For this challenge I made a nightgown using one of my vintage patterns; McCall's 5441 from 1942. It is a simple surplice front style but it has decorative arrow shaped pieces to connect the front and back portions at the shoulders.
I used a lovely, but sheer, ivory cotton fabric for this project. This sheerness is why it will only be modeled by Sally Stitch. It was originally a bright green color, but after a soak in bleach it turned a much nicer ivory shade. Unfortunately it had been stapled to it's price tag at the thrift store where I purchased it, and the cashier ripped the fabric when removing it. I managed to patch the holes with extra fabric, of which there was only a bit. I did not have enough leftover to make the bed jacket.
I do plan on making a 1940's style robe so I guess it is not really an issue. I sewed it as directed, and the only alteration I made was to shorten the bust pieces by 1", my pattern is for a 34" bust, but I need a 30" size to fit my ribcage so this was my half way fix.
So what is the secret to this sewing? That I mended a few holes? That it was formerly green? I suppose those are options of course, but it was also a curtain panel originally sold at Target! I picked it up secondhand and barely managed to squeeze out the gown from the panel. I used it all from selvedge to selvedge.
The Challenge: Sewing Secrets
Fabric: 1 cotton curtain panel
Pattern: McCall's 5441
How historically accurate is it? Fairly, the sewing techniques, pattern and fabric content are all accurate, but a nightgown from a curtain? I'm not so sure. Of course it can be said that as a 1940s pattern making do would often necessitate the use of unorthodox fabrics.
Hours to complete: Two
First worn: Later tonight, to sleep in.
Total cost: Only .25!