This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
Batiste Berkeley cambric
Cotton crepe. .
Flannelette or Outing flannel
For winter wear
Suitable trimmings for same
1. Embroidered scallops and eyelets
2. Bias binding..
4. Embroidery edging Embroidery insertion Embroidery beading
1. Soft finished cambric
Night-dresses may be made of any of the materials suggested above, according to the taste of the wearer. For long service, choose longcloth or Berkeley cambric, but if comfort alone is to be thought of, nainsook, or batiste, is the softest and daintiest material of the cotton fabrics. Cotton crepe is again to be recommended for its laundering quality, not requiring ironing. It does not wear perhaps as long as the longcloth, and cambric, but it is practical for other reasons, especially to the traveller or the girl at camp. The crepes come in very attractive colors and dainty flowered patterns, requiring very simple trimming; in fact, none at all, except bands of the same, or a bit of lace, if one desires.
Outing flannel is used by many who desire greater warmth during the cold weather than they find in the other materials. The nap which makes it warmer also causes it to take fire very easily, so that care must be used in its wear, if one has occasion to move near an open grate, gas, candle light, or alcohol stove. It is easily laundered, need only be pressed off dry, or even worn without pressing, if folded carefully when taken from the line. It should have only the simplest trimming.
Two types of gown are worn, (1) the low neck, short sleeve, over-the-head gown, in more general use, perhaps, and (2) the high-necked, long-sleeved gown, opening in front. The low neck, short-sleeved dress, which may have sleeves (gathered or plain) set into the armhole, or kimono with body and sleeves in one, when of a set of undergarments, is finished at the neck and sleeves after the fashion of the remainder of the set. When made as an odd garment, the decoration may be of any kind that pleases the fancy of the maker.
In designing night-dresses, the material to be used must be kept in mind, so as not to plan a type of garment out of harmony with what the material would suggest. If attention is paid to the neck line, the length and shape of the sleeve and the simplest decoration adhered to, the effect may be far more pleasing than if much time and thought were given to planning elaborate trimmings, which involve care and time in preparation and in laundering.
Even the high-neck dress may be made very attractive, if one does not insist upon the double yoke, or any yoke at all, in fact. Three one-inch box plaits in the center back, stitched as far as a yoke, then left open to give fulness, and a "sacque" front, with a box plait and hem opening, a few tiny tucks or gathers, or a bit of stitchery on the front, with or without collar, and sleeves amply cut and loosely finished at the hand, will provide the warmth about the shoulders and neck, yet have an individual note that is lost in the stereotyped yoke with alternate rows of tucks and insertions.
In much the same fashion, by a bit of coarse featherstitching, or chain-stitching, on a non-yoke gown, can a flannelette gown be made attractive.