Monday, October 21, 2013

McCall 3980: The "Wish Upon A Star" Nightgown


I've been wanting to make a 1940 nightgown for some time now. It just didn't feel right to be lounging around in sweatpants and mismatched tops when I knew I could sew up something that I would really enjoy wearing around the house--something that would make me feel glamorous and yet, would still be comfortable!

The 1940 McCall catalogue is full of wonderful sleepwear and housecoats and I can't wait to sew them all up.  Check out my pinterest board of the sleepwear patterns I've currently got in my collection.  McCall 3980 is one of my favourites:


The lines are so flattering, and I just love the sleeves on view A.  On a recent trip to Mandors Fabrics in Glasgow, I picked up this A-mazing fabric that is a brushed cotton/twill/viscose mix.  Intrigued?  I certainly was.  It is super, super soft on one side and has a nice sheen on the other.  AND it is a nice light dress weight but still retains the body & warmth of the brushed cotton/twill.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use it for McCall 3980.


The fabric suits the pattern perfectly! I graded the pattern down slightly in the bodice, added more length for the sleeves but left the skirt pieces alone (since you can adjust the skirt fullness with tie-backs).  The fabric was very easy to sew with, and I made it so that the super soft brushed cotton is on the inside and the side with the sheen is on the outside.


The pattern is gathered at the shoulders and the front and back bodice waists.  The shoulders are attached with a lapped seam.  The waist comes up into a v-shaped lapped seam in both the front and the back.  I almost ended up sewing a pin in the front waist (since I had a pin holding the facing down on the inside)...until I figured out what was happening!!  Eeps!

The sleevecaps are gathered as well.  The front neck is faced and folds down into a soft collar with small ties.  There are larger ties that are sewn into the side seams for the waist.  The sleeves are gathered at the wrist and attached to a sleeve cuff.  I made a narrow hem on the opening and then sewed on a button (perfect matching buttons from the stash--huzzah) and made thread loops for the button closure.


The ties on the side and the slightly lower neckline mean that I can get the nightgown on without any other closures.


Oh, how I love the early 1940s styles!


The nightgown is super comfortable and I feel much more elegant.  Isn't it funny how your dress affects your mood?

25 comments:

  1. Oh wowed! That is by far the most elegant night gown I have ever seen! The colour suits you so well too!

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  2. Fabulous nightgown! I have a 1940's nightgown I am going to be working on soon- with a cotton voile and lace. They really are beautifully cut and make you feel so feminine. The color of yours is beautiful on you and those sleeves are divine! Beautiful work! ~Laurie

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  3. Gorgeous! Now all you need is a pair of those feathery glass heeled boudoir slippers ;)

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  4. Oh this is just lovely. I hate joggers and t shirts for lounging days, this is so much more glamorous.

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  5. Oh, that is so gorgeous! I have been thinking of making something similar (just thinking, no doing or planning just yet!) and I feel so inspired by this. But it's so beautiful that I almost wouldn't want to ruin it by sleeping in it... if you could call that ruining. Perhaps it would just make evenings just as glamorous and fun as the day time. ;-)

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  6. Wow, what a gorgeous nightgown! I've developed a slight obsession with vintage loungewear patterns, but haven't had the chance to make any yet. Thanks for posting this inspiring work :)

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  7. That is a gown! And you could wear it out at night! But it sure aint no night gown! :)

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  8. You look like a movie star! Lana Turner and Ava Gardner are spinning with jealousy! :)

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  9. Wow! That is one snazzy nightgown. You'll feel glamourous going to bed now! Or never want to get dressed again. :)

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  10. You look lovely. I have many 30's and 40's patterns like this that need to be sewn and the sweats and mismatched stuff shoved aside. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  11. Beautiful! And that fabric is pretty special! Sorry if I seem familiar - one of the problems with reading your great blog for ages and then commenting for the first time ever! I am so in love with viscose at the moment (last year it was ponti knits ;-)). You should see the beautiful drapey viscose I splurged on the other day, also with a lovely sheen to the outside. I have been collecting suitable vintage dress patterns to use for it but am yet to decide. Although it certainly helps my decision making process to read about your creations, thank you! I just started to blog about my sewing adventures too. http://lilysageandco.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/fabric-splurge.html

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  12. Oh this is just so beautiful. A great color for you too. I love seeing all these 40's patterns you are sewing up. It was such a great year for style. I liked that the puffy sleeves were still in:)

    http://dividingmoments.blogspot.com/

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  13. Love it!! I have an early 40s black silk nightgown I made a while ago and it's oh so comfy. I have to save it for special occasions now that I'm always carting around a baby, though. Babies and silk don't really mix.

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  14. I have a 40's nightgown on my list too :) I have the pattern (which needs resizing of course) and the fabrics. I just need to get around to it LOL
    You are right though, they are just so much prettier than the ones you can get today!

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  15. Hi Debi - Turned out beautiful for you. The fabric you choose was perfect for the era and look. One just has to love the 30's 40's and 50's for sewing style. Your post's are the best!

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  16. Debi that is stunning. Beautiful pattern, beautiful colour, beautiful sewing. Your enthusiasm for vintage patterns is so inspiring, thank you for all the great descriptions and detailing. You look beautiful.

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  17. Movie star glamour girl! I love that you sew from old patterns. I do too and it is like truly touching the past.Its always exciting to see what you are making as I don't know one sewing girl in the world in real life. I do so appreciate your blog! Tons and tons of love!!!

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  18. What an absolutely gorgeous color! I was immediatly drawn to the sleeves on view A too and with a nightgown like that who would ever need to get dressed :)

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  19. Charming! And of course the color is so very you. The skirt is on the bias, right? This reminds me of the 1940 nightgown pattern I used to make an evening gown for "Annie". Funny how we chose the same purple! It is nice to see you posting projects again :)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovelisette/9936201055/in/set-72157635884581104

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  20. How magnificently beautiful. I love the vivid jewel-like hue of this deep, elegant blue and how it compliments your colouring to a tee. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a nightgown that took my breath away quite as much. Fantastic job on this timeless piece of evening attire, sweet lady.

    ♥ Jessica

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  21. I agree with Jessica, below. It is simply breathtaking.

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  22. I can only echo all the other comments: beautiful gown, lovely color, excellent construction. It seems a waste to wear the gown merely for lounging and bedding and sleeping! Puts my cotton shifts and husband's-old-silk-shirts to shame, for certain sure.

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  23. This is truly so beautiful! I love it and the fabric looks gorgeous. Great colour on you as well.

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  24. What a beautiful gown! There's nothing better than being glam 24/7 - even lazing about at home. No excuses I say! ;-P

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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