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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Smocked nightdress

With another birthday this month so I dug out suitable nightdress material and set about smocking it for my eldest granddaughter. My standard child's nightdress pattern goes to size 12, her about-to-be age, but as I am programmed to make children's clothes a size bigger to allow growing room, I used the adult size 8.

I pleated up both front and back. The fabric is a pale pink batiste and I wanted to give it a bit of colour punch without losing the charm of the background colour. I went for blue and pink with depth.

For the back I chose a simple variegated blue. That way it is easy to tell at a glance which is the front and which the back.

As I made it up, I decided the sleeves were cut a bit deep so improvised.

I also had a notion to embroider a panel up the side of the nightdress. I found the collection of iron-on transfers
I inherited from my mother.

Most of these were produced in the 1940s and were meant for doilies, runners of table centrepieces. I chose a few I thought suitable and arranged them along the side seam.

I embroidered them in similar colours to the smocking.

The hem presented a bit of a challenge. I didn't want to use lace as in the pattern - I think it is a bit uncomfortable to wear. I couldn't fold the hem to the outside to embroider, without altering the side seams, so I folded it to the inside but featherstitched from the outside, making sure I stitched right through the folds of the hem.

I found the finished nightdress difficult to photograph.

The pink is way too pink - but gives some idea of the overall effect.

It has been well received - and fits!


Lyn Warner said...

Very pretty! And I like the idea of the back being a little different to the front too.

Lyn Warner said...

Very pretty! And I like the idea of the back being a little different to the front too.

Jillian said...

Thanks, Lyn.
With the embroidery - which I decided on later - it probably didn't matter, but it feels right to make it different.

Monica said...

I'm sure it was well appreciated -- she must feel like a princess sleeping in such a beautiful nightdress!

Your iron on transfers look like some that my mom has. Are they silvery? Do you know what they're made from? I've been thinking of finishing one of her projects, but those transfers gave me pause. What was your experience with them?

Jillian said...

Thanks Monica. Last night I removed the underarm pieces for her - needn't have worried that the armholes were too wide! The transfers were blue - carbon paper colour. I imagine they are a form of washable carbon. They ironed on easily and washed out easily. They can only be used once and they don't fade while you are stitching.. I have a few in my collection that are orangy-red but no silver. I found them very easy to use. I'll see if I can find out what they are made of.

Monica said...

Thanks, Jillian, but don't worry. They sound quite different than ours. I have washed my mom's tablecloth once now, just to freshen it up, and the transfers have not budged. But she has only done one corner, and the piece is large, so I'll leave it for now!

JennyPennyPoppy said...

What a beautiful looking nightie and a wonderful gift for your granddaughter. The smocking looks terrific!

Katherine said...