Recently, my 4-year-old daughter was introduced to the concept of the nightgown. She was, not surprisingly, enthralled.
“But Mom, it’s a dress that you sleep in!”
Could there be anything cooler, really? Of course, the daughter of a fabric hound, she also instantly pronounced that we didn’t need to buy one, that I could simply make one for her. Well, sure. Why not? I found a pattern and ordered Simplicity 6441 because it seemed relatively simple and a had several useful options. But it did note that it was sized specifically for knit fabrics.
Hrm. Knits. I’ve never sewn with a knit before. Ah well, first time for anything. Becca browsed online with me and we ended up with a Patty Young interlock knit from her Sanctuary line.
I had some serious frustration in cutting the fabric – the stretchiness makes me absolutely bonkers since I’m so used to woven quilting cottons. And I read through my sewing machine’s manual before selecting some specialty stitches I’d never used before (and yes, I got ball-point needles!). Ultimately, though, it went together fairly quickly and easily. Not perfect, but not bad.
Alright, if I’m being completely honest, there were supposed to be two nightgowns. The first one, despite reading the cutting diagram about 10 times, ended up being cut with the stretch going completely the wrong way. It was so awful, I couldn’t finish it. That did not stop my daughter from insisting on wearing it, however, so I just-barely finished the raw edges and she wears it. I refuse to take a picture, it’s that bad. The instructions really were not as clear as I would have liked. If you want really great instructions, go for Oliver + S patterns.
But this second try turned out passably well, and if she really wanted me to, I’d make it again. I have a better understanding of stretch knits, at the very least. I made the size 4 and it’s quite big on my petite four-year-old, but better too big than too small. These flutter sleeves are cute, but I could easily swap out for short- or long sleeves if I wanted one that was friendlier for cool weather.
I’ve got some more fabric to make the boy’s shirt-and-pants view, but since my son could currently care less, it’s on the back burner. At least my daughter can stop asking me if I’m done with her nightgown yet…