Monday, February 28, 2011

Turning your peasant/top pattern into a square-necked nightgown

Last year I started making these square-necked nightgowns for my daughter.  I simply took a Simplicity peasant top pattern and lengthened it to below her knees.  Added a ruffle on the bottom and put a square knit neckline in place of the elastic casing the pattern has you do.  I was making another one for her today and decided to take some pictures and share the process of making this.
Start out with your favorite peasant dress or top pattern.  Sew the sleeves to the front and back.  Now you have an ENORMOUS neckline that you need to finish.  Ordinarily you would sew a casing at this point and run 1/4 inch elastic through.  Not for this cute nightie.....
 First measure the front, back and tops of the sleeves.  Write these measurements down.  My measurements were as follows:
Front---9 inches
Back---10.5 inches
Sleeve tops---8 inches
I added the front measurement to the back 9 + 10.5=19.5
19.5 divided by 2 (you will need a front and back piece) is 9.75
Now take 9.75 x 70%.  You want your neck piece small than the actual opening.  That number is 6.825.  I round this up to 7.5 inches for seam allowance. 
Now for the sleeve measure......Take 8 x 70% to come up with 5.60 inches.  I rounded that up to 6 inches for the side neck piece. 
So after all that measuring and math you now have the dimensions needed for the neckline.
 I cut 2 pieces 7.5x3.5 inches for the neck front and back. I also cut 2 pieces 6x3.5 inches for the neck side pieces.  You will need to use a stretch knit fabric for the neck band pieces.  I used a cotton/lycra rib knit for mine.

 Take the neck pieces fold them in half, wrong sides together and iron.
 Go back to the cutting board and take a ruler and draw and diagonal line forming a triangle on each end of all the side pieces.  The FOLD of the neckpiece is at the TOP of my angled line. 
 All the pieces cut and ready to sew....
 What the neck pieces look like unfolded.
 Lay one side neck piece on top of the front/back piece.  Pin into place.
 Stitch 1/4 inch....pivoting at the crease....
 and sewing down the other end....
Sew the other sides together the same way.  Remember that the short neck pieces attach to the long neck pieces. :)
 Here's the end result.....take it over to your ironing board and flatten out the seams from the wrong side.
 One side all flip over and do the other side.
 Fold the wrong sides together and press.  Doesn't that look nice!!!
 Now comes the fun part....attaching the neckband to your nightgown.  Align the seams of the front neck band to the front seams of the nightgown and pin into place.  There will be a lot of extra fabric....don't worry.......
 Take it over to your sewing machine or serger...slowly sew/serge the first few stitches....while the needle is DOWN in the fabric....stretch the neckband to fit the fabric and finish sewing/serging in place.
 When ending the first side....make sure to move the side fabric out of the way.
 The first seam all finished!!  Now turn the nightgown around and sew the back neckband on the same way.
 Here is the front and back all finished.
 Now stretch the neckline to fit the tops of the sleeves.  Move the FRONT/BACK fabric OUT OF THE WAY BEFORE you start to sew/serge!!!
 Here is the neckband all finished.  Now tuck your serger tails in.....
 Turn right side out, iron neckline and take a minute to admire your hard work!!!
 Finish the rest of the nightgown and try it on a willing model!!
 Being silly...
 Jumping for joy....
 and again....
 Where did THAT pose come from???!!!
 Finally one a little calmer!! :)
 I just love these nightgowns on her!!


EverythingIveGot said...

Tremendous job, Mama! Thanks for the tute!

Carrie said...

Impressive! I think your model is more like her mother than her mother might want to admit! ;)

~Regina~ said...

Nope, not like me....I'm quiet and shy and would NEVER make silly faces in the mirror!!!!!!!!!! lol

Anonymous said...

Excellent job! You're very creative.
And, Cassie of course, is absolutely hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Where do you buy that white marking pen & what brand is it? I've tried pencils that are for marking on dark fabrics & they don't work well for me.

~Regina~ said...

I bought this marking pen at JoAnn Fabrics. It is called Mark-B-Gone. I much prefer using my tailor's chalk to mark fabric. Just couldn't find it yesterday. :)

Aimee said...

Hey! Been missing your posts! Where in the world are ya? =) I really do enjoy your blog.