Monday, 27 January 2014

A nightshirt for me: McCall 8372

After successfully sewing the onesie for The Much Beloved I thought I deserved some night attire of my own.  I couldn't see myself in a one piece.  Too reminiscent of overalls - there would be real danger of me attempting an oil change in one of those.  I took a fancy to something more old school (or should that be skool?).

McCall 8372 is excellent value as a pattern.  Just look at the many garments one can make with it.  I wonder if it was one of the last non-multi-sized patterns.  I ordered the large based on my 42 inch chest measurement.



Those of you who have read the blog will know that I am keen on free or very cheap fabric especially when practicing on a new pattern.  Regulars will also know that I am quite partial to repurposing duvet covers.

I have (had) this wonderful 100% cotton Conran duvet cover bought at Heel's ages ago.  It did years of service on my bed but it must be at least four since I've used it and it now doesn't go with anything.  It's a gorgeous cotton twill ticking and much washing has improved its beautiful soft handle.  I thought it would make a great nightshirt.

The pattern has clear instructions.  Diagrams backed up with directions which take into account whether you are using a straight stitch or zig-zag machine.  There is sufficient seam allowance for  the shoulder, armscye, and side seams to be flat felled.  The neck facings are turned under and top stitched to the wrong side for a neat finish.



The shirt features a rounded patch pocket on the left front.  I made a bit of an effort to get the stripes to match up.  I missed having reverse feed when I edge stitched the pockets.



The applied cuff bands are cut on the long grain which I think makes these stripes really pop in a good way.  They are finished off with a nice bit of edge and top stitching courtesy of the 28K.



The one point where the pattern is slightly vague is when it calls for a five eighths hem giving no further instructions.  I took this to mean - turn under a quarter inch, press, turn over a further three eighths so that the raw edge is enclosed within the second fold, press again, pin and edge stitch in place.  I hope I got it right?



The curved hem creates a shallow split where it meets the side seam.  I had to do a certain amount of fudging where the flat fell and the narrow hem meet.  It looks a lot better from the RS and is holding up to washing so far…



I made the buttonholes and sewed on the buttons using the Singer 401G and Singer slant buttonholer.  Results are consistent.  The 28K showed off a bit more with the topstitching on the front placket.



The buttons themselves are vintage brace buttons from Ede and Ravenscroft, robe makers to the Queen. High end or what?  They are rather bigger than the half inch shirt buttons recommended by the pattern but I think they are more in scale with the relaxed characteristics of the night shirt and the colour is perfect.



The finished garment is roomy but then I suppose it should be.  The fabric feels great - soft, comfy and cosy.  I made this nightshirt for a bit a giggle but have ended up wearing it quite a lot.  I used nearly half of a double sized duvet cover, thread left over from another project and three of six buttons from some worn out suit trousers.  So in theory my night shirt cost me only my time and I still have enough of everything left to make another.



"Hey - that's really nice.  I can't tell that it didn't come from a store," said The Much Beloved.  Would that be the ultimate compliment by any chance?





8 comments:

  1. Great job! I made this myself a few years ago; I had the same issues as you where the flat-felled seam meets the hem. I think I just reinforced it with thread. You could also cover it with a self-made gusset (cut a triangle, fold it in half, and lap it atop the point where the sides meet) for reinforcement.

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    1. Hi Peter
      Thanks. The gusset is a great idea - wouldn't have thought it myself. If the shirt doesn't wear/wash well then I will definitely work something out along those lines!
      Hugs
      G

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  2. I enjoyed seeing the nightshirt come to life. I always wonder at those hem slits where they meet the side seams inside if there is a better way. I even obsess and look at rtw to see what is going on at that spot when I think to inspect. I guess it is something patterns sort of get vague about and you figure out your own way to handle it.Looks as if you handled the curve areas well approaching the intersection which is another area that is difficult to get perfect.
    I like to test or recycle fabric for sleepwear from high quality bedding. I made set of pjs early on from normal fabric and found they did not hold up as well in laundry and were not as soft as those from the recycled or new cotton sheets so I only use those for my sleepwear. If they are new I wash and dry several times before sewing. It's hard around here to find enough yardage for a summer gown and robe or pjs and if you do the cost is great for that much yardage for something never seen in public. I like soft cotton in our summers and a blend in our mild winters so it works for me. Besides the recycling aspect if using something you no longer have use for it is great to get an attractive utility garment to enjoy. Well done on the sleepshirt, wouldn't have thought of the duvet use for that. You'd never be able to buy something in the store that well made that will get softer each time it is washed and will probably last forever or until you tire of it.

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    1. Thanks mssewcrazy. Decent quality bedding is great because you end up with huge yardage for use in its second life. Now what to do with the second half of my old duvet cover I wonder?…
      Hugs
      G

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  3. I aspire to the patience you must have for sewing clothing and can only manage quilts :) - this is another perfectly sewn piece. Very nice!

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    1. Hi Karen
      Thanks but it didn't feel like it took a lot of patience to be honest I enjoyed it. The placket and facing were maybe a little bit tricky. Perfect? Nah - there's no such thing but thanks for the compliment.
      Hugs
      G

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  4. Beautiful job. I have a similar pattern and a similar Conran's duvet cover that is long past its prime.. Now I have an inspiration for a project. What about a matching robe to go with the night shirt. Is that a night shirt twin set. So glad to see another post on your blog. Cheers, Bill.

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