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? :)