I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect newborn sleepers that are gown style, the kind without footies but rather an open bottom with elastic.
There are are plenty newborn gowns available online and in stores but I just never found exactly what I was looking for, especially something both boys and girls could wear.
So, I turned to the internet and found Rachel at Stitched Together. (http://www.stitched-together.com/2014/10/celebrating-baby-free-newborn-gown.html?m=1#.XJvVuKQpCaN)
Rachel drafted a pattern for a newborn sleeper gown which you can download for FREE!
I headed to Joann Fabrics to look for a cute knit fabric that would catch my eye; and it’s no surprise that Zach and I both loved this cute Stitch design. It was on sale too!
The first step was to head home and print the pattern, tape the pieces together, and cut it out. It’s not too many pieces so this part didn’t take too long.
I chose not to preshrink my fabric. This is simply a personal choice, as I’ve found with knits it’s not usually necessary. (Wovens are another story.)
Next, I pinned the pattern pieces to my fabric and cut them out. I also had to cut out binding strips for the front and back neck.
After seeing the Stitch fabric cut out and ready to go, I knew I wanted to add some embroidery to the front of the gown. I decided to design my baby’s monogram using the software that came with my Singer Futura XL400.
To do the embroidery, I used a temporary spray adhesive to attach two layers of cut-away stabilizer to the wrong side of my fabric. I also placed a layer of water-soluble stabilizer on the front of my fabric before hooping. It’s really important to have knit fabrics properly stabilized before beginning the embroidery process.
I then attached the binding strips to the necks with a narrow zig-zag stitch.
Then, I overlapped the back of the gown onto the front and stitched the armholes. I then set the sleeves, stitched the side seams, hemmed the sleeves, and stitched the elastic casing. Lastly, I used a large safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing and stitched the ends of the elastic together after ensuring it was not twisted inside the casing. A quick stitch along the open edge of the casing and the gown was complete!
I really love love how this turned out. From start to finish, including all the prep and embroidery, this gown took me approximately three hours! Not bad.
I’m looking forward to putting my babe in this nightgown in just a few short weeks!