Friday, 2 June 2017

Nightgown alteration + hem monsters

I altered a nightgown recently! (Edit: it was recently completed when I started this post, but it's been sitting in my drafts for a while now. I also have a pair of stays I finished last month and have yet to blog about...)
It's one of those old fashioned fine cotton ones with very long pintucks.

It had these stupid 3/4 length sleeves with button cuffs on them. What's the point of cuffs there?? They were way too short to reach my wrist, and so tiny that buttoning them around my arm was impossible.

Bad and foolish sleeves, so I cut them off. I turned one of them into bias binding for the armholes, and the other I used as a collar ruffle. I was very indecisive about the collar, but eventually went with a stand collar and put a ruffle along the top. There wasn't quite enough sleeve material for the collar itself, so I used a different scrap of white cotton.


I wanted to put monsters all around the hem, just because.
 I drew a bunch of them in my sketchbook and used the ones I liked best on the nightgown.

I did some practice monsters on a scrap of sleeve. (Which turned out blurry after steaming because I didn't rinse it in dye set solution.)
I drew out my monsters all around the hem with a fabric marker, which I got recently and I like very much! It's the sort that disappears when you put water on it.
In the textiles studio we use these delightful little pointy tipped squeezy bottles for drawing with resist on silk scarves, and I used my finest tipped one to draw my monsters on with black dye paste. (Which is a thing we mix up in the textiles studio, and I shan't get into the particulars of it now)
Always, always wear gloves when working with PRO MX fiber reactive dyes.
My monsters turned out so nice! With proper setting and washing they didn't blur at all.

And here are some detail shots of them.

This one is my favorite:
I have decided that her name is Elyse, and have drawn a few more pictures of her.
She enjoys rollerskating, gardening, and is working on her masters degree in architecture.
And she does have a lower jaw, it's just very thin.
Here's the nightgown worn with the ruffly bed jacket, which goes very comfortably over sleeveless nightgowns.
I need to make more sleeveless nightgowns, so I can wear this jacket more. It's comfortable and I like it.

I also made a dressing gown a few weeks ago, which is pretty simple so I'm sticking it onto the end of this post instead of doing a separate one.
Old gown on the left, new one on the right.
She had this other dressing gown that was very worn out, and I just made a copy of this. All the pieces are rectangles, except the main piece, which is a rectangle with a big slit halfway down it that's rounded at the end for the neck.
And here she is wearing it! Photo taken by my father.
It was supposed to be a mothers day present but it was a bit late.


  1. I think we need to see more of Elyse, she seems such an endearing creature.

    1. I agree, I like her very much and would love to draw more pictures of her. A toile fabric print of her doing various things would be quite fun!

  2. I love your monsters and I'm so impressed with your drawing abilities. I think you should sign your drawings because your work belongs to you.... You have a vivid imagination and you put it to good use. The sleeveless nightie looks comfortable and those monster socks ((rocks)).

    1. Thank you! They're not socks though, they're the slippers I made a few months ago!

      I generally only sign my drawings if they're on loose pages, and these are from my sketchbook, so I just date them and sign the inside cover.

  3. Oops, your socks ((rock)).

  4. Hate to bother you with a request, but any chance you could make a post about how you draft patterns? I've been trying to make narrow fall front trousers like you've done previously but I can't seem to get them to fit.

    1. I suggest googling "basic pants block draft", and that will bring up lots of stuff on how to draft a pants pattern to fit.

  5. I LOVE your monster nightgown. The monsters are so cute! And it goes very nicely with the ruffly bed jacket. :D

    1. Thank you! I love them too, and want to do more monster things.