This is one of those tutorials that has been a long time coming!
I (Jessica) make these little tee-shirt gowns for pretty much all my friends when they have babies. They are cheap, quick, easy and can be made from old special tee shirts from the parents, making them a very personal gift. And today I'm going to show my process to you! It's easier then you think, I promise!
This little lady is the same beautiful girl who modeled my crochet newborn crown for the post I did with the free pattern. Here she is modeling her very own home made newborn gown.
I made a baby gown for her older brother when he was born, from one of his Daddy's cherished shirts. So when she was on the way her mom (my close friend Suzzy) gave me this shirt of hers to refashion. She chose this one because this little lady's name is, in fact, Roxy! It was perfect!
Without further ado, here is how to make your own! You'll need: an adult tee shirt, a store bought baby gown, 1/4 inch elastic, white paper and a pen, your sewing machine, thread and scissors.
1. Choose a shirt, this one was chosen for the logo on the front, which may or may not also be the name of this particular little baby girl. It's a women's small, which was almost a little too small. I'd suggest at least a Medium or Large.
2. Lay out your existing baby gown over your shirt, to make sure you actually have enough fabric! I almost didn't, but I knew I needed to use this shirt so I made it work.
3. Fold your store bought gown on a sheet of paper, folded lengthwise, with the sleeve extended.
4. Trace around the body of your gown. I added a little extra fabric at the shoulders as shown because I knew I wanted to add an overlapping shoulder instead of wrestling with buttons or snaps.
5. Trace all the way around your body and your sleeve, adding about 1/4 inch all around for seam allowance. Now you have a pattern! You will only need one pattern piece for both the front and the back, because you'll be overlapping the shoulders to allow for a big baby head to get through.
6. Cut our your pattern!
7. If you have a design you'd like to preserve on your shirt, fold your shirt in half down the center of the front so you make sure you get the design centered on your gown.
8. Pin your pattern in place along your folded shirt. You will want to make sure if you're using the original collar of your tee shirt (and this is the easiest way to make a new collar on your baby gown!) that you match up your shoulders with the ribbing of the tee shirt's collar.
9. Cut out your gown front! It should look like the one above when completely cut out.
10. Far easier then using your pattern piece again on the back (which you could do) is to simply lay the front piece face down on the back of the shirt, and cut around it.
11. Lay your front piece on face down on the back of the shirt, right sides facing. You can see I've outlined the front piece in blue, this is to show how I matched up the collar of the shirt on both sides so it overlaps.
12. cut out all around, then you have your back piece!
13. If you are using a Medium or Large shirt, you can use extra fabric from the body of the shirt to make your sleeves. Even easier though, is using the already-hemmed sleeves of your shirt! This works great if you don't need a long sleeved gown.
14. Place your sleeve pattern over your existing sleeve, lining up the pattern shoulder with the shoulder seam of the shirt.
15. Cut out your sleeve.
16. Before you add your sleeves to your gown, you'll want to mark where you shoulder pieces will overlap. I simply laid my front and back pieces of the store bought gown and marked how tall the shoulders needed to be with a pin.
17. Pin your shoulder pieces so that they overlap.
18. Sew your shoulder pieces together first, this keeps them in place while you sew in your sleeve. You can skip this step if you'd like, but I've found that skipping sewing the shoulders together will mean that pieces can slip and leave gaps.
19. This is a close up of the shoulders, I used a zig zag stitch to make sure it's still stretchy!
20. Now you can pin in your sleeve!
21. You'd think we will be sewing the sides together now, but we're not! Because I am super lazy, I used the original hem of the shirt to make a casing for the elastic at the bottom.
22. Tear out the first two inches of the original hem on the very edges of your front and back pieces.
23. I took out enough seam to make sure that I could lay the edges out flat.
24. Open your hem and pin the entire sides of the gown together with the right sides facing (so inside out), from the sleeves all the way to the hem.
25. Sew along the whole side seam using a zig zag stitch.
26. Now you'll fold back up the part of the original hem that you tore out, but only on one side!
27. Sew it back in place with a zig zag stitch.
28. The other side should stay unsewn for a few minutes, so you can thread your elastic through it.
29. The bottom of your gown should now look a little something like this, with one side left open for an elastic to thread through. You're almost done!
30. Measure how long your elastic should be by using the bottom of your store-bought baby gown as a guide. Add about 1 inch to that length and cut your elastic.
31. Thread your elastic through your casing, then either sew it together at the ends or tie it off. I admit, I'm lazy and tied it off.
32. Sew down the open part of your elastic casing, turn the gown inside out, and you're done!
You now have an adorable, comfortable and personalized baby gown! These are easy enough to make that once you've gone through the steps you can make several with no problem.
And look, five months later it still fits little Roxy! Isn't she adorable? She's also sporting her (now waaaaay too small) crochet newborn crown:
Thanks for checking out our tutorial! And if you're looking for more kid's sewing projects you can check those out here.