FO: Psychadelic Alice in Wonderland Slip

This project helped me get out of a sewing rut. I was intending to make the popular McCalls 6696 shirtdress, but somehow when I came to start it, I just couldn't get on with it at all. After some thought, some simple sewing (cushion covers) and lots of fabric pre-washing, I settled on a pattern and fabric that had both been patiently waiting in my stash for some time.

Style 1565 1960s Slip. I got this from Winnie of Scruffy Badger in a pattern swap in 2012 (like the last project I posted - same swap!) and it's been lurking on in my 'To Sew' list since then.
I made the plain view A, which has cups lined with the same fabric and self-made bias tape to finish the back edging. I'm not averse to a bit of lace on my nightwear but this fabric is patterned enough that I felt it might be overkill

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was elegant and quite similar to a nightdress I already own, so I thought it would work well as a nightdress with potential dual employment as a slip. It didn't look too difficult to make either. 

It's french seamed inside, with some handstitching of the lining of the cups so the inside finish is neat and lovely.
Back view
Fabric & Notions
Fabric is Alice in Wonderland Liberty fabric, but not from the most recent season of Alice prints. I bought this fabric in 2010/11 from Mandors when I had a voucher, and I've been saving it since then. This fabric has a reasonably large scale print and it's also a bit psychedelic 60s/Charles Rennie Mackintosh-influenced (those roses). I wasn't able to find out anything about the design online, so maybe it wasn't a very popular print. 
I put a picture on Instagram and someone commented that they had bought 7 metres from Mandors to make curtains around the same time, but she'd also never seen in anywhere else. A Google search only brings up the latest Alice range, but it would be interesting to know more about this design. I think my original plan was to make a top or blouse, but then I realised that the pale colours might make me look a bit washed out.

No notions were required- the pattern recommends you use ribbon to make the straps, although it doesn't include ribbon in the materials list so you'd have to work out for yourself how much to buy and what width. I wanted to make the straps in the same fabric anyway, as I thought ribbon straps would make it look a bit homemade.
Looks a bit sad and flat without someone wearing it!

Pattern alterations or any design changes
Making the straps from the same fabric, which I think looks great. The pattern is 34" bust but designed for 27" (!) waist, and although I could squeeze into it due to the ease included, it wasn't comfortable. I added 1" in length and added 1" at the bust, tapering out to 2" at the waist, although I ended up bringing the seams in just a little at the underarms, for a neater fit.

I made no attempt at pattern matching, though I have ended up with a flamingo boob (see first photo), which is fun.

Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
I would definitely make it again. It wasn't hard to make or fit and was easy to get a neat finish inside without too much hand sewing. Next time I would lower the bust darts a little as the fit in this area isn't perfect. However it needs to be loose enough to take it off over your head, so I wasn't worried about getting too close a fit.
Inside view

Did you use any new techniques?

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, this is a simple and elegant pattern.
The pattern was free and I can't remember the fabric cost as it was bought before I regularly wrote down the cost. I did have a 40% off voucher so it wouldn't have cost more than £20 

I've finally got some elegant nightwear! This is item #5 (my target was 4) of my Vintage Pledge too, which I'm chuffed with. It's great because it's not too heavy on the fabric either and you could make one from just over a metre if you used different fabric for the cup lining and a packet of bias for the back edging.

I'm now thinking of making one from some stashed silk I was given, although thanks to the rejuvenating effect of this project I'm bursting with sewing ideas, so it may have to wait.

On the subject of the Vintage Pledge - check out A Stitching Odyssey for a great giveaway and details of the Vintage pledge posts this month. Our sponsors are The Village Haberdashery and Abakhan, and you'll find details in the blog sidebar of discount codes for both. 

Happy shopping!

K x


  1. That's really beautiful and a great way to use such beautiful fabric. I have a few fabrics like that in my stash that wouldn't suit me colourwise, so making them into nightwear is a great idea!

    1. Thanks Grace, I'm really pleased that I finally found a great way to use such lovely fabric, it's good to hit on the right pattern and fabric combination

  2. You've done a great job with this simple, elegant pattern Kerry. It's lovely and the finish and fabric make it look really expensive too! x

    1. Thanks Jane, I really enjoyed getting a good finish on this and it makes it feel extra special

  3. That fabric is just gorgeous!

  4. I love the fabric. The more I look at it the more I'm seeing different things -like the hearts and the flowers, etc. It was a good idea to use the fabric as a slip. Now I'm going off to find my vintage slip pattern and some fabric that's been hanging around waiting for the right garment. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. This is beautiful. I have an M&S voile nightie that I love, but has seen better days, and yours is making me think of sewing something similar. A vintage slip pattern is a great idea.

  6. What a beautiful slip/nightie. The fabric is definitely not a widely known Liberty print but it is really very lovely. Nice soft colours which will look great on you. Looks too good to wear to sleep in. Xx

  7. Ooh it's gorgeous. What a great use of that fabric too!

  8. This is absolutely beautiful! I love the fabric; what a great print, I'd like to more about it too. And I didn't notice the flamingo boob until you pointed it out!

  9. What a lovely nightie - and in such a great fabric!

    I picked a similar shaped nightdress up from a charity shop recently - quite tempted to wear it out as a dress in this weather... *hussy* ;)

    1. Nah just do it! Mine looks pretty much like a slip dress so would probably be acceptable on holiday/in warm weather

  10. Lovely! Great pattern. It's always so satisfying to use up fabric, too!

  11. That is so gorgeous, I love the print.

  12. What a gorgeous and classic rejuvenation of the sewing muse! I have to admit that I'd be tempted to go a bit Courtney Love and wear it as a summer dress... The fabric is all sorts of wonderful, flamingo boob and all!

  13. Lovely! This is such a pretty print for this pattern.

  14. This is so, so pretty! I love the simple lines-- very elegant!

  15. Such great fabric!! The finish on this looks and sounds perfect and yes, you could totally wear this as a summer dress too!


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