all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Executive Nightdress

I am blogging this now, in order to stop myself running off to Guthrie Ghani to get some more of this fabric to make a set of matching shorts! (No doubt I will do it next week instead….)


I only have one ladies nightwear pattern and I almost have the complete set now, winter top and bottoms, and summer pyjamas. This is the nightdress, B above, and is meant for mid season – now! It’s quite short at the front, so as a lay in bed wearing it for the first time last night, I decided that some shorts would be in order for more public appearances! But I already have white broderie anglais shorts from the summer set, and they work perfectly well with the dress.

So why Executive Nightdress? More thoughts from my bed whilst wearing my new nightie…… Coaches come in three types:

Megabus, National Express and Executive

The summer and winter PJs are of the ‘Megabus’ variety. All the fabrics were £2 per metre on the market, so I have two sets of PJs for not very many £s. And the fabric is proving to be very robust. Excellent value!

If I needed to get a coach from A to B, I would go to National Express. They are the standard suppliers of coach services in the UK. In the same way, until I pretty much stopped buying clothes in the shops, if I wanted nightwear, I would go to M&S. Now I was in M&S yesterday, looking at sandals, and I thought I would take a glance at the price of nightwear. Its not as cheap as Megabus, but I thought some of it was pretty good value. You can buy a nightie for about the cost of 1.25m of this fabric. And not have to spend any time sewing.

So that makes this nightie an Executive nightie, particularly if I buy another metre of the fabric for matching shorts. Now the benefit of the Executive nightie is that you do have to spend a little bit of time sewing, but not very much. Presuming that spending time sewing is a good thing….

The hardest part was cutting it out. If anyone knows the secret of finding the straight grain in curly jersey, please let me know, particularly as this is cut by folding the fabric into the middle, meaning there are two grainlines to find. The grey spots are random, so they are no help.

I took quite a lot out of the side seams – probably about 10cm by the lower end of the seams. I used the L size, which is 16 – 18, and as this is a loose fitting garment, it would have looked like a tent without taking some fabric out of the seams. (And Bruce knows that I don’t like sleeping in tents!) I just pinned the paper onto my dress form and pinned as I wanted it to look, tapering it from the darts. I therefore had to shorten the back by about 2cm. Not much.


I also shortened the sleeves to just above the elbows, as that is where all sleeves end up when I sleep. I sewed the darts and neck facing on the machine with a stretch stitch, did the seams on the over-locker, inserting the sleeves flat, and then stitching the sleeve and side seams in one, and finished all hems with the twin needle. All quite quick and easy. Then I looked at the pattern instructions!

The pattern suggests that you interface the neck facing. I don’t see any point in interfacing jersey (other than to stabilise seams, which I always do at the shoulders), so I didn’t, but I was a bit concerned as to how well the neck facing would stay in place. I also checked how to stitch the lace insert in place.


Firstly, the lace insert isn’t essential. It is not so low at the front neck, and secondly, the instructions don’t actually say how to stitch it in place. I just hand stitched some small running stitches around the edges. And it all survived the night intact. There is a label stitched into the back which is catching the back of the dress and therefore holding down the back facing.

Now is there still time to get to Guthrie Ghani today before they close? I think there is!

A week later…..

Well, I didn’t go back to the shop until after the weekend, and when I got there, the fabric roll had gone! I described the fabric and was in luck; there was a bolt end left over. But the patterns suggests 80cm for shorts, and the label on the bundle said 53cm. Short shorts are OK in bed, so I took the bolt end.

IMG_0443It was a bit of a squeeze to cut it out, although we had tested this in the shop. I stitched the seams on the overlocker, which means I can stitch narrower seams than the seam allowance. And the shorts are elasticated, which also provides a bit of leeway.

And here is the finished result:

I am going to make the pattern again, in a light weight cotton fabric for summer, but I will adjust the hem to balance it out a bit more, and shorten the sleeves even more.





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This entry was posted on April 8, 2016 by in Butterick, Fashion, Handmade, Nightwear, Sewing and tagged , , , , , , .
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