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Altering a Ready-to-Wear Satin Nightdress

Jonquil Satin Nightgown,

I like a bit of luxury in my life, and since I lost weight my lovely Black Satin Pyjamas hang off me. I decided to be lazy and buy something ready-made and was looking for something and found the above.  It was perfect.  Unfortunately it was no longer available.  

So in the end I found something similar in my local store, the right colour, nice shape, cheap, BUT the wrong length.  So I'm going to add a frill to lengthen it!  I ordered a sample to check the colour, then bought 1 metre of navy satin fabric on e-bay.  

This nightgown is cut on the bias, so I did the same for the frill.  I used my rotary cutter and was quickly reminded of how it sticks to the mat and has to be torn off making the edge ragged if you don't fit a new blade first!  I cut two 6" wide strips, re-threaded my overlocker in blue and neatened all the edges. Then did diagonal seams (like on bias binding) to join them. The overlocker had no trouble with the satin.  

Next I turned up the lower edge along the 1/4" over-locked edge and pressed it. Then I stitched it down to form a narrow hem, just like the hem on the nightdress.  I had intended to gather the frill but decided it was too much work so I'm going to use pleats instead. Easier, quicker, and more in keeping with the style?

Tailoring Ready-to-Wear: Beyond the Basics


I pinned the frill to the nightdress matching side seams and centres then made evenly spaced pleats, all folded to the right and pinned down.  I used silk pins but still kept them in the seam allowance, just in case.  I stitched it together with a size 70 needle and Gutermann's Sew All thread.  The pleats are nice and soft (I think unstructured is the word I'm looking for!).

It was okay, but to finish it off I pressed the seam allowance up, then top-stitched it in place. Done! Moment of truth, I tried it on and... it's perfect!

The extra length is just right, the extra weight makes the whole thing hang better and it feels more luxurious.  I'm so pleased with myself. The Nightie cost me £14.99 and the metre of satin was only £2.30 (it was 150cm wide so I have a good sized remnant left) total cost £17.29 (about $24.70 US).  My little bit of luxury!

Tailoring Ready-to-Wear

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Comment by Sharon Maynard on March 12, 2016 at 10:24am

It's a show-stopper, either way (show-stopper being a  good thing)

Comment by Karen on March 11, 2016 at 3:39am

Hi Sharon.  I was thinking more vintage Hollywood glam.....

Comment by Sharon Maynard on March 9, 2016 at 3:04pm

This is very lovely! I could see myself lying in bed on a stack of pillows and sipping tea in this night gown (yes, I've been watching Downton Abbey!)

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