Friday, July 12, 2013

Working the Night Shift

Have you ever read a book of historical fiction where they talk about women wearing shifts?  They were like the undergarments under those crazy dresses they wore back then.

And they had night shifts which I imagine were nightgowns.

That's what I'm talking about.  Not working somewhere at night.

In the cooler months, I wear big t-shirts to bed.  There was a time when I would keep the window open a little, even in the cold winter, and wear those big flannel nightgowns to bed but I think if I did that nowadays, I would actually burst into flames.  I think I gave them all to Good Will when I stopped leaving my window open in the winter.

In this kind of weather, forget about t-shirts, it's all I can do to even wear a nightgown like this.

I love them because they are thin, cool and most of the time I don't feel like I shouldn't be running out to get the paper or water the garden if I'm wearing it.  I know, I probably shouldn't but sometimes, they kind of look like summer dresses, so I think I get away with it.

The problem is that no one makes them anymore, from what I can tell.  Everyone now makes those knit kind, softer and drapier than a t-shirt, but just as hot as one, from what I can tell.

So, I took matter into my own hands and tried making my own.

I used the one above for a sort of template and cut out this material that I LOVED.  It's gauzy and so lightweight but not sheer, so I could totally wear it in public.

Sadly, it didn't turn out the way I wanted because in order to make it look presentable in the tank area, I had to try to make pretty edging but I didn't leave myself enough room.  There's a reason that dresses have facings in the arm and neck holes.  Putting one in a nightgown would just be too heavy.  And too much work.

There's also a reason that there's usually lots of detail around the top of a nightgown.  To district one from the braless boobolas.  THis didn't occur to me either.  I always thought it was just so they could charge more for an item.  Useless buttons, ribbons, etc.

So, I wear it, but it's not fit for a picture.  Sad.  I really like the fabric.

So then, I had another idea.  Instead of trying to make nice edges, I'd make a ruffle from the fabric and sew it on.  There would the some detail, it would edge it nicely and made sense to me.

Oh, Victorian isn't in?  I thought it was.  There's nothing like a high collar at bed time.

I know what I did wrong.  I used a sheet.  I have had these sheets since college and loved the top sheet, so I kept it in hopes I could use it in something.

DING, why not a nightgown?  If sheets are cool enough to sleep in, they must be fine for a nightgown, right?  And there's a nice patter on there.  My favorite part was that there was a nice big hem at the top of the sheet, so I strategically cut it so I wouldn't have to make a hem.

And then I used the other end for the ruffle.  Too stiff.  But I wear it because some day, it might be washed enough times that it totally lays down.

So, I'm back to the drawing board.  I am determined to get this right without adding facings.  I have another plan cooking.  I will have to get back to you.

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