PATTERN: Rose, from Citronille
FABRIC: From stash, but probably purchased at Mill End Store?
I haven't been sewing at all in the past few months. That would probably be because sewing requires not sitting on the couch and not watching TV. And not eating soup. And not not going into my totally messy studio this past fall. But I cleaned it all up again, and all of the remodeling junk is out of there now, and suddenly I have remembered that there is a sewing machine under all of it. Voila.
I made this little dress last Sunday morning. I have been wearing a lot of clothes that feel like pajamas but are technically clothes. Or maybe I think they are clothes that are technically pajamas. If it's gray or blue I think it can go outside. If it's pink, I try to keep it in the house. My nightgown (since you asked) is this one, which is sort of red and white. I don't wear that outside. I would've kept it on all through the holidays except that neighbors kept coming over to exchange presents and if you answer the door while wearing a nightgown at 3 o'clock in the afternoon people think it's weird. I don't, but People do. If I ring your doorbell and you answer while wearing that nightgown I will totally get it. So don't change on my account.
This is how I start to think in January.
The little dress was impossibly soft. Some cotton calicos wash up so beautifully and some stay so . . . rough. This one was just quilter's cotton but after washing it turned into almost like a flannel that's been washed a million times. The best texture ever, in my opinion. I'm doing this thing in my life where I just want to find a few things that "work" and do them over and over again. Like soup. Clogs. Garter stitch. Pajama "pants." Gray. Little peasant dresses. I think that's all I need.
That and more flannel. I'm on a quest for just the right flannels at the fabric stores. This is harder than it seemed. I'm very, very picky. No big flowers. No bright colors. And I live in constant fear of pilled flannel [runs screaming]. I don't know if there's a way to tell about the future of flannel when it's just on the bolt. Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before yesterday, I bought cotton-cashmere flannel at Mill End Store. $7.99 a yard and 56" wide. Did you know they made cotton-cashmere flannel? I didn't. So warm and cozy. That is economical cashmere sewing, if you ask me. I'll save that for next week. Maybe another little dress just like this.
I modified this one to close up the back. I'd been watching Lost in Austen the day before I made this and pausing the DVD constantly to look at every delicious calico dress. The original Rose pattern I used is sort of a pinafore shirt (with an open back skirt) with sleeves. I lengthened it by about five inches and closed up the back seam. What I like about these patterns is, again, how seriously unfussy they are. No facings, no stay-stitching, not a lot of marking to do, no interfacing. Finished in two hours or so, and I am pretty slow, to boot. I reeeeally need to work on my buttonholes. I think the top one here is too low. My machine does automatic buttonholes but it does them differently than the instructions in the instruction book indicate (not that I know where the book is, anyway), so every time I sit down to do one I just can't remember all the little tweaks I do to get it to happen correctly. I make about four or five test buttonholes on scrap fabric every time. Then I worriedly slide the real dress under the needle and hope for the best. These came out okay but I just didn't put them in the right place. That's an easy fix for next time, so I'm happy. I also try to leave enough room in the sleeve hem in case a bit of elastic needs to be run around it in the future.
I also decided not to tack the bodice lining (on the inside) by hand but did it instead by machine. It doesn't look as nice as doing it by hand but it's about forty-five times faster. All in all, a quick, simple, soft, and sweet little nightgown-dress. With leggings and a sweater over top it will be soft and cozy. I should make one for myself.