Nightgown: Wearing History Blouse Reboot

I don’t model lingerie or nightgowns, so you’ll have to deal with Betsy.  😉


Changes:  I eliminated the buttons, and the peplum.  I added a simple skirt – two panels, front and back, which is lightly gathered at the waist.  I added a row of beading lace at the waist.

Notes on beading lace:  Once upon a time, clothing was very expensive and expected to last through some variances in the size of its owner.   Drawstrings are an excellent way to make “one size fits most” clothing happen, as anyone who has ever worn a pair of sweatpants knows.  Beading lace is, in essence, a very pretty drawstring.

In some clothing that I make, beading lace is purely ornamental, but in older patterns, it tends not to be.  I have two Edwardian-era camisole patterns, both of which have beading lace as an essential part of the construction.  One *must* use beading lace, or the design won’t function!

The function at the neckline is to bring the neckline in ever so slightly (the other camisole I have uses it more robustly) and makes the neckline lie gracefully.  At the waist, the beading lace gives me some illusion of form.  I know this is rather matronly, but without the waist tie, it would be more matronly yet.  (What one sleeps in simply has to be comfortable, which after a certain age, tends to be matronly due to the resettling of ones own curves without foundation garments.  I find this vexing, but unless I’m planning to sleep in buttons and bones, it is what it is).


Entirely other notes: I think I’m going to be rewriting an entire section in my book.  My husband was wanting me to set up the “what style are you” section in my own way, rather than the conventional.  But it’s hard to put the way I think of these things in words.  I think I have a start on it.  Do poke holes in my explanations, will you please?

So.  Instead of “classic” or “sporty” or “romantic”, I’m going to be talking about the use of line, and the overall feel of the outfit.  Does the fabric move with the body, crackle with energy?  Does it express reserve?  I think we all have things that we need to express in our clothing to be properly dressed *like ourselves* and the trick is to figure out what those little tells *are*.

For myself, I simply have to have something natural going on – and I have to have something soft.  Nothing will do but that I have a living element to everything I wear.  I like to have some energy going on, and I simply cannot abide anything too formal.  My soul requires flowing lines and a generally “organic” feel.  My *body*, on the other hand, requires a certain amount of structure.  Otherwise I rather resemble a couch pillow.  But that too is part of the feel, because I am a romantic, feminine person to my very toenails.  (Not cutesy, never cutesy – that’s too formal!)

I think of my friends online – Y who is the very spirit of mischief.  She looks simply darling in anything that evokes the English street-sparrow – her vitality and snap come right through.  E, who is restrained and elegant, and who I wouldn’t dream of putting in anything too deshabille… it would simply be *wrong*.  But anything elegant?  -sighs happily-  She *is* elegant!  Like a queen!   I don’t want her in fifty bangles, no.  Never.

So how do I explain this, in a way that people could work on themselves?  I mean, I would like to make a business of style analysis, but it would probably be good to explain myself if I were writing.  Rather than just springing upon people and saying, “Oh this! Please wear this!” and then squealing and bouncing for joy.  It’s fun, but not helpful.

Ideas please!  Ask me questions until I start making sense.  🙂


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