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Friday, January 3, 2014

Bringing Back Vintage (Remaking the Advance 4749)

So you want to make that lovely Advance 4749 Nightgown do you? Yeah, me too. Something so dreamy just has to be remade. I don’t have a copy of the pattern though but honestly I’m just tired of waiting. Someone will outbid me or it sells on a random craft site moments prior to my clicking “BUY ME NOW” and I lose the vision of making that styled nightgown in the prettiest of fabrics and laces. So I’m done with waiting and ready to make my own vintage inspired nightgowns.

This link will show you a nice image of the front of the original pattern http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/Advance_4749

Making a nightgown in a similar style is going to require these things -> Pattern, fabric, thread, lining fabric (optional, you can use salvage from the fabric used for the outside of the fabric), lace or ribbon, scissors, measuring tape, sewing machine, sewing pins, sewing needle (optional but you will probably need one).

Fabric yardage needed-(based on a 45” width fabric/ longer version) yardage is an estimated 52” for the front skirt, same for the back, 15” width x 10” length for the bodice x 2, back panel of 9” length x 20” width x 2 = 140” in length which comes out to about 4 yards of fabric. For the shorter version which runs about knee length you will want about 2.75 yards of fabric for the version without the optional pieces mentioned below in the details on the sewing pattern pieces. This yardage will cover the top bodice, back bodice, front and back skirt. 

If you are making the entire outer garment out of the same material then you will also want to include an additional 14” to cut fabric for the waistband (cut on a fold at center front), and the scrap fabric left over will cover the shoulder straps.  

If you are including a lace overlay for the waistband and shoulder straps (over the fabric used for the bodice and skirt) you will also want to include that 14” measurement on a center fold in your fabric yardage as well. For the lining you will want about a ½ yard depending on the width but again, take a look at the pattern in relation to your measurements before purchasing the fabric to ensure the correct amount of fabric.

If you would like a shorter version or are using the same fabric for the lining as the outside fabric, you will need to recalculate the yardage needed. See below for this.

Pattern pieces: (10 total pattern pieces) Shoulder Straps (cut 2-if you would like a thin foam insert or interfacing here to provide more structure you will want to cut 2 of this material as well), Bodice (cut 2), Bodice Lining (cut 2), Front Waistband (cut 1 on fold), Upper Back (cut 1 for outer fabric on fold, 1 for lining), Front Skirt (cut 1 on fold), Back Skirt (cut 2)

Optional: Waistband Ties (I have 2 lengths, the first being shorter so you can cinch the back a little with a button in back, or longer if you would like long ties), Bodice Frill (this pattern piece offers a general width and length for your frill piece if you decide to include it with your nightgown. Cut 1), Bows (bows to include on each side where the bodice and shoulder strap meet, cut 2).

Cutting the fabric  -> cut all of the pieces out with the fabric folded in half lengthwise. Cut both front and back pieces of the skirt, then the bodice pieces, waistband, back, and then the salvage will be used for the front and back lining panels.

Notes: Testing 1-2-3 (placed here so that you may benefit from my testing before you make your own ;)

When creating the pattern and testing the results (over and over again) I used a variety of fabrics. I used an ivory satin in the longer style with a hidden side zipper. For the next version I used a light weight lavender and white printed knit in the longer style, and then I used a navy blue jersey and hot pink printed fabric made in the shorter version. Each test led me back to alterations on the pattern pieces themselves but in the end I was pleased with the results. 

I would have to say this pattern is moderately advanced. The style is very pretty and I found a knit fabric with a bit of give worked best so that you get that taught look around the rib cage but can get away with not having to add closure. If you are planning on going with a non-stretch fabric then I would recommend a hidden zipper or closure of some sort, or perhaps simply the ties as they will offer that slimming look. 

Make sure when you attach the bodice to the top of the waistband that you tuck the bodice pieces in toward the peaked center area before you sew them down so your bodice area provides decent coverage. If not then you will find the front will be too open and dips a bit too low. It might work for other patterns but due to the shape and placement of the waistband it is rather important to make sure it is tucked in appropriately or the shoulder straps will be out too far and you will be disappointed with the results. When adding the final hem allow about 2.5"-3" in the back of the skirt. 

In regards to making the pattern, I admit to having made many drafts and changes along the way. If you are making your own pattern my advice is to not be intimidated and just work on each piece at a time. If you can start with a paper pattern copy and then use scrap fabric you should be fine. I started with the shoulder straps. Then I made the bodice panels in front and this took a while to get perfect, mainly because the shape is set up against that peaked waistband but in the end after a few modifications I finally got it. I then moved onto the waistband and I tried this in a few different widths. In the end I settled on about 3" in width for this piece as it ends up being about 2.5" in width once you sew the pieces together. 

Once you have the waistband drafted up then the skirt piece is not too difficult to make. You will want to keep drawing down and outward from the waistband and you have your front skirt. The back skirt pattern piece is similar to the front only the back has a slight curve and a seam running down the center. I cut a back upper panel as well and with this I simply took the back skirt panel and laid it out and then traced upward above the V in back. I measured how high this should be based on my measurements and that of the front of the garment. I cut the back upper panel higher than needed in testing as I can always cut away what I don't need in the end but that way I was able to determine how high and wide I wanted it to be. If you are short on fabric and need to include a back center seam for the back upper panel this is fine and will not wreck the look. 

