Copacabana Nightwear- the damn easy Nightie

If we drink enough cocktails, wear enough palm prints and listen to enough Barry Manilow, then we can all pretend we’re in the depths of a tropical heatwave, as opposed to trying to work out which shoes are the most waterproof.

For my dear friend’s birthday I was desperate to give her a little October sunshine, so as opposed to my usual Striped Swallow PJ shorts, Katie was going to get something appropriate for the Rio Grande.

As this was a birthday present, I didn’t have the luxury of fitting the recipient, so I knew whatever I chose, I would be better going simple so as not to invite too many fitting issues.

A quick google later I found Sew Mama Sews, simple nightie– everything I wanted was in the title.


I chose this questionable beautiful purple and turquoise palm print viscose and was away. All of the measurements to cut the pieces are based on the wearer, so from here on in there was a lot of guesswork. Although I knew my buddies bra size, each body can differ so much, I was definitely in the territory “fingers crossed, but who knows, what the heck, meh?”.

The instructions are really clear and the construction is so simple, you could easily bash these out for all of your favourite margarita swillin’ bunk mates.

The viscose was quite slippery and as such required some extra pinning. I could have put my walking foot on to help handle the movement of the fabric, but instead I decided to get it wrong, unpick, resew and then have a small tantrum.
Using the silky fabric was particularly tricky when adding the piping detail, as now I was contending with 3 layers of slipperiness instead of two!

In the tutorial Kirstin suggests using ric rac for the trim between the chest piece and the skirt. Instead I used some bias tape I had in my stash, which pulled out one of the colours from the fabric and just folded it overIMG_4609

As this nightie was for an extra special lady, I also added some decorative geometric stitching to the chest piece. My mega machine has lots of amazing stitches so I was pleased and mesmerised to use one. As the decorative stitches involve quite a lot of movement from the needle and also the dog teeth, it was slightly harder to keep the stitch on the straight and narrow, but I  think the recipient will forgive me if I ply her with enough gin.


For the straps, Kirstin recommended creating as if you were making bias binding. Instead, I did turned straps. I had a new toy, in a strap turner and so I turned! I sewed my strips right sides together and then used my loop to bring them the right way out and ironed. To join the panel at the back of the nightie, I used a french seam.

To finish off the whole thing I had to hem it. I had left quite a generous amount of length on the nightie, so I could trim once it was complete. Now this is where not having the wearer in situ was tricky.
I wanted the nightie to be decent enough to sign for a package from the postie, but delicious enough to highlight the southern hemisphere of a lovely buttock. Kirstin herself mentions that you have to gauge what your ‘Hoochie Girl factor’ is.

Now if you were to pick a plant for my friend, she would be a beautiful tall birch tree, if you were to pick one for me, I would be a round cactus. So when guessing where my friends hoochie level was in comparison to mine for fitting, it was challenging. Her bum would be the equivalent length to my knees. So I picked somewhere in the middle, so who knows, that postie might be getting an eyeful yet.


My last task was the hem it. Now other lucky birthday girls have received PJ shorts with a bobble trim, so it was only fair that a bobble trim would finish this gift too.

And now we’re ready to turn up the disco tunes for some bedroom dancing.




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