Monday, December 9, 2013

Fripperies and Fineries

For most of my life, I have always been inclined to be overdressed rather than under-dressed.  I believe that any excuse to adorn oneself in something satin, shiny and/or brightly colored is to be firmly embraced.  The exception to this rule?  Sleepwear.  I just am not a sexy nightgown kind of girl.  My Victoria's Secret purchases lean toward the over-sized and flannel.  (And not being a lingerie model, I am not adorably and seductively dishevelled in this lumberjack wear but more resemble an actual lumberjack.  Also, why isn't her shirt buttoned?  That looks both uncomfortable and cold.)

But I am now 30!  I am a proper grown-up woman!  I should own at least a few things that are soft and silky and feel nice against the skin!  My sleepwear should be glamorous and not covered in nautical monkeys!  

And like any good seamstress, I was not about to hit a department store to quench my new-found desire for impractical silken intimate apparel.  No sir, because that would have been easy and cost effective!  Nope, instead I turned to the internets where I obtained yards and yards of silks and velvets and laces and in order to make nearly every view of V8888
Line Art

So far, I've tackled my own (slightly altered) versions of views B, D, and E.  I started with the robe.  Now I already own a white "spa" robe made of soft absorbent terry cloth.  So what I was looking for here was something floaty that I could throw over my lounge wear in order to flit about the apartment looking like one or both of the Hepburns.  (In my fantasy life I am willowy... and possibly an heiress...)

So I altered view B to add a few additional inches of length (it still only hits mid-shin instead of the ankle length robe of my dreams) and cut it out of a silk velvet I purchased from  The underside of this fabric was not as soft and luxurious as I would have liked though, so I also cut a matching lining out of silk charmeuse sourced from FabricMart

In the end, I did accomplish my goal of creating a soft and fun to wear "around the house" robe.  Sadly, donning it does not instantly bestow me with a movie star good looks and flawless lighting as I hoped, but I think maybe that will kick in later.

I did make two mistakes in creating this robe leading to one "make it work" moment and some minor "it'll do" resignation.  First, I ran out of material. As I mentioned, my vision was a robe that hit at the ankle, but I made do with a robe that hit at the lower shin.  Even this compromise though did not leave sufficient yardage to cut the sleeves.  I had enough to cut three quarter length sleeves so I did that, but then I thought that a 3/4 sleeve is sort of stupid on a garment intended for warmth and cover.  So I cut a "lower sleeve" out of the scrap and made some bias binding out of the lining material to make my two part sleeve look intentional.  It isn't perfect (particularly as the slip-slidy material kept getting away from me) but I have decided it has a certain homemade charm.  Plus now my wrists are toasty warm!

In a slightly less charming and excusable error, I cut the entire robe with the nap the wrong direction!  And as I am ever so attentive, I didn't even realize it until I had the darn thing on!  The velvet is silky smooth to the touch so long as you stroke UP the back.  It's a disappointment I have learned to live with, the robe is still soft and pretty, but it feels just a little...weird. 

Next I tackled a variation of View D.   I had not purchased a lace with a defined edge so I attached the lace to the bust more like the silk charmeuse was a lining rather than as if the lace was an embellishment.

I also decided not to line the midriff band section with the charmeuse so that bare skin peeks through the lace.  This probably would have more of an effect if this silk didn't match  my skin tone quite so precisely.


As per the instructions I used french seams for views D and E which creates a nice finish on the inside of the garment as well.  For view D, I replaced the lace segments with a cream crinkle chiffon for a slightly sportier aesthetic that I though complimented the abstract print of the silk. 

Now that I've finished both negligee patterns, I have a few fitting issues that I hope to resolve in future versions, primarily in the bust region.  After adding a bit of additional length (about 3 inches) the skirt fit very well (I cut the 18, on the bias) but the bust is clearly meant for someone with slightly less volume in that region.  Ultimately as these are sleepwear and undergarments, they are wearable but wardrobe malfunction would be a constantly imminent risk.  In other words, there is a lack of the "lock and load" fit I generally prefer in a bodice. 
Luckily I can hide any potential inappropriateness with my fabulous velvet robe.

Sleep well everyone!


  1. Oh la! Such pretties! Beautiful fabrics and patterns, enjoy!

  2. They both are lovely. And now, damn you, I want a silk velvet robe. You are a bad sewist. Bad. Go to your room and think about what you have done.

    I made two full length robes last year, however they are both made from a lovely waffle weave cotton, perfect for summer, not so much for winter. This is the first time in my life I have had a full length robe and that feels like a luxury. I love them. Burda 2653, if you are curious.

  3. Gorgeous use of fabrics. And you did each view! Started V8888 today and found here.