Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Upcycled Nightgown from a Vintage Bedsheet

Definition: Upcycling is "The practice of taking something that is disposable
and transforming it into something of greater use and value" From the book
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and
Michael Braungart.

This nightgown had a former life as a bed sheet. It as a vintage bedsheet that I picked up at my church's rummage sale for 50 cents. It is soft and smooth with no pilling - probably a high thread count. Because it has probably been washed dozens and dozens of times, I can be sure that it should hold up in good condition.

I used Simplicity 2739 pattern to create this which I picked up at Wal-Mart for a good price. I chose this pattern style because with nursing a baby, I need to have something with either buttons down the front or will pull down under my chest like this.

I used the finished edge of the sheet for my hem. That way it was already finished and had this cute accent trim.

This pattern was labeled as "easy" and although it was not hard to do it was time consuming because there was a lot of bias tape casing to sew on and feed elastic though. There is elastic on the sleeve edge, around the neck and in the back along the waist. The pattern called for purchased single-fold bias tape, but I wanted mine to match the fabric so I used a bias tape maker to create my own from my sheet fabric. Unfortunately, the only thing I had that was small enough to fit through here to feed the elastic through was a little 1/2" gold safety pin so that process was a bit time-consuming and tedious as there were many feet of elastic to deal with.

I should have probably kept track of exactly how long this took me. I spent several hours Saturday afternoon and then a couple more late Saturday night. Then I spent a couple more yesterday to finish it up. A lot of my time on Saturday was figuring out how to alter the pattern so it would fit my chest correctly. I am not real good at pattern alteration. This came out fairly well, although if I do it again, I will probably tweak the bodice size a little bit more.

All in all I am pretty pleased with this project. It was very low cost - way less than buying a nightgown from the store even with the cost of the pattern and I am sure I will use the pattern again and took me about 6 hours to complete. I also think it is cool to give new life to something unused that was probably destined for the trash. I took something unused and made it useful. I like that and I love my new nightgown. I had been wearing a very old one that had gotten awfully grungy. My new one is fresh and pretty!

Now I am looking at my Goodwill pile with new eyes. Look at all that free fabric. I am seeing little girl dresses and baby pants from my stack of clothes we no longer wear. Hopefully you will be seeing more fun projects like this in the near future.

1 comment:

Seasons of Life said...

What a wonderful idea! A lovely nightgown, already prewashed (thanks to the many machine washings that this sheet must have seen) and lovely print...very feminine and perfect for nursing a sweet babe. Maybe I will venture down that sewing project road someday...

Blessings ~ J Smith ~