This tutorial is the companion to the lounge pants in the previous post, using the same rayon fabric. Click on Rayon Lounge Pants for that tutorial. Cutting out the rayon uses the same principles of not stretching the fabric, and using pattern weights helps. For the top, I have a favorite nightshirt that I wanted to copy.
For a simple garment, it is really easy to make a pattern from another piece of clothing. All you need is the garment, some wide freezer paper or newsprint, and some marking tools. I use my French curve ruler, along with a couple of straight side rulers, a pencil and a sharpie marker to darken the lines. This works best with super simple lines and few extra seams like darts.
I start by laying out the garment right side up and smooth it out so the seams are at the edges. Then I draw around the garment with a pencil.
I mark the center, then fold the garment in half to mark the center front line at the bottom.
Do the same at the top neck edge, marking the center of the lower neckline too.
I remove the garment, go over all the lines with a sharpie. I use a dashed line for the fold line, and mark it with arrows like the commercial patterns do.
Then I mark a cutting line 5/8″ away from the edge. Leave this off the fold line so you won’t mistakenly cut that one.
Repeat with another piece of paper, and the back side of your garment.
Be sure to mark the fold here too.
Now, line up the patterns for the front and back and make any adjustments to keep the side seams even. Note that the back is often a bit wider than the front, that is OK.
Looking at the lower edge, I’ll make these line up a bit better.
Moving the top one, I redraw the lines on the bottom so the side slits line up.
Now, using your new pattern, cut out the rayon, being careful to place the fabric and pattern with the folds lining up. If your fabric is one directional, be sure to place the top of the pattern pieces oriented the same way.
Serge the side seams and top sleeve seams. Or, with your domestic machine using a walking foot, sew the seams.
Press seams inside and outside.
Try the garment on and make any adjustments. I wanted this one to be more of a top, so I decided to shorten it. Using the French curve, I drew a new cut line with chalk and cut way the extra length.
Now, serge the raw edges of the neckline, hem, and sleeve hem.
Turn under and topstitch to finish the edges. If you don’t have a serger, just turn under 1/4 inch and press, then turn again another 1/4 inch and topstitch.
Sometimes the rayon will ruffle a bit while sewing. Minimize this by not pulling on the fabric as it is taken through the feed dogs.
Just press with a bit of steam to flatten it out.
OK, all finished with the basic nightshirt or lounge wear top.
I like to embellish a bit to make these more interesting. So, I added a lace medallion. Find these in the fabric stores in the bridal area.
I use a couching stitch through the lace by hand so the lace floats on the surface and the stitches don’t show.
I added a ribbon rose to the center to finish it up.
Voila, finished! Ready to wear around the house with the Rayon Pants on a warm day, while relaxing with my next good book.
Have you ever made a garment from a finished piece?