Monday, April 6, 2015

Smocked Nightgown I

Last year our local SAGA guild in California had a smocked nightgown project over several months' worth of meetings. The pattern is by Kathy Awender, a national smocking teacher who is in our local guild. I just now finished it, which is good as the weather is getting warmer.

I used a sheet for the fabric, bought from the clearance shelf at Bed Bath and Beyond. Sheets, especially good quality ones, make great nightgowns. The fabric is a bit more substantial than that of most woven summer nightgowns I've seen, and is very comfortable. I love all cotton nightgowns, which ladies of a certain age will appreciate when dealing with our own personal summers. I used a dark blue DMC floss, #311, so it coordinate with my Blue Gingham Robe I made last year. This is the front of the nightgown, a fairly simple pattern.

And here is the back, even simpler.

I personalized it a bit by stitching a G on the back facing.

Since I wanted it to be sturdy, I machine stitched the hem. You can only see the stitches up close, and no one but Mr CS and I will see it.

The picture at the top of this post is the nightgown in its ironed state for the photos. But in all reality, who irons nightgowns? So here is the photo in its natural state, right from the washer and hung to dry.  

I want to point out a slight problem with this nightgown. Since it is long, very wide due to the smocking, and made of a somewhat substantial sheet, it is pretty heavy. The straps are sewn by machine to the facing, which is then sewn by hand to the back of the smocking, front and back. This makes me worry that it will come apart at some point. So I sewed the straps from the front, using a smocking stitch on my machine. Since it is white, it barely shows and is much sturdier for it.

This post is Smocked Nightgown I, as there will be a II. It will be for my granddaughter, who is hounding me to finish it. It will be much prettier, as it is a flowered lawn from the LA Fabric District. So I'm off to do some serious smocking.


  1. A perfect little gown, Cynthia! You did a beautiful job and using the sheet is brilliant!

  2. Better to use a fabric with some body to it - easier to stitch!

    1. You are so right, but the volume is just too much. I think if I were to make another adult size, I would put interfacing behind the pleated area to reduce the number of pleats, and make it shorter. This would make the whole nightgown lighter in weight so the straps could hold it better.

  3. So pretty :-) I am a great admirer of smocking, although it is something I have never learnt :-(

  4. Your smocking is beautiful, Cynthia! I bet it looks wonderful with the gingham robe. I see you've been catching us up, I have more posts to go!


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