Vintage Pattern PJs--Part One

I like to obsess.  I obsess over where we'll live, what our weekend plans are, what I'm sewing.  I obsess on Pinterest, on Flickr, in my Google Reader.  I prefer to think that I "collect," that I'm collecting pictures of Japanese fabric because I want to know what's out there and available (and not because I ordered some from Singapore last week.  No, never!!).  

Last weekend, I became obsessed with vintage patterns.  I own about ten that my mom has given me from her own stash, but I've never been brave enough to try them.  Plus, the ones she gave me need some major resizing and I just don't have the time or knowledge for that.  I also need some new nightgowns.  I wear PJ pants after work because they're comfy, and normally I don't wear anything to bed (I know, you didn't need to know that, but it's the truth), but because I'm visiting my parents in a couple weeks, I should probably pack pajamas.  It would be the polite thing to do.  However, all the Big Four patterns are pretty focused on pajama sets--top and bottoms--or old lady nightgowns.  Colette offers the Cinnamon slip, but that's a bit too fancy for going to my parents' house, and it'd also take some slippery fabric.  I needed to stash-bust and I needed to find something cute and non-risque.

I bought three patterns on eBay, the first of which arrived last week.


Butterick 5534, in a bust 34, which, I assure you, is not my size.  I don't think I've been that small since elementary school.  I liked view A with the gathered neckline.  I took out the pattern pieces and did a tissue fitting, as well as measuring their dimensions, Saturday night.  Much to my surprise, the 34 fit!  I cut it out of some cotton I've had forever and started sewing it Sunday afternoon.

It's four pieces, with front, back, and side seams.  You're supposed to use bias tape and a bow made from the same fabric, but I don't have time for that foolishness, so I used store-bought.  I decided to baste everything together and fit it first, because I would be pissed if I did all that sewing only to find out I did my tissue fit wrong or whatever.

I wish I had taken a picture of the basted nightgown.  It was huge.  I don't want to exaggerate, but I know I cut at least five inches off of each of the sides, four off of the front and two off the back.  The shoulders were also cut down.  I mean, it was a circus tent.  I know nighties should be free-flowing, but damn!  Women in the 1960s had some serious body issues, I guess.

I eventually got it to look like this:

The arms are a bit snug, but I don't plan on really sleeping in it, just wearing it for breakfast and coffee so I look halfway decent (my hair will be another story).  It's a good length, too, and while it doesn't look like it on the pattern, the shoulders are super wide--it's more of a ballet neck on me than a normal neckline.  That's Joel Dewberry's "Manzanita" line and a brown bias-tape bow, too.

I'm expecting the other two patterns this week, and have some Freshcut and no-name fabric put aside for those.  I also have my eye on a vintage Simplicity pattern, but the Low Balance Threshold email I got from Bank of America this morning is telling me I need to chill.