Tova Dress / Night Shirt


Precious fabric.

I know you all have it.

You know, the fabric that sits on your shelf for years because you're too afraid to cut into it.

Many of the fabrics that I consider precious are actually beautiful batiks that my mom bought back when she lived in Indonesia in the 70's.  I'm terrified of cutting into them and messing something up...probably because that's already happened.  My other precious fabric though was a couple of yards of a cotton/cashmere blend that I bought at Bolt two summers ago.  Can I just tell you how luscious this fabric feels?  It's incredibly soft and ridiculously drapey.  Oh-la-la!

So needless to say, I was a bit terrified when I finally made a decision that I was going to cut into this fabric to make a Tova dress.  I figured that it was a pretty safe plan given that I had already made two tops that I loved from this pattern.  Plus I thought that this fabric would be perfect for a loose and flowy fall/winter dress.  So I carefully hand washed the fabric and pinned everything out only to realize after I cut out the fabric that I didn't cut the front piece on the fold as I was supposed to.

Seriously?  This is my third time making this pattern and yet I made the most basic of mistakes!?!  I think I was about to cry when I realized what I had done, but given that sewing time is extremely precious around here nowadays, I took about 3 seconds to wallow in pity and then sucked it up and decided to move forward.  So now my Tova dress has a tiny little seam that runs down the front of it with some edge stitchign on either side.  For the time being, we're going to refer to it as a design element, okay?  Okay.

The rest of the dress came together rather easily (although for some reason I always have a hell of a time figuring out how to sew the inset in...every time it's as if my mind just doesn't understand how to put those pieces together) and I was able to finish it up within the weekend (which is lightening speed for around here nowadays).

Imagine my surprise when I put it on though and all I could think of was that it looked like a man's nightshirt from the 1800's (although a quick google search has informed me that apparently they still sell such things.  You know, in case you were looking for a Christmas present for the special man in your life).  Fortunately, once I put on a tank top underneath and some boots it looked like something that I could actually wear out of the house.  And in fact, I wore it out for a little anniversary celebration with Ben.

Here's to 8 fantastic years together (and to night shirts)!


  1. That fabric looks dreamy and I like the design element. I never would have nightshirt if you hadn't said it. Happy Anniversary!

  2. Happy anniversary! Sorry about the design feature issues!


  3. Nightshirt? Nah. HOT MAMA!!!

  4. oh, bugger!~! it looks great!! and yes, it's a design element!

  5. Love your Tova dress! In the past two weeks I have made a wearable muslin and then another in a fabric I knew as soon as I saw it was for a Tova. Now, after seeing your dress, I am in search of tiny red corduroy for a dress to wear for the holidays!! Thanks for your inspiration!!

  6. It looks great! Definitely not night-shirt-ish. I wouldn't worry about the front seam, I think it's one of those things that you'll notice but no one else will!

  7. It looks great, Carolyn, especially with the impromptu design addition! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my Mod Bento quilt. And Happy Thanksgiving!


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