If you follow my blog, or know me even in passing, you soon realize my love for dachshund dogs. Just like sewing and sunshine, they make me happy! My own little long yet short fur baby is the sweetest companion I could ever find, but lately, younger versions of him have been also catching my eye. This past year, my parents picked up a cute and rambunctious dappled dachshund puppy. More recently, after watching LouLou the famous dachshund have her litter of puppies 10 weeks ago, I’ve actually had some happy dreams of half a dozen happy little wiener dogs all over me. Now, I do have plenty of store bought pajamas and nightwear that are made of dachshund prints, but nothing hot dog related self-made to sleep in. It was high time to correct that situation so I could have more ‘long dog dreams’. I dare you to look at the picture and not yawn!
This project is a fun merging of modern-made-vintage which I rarely do to this degree. Yes, I used a true vintage pattern to make something out of its contemporary antithesis – polyester fleece. This combo sounds like ‘heresy’ deep down to my old school sewing heart, but the print had me at first sight. Besides, I don’t mind redeeming fleece every so often (look how I further redeemed fleece as a fashionable coat here). Fleece can be so much more than just no-sew blankets! The 40’s style is something so pretty and feminine for nightwear, fleece or not, I figure I couldn’t go wrong adding a dachshund print to the mix!
FABRIC: polyester fleece – a JoAnn store exclusive print – fully lined with contrast sleeves in a lightweight polyester interlock
PATTERN: Simplicity #2269, year 1947
NOTIONS: Thread and ¼ inch ribbon
TIME TO COMPLETE: The nightgown was made in about 5 hours and finished on January 22, 2020.
THE INSIDES: left raw…as one does with knits
TOTAL COST: about $30
The fleece I used is not what you would normally expect or find. It is thin and a different kind of plushness, closer to a velvet than anything else – quite dreamy! However, I do believe in the possibility of too much of a good thing. So, I chose a contrast for the sleeves and waist ties. This contrast fabric is also the same I used to fully line the inside body (which you can see here), because no fleece is immune to the bane of static electricity. The light interlock does not really add weight, but keeps the fleece from sticking to me as I wear it. When you make it yourself, you can cater to your every idea for a glorious creation that is something you will enjoy so much more than RTW.
There are no closures and relative simplicity of lines – this is a popover and tie nightgown. This helped make it a quick and easy creation. The size was technically too big for me, but I made it as-is (I didn’t want to bother with grading) and simply sewed in wider seam allowances. Doing so had me worried at first because it looked so oversized! However, the ties – sewn into the side seams – cinch in in just fine. It is okay to be a bit lazy when sewing nightwear? I mean why wait until it’s done to be chilling out?! Perhaps the overall relaxation of it all was wearing off on my sewing practices this time around. If you want a slightly easier-to-find and more modern version of the pattern I used for my nightgown (thus more reasonably priced, too), search for Butterick #5688 from 2011.
For as simple as it was, my nightgown is not lacking in the conventional 40’s details such as shirred shoulders and puff sleeve caps. These details were slightly more difficult in double layered knit. I added a bit of extra detail myself – a thin, pink ribbon top-stitched 5/8 inch away from the neckline edge. There’s two reasons behind my bonus trimming. Firstly, it’s pretty (and I had a whole roll to use on hand)! Secondly, it keeps the neckline stable, preventing it from stretching. Something which is useful yet decorative is a great all-around win!
There was a happy surprise when I opened the envelope for the nightgown pattern. This bonus to the pattern has kept me further occupied than sewing this simple nightgown. There were four pages torn out of a 1940s Wards catalog, along with newspaper clippings, showing slips and more nighttime wearing options. I love happy finds like this! Anyone ever heard of “Madeline Patterns” from Kansas City, as seen on the two clippings? These ephemeral scraps have become quite acidic and brittle over the years and although I scanned them in, they are still a bit hard to see but still so fun to look at, so here’s a little preview. My favorite is the little, ruffled, one-piece, shorts playset….or maybe my favorite is the wrapped crop top and trousers, I can’t decide!
Luxurious nightwear seems to be taking the spotlight nowadays with people staying at home more than ever nowadays. On Instagram, people seem to be calling it many things, but my favorite is the “Hibernation Libation” hashtag. Luxurious nightwear and elegant loungewear does make for the perfect indulgence – much lower in calories than ice cream. Speaking of a treat, just look at all the dachshunds around me when I wear this nightgown…and in my favorite colors of pink and turquoise! You know, I even wore my treasured dachshund house slippers, too, that were a very good gift from my mom!
Now is a great time to remember you are beautiful, worthwhile, and loved…and dressing up for your own well-being is very important now more than ever when we are stuck at home in droves. Take care of yourself, however that means. For me, that includes continuing making and wearing fabulous, useful clothes which both make me happy – like this nightgown – and help me feel like my normal, non-quarantined self!