Hot! The “Thank You for Being a Friend” Nightie

The Facts

  • Fabric: quilting cotton (stash)
  • Pattern: Simplicity 3573
  • Year: 2007
  • Notions: thread, elastic & 3 buttons (stash)
  • Time to complete: 3 hours
  • First worn: June 5, 2012
  • Wear again?: Yes
  • Total price: $0

This was a hard challenge to decide on. So, so many TV shows. But I don’t watch a lot of TV these days (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and the occasional BBC miniseries like Downton Abbey and Sherlock) so all sorts of ’80s and ’90s TV shows from my childhood kept running through my head: The Cosby Show, A Different World, Saved By the Bell, Blossom, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Family Matters, Family Ties, The Facts of Life, Perfect Strangers, Who’s the Boss?… And most of the clothing is pretty terrible. Sometimes even worse than the acting and plots. So I polled my FB friends on their favorite TV shows past and present. That also didn’t help much. There were a number of votes for another Joan-inspired dress, but I kind of wanted to see if I could think of something else. (One idea that I actually considered was combining Joan and Mr. Furley from Three’s Company…hmmmm, the possibilities.)

Then I happened to remember The Golden Girls. No, I didn’t want to make a 1980s old-lady-living-in-a-Florida-condo-association outfit. But it seems like almost every episode, someone would come out in a nightgown or bathrobe.

Don't ask me what Sophia is doing with that knife.

Anyway, with a small boy running around the house, my days of sleeping how I prefer are over. I need something on that covers everything and is appropriate for being woken up by the sound of his bare feet on the hardwood floor and the sight of his smiling face through my bleary eyes, and also for walking around the house sipping coffee and making breakfast. I really need more nightgowns and I also need to make a lightweight robe for the warmer months because my floorlength velour one is just too darn hot, but that will have to wait.

Now, I really would have liked to buy fabric. Something in thin cotton, sweet and flowery, in pinks, purples, and yellows. But, I’m still under my self-imposed fabric buying ban (6 months to go!) so I had to find stuff in the stash that would suffice. Luckily I stumbled upon some quilting cotton and two bedsheets I’ve been saving. They will likely all end up as nightgowns at some point, but for now, I used the quilting cotton for this lightweight nightie. I’ll make a summer robe once I can buy fabric again.

I couldn’t resist donning my velour robe (Butterick 5152, made in December) and putting on my best Sophia persona, though I’m probably about two feet too tall.

And for those of you poor people unfamiliar with The Golden Girls, here’s the theme song to get stuck in your head. You’re welcome.


Erin Bartels

Erin is a copywriter by day, a novelist by night, and a wife, mother, dressmaker, quilter, zoo docent, painter, poet, and photographer in between. She only gets paid for the copywriting.


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  1. Erin, one word: AWESOME! I almost picked Golden Girls, but couldn’t decide on an outfit. SO rad!

  2. Nice job. It looks like a comfy nightie. I used to watch The Golden Girls as well.

  3. What a great idea… Looks so comfortable…

  4. Nice! I’m a HUGE “Golden Girls” fan so I really appreciated this post and make.

  5. Great Idea, I loved watching the golden girls as a kid, I’m going to have the theme tune going around my head all night now!

  6. Can I say you made me laugh so hard. I loved Sophia, hilarious. Love the night gown and the robe looks fantastic.

    • My sister and I watched that show all the time as kids. Certainly a testament to the show’s writers and actors that it could be interesting to 10-year-olds.

  7. Berrrrrrrrilllliant. My Grandma and I loved the Golden Girls. You are a very funny lady. That nightie is very comfy and useful too – win all round :)

  8. You make me laugh! Hard.

    Great job, as usual!

  9. Love it. Fab nightie and rather worrying similarity to Sophia’s pose there….was that in the opening titles because I seem to remember it quite clearly? Perhaps it was just that memorable. Well done on continued ingenuity using up your stash and still creating these triumphs! I am in awe of your determination and creativity. You do realise I’m going to have thank you for being a friend earworm for days now?! :)

  10. Bahahaha, that last photo combination is brilliant! Love it!! :-)

  11. Yay this is so awesome Erin, love how you write, so descriptive, I have a smile from ear to ear. Brilliant.

  12. Yessssssss! So awesome. Who doesn’t love the Golden Girls? Your Sophia pose is right on.

  13. A nightgown – what a great idea! Fantastic final photo. Sophia was awesome. Well done!

  14. This post made me smile (and NEED to watch Golden Girls reruns when I get home from work). Also, I really like the way you’ve managed to take the challenge theme and use it in service of a sewing project you really need for your everyday life–this is something I struggle with!

  15. I loved Golden Girls. That picture of you at the end is really funny! I like the nightie and the robe-though it does make me feel a tad warm just looking at it.

  16. Once again I must admit that almost all the shows that everyone has referenced this week, I am not that familiar with. I did not have television while I raised my children, so I feel a little out of the loop. However, your nightie is very sweet, reminding me that there can be a bit of fashion even during the night. I usually just reach for the nearest old teeshirt. You have inspired me to think twice about my nighttime outfits. Thanks. ;)

  17. I loved Sophia!! Your final pose is HILARIOUS!!