This week’s finished object is a winter nightie. The jersey fabric was wide enough for me to be able to cut it with all-in-one dolman sleeves. I was thinking that the lack of armhole seams would be more comfortable for nightwear, but I was also a little concerned that the sleeves would be restrictive. But I’ve slept in it now and it’s fine.
This garment is as simple as it gets. I used a dress pattern from an old (1980s?) edition of Essentials magazine, lengthened and slightly modified, and I cut it two sizes larger than I normally would because nightwear needs to be loose.
The front and back are identical, except that the neckline at the front is lower. The original pattern has neck facings but I have simply bound the neck opening instead.
Making it involved stitching the shoulder/top-of-sleeve seams and the side/underarm seams on the overlocker, turning up the lower hem and cuffs and then applying a neckband. The band was the only non-straightforward part – I don’t often sew jersey fabrics, especially ones as fine as this. I just cut a straight strip of fabric twice the width of the finished band (plus seam allowances) and joined it to make a loop that was a little shorter than the garment’s seamline. Then I stitched one edge of it to the right side of the garment using a stretchy stitch before folding the band in half to the inside and stitching through all the layers with a rather fancier stretchy stitch. I’m reasonably pleased with the result. I had to use a paler cotton in the bobbin because I didn’t have much of the thread that’s a good match.
Cutting out a T-shaped front and back has left me with a wide strip of fabric under each sleeve, four in all. I hate to waste these pieces, and I think they will be wide enough to make into a pair of pyjama bottoms. Again, I would have preferred each leg to be cut from a single piece of fabric without an outside leg seam, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Apart from this sewing project, I’ve been at something of a loose end like everyone else during this extraordinary period. All non-essential gatherings are banned, which means I haven’t seen anyone other than my dear husband since the last time my knitting group met, 10 days ago. I doubt very much we will be able to meet again before late summer, at the earliest, as quite a few people are in the high risk category. Everyone locally is being very sensible and not taking any chances. Fortunately the weather has taken a turn for the better and I can access a network of footpaths across the fields and moors within a few metres of my front door. I can be out for an hour without seeing anyone else on foot. When I do come across another walker, we keep a good distance apart as we pass. I feel sorry for those in large towns and cities who will probably be banned from parks soon, thanks to the folly of those who have been flocking en masse to such places in the spring sunshine.
With this enforced isolation, I have no excuse but to get on with some mending tasks that have been piling up. The list of items to be fixed includes two cordless DECT phones, a cordless vibrating multi-tool, a laminated wood knitting needle tip that has split, a food processor and a gas-fired soldering iron. We did manage to fix the fridge-freezer the other day when the freezer compartment became too warm, something that has happened twice before. As on those previous occasions, pulling it away from the wall and fiddling about with it a bit seemed to cure the problem. I’m pretty sure that there’s an issue with its frost-free features, either the heater which comes on every few hours to get rid of the frost, the timer PCB that brings it on, or the thermostat that controls it. Investigating further would mean emptying the freezer and removing the plate at the back of the compartment, to get at these components. We’d started running down the freezer’s contents to do that, before this coronavirus pandemic hit the UK. But now it doesn’t seem very sensible to have an empty freezer when we would have to stop going out even for food shopping if one of us were to develop symptoms.