As I was going through many of my older magazines, I came across a pattern for a smocked knit nightgown in an old AS&E magazine. I decided that I had to try smocking on knits. I think this would be so sweet as a coming home from the hospital gown for the young moms that are more casual and wouldn’t do a smocked day gown. I pulled out a white knit from my “stash”, but was too lazy to dig deep into the stash. Instead, I called my best friend and told her I needed some ribbing to make the nightgown.
What is it about shopping in someone else’s stash that is so much more fun than going through your own??? She had pulled out several knits and some ribbing. I went home with 2 pieces of knit from her stash and a couple of options for ribbing. Then I went to work.
Because we didn’t find a good match for the white fabric (you know how many shades of white there are!), I chose to use yellow. This white fabric is really nice, but heavy! It is the weight of those “beefy” T’s. It was a real bear to get through the pleater – much like pleating corduroy or velveteen. Once I got it pleated, it was a dream to sew and to smock. I smocked my design rather than what was included in the magazine.
The next nightgown that I worked on was the lavender rosebud print from my friend. I made 2 of those. It was a nice, lightweight knit and easier to sew. I’m in the process of smocking it, but include it in the pictures anyway. The next gown that was made was the pink gown with long sleeves shown in the next picture. After finishing it, I determined that those sleeves are much too long!
With 4 gowns finished, I went over to deliver hers and we proceeded to go through more of her stash. She pulled out her harder to get to knits (you know how those stashes are squirreled away!) and I went home with a LOT more pieces of fabric.
With the new pieces of fabric in my sewing room, I cut and pleated up 9 gowns in one day and then stitched up one of them that evening. I’m telling you, these are so quick to make! Once cut, I think it takes about 40 minutes to completely sew the gown – and that includes counting the pleats to find the center.
These last 2 are “vintage” Carter’s knit fabric. Does anyone else remember when you could shop at outlet shops and buy the fabrics and trims as well? This was LONG before those yellow “sort of” outlets that are all over the place. I think that the lavender may be from a children’s wear outlet as well. These knits have aged well and are now ready to smock!
While I would always choose a beautiful daygown for a baby, so many young moms haven’t got a clue what a daygown is and they certainly don’t want to iron. I think these nightgowns along with a burp pad and bib will make a lovely baby shower gift! If you disagree, please don’t burst my bubble – I love believing that these will be enjoyed and used. 😛
The gown pattern was in AS&E #19 – an older magazine and probably difficult to find. It came ins a NB – 12 lb. size as well as a 12 – 18 lb. It has 3 sleeve options so that is nice. I love the little puffed sleeve! So sweet and little girlish. In the magazine it is longer and designed to smock. I didn’t want to smock the sleeves and so I shortened them and added the cuff that was designed for the straight short sleeve instead. I’m really happy with the results. I have a few other suggestions if someone has that magazine and plans to make the nightgown.
- The long sleeves are way too long. I made the sleeves on the pink gown according to the pattern. For the other gowns, I trimmed 1″ off the sleeve length and I think another 1/2″ could easily be removed.
- The shoulders at the back yokes don’t fit together properly – the back shoulder is 1/4″ wider than the front shoulder.
I chose to smock a simple design on the dress and then graphed it out to share with my readers. I also changed up the graph to be suitable for a Wee Care dress or a tiny bishop. I hope that you will enjoy it! This is suitable for any small space that you want to smock – including a bonnet!
I think that this little gown could easily be made by adapting a t-shirt pattern – maybe even one from Kwik Sew. I’ll have to look into that. It would be adorable as a tiny dress with matching panties as well.
So, after completing 8 ready to smock gowns, I put the other 5 that I have cut out away and brought my serger in for a spa treatment! It is much-needed. I’ll be working on a French pattern next. Stay tuned for a report on that.
*** Please excuse the bad pictures, I was having a bad picture day today and seemed that nothing was in focus. Ugh!***