Kwik Sew 3105 , girls' woven nightgowns, size XS (4-5 years) to XL (12-14). I made the XS for my girls, who are now, almost 5 years and 3.5 years, and measure 106cm and 94cm respectively.
The weather is really warming up here, and I wanted cool nighties for them to wear in bed, since they both still insist on covering themselves up with the coverlets at night, with the fan on full blast!
Like most KS patterns, it is well drafted, and well written, with instructions that are easy to follow. I chose this pattern, with the gathered front and back yokes, and (optional) ruffle at the hem after the last disaster with the Butterick 'eid dress, which my daughter still loves ("it's my FAVOURITE dress Mum!"). I wanted to practice gathering the yokes and ruffle again, and to improve my skill in this area, figuring that wonky gathering would not be the end of the world in nightwear.
I was also in the process of tidying up the spare room that doubles as guest room and sewing room, and so my overlocker was unavailable, so that I ended up sewing these entirely on the sewing machine, at the dining table. End result, the insides are not as neat as I normally like, but still functional.
What I learnt:
1. Gathering - front and back yokes, x 2. Ruffle x 1, since the nightie was long enough without the ruffle on the 3.5 year old. The almost 5 year old insisted on a ruffle because she wanted a long nightie. I loosened the tension on the bobbin thread this time, and made the stitches as long as I could, and kept the basting/ gathering stitches within the seam allowances, with much better results.
I still need more experience with gathering at the hem for the ruffle, presumably because it is a much longer stretch of material, with the end result that I am not as happy with the gathering for the ruffle, but my daughter could not be happier, and loves it, so I guess it is still a win.
2. Making my own bias binding, and making do without an overlocker/ serger. The pattern calls for lace at the necklines and armholes, and since I didn't have any on hand, and didn't want to waste time dragging 3 kids to the store when I could be sewing, I improvised. I used spare fabric, made bias binding, and used that at the necklines. At the armholes, because I did not have enough spare fabric to make binding, I overcasted the edges with a zigzag stitch, and then turned and stitched, still with the zigzag stitch.
3. Modifying, albeit on a very small scale! The main problem I ran into, with this pattern, was the neck opening. I traced and cut out the size XS, which is for a 4-5 year old (107cm tall), but found, on constructing the bodice for the 3.5 year old, that it would not fit the almost 5 year old. Not having the skills to add extra fabric/ put in zips etc without changing the original draft, I decided to leave one of the shoulder seams open, and to add snaps to this shoulder instead for the older girl. It was all fine in theory, and I even managed to get the first snap on without issue, but then proceeded to waste another 5 snaps trying to get the next one on, with no luck. Husband had a go too, to no avail. In the end, we dragged out the KAM snap press he bought me when I was planning to make cloth nappies for DS, but it didn't really work.
So...she's ended up with a functional but not-so-pretty snap closure/ opening.
Overall, however, they LOVE their new nighties, and have been posing in them, bed hair and all. And as the 3.5 year old noted, since they have been used to PJs to date, she loves her nightie even though "it was crawling up my bottom". :-)