A Negligee of two straight lengths of 36-inch-wide material

We have photos!

And we have a negligee!!

We just don’t have photos of me IN the negligee : ( I lost one days worth of photos, nothing I can’t replace and honestly I just wasn’t that happy with what I had so the loss is very minor.

“This graceful garment saves time as well as cloth. There is almost no cutting to do.” This is true.

“Just fold the material crosswise in the center and cut the round neck a little lower in the front than the back as I have shown at A.” I cut a slit in the fabric, I measured to the center of the cloth and cut about 4″ in each direction. I then cut a slit down what would become my center front and tried it on. It is very easy to cut the hole TOO BIG so be cautious! I then cut my oval, tried it on to make sure and moved to the next step…

“Then straighten the ends of the goods and hem them as at B and C.” Yes, I hemmed. For some crazy reason (I think I was watching “Mad Men”) I did a beautiful hand hem.

Before I went any further I added a band of trim to the left side of the garment. This fabric only had the pretty band you see on the outside edges on one side of the fabric. I seriously considered leaving things as they were and just having the trim on the one side but the Sheldon side of my brain won the argument about things being equal so trim was added. Now it looks balanced and “normal”, not “arty”.

“Measure down 16 inches from the fold (i.e shoulder ‘seam’) and six inches from the edges as at D and E, and mark these points with pins. Have both layers of the material machine hemstitched together from the points D and E to the bottom of the garment.” Easy peasy, self explanatory, this is what makes the side seams. The next step, on the other hand, caused a bit of angst.

“Also have the neck edge picoted.” I know what a picot edge is but how do I do it here? I’ll save you an hour or two of agony and research on this. The short answer is you just ZIG ZAG the darn thing! The picot refers to the point the stitching makes, like this:

I turned the neck edge under once, zig zagged, and then turned it under again and zig zagged again. Done. It may not be as peaked as per the definition but it’s done (Done is Beautiful!) and it encloses those pesky cut edges. This fabric frays as you look at it, let alone work with it!

“Clip the center of the hemstitching at a low waistline and run a ribbon belt through the slit thus made as shown at F.”

Because of the aforementioned fraying issue I decided to make a buttonhole on each side:

I also did a semi-fancy stitch for those side seams instead of a standard hem stitch. Do what makes you happy, considering this negligee has two hems, a picot’d neck edge and two seams you don’t have a whole lot of sewing to worry about : ) I turned under the selvage edges because they weren’t pretty but if you have decent looking selvages you don’t have to hem the sides!

I didn’t use ribbon for the tie, the fabric I cut off the hem I made into a belt placing the border at the ends of the ties:

I accessorized my outfit with an Indian necklace:

The back is just as lovely as the front:

The only other difference between my version and the pattern is my fabric width. I didn’t cut it down any (it was 42″ wide) and then I added the 2 1/2″ border on the one side. It hangs a little lower on the arm than the one in the photo but I’m fine with that. Do I care for this on me? Not really. It’s comfy but it is, in reality, a 70’s caftan in my mind : ) I have plans to take more photos this weekend when we do hair and make-up so I PROMISE to revisit this!

The Pattern: A Negligee of two straight lengths of 36-inch-wide material
Rayon Indian-inspired sari cloth
Ease of Instructions:
Easy once I figured out exactly how to do picot edging
Effectiveness (1-10):
Iโ€™ll give this a 7. Because this so strongly reminds me of caftans a family friend wore in the 70’s I’m going to need to do the whole make-up/hair routine to change my outlook.
Notions: Just thread.
Hours to complete:
If I include the hours spent researching picoting I’ll put this at 3.
Total cost:

Here is a sneak peak to an upcoming dress:

This amazing piece of fabric was a REMNANT I bought at least 15 years ago, it came beaded and everything!! There was *just enough* to make one of the Ruth Wyeth Spears dresses (with some fiddling) AND do a pretty nifty Miss Fisher-inspired accessory. We’re on a roll now : )


8 thoughts on “A Negligee of two straight lengths of 36-inch-wide material

  1. Oh! and I wanted to say, that it definitely has a lot in common with 70s caftans. Check my blog post “http://midvalevintagepost.blogspot.com/2014/03/old-things-are-new-1920s-negligee.html” (from back in March) that compares a 1970s caftan with Ruth’s 1920s negligee. And I can’t wait to see the upcoming dress. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. OOOOOooo! I imagine you feel very glamorous swishing around the house in this! I love the thought of wearing negligees and silk robes, but I’m not sure I could trade-out my sweatpants and pony tails. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You’ve taken a beautiful fabric and made it more beautifuller (It’s early, i haven’t switched my grammar head on yet). Love that solution for the picot edging, might have to remember that one. And the coming project looks very beautifuller, most awesomeist.

  4. Beautiful negligee! It does look a bit 70s caftan but in a good way – simple and elegant and easy, especially with that necklace.

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