Friday, May 3, 2013

Guilt-ridden Projects and Projects from Hell

Too many years ago I promised to make nightgowns for a shut-in friend.  These nightgowns are much coveted by those who receive them.  Usually, I can whip one out in a couple of days. However, my friend had a list of requests ( a train? on a nightgown?  HOW many?)  that cooled my ardor for the project.  And, since flannel is scarce as hen's teeth and twice as expensive, materials were slow to gather. Then I got sick. Then two bitter winters shut down the sewing room for months. I did other stuff instead. Time moved on very quickly.
This last autumn my guilty brain got me into the sewing room to get at least something ready to mail out for my friend's birthday.  I was also preparing to leave for the Orient and had to get the gift in the mail before I left. So I sort of slammed the thing together. The collar wasn't great but, it would do. This is a pattern I made from a nightgown I wore to death years ago. It has to be my favorite of all time.
I went to get the email mail address and could not find it. I sent emails to my friend but the account was closed.  Oh my gosh, did she die and no one told me???  Guilt and panic competed for mental occupancy. I had to bug out to China.
We returned. Some concentrated detective work found my friend alive, and her address. (Never did find out why her email account was changed, hmmmm.)  So THEN I took a good look at the nightgown along with my sewing buddy and we went , "Naaaah."  Off came the collar ( serged seams are on royal pain to rip and on the bias??? hellish)  I got it back on straight and went to put on the last and only button by machine. KaPOW!!!  broken needle; worse, broken button, no spares.  I checked with my buddy for the source of those buttons, I went out to the car to go fetch some more;  it isbitter weather, car is dead as a doornail. Now this project truly is a project from Hell.  Fast forward through borrowing a car because rental agencies were closed for the weekend for which we HAD to have transport,  a button buying trip squashed in between the over booked activities that weekend, and you know, life.
Finally got the buttons on and with the help of my darling model girl: here is one lovely nightgown.
I wish the photo reproduced the colors better.
My model is somewhat taller than my friend....
I especially love this collar.  And the wood glue bottle which keeps the doorknob from whacking the plaster..
and the model is not at all the same size as the intended wearer, but one makes do with whatever one can find.  Now this nightgown is not particularly embellished in the way I make gowns.  I could not find any trims to match.  I did use the rolled edge setting and trim it with pink and had pink buttons.  The dark green ribbon was and after thought that Himself liked a lot.

Then I turned my sights to another flannel gown: for me!  My one is so old I can read the morning news through it and it has some tiny holes starting.  I found a piece of flannel that was meant for girl and boy jammies when Thing One and Two were small.  Re-purposing is my middle name. And I found dandy ribbon for it. And I had some great cotton lace. Ingredients for the perfect gown.
Do not get distracted by the too tall and skinny male model.  Himself was all I could find at that time. This gown was just exactly right and beautiful.

It was so wonderful, I knew I had to fold it carefully and add it to the gift I sent my friend.  Because she needs a good deed and a  special nightgown more than I. And it helped me reduce the guilt of procrastination.  I admit, I shed a couple of tears.  It really was a gown to yearn for.


  1. they are pretty! It is funny you had your husband be your model- what a sign of true love!!!

    Hope you are happy you don't live near me...cause otherwise I might be begging you and offering cleaning services or such in exchange for making a pioneer outfit for me! (since I will get to help on our stake's youth pioneer terk!)

    1. If it did not cost the earth to ship stuff I would be thrilled to make you a pioneer trek outfit. You would just need to get someone to measure you ( I have a form to fill in) and we could do a couple of SKYPE conversations. Really. I still have all my patterns from the States...I have to remake my good Emma Smith black gown with hoops because one, I am not that size anymore and two, the mice have chewed through the skirt and made a mess of my hoop skirt. I am planning on removing all the lace and starting from scratch...but that is not a trekking outfit:) HUGS