T-Shirt Nightgown Tutorial


Last summer, I did a guest post over for CraftyTammie's Sew Full of Summer series, so I thought I would share it over here on my blog, too.  Girls nightgowns are awfully pricey in the stores, for what they are, but my girls were in need of some.  I have made a few here and there, but as I was gradually attempting to conquer my fear of knits last summer, I converted some old Tshirts into nightgowns for the girls. I wanted to try something a little bit different (read: fancier to make the girls happy) and this is what I came up with...

Ready for a tutorial?  Great!  Go grab a T-shirt.  (I apologize in advance- my camera does not like photographing black.)  I had this old XL men's shirt laying around that someone had given to us- it was free and I didn't want to use something really good in case this didn't work out like I planned in my head.  I was making it for my 6yo and you could probably use a smaller one for a smaller girl.  First, just chop off the bottom below the armpits to get your skirt.  

Then, fold what is left of your shirt in half and trace around a shirt that you know already fits well to get the curve of the arm and the width (leave about 1/2" seam allowance, too!)  I wanted a high waist, so I cut the bottom a few inches below the arm opening. One last cut for the sleeves- line up the bodice piece you just cut a few inches from the edge of the T-shirt sleeve and leave a few inches extra at the (folded) top to give the sleeve a little "pouf" later.

You should have one skirt, one bodice piece, and two sleeves.

OK- lets take care of the top!  On the sleeves, 1/4 inch from the raw edge, sew a gathering line stretching about 1/3 of the way from each end and pull to gather and make the sleeves a little more feminine.  Pin in place and sew to the arm openings in the bodice using a 1/2" seam allowance. Now that the sleeves are attached, just sew under the arms and down the sides (follow the blue arrows).

To attach the skirt, just sew a long gathering stitch about 1/4" from the edge and pin to the top.  Use a zig-zag or stretch stitch or a serger to attach it to the top with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Finally, I took a one inch strip of scraps leftover and sewed a gathering stitch to make a ruffle.  I used a zig-zag stitch to attach it below the neckline.  I think it takes away from the gloomy blackness of a free T-shirt makes it a little more girly!

Ta da!!!  It was pretty easy and I think there would be so many cute ways to embellish.  If I had a really cute T-shirt I think this would even make a cute dress, although I would probably add a sash at the waist to make it more fitted. Oh well, you can't beat free, right? :)

Vintage and Lace Nightgown


Next to nothing in the way of PJs or nightgowns survived the first two girls to be passed down to my 3yo. Nightgowns are, in my opinion, way too much $ for what they are to buy them in stores. I made it from some great giveaway prizes, so it cost me nothing but a little bit of thread, elastic, and time. Sweet! 

There is that picture smile again.
I whipped this one up in about a half hour, probably, and it worked out PERFECTLY with the amounts I had won.  I used some vintage material that I won from Quilting, Losing, and Tea that measured 24 inches by 36 inches and a package of perfectly matching flexi-lace hem facing that I won from Faith, Family, and Frugality that contained 2 1/2 yards of 1 7/8" wide lace.  I originally wanted to make a nightgown using THIS tutorial from icandy handmade, but I don't think that this is the same as stretch lace, so I did it a little differently.  That meant, I needed a piece of 1/2" elastic measuring an inch smaller than my daughter's chest. 
Here is how I made it...
First, I just serged the top and bottom edges.

Then, I sewed a yard of lace onto the bottom edge- directly onto the right side of the fabric because the pretty lace covers the serged edge.

I sewed another one yard strip of lace lined up with the bottom edge of the top row- 4 inches from the top- and sewed right down the center.

Then, I sewed the sides together- I didn't bother to serge it because it was the selvage edges.

Then, I took the leftover lace- 18 inches, and cut it in half to make straps (See?  The amounts were PERFECT!)  I pinned them two inches from the center on each side, but I forgot to figure in the gathering, so they should have been out another inch.  I turned the top of the fabric down 1 1/2 inches and sewed all the way around on the same line where I attached the lace.   I sewed back and forth several times over the straps to make it extra durable.

Then, I made a casing for the elastic.  I carefully sewed 1/2 inch from the top all the way around, leaving a small opening to insert the elastic.  I was careful not to catch the lace from the top edge, but I did sew the straps down again really well.

Finally, I inserted the elastic by putting a safety pin in the end and pushing it through.  I sewed the ends of the elastic together by overlapping them about an inch.

And that was it!  Very, very easy!

She loves it and I like its simple, vintage style... kinda' dreamy.

Thank you again to Karen and Carly for the great prizes. :)

I have decided to participate in Kids' Clothing Week Challenge since I have some other sewing projects in mind for my girls.  The goal is to sew for an hour a day, but for me, it will probably be little bits of time here and there as I can grab it.  Wish me luck!!