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