Friday, November 9, 2012

Flannel dressing gown

This is a pattern I drafted myself. 

It is based on the envelope image from a 1940's era dressing gown sewing pattern.

The yellow version (along with a nightie) is in this post this post here, the invisible one (you need to click on the blank spot since I still am too lazy to fix the background/link issue).

I decided that I would try some baby-weight flannel in a nice tiny stripe. And I decided to bust out some buttonholes. 12, to be exact.

I am fairly pleased with this, although I do need to include the back neck facing next time and also widen the top of the front facing so the gown can be worn with the lapels turned back and not look dumb.

I used my old Singer Featherweight 221 with a buttonhole attachment (3/8"). It works so well, I just love it. 
I made an attempt with my zig-zag machine to do the "sew on flat buttons with a machine" trick, but 1/4" buttons are TOO SMALL for this. So I sat on the floor with the family dog and sewed the 12 buttons on. That is the only handsewing in the whole garment.
I like the visual effect of the buttons, but doing them up to dress the doll is a bore. I'm not sure I'll do the buttons again.

I did all the construction seams on my big fancy electronic machine, with a vari-overlock stitch. It worked well in this weight fabric, and saved me beaucoup time, sewing and finishing the 1/4" seams in one step. 

The hood I borrowed from a reproduction pattern (Butterick) of cloaks and wraps. I had tried a hood on the original version but made it WAY too small. 

This hood is very sharp looking. I can use this hood pattern again and again so I am extremely pleased.

The gown came out wider in the back waist than I liked (I may narrow the whole back section of the gown next time) so I threw in some instant gathers.

I tried a honeycomb stitch (again the electronic machine) for the hood and sleeve hems and I do like the results but it does not show up well on the flannel. 

It is a sneaky way of finishing a hem: sew from the wrong side, with the raw edge of the turned up hem right in the middle of the presser foot. Voila! No fraying and decorative, to boot.

I would like the pockets to be a little bit more to the front, but then they'd be too close to the front facings. I did sew the pockets on with the sides not quite parallel (top corners closer then the bottom on purpose) to make it easier to get the doll's hands in them. It worked OK so I won't mess with it further.

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