featured in quite a few photos on my blog since he’s my craft room’s “guardian cat”.

  6. 6 Jennifer May 2, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Really cute nightgown, we have always had a lot of luck with Gymboree for cotton nightgowns for my niece. Boy Pjs have the same problem, all Lightning McQueen or sports or yucky polyester flame retardant fabric. Spitting metal shards, Yikes!

  7. 7 tamara May 3, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    I stumbled on to your blog recently and have been enjoying reading it. I feel your pain about nightgowns and the target marketing.
    You did a great job and I think I will have to check out that pattern.

  8. 8 tamara May 3, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    …and now I’m really laughing because I have that pattern 🙂 *lol* I was planning on making some dresses out of vintage sheets for my girls that they could play with in the backyard, sandbox, etc…

  9. 9 Sonya May 4, 2007 at 10:06 am

    This nightgown is so lovely. I have yet to try out ruffles on my serger, but yours are inspiring! I am sorry to hear about the sewing machine giving up the ghost.

  10. 10 Connie May 4, 2007 at 11:08 am

    wow! that is just so great. i have seen kids night gowns and yeah, they’re not the cute soft pretty things that they should be. yours is just perfect… comfy and cute!

  11. 11 sUsAn May 4, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Love the nightgown! Adorable photos! My girls would love a nightgown just like that.

  12. 12 mermaids May 4, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    i agree…RTW jammies for children are just gross….both the quality of the fabric and the designs. my boys have never worn RTW jammies. i wouldn’t be surprised if, even after they are married, they still ask mom to make their jammies.

    the nightie is adorable and looks very comfy. good job!


  13. 14 Josie January 24, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    You know I think this is the first time I have seen this post and I am so glad she liked the cat! I love that! I obviously have got to go through your archives to find out what else I’ve missed !!

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