Friday, August 29, 2008

30 Minute Gown

Violet will be three soon, but she is already the height of the average four year old, and has the waist circumference of the average 2 year old. She is quickly out growing her clothing in length even though most of fits her just fine. The other morning, while I watched her walk around the house in too short pj's, I decided to make her a new night gown. So at 7:00 that night - 1 hour till bed time - I started making the gown that she would wear to bed that night.

Here is the finished result;
I had seen a similar gown made for adults out of vintage pillow cases; however, I had no vintage pillow cases, and while tall, Violet is much smaller than an adult. I do have a fabric stash though, which includes the cute paisley shown from Robert Kaufman's Barn Dandy's collection.

The gown was very simple in construction, basically a tube with semi-circle cut outs for the arm openings. Here is how I made it.

1) First I cut a rectangle that was about 125% of her chest circumference by her shoulder to knee length.
2) Next I used a french seam to attach the two shorter ends. This could be done using a regular seam. I used a French seam to give the garment a more finished look, without the use of a serger.
How to do a French seam:
a) Sew the seam with WRONG sides facing.
b) Trim the seam allowance.
Pre -trimPost Trim

c) Turn inside out so that the right sides are facing, and press the seam.
d) Sew the seam with the right sides facing.
This is what a finished French seam looks like.
3) Hem the bottom edge.
4)Cut the arm holes. I lay the garment out with the seam denoting the center back. I marked the garment at four inches from the top and four inches from the side on both the right and left sides of the top of the gown. Then I cut a half u shape connecting the marks through BOTH layers of fabric.
5) Finish arm hole edge by turning over twice and stitching in place like a hem.
6) Hem the unfinished top edges by turning them over a small amount, pressing, then turning them over about 1 inch and stitching them in place leaving the side edges open.7) Cut a very long length of ribbon, and run it through the open side of the top front of the garment (as seen above), then through the corresponding side of the back top. Tie the ends in a bow on one side.

Ta-da!

3 comments:

Kimberly said...

Found your blog through Ravelry and am glad I did -- I've never heard of a French seam before and it's brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I don't have a serger, but am obsessed with neat seams and am looking forward to trying this!

Jennette said...

This is a great tutorial! I, too, found your blog through Ravelry and am just learning to sew. Thank you!

Darcie said...

Another from Ravelry! The comment train is a great way to find interesting blogs. I love the nightgown. I havent done a lot of sewing in the last few years and had forgotten all about French seams. You may have just inspired me to dig out all the fabric I have packed away.