The Nightgown Project – Part 4, Cutting Fabric

Welcome Back Readers!

Last night I snuck away for about an hour, while Jim watched Jamba, and managed to cut out the Front and Back bodice pieces.  I am using a Nylon Tricot from Hancock Fabrics for this first sample.  I picked this up the other day when I went out in search of some appropriate night gowny type fabrics suitable for my design.


The Tricot is wide enough that I do not have to seam the Front!  So I go ahead and place the CF on the fold and pin in place.  As a mental note to myself, I keep in mind that the pattern DOES NOT have seam allowances, this is always something I need to keep repeating in my head so as not to just cut right next to the paper and ruin my project!

For this project I use a really quick and easy technique which yields a 5/8” seam allowance.   It is by using the measuring tape that just so happens to be 5/8” wide!DSCF2608

All I do is butt up the edge of the tape next to the paper and then mark, using a water soluble marker or chalk pencil, the other side of the tape.  Viola!  Seam Allowance.  Now, this only works for 5/8” so if you want smaller or larger you’ll need another tool but for samples this is what I do.  It’s fast and it works.

After the piece is cut out I move over to the sewing machine, load up some thread, and I then reinforce the V point at CF with some stay stitching followed by running gathering stitches across the top edge to draw in the gathers.    I then gather up the fabric and check my work on the dress form.

(My dress form is crudely padded out, friends, it was a duct tape project gone horribly wrong and I hate it, but it works for now…and if you want to know how I feel about duct tape dress forms?  DON”T waste your time and all that money…but I’d have to dedicate that to another post sometime).

Anyway, what I was eager to see was the added fullness.  It appears to be working out just fine.  Yay!  There is something happening unexpectedly with the CF though.  For some reason I’m getting an inverted pleat.  I’m thinking it could be because the fabric has a crease from being folded on the bolt? Or maybe it is the grainline, don’t quite know just yet.  I’m hoping it’s the crease and will just wash out.


The next thing I need to work out is the Lace Yoke section.

I need some lace for this section and I think I have just the thing.  I forgot that Mom gave me a Jessica McClintock dress that she found at a thrift store (either she found it or someone else did, not sure and can’t remember but I’ve had it in the closet since Christmas) which is ALL lace!  So I don’t need to shop for lace after all…if I so choose to go ahead and recylce this garment!DSCF2610 My thought is to recycle this lace, which is just lovely I might add.  Too nice for my sample?  I don’t know.  I’ll think about it for a little bit.DSCF2619

A closer look at the tag, Made In U.S.A. of imported fabric, Acetate and Nylon and just $16.  I guess it’s not exactly premium quality but it’s not bad!  Cutting off the skirt I get quite a bit of it!DSCF2615 There’s also some embroidered trim along the edge but I don’t think I’ll be using it.  It’s lovely but if anyone knows how to unpick this without ruining it let me know!

My next thought that I’ll need to figure out is how to SEW the lace.  We all know that as soon as lace gets cut it turns wonky and slippery real fast.  I’m going to need a day or two to ponder this one.  If you all have thoughts just send them my way!

And to answer Mom’s question about Curves Ruler.  That was a typo (sorry), I meant to say CurveD ruler.  I think that is what you wanted to know?  What ruler I’ve used for making this pattern, right?  It is this one below.DSCF2575 Sorry everyone if I wasn’t very clear on what I was doing.  The only special equipment I’ve used so far have been this ruler (which is readily available), some gridded paper (Staples),  a sharpie (gasp! but I do that for you so these lines will show up so you can see!) and my Front and Back Basic Bodice Fitting Shell pieces I wrote about back in February in this post.  I know this pattern is going to fit me because I’m using the foundation pattern that was fitted way back then.  Does that make sense?

I hope so!  More later!  (Love you Mom!)


2 thoughts on “The Nightgown Project – Part 4, Cutting Fabric”

  1. I just found your blog, I think I was reading another blog and saw yours listed!I am enjoying the nightgown project. And I love it that you have a lumpy dress form and have found some other “cheating methods” like the tape measure seam allowance. I is nice to see someone making lovely garments, and not using the perfectly expensive tool.
    Of course having the expensive tools would be nice as well.
    I live south of the border, down Mexico way, and improvisation is the name of the game here. You would get a good laugh out of the things we save to press into use on some other totally unrelated project. I have not blogged on my sewing sites in awhile, but you have inspired me to get going!
    Very pretty nightgown.


    1. Wow, Thank you Susan! That is such a sweet comment. I’m sure I WOULD get a laugh out of the things saved, but then I would probably be most impressed too!


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