Sunday, August 29, 2010

How to re-fashion nightshirts

My 2 little girls have been asking me to make them nightgowns. I mean they've been wearing dresses everyday this summer so why wouldn't they want to sleep in dresses.
So I've finally started to get my sewing area set up and my serger is now fixed so I had no excuses to make them night dresses.
At work we were cleaning up and throwing out a bunch of cut samples - we buy samples for colour, fabric and style inspiration. Some get used and another don't but most get cut. It feels like a such a waste to throw them out - some do get donated to schools and artist but we had just missed the last donation.
Anyways - I found 2 ladies nightshirt with swatches cut out the back that I thought would make great dresses for the girls.
I started by using a t-shirt of Lilo's and lined it up on the ladies nightshirt neckline matching the neck width up and marked it. Then I cut the front and the back apart.
Then I lined up the back neckline to the marks on the front neckline to create the new neckline.
I folded the front and back together and placed the folded t-shirt on top. Then traced out the t-shirt added seam allowance as I traced. I traced the shoulder and then used the t-shirt as a guide for the body. I wanted it looser than the tee so I left room at the waist and added length. You can use an existing dress to measure the length - or measure your kid - or since my kids were asleep I just guessed. To measure around the armhole - carefully fold the sleeve in and mark the curve.
If you look close you can see the marking of the dress.
To make the sleeves - use the original sleeve, fold in half and match up the hem. Place the t-shirt sleeve on top matching fold. Mark top and bottom of the sleeve.
Then carefully fold the tee over the sleeve so you can see the sleeve seam and trace around leaving seam allowance.
Cut all the pieces out and sew together. I started by sewing the shoulder seam. Then adding the sleeves. To make the sleeve fit the best do a basting stitch on the top curve of the sleeve and ease into place when you pin. You might get gathers at the cap but that would be cute. Then sew the side seam and sleeve seam. For the hem I just serged it around but you could do a real hem if you wanted. To finish it off fold in serge ends and topstitch seams down at neckline and underarm.
And there you go - 2 nightshirts in just over an hour.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the girls in them. They wore them at Grandma's Friday night and looked so cute. I think I'll need to make more soon.

1 comment:

Isi said...

You do a great Job! Thx 4 sharing all your Ideas with us *heart*

greetz from Germany