It’s all about the practicality

Or at least, it’s all about practicality with this creation!

Not that you’d think so to start with – after all, why on earth would one need a bed jacket? I’ve never really understood the concept – is it some sort of 1950’s ladies-who-lunch variation, where instead you sit up in bed eating breakfast and lounging around glamourously? Heck knows, but there seem to be a lot of patterns out there for sewn and knitted bed jackets from the 1950’s!

And inevitably, one (or maybe two) of those patterns has made it’s way into my stash. In this case, Simplicity 2778, from 1958.

Simplicity 2778

I bought this pattern for the slippers though, not the bed jacket. (And I’ve even made the slippers!) I never expected to make the bed jacket – sure, it’s kinda cute, but really, why?? (Also, why do they all have their mouths open on this pattern cover? Plus, those are all pretty massive earrings for wearing to bed. Yep, clearly bed jackets are all about glamour!)

And then I had the Little Man, and spent a heck of a lot of time sitting up in bed in the middle of the night feeding him. And the idea of a bed jacket started to make a lot of sense. Shorter than a dressing gown, so you can easily throw it on while sitting in bed for an extra layer of warmth. Yep, not a bad idea at all, really!

(Except that I never quite got around to making one while still doing night feeds with the Little Man.)

But this time, I am prepared! Yes indeed! (Well, semi-prepared. Got a five-days-overdue baby bump going on and I’ve only just finishing this, but still – it’s done before it’s needed! Win!)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And here it is – my version of a 1958 bed jacket. In a dusky pink sweatshirting. Because you know what? This is only ever going to be worn in the dead of night, in bed, while feeding a baby. It’s not about glamour, it’s about warmth. And it will Never Leave The House. Nuh-uh.

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

It will, instead, be cozy and warm. šŸ™‚ (Or that’s the theory, anyway.)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So saying though, I did do a bunch of topstitching on it, just because I could. It wasn’t thought-out topstitching, there was no plan, I just did what I felt like at the time until I ran out of the pink thread I was using. So I ended up with some topstitching on the pockets, on the facings, and on the collar. I was going to do some down the centre back as well but then I ran out of thread, so it got left as it was.

(‘Scuse the alignment of this – it does line up in real life, I promise! Just clearly not in this photo, at all. This is where I miss having photos taken by fellow bloggers – they spot this type of thing, haha!)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Pockets! Those are gonna be useful for a burp cloth on one side and snacks on the other side. Because let’s face it – there is a constant need for snacks when feeding a child in the middle of the night. Mmmm…. snacks….)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Speaking of the collar – rather than doing the collar facing in the same thick sweatshirting, I used some of the cotton left over from my Tania culottes. To stop it from peeking through at the edge, I trimmed a couple of mm off the collar facing’s outer edge and then aligned the inner seams when pressing so the collar rolled to the inside a little.

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

When I went to put the fastenings on, I had a moment of realising – this jacket’s never actually going to get done up, due to it’s purpose for existing. So, I flagged the fastenings and just did some top stitching instead. šŸ™‚

Not really a lot to say about the construction of this – it’s a basic kimono-sleeve style, with cut-on facings, so very few pattern pieces. Fairly usual late-1950’s Simplicity instructions. And an unmarked pattern, so holes punched in it to indicate darts, grainlines, etc. (Which, by the way, I prefer – far easier to transfer markings when you can just chalk through the punched holes!)

Here’s something I hadn’t seen before, though – this pattern comes with a ‘fold sheet’ – a plain sheet of tissue paper that’s there for the sole purpose of having the rest of the pattern folded up in it. Brilliant! It keeps it nice and smooth in the envelope, and helps keep all the little pieces together.

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So there we have it – one baby-night-feeding vintage bed-jacket pattern, made up and ready to go! (Whenever this little one decides to make an appearance, that is. Hmmm…. In the meantime though, it makes for a good book-resting-place.)

