I’ve been looking at vintage clothing styles for inspiration for the Toni doll. She needed some night attire and here is what I finally made for her.
I found a catalog of nightgowns, robes, and underwear from the time of World War I. Ladies were dressing in a slimmer silhouette at that time. Quite different from the full skirts of the 1800s.
I really liked all the lace and the way the nightgowns flowed. I wasn’t ready to tackle making sleeves since I really don’t like to sew. When I rummaged through my stash of discarded clothing, I found a pair of nylon undies that I’d never liked and wouldn’t wear. You could use an old slip for a project like this.
The lace waistband became the hem of the nightgown and the narrower lace at the leg of the original panties became the top. In the graphic below, the lace at the leg and waist are the same width, so it doesn’t matter.
Steps for Making the 1918 Nightgown for a Toni Doll
- Measure the material around the doll’s torso to see how much fabric you need. Allow some extra to overlap.
- Cut from the waist to the leg opening in 2 places to end up with a square of nylon with lace at the top and bottom.
- Glue or stitch the lace together at the back (at top and bottom). I used hot glue. Since the lace was stretchy, it will slide onto the doll easily.
- Add straps of ribbon by gluing them to the front of the gown. Leave the other ends loose to tie behind the doll’s neck.
- Glue or sew on embellishments like a bow to the front.