OK. I have a question for you?
How big is your daytime, standing up, wardrobe?
How big is your night time wardrobe?
I am wondering about my priorities and balance here.
I spend an inordinate amount of time making far more clothes than I would ever wear or need. OK I admit that. I have clothes in at least part of three closets and off-season put away some place. My nightwear fits into a drawer and a half and I don't really think a lot about it, apart from is something clean.
The whole issue of pajamas, nightgowns, or whatever T-shirt combo your favour is interesting on several levels. First off there are three categories:
1. Nighties. For some reason most nightgowns want to turn all adult women into sweet little old ladies (except even sweet little old ladies are a lot cooler than that these days). Rosebuds and miniature pastels rule. Little lace or ribbons that fray in the wash. Why is this? Just like how in my day maternity clothes seemed to want to turn you into a baby - many maternity tops had duckies on them for goodness sakes. Makes you appreciate the belly band and exposed belly in a bikini. Why are most nightgowns so old?
2. Pajamas as daywear. Now I certainly sympathize with this. Many times I have felt psychologically like showing up at work in my jammies and slippers, it was that kind of day. Lots of students and folks you see shopping in the detergent aisle at the Superstore wear their pj's 24/7. Even still have you noticed they seem to be trying to dress adult women as teeny boppers- florescent piglet designs, Sylvester the Cat? Why the dumbing down?
3. Valentine, anniversary, Victoria Secret nightwear. Fine if you find leopard polyester cozy and don't mind waking up with spaghetti straps wrapped around your neck, and the lace bodice twisted around to your back. Not the best for a lifestyle that involves midnight trips down to the bathroom, that 3:00 am who's-turn-is-it-to-let-the-dog out run, or a the perfect couple evening involving you knitting and Mad Men on the Tube, not next to you.
I remember my mother had an orange nylon number of many layers and green rosettes shoved at the back of her middle dresser drawer (is it still there mom?). When ever we asked about it she would say "Dad bought it. In San Francisco."
As if that explained everything. Maybe it does.
Yes, there is not a lot of nightwear out there worth the nearly half of our lives we are going to spend wearing it. The pattern books have very little, though getting better.
It seems it is time I started paying more attention to this side of my sewing life.
In the interim month before I am laid up I am mail ordering some Karen Neuberger, who really makes comfortable stuff and seems to know who women are. The one of two of hers I have had I have worn to death.
Now what about you?
Do you sew for sleep?
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon