Monday, June 21, 2010

Nighty Night!

As mentioned in a previous post, I am making a few doll garments for an upcoming fundraiser.
After modeling all her gorgeous outfits contributed by other seamstresses, I figured the dolly might be ready for a good night's sleep!

So, I made a little nightgown out of a pretty floral lawn.
The sleeves and hem are trimmed with snippets of Swiss Edging from my overflowing stash drawer!
I used an out-of-print Simplicity pattern, also found in the depths of a sewing room drawer.

The pattern shows gathered lace at the neckline.  I was afraid the lace might suffer greatly with time and play.  Also, the type of edging I selected for the sleeves and hem is not suitable for gathering.
Instead, I decided to use a coordinating microcheck and bind the neck.  I also added microcheck piping to the skirt and bodice seamline to tie it all together.
And here is where I have a hopefully helpful hint!

I often make my own piping, as I love to use the same fabric elsewhere in the garment -- just like the neck binding and piping on this little dolly sized garment.  When not making my own piping, I do enjoy using Susie's Ready to Sew piping
This time, I did not have any of the light blue microcheck gingham fabric on hand to cut my own bias for the piping or neck binding.
Not to worry!

I used Susie's piping in Light Blue Gingham.
I pulled out my trusty seam ripper which, truthfully, is never too far from reach.
I picked out the stitches on a small length of the ready made piping, and removed the piping cord.
I then pressed it flat and had a piece of bias for the neck binding that perfectly matched the piping at the skirt/bodice seamline!

Normally, I strive for teeny tiny bindings at the neck, sleeves or other areas.  However, this time, I wanted the contrasting microcheck to be more of an accent or design feature.  It was taking the place of the gathered lace or a collar.  So, I made it a teensy bit wider than usual.  Overall, I think it helped to add a little something extra and was balanced by the longer length of the nightgown.

And please pardon my dolly's bed hair!  It is not that she has actually slept in this little nightgown.  I rescued this Samantha American Girl doll from a bin in a thrift store.  Her hair was even worse before a few sessions with the proper type of brush and a few mistings with a detangler.  We still need to have a few more beauty parlor sessions, but she was anxious to model her new nightgown for you -- and I was anxious to get the little nightgown sent on its way to the join the rest of the wardrobe being raffled!

I am participaing in Sew and Tell.
Hop on over to view other sewing projects completed this week!


Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Jan:
Thanks for sharing the photos of your sweet dolly nighty. I love that you used the blue and white gingham binding, too.

Julia said...


Martha said...

So pretty and doesn't that piping come in handy sometimes? Love it around the neck.

Lori said...

That is so sweet! Love the bias band around the neckline. The doll is going to have a fabulous wardrobe!

Rettabug said...

Such wonderful details on this, Jan! I ♥ all the little delicate trims & the fact that you went that extra mile to make it all match so beautifully. I've often used binding to making into piping by adding the cord but I've never done it the other way around. Good thinking!!!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jan, What a darling little night dress you created. Your work is fabulous. What a talent you are and I love your blog. So enjoyed my visit and thank you for stopping by and becoming a follower. I am a happy follower here too.
Have a great week and Happy Creating.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Beedeebabee said...

Hi Jan! Samantha looks so pretty in her new nighty. You sewing is so lovely. I love the binding you added also! xo Paulette

Morgane @ Bear,Dolly and Moi said...

your dolly nightgown is so lovely!
So many beautiful details, almost too pretty to play with!
Our guild is also doing a doll wardrobe project, and my part is to do the night wear... it is going to be hard for me after seeing your work!

Larri said...

Absolutely gorgeous! LittleGirl was strolling by the computer as I was reading your post. Her dolly now needs a new nightgown. LOL! Thanks for sharing! Happy Sewing! :o)

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

That is so sweet! Great use of the piping/binding:) Thanks for sharing!

Dee said...

the little girl that still lives inside of me loves this little dolly and her nightie! thank you for making me smile this Friday!

Michelle said...

So lovely! You have wonderful sewing skills. I'm quite envious.

Anonymous said...

This little nightgown is absolute perfection. It always amazes me when sewists make doll clothes that are so much better than anything I can make for my own children. You're my hero. :-) Thanks for sharing!

trish said...

Oh how precious!!

Miri said...

Darling nightie! I love extra little details-the piping at the waist and the neck binding is lovely.

Thank you so much for the piping link! I can't get piping cord (well, not anything decent) where I live overseas and now I have a great alternative and can use piping again!!

Dayna said...

This is delightful! I haven't made many doll clothes recently, but I think I'll have to make some again soon. I can't believe that Samantha made her way to a thrift store, but what a treasured find for you! Thank you for explaining the details of your adjustments. The finished product is lovely and should do very well at the fundraiser, I would think.

Kristen said...

Beautiful dress and doll! I didn't notice the hair at all. You are so talented at making such great clothes for dolls and children alike!

I noticed you had some smocking posts. How long does it take to smock the chest of a dress for a toddler?

Jan M said...

Kristen asked how long it takes to smock a toddler's dress. My schedule usually doesn't allow for long stretches of sewing or smocking. So, it probably takes me longer than many. I know some who can smock a little dress in an evening or maybe a day. For others, it takes us several evenings while watching TV or relaxing. If you happened to be a fly on the wall in my sewing room yesterday as Ied attempt to clean it, you would also know that there are some projects that take much longer than that! Smocking is not difficult at all. It does take maybe a little longer than other types of stitching, but it is so worth it in the end!

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