Thursday, April 16, 2015

Project 44: The Nightgown Challenge

I like my future mother-in-law a lot. We've forged a strong relationship over the years and I genuinely look forward to visiting her in Victoria.

A few years ago, I introduced her to Deva Lifewear when I bought her some new nightgowns for Christmas. She loved them, and has worn them basically out. At our last visit she asked me if I would help her order some more online. When I did, we found out that after many years the company has closed up shop.

Being the intrepid seamster that I am, I decided that I would use Garment Designer to make a pattern by measuring the existing garments. It was a bit of a challenge figuring out how to start with one of the basic templates in the software and move specific points to match what I was measuring on the garment, but I got it in the end.

Then, we took a very fun excursion to Gala Fabrics in downtown Victoria. They have a very nice selection in general, and she didn't have any trouble finding some cotton flannelette that she liked.

Back at the sewing table, I printed out the pattern and decided that the sleeve caps looked too tall. The taller the sleeve caps, the more steeply the sleeves will slope downward from the shoulder. A shorter sleeve cap makes the sleeves go out straighter from the shoulder. I'm not completely convinced that I went far enough with that adjustment, but we'll see in two weeks when we go back over.

In construction, I made two mistakes. First, when I constructed the collar, I turned it and topstitched it before attaching it to the neck, and I realized that if I had left it wrong side out I could have adjusted the seam at the end to match the neck more perfectly. Secondly, when I built the gauntlet opening in the front, I tried to use the fabric edge as a sewing guide instead of marking the rectangle like I would on a welt pocket opening. The result is OK, but the junction of the inside and outside pieces at the bottom has a small gap.

If she likes it, I'll make her a couple more and I think I'll be able to address my two construction errors and produce very close to professional level garments.

No comments: