My little girl, Lena, asked for a nightgown for her birthday. I think she's seen them in books or on TV and in her mind, they are definitely something for 'big girls'. I looked around a little, and couldn't find anything that was made of 100% cotton (a PJ requirement around here). So I set out to make a sweet little nightgown for her. It was a big success, and then her baby sister had to had one to. This whipped up in under 2 hours and put a big smile on my girls' faces. It puts a big smile on my face to my girls them wearing them, too.
The measurements here are for my very petite just-turned-2-year-old. Use a favorite dress to get basic measurements that you need.
Step 1: Cut your fabric
- 2 pieces that are 19" (the width of the bottom of my pattern dress) by 20" (the length of my pattern dress, from top chest hem to bottom, plus 2").
- 2 strap pieces that are 2.5" wide (will make an approximately 1" strap) by 8" long (the length of my pattern dress straps plus 2").
- You'll also need 4 ruffle pieces. They should be the same length as your strap pieces, approximately 1" wide at the ends and anywhere from 2.5"-4" at the widest part of the curve, depending on how large you want your ruffle to be.
- You'll need a bit of elastic. Most any kind will do.
|Ruffle piece. You'll need 4 of these.|
Step 2: Make Your Ruffles
|Sew along curved edge of ruffle pieces.|
|2 ruffles, sewn together along curved edge and turned.|
|2 ruffles. Gathered along straight edge.|
Gently pull the top thread, which will slowly gather and ruffle your ruffles. If you've never made ruffles before, don't worry-- you can do it! My mother talked me through it easily on the phone.
Gather your ruffles until the length along the ruffled side when laid straight is about 6" (2 inches shorter than your straps).
Step 3: Attach ruffles to straps
|Ruffle pinned to strap, waiting to be sewn.|
|Sewing ruffle to strap, not unruffling the ruffles.|
|Strap folded in half and pinned, ready to sew.|
|2 straps, all done!|
Step 4: Make the Body of the Nightgown
Put the 2 body pieces or fabric right sides together. Cut your nightgown body into a trapezoid. I measured 3.5" from the top corner, then just made a straight line down to the bottom corner. There's no real picture, because a trapezoid of fabric doesn't show up very clearly!
Cut armholes. From the top of the trapezoid, cut gentle curves. Mine were 2.5" wide at the top, and 3.5" long.
|Armholes cut. I cut one side, folded over and cut the other side to match.|
|Armpit edges folded under twice, ready to sew.|
|Sewing armpit seam.|
Step 5: Add elastic to neckline
|Top edge, folded. Ready to be sewn.|
|Elastic ready to be threaded through.|
|Elastic threaded through top of nightgown.|
|Elastic pinned and ready to be sewn.|
Step 6: Attach straps
|Straps, waiting to be sewn to top of nightgown.|
Attach the other end of the strap, then attach the second strap.
Sew a quick hem along the bottom of the nightgown.
Zigzag stitch along the inside side seams to prevent fraying.
Cut off any excess strap that may be left over after you attached them.
Give to your daughter/niece/friend/cousin.
(The girls were not feeling friendly towards one another during this little shoot, so insisted on being photographed seperately :) )
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