Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Nighties

These little nightgowns were a perfect, easy break from my ongoing quilt project.  I don't make clothes very often, but when I do I'm reminded at how simple and fast they can be compared with quilts.  I should do it more often!

The little floral nightie started as a Liberty of London print cotton scarf I bought at Target several years ago.  I used my Chucklemop's current favorite nightgown as a pattern and used my serger to finish all of the edges.  I sewed the hem with a decorative vine stitch and added a little "Handmade" tag to distinguish the front. There was enough scarf material leftover to make my oldest girl a pair of pajama shorts! Not bad for $15. :)

The next two nighties came from the thrift shop and began as skirts. The inventory in our thrift shop on the military base tends to be much nicer than your average second-hand store, which means I got two pretty brand-name, zip-closure skirts with pretty interfacings for $2 each.  It is easiest to use an A-line skirt with a side zip and a nice lining or interfacing, but a back zip will work too--it just takes a little longer. I used size 4 and 6 skirts for my girls who are 4 and 6.  Look at that. :)

To convert them to nighties for little girls, I took some 2" wide grosgrain ribbon I had and measured it for shoulder straps.  (I had the girls try the skirts on for this part so I could be sure the straps were short enough.) The blue ribbon is heavy and won't unravel much so I cut that with pinking shears and sewed it to the inside of the skirt.  For the thinner white ribbon, I took the time to rip a few inches out of the top of the blue skirt and insert the ribbon neatly into the seam before sewing it closed again. You can insert the ribbon vertically or angled depending on the look you like.

To adjust the waist of the skirt for the chest of the nighty, I sewed the interfacing and skirt together 1" down from the waist to create a casing.  Then I ripped a few stitches near the zipper openings and fed a piece of ½" elastic into it. I had the girls try them on again and adjusted the elastic before stitching it to the edges, reclosing the seams near the zipper.  This part will vary depending on whether you use a back-zip or side-zip skirt. A side-zip is easier, because you can just insert one longer piece of elastic instead of putting two short pieces on either side of the zipper.

Inserting elastic this way draws the extra fullness all to the back, which creates a ruffly look and a slightly longer back to the nighty. They look very cute on the girls! Ta-Da, three little nighties and a pair of pajama shorts from two short afternoons at the sewing machine.  :)

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!!