With the front and back ready to be put together lay your front piece out facing up. Align the back on top-fabric facing in-and pin where the peak seams meets but make sure when pinning that the front and back panels are the same width across before pinning down. If you have a center seam in back running down from the upper bodice you can tighten up the back. If not then you will want to make sure that your measurements in the torso equal those of your garment to ensure it fits properly. My advice would be to measure lots and lots! 

The finished garment is very flattering, even more so than I had hoped. It really is a nice cut, and definitely a new one for me. Knowing the original pattern was a 1940's styled garment I had assumed that as nice as the images were, the item would need some updating. In the end the only real change I made (well, as far as I can tell from the pictures of course) was the slimmer width of the shoulder blades. 

I added diamond accents in place of the bows as shown in the original pattern for the ivory satin nightgown. This is the wedding style and I like the accent so if you were thinking of bows they do look good in the shoulder strap-meets-bodice-area. This nightgown is really comfortable and looks great in the shorter version as well. I would also consider this pattern for the use of a slip and as a beach cover up. In the coming weeks you just might see both the nightgown and beach cover ups in this style. Once you see how fabulously slimming this is you will want a dozen more. I know I do and I can't believe I'm saying that since I have just made four new ones. I do have new projects to work on but this pattern is just as pretty as I had hoped!

Sewing Order-> Follow these steps below to ensure the easiest way to construct the garment.

Create the shoulder straps by sewing lengthwise with the fabric facing in, trimming the seams and then turning the straps right side out. You can also purchase the pieces for adjustable straps or the pre-made adjustable shoulder straps ready to sew in at your local sewing shop. I would recommend a shoulder strap no wider than ½” however it appears from the pattern that the straps are about 1” wide, and this is easier for turning in sewn shoulder straps. You can also purchase trim, and you will see trim that I used in the third test with the navy blue and printed nightgown.

Gather the lower part of the bodice pieces (2) and attach with a small seam at the center front to hold them together. Do the same for the bodice Lining (2). Place the shoulder straps facing down and pointing downward on top of the Bodice Front and sew the straps to the bodice.

Sew the bodice and bodice lining together around the top, stopping ¼” in from the side seams.
Sew the waistband to the bodice by aligning the pieces at the center peak and adding about 3 stitches across the top to hold the two together in alignment. 

Next pin down both sides and sew. Repeat the sewing so that the seam on the outside is clean visually and has straight lines. Sew the front Skirt panel to the waistband by aligning the pieces at the center peak and adding about 3 stitches across the peak to hold the two together in alignment. 
Pin down both sides and sew. Repeat the sewing so that the seam on the outside is clean visually and has straight lines.

Sew the upper back panel to the back skirt panel by aligning the pieces at the center peak and adding about 3 stitches across the peak to hold the two together in alignment. Next pin down both sides and sew. Repeat the sewing so that the seam on the outside is clean visually and has straight lines.

If you are adding side ties you will want to prepare those by sewing down one length, sewing one end and sewing up the other side, leaving the end open. Repeat with the other tie, trim the excess, turn in and press. Then you will want to sew a tie to the front on each side where the arrow points meet at the sides, fabrics facing. It will help if you pin the side ties in toward the front of the skirt as you work on the rest of the garment.

Align the front and back so that the waistband in front meets the peak in back, pin going up toward the top and down the length of the skirt on each side. Sew the side seams of the front and back together starting at ¼” below the top and ending at the bottom hem. Repeat with the other side seam. 

Trim as needed and pin the shoulder straps in back as marked on the pattern. Sew the strap on each side facing down, pin and sew the back lining panel across the back-fabrics facing, turn the bodice lining in and sew it down. I find it most helpful to either leave about ¼” seam on all areas so that I have an opportunity later on to tuck the fabric under and sew the seams clean but if you do not have enough seam allowance for this just take a sewing needle and sew it down by hand.

If you are adding a few additional embellishments you will do so now. If adding a frill you will gather and then trim, pin the frill starting in back and sewing it down around the top bodice all the way around and ending in back where the frill ends meet. If you are going with a bow on each side where the bodice and shoulder straps meet, you will prepare and add those at this time. Simply sew the straps lengthwise, turn in, sew the little end and tie into a bow and sew down. If you have added a short side tie with a button in back then you will want to add the button hole and button at this time.

Now all you have to do at this point is finish up the bottom hem and you will want to fold the nightgown lengthwise down the center and even out the bottom hem into a slight curve *leaving about 2.5"-3" longer in back. Trim to the desired length, leaving about 2” for the double hem. I add a zigzag stitch, trim and turn in once more and sew the final hem.

You are now finished! Hello dreamy time nightgown…

You look fabulous darling…

One of the first things I mentioned when making this project was that you need a pattern. I realize many of you would rather purchase a pattern than make your own and since I have already done all of the hard work, I decided to make this one I drafted up available over @ Craftzies (the image above says Sophia because the custom nightgowns in this style will be available in the next few weeks over on my Sophia clothing shop ;). 

The price for the sewing pattern will be $27 with $5.50 shipping in the states, $8 to Canada and $11 shipping everywhere else internationally. 

The paper used for the prints is a white print shop paper. I have a few different sizes available for the patterns -> 6-8-10 or 12-14-16. Please specify the size you would like in the comments section when ordering. TY J

p.s. If you are comparing my pattern design here with the original pattern (lucky you for having an original copy ;) I will say that I do hope I did the pattern justice in relation to the original, but again, I do not have an original to compare so you may find a slight modification or two with mine. I did my best though ;)

Have a dreamy New Year!


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