Thursday, December 17, 2015

Easy Nightgown Tutorial

Is it too late to post a Christmas jammie nightgown tutorial? Probably. Let's do it anyway! (Cuz I already took the pictures dangit!)

The great thing about this tutorial is that there is a little measuring, but no real pattern. You're going to mark directly on your fabric, cut and sew. I think you could easily bust this out in 45 minutes or less...but it took me a bit longer as I was working with a cranky serger. But you definitely don't need a serger for this tutorial! There are a lot of steps but it's still very basic. Here we go.

1-2 yards fabric depending on size of gown
19"-20" of 1/4" elastic
normal sewing stuff like scissors, tape measure, thread, sewing machine

First, get your measurements. Get a shirt or an a-line dress that fits your child to use as a guide--preferably one in the same kind of fabric (i.e. woven). Ideally the fit will be loose and easy to pull off and on.

Measure from neckline to bottom for height (add more length if it's a shirt and you need it longer).
Measure under the bust.
Measure along the bottom for width.

Adjust these accordingly...if you want it wider at the bottom, make it wider, etc. Add about an inch on each width measurement for seam allowance. Add about 2 inches for the height measurement, more if you want a wider hem.

Now to start marking and cutting on your fabric.
1. Lay your fabric out and double it up. Starting at the bottom, draw the line for your bottom width measurement. Find the middle of the line and mark it.

2. Using a square or triangle find a way to draw measure straight up the center line and using your height measurement, mark the top. Now you're going to mark the neckline and you'll want to make sure the middle is lined up with the middle of the bottom line--hopefully where you marked at the top. Now draw a straight line 9-7 inches wide--9 for larger, 7 for smaller. This is not the bust measurement! Now you should have a top and bottom line both lined up in the middle like this.

3. For the arm hole we're going to use 6-7 inches and were going to angle it out from the neckline. If you think your dress should be looser, angle it out more. If it needs to be a little more fitted angle it in slightly. You'll want to check your bust measurement against this one to make sure you have enough room. It's OK if it's a little bigger, just don't let it be any smaller.  Here's a sketch so you can see how to do steps 1-3.

4. Now to ensure that both sides are equal just cut out half your pattern like this.

5. Now fold down the middle line and cut the other half out, like this.

6. You should have two pieces of fabric, front and back. Cut a curved neckline in one of these pieces, so that it dips slightly in the front. This will be the front of your nightie.

7. Now to make the sleeves, you'll do a similar approach. The main thing is that the 7' arm opening, match the 7" side of the sleeves. (In the picture I made the bottom and top line curved, but you don't have to, you can just make a trapezoid type shape, straight on all sides.) This time start with the top line and draw a 6"-7" line and then find the middle and mark that spot. Now draw your 7" line on the side and again decide the angle and draw the line. Lastly draw a straight ling 10"-12" long along the bottom. Fold in half and cut out. You should have two trapezoid-like sleeve shapes (remember, they don't have to be curved) and a front and back.

Now to sew!
8. For the cleanest seams all around serge every side. If you don't have a serger you can zig-zag stitch all the sides. If you don't care about the inner seams being unfinished, at least zig-zag the long sides of the sleeves, the press the hem over and sew short hem.

9. Now you're going to attache the sleeves to the front of the nightie, by lining them up like this and sewing rights sides together.

10. Now sew the back of the nightie in the same manner on the other side of the sleeves.

11. Now fold over so that the front and back are lined up, with the right sides of the fabric touching and sew the two sides together. Almost done! Just the hem and neckline!

12. Now create a casing for the elastic neckline by folding the neckline over a quarter inch and pressing with an iron all the way around. Then, go back and fold over again, this time wide enough to fit your elastic through, and press and pin all the way around.

13. Sew a seam almost all the way around leaving a little opening for the elastic. Then string the elastic through using a safety pin attached to the elastic (I've found this to be the easiest way.) Sew the two ends of the elastic together. Then sew the casing all the way shut.

14. Sew a hem around the bottom of your nightie to desired length and you're done!

These two sisters love having matching nighties. I haven't made one for Zuzu yet... but hopefully soon! Happy Sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:58 PM

    These nightgowns are very pretty!
    I have a soft spot for little brothers/sisters in coordinated clothes ;-)