Nightgown, Patternmaking

The Nightgown Project – Part 2, The Front Pattern Pieces

Hi Readers!

I have been sneaking in the patternmaking on this project in short intervals between puppy naps, walks and work.  Yesterday morning I sketched in the style lines and last night I worked out the front pattern pieces.

To show you this process, first let me show you what I did to sketch in these style lines.

1. I trace off the Front Basic Fitting Shell pattern piece that I had made earlier this year. DSCF2558 You can see the outline of that above.  From there I locate the bust point, which is approx. 1/2” above the dart.  This gives me a general idea of how low I want my v-neck to be.  I spot a location for the top of the band and draw a straight line into the shoulder, the angle determined by how far over I want the v to extend into the shoulder.  I draw a parallel line 2” down from that.  Here’s a closer look…DSCF2559 I use a curves ruler and give the neckline band a curved edge and slash mark out the original straight lines.

2. Next I work on the arc above the bust point and blend that in to the neck band and the side seam.

3. Then finally I work out the upper bodice piece, lowering the underarm about an inch and blending that into the shoulder edge of the neckband.

4. I cut out the three pieces..DSCF2560

5. The Neck Band and the Upper Bodice pieces are finished.  What’s left is to work out the Bottom Bodice piece.  The first thing I need to do is transfer the waist dart into the that curved edge above the bust point.  I slash into the bust point and close the dart…DSCF2561

6.  The next thing that needs to get worked out is the added fullness.  Nightgowns need to be roomy and comfortable and my thought right now is to add about 4 inches of design ease into this piece.  That, in theory would give 8 inches across the front and let’s say we do the same in the back, 8” across the back, giving 16 inches total of design ease….LOTS OF ROOM.  Might be too much but we can always take it out later so I’ll start with my gut feeling here and go from there.  So to add in this design ease I need to do a series of slash and spreads.DSCF2562 In the above photo you can see I drew a perpendicular line to the grain line, then drew parallel lines about 1” apart all across the bodice.  I cut, from right to left, essentially all of these pieces apart, except for the last two or three.

Then spread these out at 1/2” intervals until I get the design ease desired…DSCF2563 The last three slashes do not go all the way through, instead I just spread those out 1/2” and 1/4” to get my total increase of 4 inches.  As I look at this I’m thinking it is going to be A LOT of ease, but we’ll just go with this for now.  Remember, we can always take out, and depending on the fabric it may be just okay.

7. Next I need to add the length.  I extend the side seam out on the angle I’ve created.  I estimate about 29 1/2” inches from that perpendicular guideline I had created during the slash and spread.  This will hit me below the knee.  I measure 29 1/2” down the Center Front and then blend the two points together…DSCF2565 The Nightgown Front Pieces are complete.

Next will be to work out the BACK pattern pieces.  As I didn’t really do a sketch for the back yet, I’ll need to work up a design.  My thoughts right now are to mirror the front but we’ll see…!!

Stay tuned!


1 thought on “The Nightgown Project – Part 2, The Front Pattern Pieces”

  1. You have mentioned this Curves Ruler and I do not think it is widely available (?) Would you mind including it in one of your pictures so we can see what it is. Thanks.


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