A Practical Bed Jacket | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

32 responses to “It’s all about the practicality

  1. Pingback: Simplicity 2778 | Patterns patterns patterns

  2. That is awesome! It’s actually a really nice little jacket that could totally be worn outside the house!

  3. I totally think you could wear that out of the house. It’s super cute and I adore the colour! šŸ™‚

  4. GREAT planning, Lovely Ones! Believe it or not, I’ve long thought I needed one of these, too, for reading in bed during winter… Your sweatshirt fabric is a fab idea. Thank you!
    del xx

    • Oooh yes, it would work rather well for winter reading in bed, wouldn’t it?! Especially if you make the sleeves longer….

  5. Actually, I’m tempted to look out for a bed jacket pattern now. Your version is lovely and looks really cosy. I had very interrupted sleep last night with my son (who’s nine) waking up feeling unwell, an extra layer would have been welcome!

    • Thanks! šŸ™‚

      Ugh, kids and interrupted night’s sleep. (My 2 year old woke up heaps last night, too. *sigh* Changing seasons, maybe?) Hope your son gets better soon!

  6. Kat, as amazing as ever! Thank you for finding the purpose of a bed jacket. I was forced, oh so many years ago, to make one while knitting for my first. Vaguely remember it had a ribbon fastening at the neck. Never got worn as he was a summer baby and was never into night feeds. No two I spent time trying to wake to feed always unsuccessfully, so have up.

    So thank you for defining its purpose, making it and wearing with panache, looking forward to seeing pictures of you and no two with it on in the pictures in the near future. Best wishes for a speedy, safe delivery.

    • Thanks Jo! šŸ˜€

      Wow, two babies not into night feeds?!? My first was up every four hours, no matter what. Wonder what this one will be like…..?!

  7. Aren’t you just utterly adorable?! I can’t believe it’s already time to meet the new little person! Can’t wait…

  8. It’s a much dressier and more glamorous replacement for hoodies or sweatshirts! I bet you’ll wear this alllll the time!

  9. Hi Kat, I’m Melanie. I think you have found the reason behind bed jackets! They are extremely cool items replacing hubby’s overused, oversized and a tiny bit ugly cardigan for a bit of midnight chic, even if you are only sharing it with a wee one. As for the cover, even back in 1958 women knew what had to be done in the middle of the night or early morning wasn’t a particular glamorous event (interpret that as you will), but by becoming completely lulled by the make-up wearing, sexy mouthed babes on the pattern cover somehow seemed a must have.

    • Haha, that made me laugh out loud! šŸ˜€

      Ah yes, the 1950’s – the time where they attempted to make everything that was unglamorous look glamorous. Cleaning ovens! Sweeping! Cooking! Midnight wake-ups! All will be better if you’re wearing the right clothes/make up/jewellery! (I wonder how successful that marketing was….?!?)

  10. You’re a genius! My brain has already stopped functioning so I’m seriously impressed that at 5+ you’re being so creative and blogging! Hope you get to meet whoever is in there soon!

  11. My kids are grown up.. but now I want a bed jacket. I could wear it for reading on those cold nights! Or maybe if I make a glamorous one someone will serve me breakfast in bed! šŸ˜‰ Altho I think I would prefer a cozy one like yours! Congrats n the baby!

    • Thanks! šŸ™‚

      You could always go for a cozy-yet-glamorous one? I’m starting to see the potential of having one around for weekends away – breakfast in bed with a good book somewhere. (That sounds rather marvelous, actually! šŸ˜‰

  12. You are totally prepared now. See … baby knows that you aren’t done sewing yet! I use to drag a blanket out to the lounge and wrap it around my shoulders and over baby so we would both be warm but feed with ease – a bed jacket seems so much more sophisticated.

  13. oooh, that will be so great for nursing and cuddling! enjoy this ‘bonus’ time šŸ™‚

  14. I wish I had been that inventive! I am currently breastfeeding my 6th child and chilly shoulders is probably my biggest complaint about night feeding.

    • It was definitely my biggest complaint with my first child! (Aside from actually having to wake up, that is….!) I’m not a fan of being cold. šŸ˜¦

  15. I’m sure this has come in really useful since your new little one arrived, and it’s certainly very cute! Well done on sewing when that pregnant too!

  16. I actually had a bed jacket when I was a kid! I think for reading in bed. Looking at it, I’m thinking this would also be an excellent fashion addition for the workroom – something that’s going to keep my core warm while not having dangling sleeves in the way of whatever I’m trying to iron/pin/stitch.

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