I had an open schedule this week, which made it easy to find time to sew. I needed a little extra motivation to finish some projects, so I dubbed this week 'Finish It Week'. Yeah....finishing things doesn't hold the same excitement for me as starting them. However, starting a new project always feels better when you know you finished the last few that you started.
For my first project, I decided to finish a nightgown I've been working on. I love wearing nightgowns in the summer. I have a knit nightgown I bought last year that is perfect, except the neckline is a bit too low and wide and the hem is too short.
I made a pattern out of the polka dot nightgown, with a few adjustments. I chose a soft, lightweight knit blend from Denver Fabrics at $4/yd. It was a bit tricky trying to get an accurate pattern from the original piece of clothing, as the neckline is gathered. Here is a picture of the upper bodice piece:
It was impossible to get an accurate pattern of the sleeve without cutting it apart, so I used a friend's basic knit sleeve pattern and added room for gathers. Once I got the pattern figured out, it wasn't hard to serge the cut out pieces together. Man oh man do I loooove my serger! I finished the skirt edge with a twin needle stitch at the sewing machine. It doesn't perfectly lay flat, but it looks okay.
I decided to leave the sleeve edges unfinished, instead of gathering them. The fabric doesn't roll, so you can't really tell and it will be so much more comfortable in the heat of summer.
Instead of using ribbing to finish the neckline, I used the same fabric as the rest of the garment. I used my knit go-to book, Sewing with Knits by Singer, to calculate the ribbing length needed. I made the pattern so the ribbing would be 1/2" tall when finished. I'm pleased with the look but now realize I should have drafted the neckline to have more of a gradual scoop. It looks like it's in between a crew neck and a v-neck. Oops!! I'll have to change that on the pattern for next time.
Here is the finished project:
Not bad for a self-drafted pattern! It fits great and is very comfortable.
The back view is one solid piece and is not gathered.
I felt a lot more comfortable sewing this knit pattern (which I knew would fit) rather than a pattern from the store that would probably need a lot of adjusting, especially in the bust. Yay for finishing my first project of the week!