Thursday, March 28, 2013

Simple Toddler Nightgown {Free Pattern}

One of the great things about having girls, is shopping for all of the cute clothes and accessories. The down side is, once they hit 3, they wont wear any of it... I have learned to let my daughter pick out most of the clothes that I buy her, so that she will actually wear them when it comes to getting ready. Well lately we have had issues at night. All Miss E will wear to bed are nightgowns. This is a major problem since she only has two. One of my fondest mother-daughter memories growing up was picking out fabrics and 'helping' my mom make my pajamas. I thought this was a great opportunity to carry on the tradition. So I took Miss E to Joann's and I let her pick out a few different cotton jersey fabrics. This is what she loved:

So now onto making the nightgowns. I took one of her existing nighties and designed my own pattern based on its measurements. This fits a size 5T with room to grow. I wanted it to get a lot of use out of it :-). Here's the file. Otherwise, make a 19" long rectangle and cut in for arm holes. 

This is what you'll need to get started:

-1 yard of cotton jersey fabric
-1 package of Stretch Lace Elastic (you can find this with all of the elastics at Joann's)
- basic sewing materials

I started by cutting out all of my pieces. You'll need a 19" x 19" piece for the back, two 3.5" x 18" (one for each strap), two 3" x 3/4 yd pieces or desired length (depending on how gathered you prefer) for your ruffle, and your pattern piece for the front. 

First, serge top and bottom of back piece.

Fold under serge on top back and iron. Sew in place to create finished edge.

Attach Stretch Lace Elastic on the serge. You will need to pull on the elastic to stretch it as you sew. I placed the elastic on the serge line, sewed a few stitches at one end and then pulled the elastic as I went along to the other end. You end up with a super soft inside elastic that doesn't need to be encased. I also sewed along the top and bottom of the elastic to keep it from rolling. 

Next, serge the top, arm holes, and bottom of the front piece.Fold the top of the front piece under and iron. Sew to create a finished edge.

Pin front and back, right sides together. Serge along each side of the night gown. 

Now you are ready for the straps. I took each piece and folded like so. It almost makes a really wide bias tape. Fold under both ends first so that you have finished ends.

Pin into place, starting where the arm meets the side seam. 

Sew along the end, then open side until you finish the other end. 

Try the nightgown on your little model and pin straps into place. I made mine in an X across her back. Safely take it off of your model and sew straps into place.

Next, serge along top and bottom edge of ruffle pieces. 
Serge both ruffle pieces together. Right sides together, on both short ends. Using your longest stitch, sew along the top edge of the ruffle piece. Pull on one end of the thread to gather into a ruffle. Use your seams on the ruffle to match the side seams on the nightgown. Gather until lengths match. Pin right sides together, see bottom right picture. Your ruffle will be up-side-down. Sew in place.

And you're finished! Call in your model, try it on, and watch her twirl with delight. Miss E has worn this nightgown every night in the past week. Good thing we do a lot of laundry around here! I have 4 more to make :-) What projects are you working on?

Linking up with these great parties:

My Merry Messy Life

Get Your Crap Together

Ladybird Ln


  1. Love this! I just found some cute knit in the remnant bin and will be making one!


    1. Thanks! I love the remnant bin too :-)

    2. I would love to get the pattern. Do you have it scanned yet?

  2. Hi!I am Your newest follower.Thanks for free pattern,this nightgown is precious.


  3. Thiis adorable, I love iT! Newest follower to your great blog! Come visit! :)

    1. Thanks! On my way over to your blog now :-)

  4. Thank you for linking to our Pattern Party! This is an adorable dress!

  5. Jill, your sweet dress is one of the Top 5 features from our Pattern Party at Get Your Crap Together! I'm so in love with your fabric choice! Thanks you for linking up! Hope to see you next month!

  6. so sweet!! Thanks for sharing the great tutorial. I just want wanted to let you know that I've put together a post called 20+ free sewing patterns for kids and this is part of it!! I've spread the word all around and I hope you will see some extra visits ;o) Emily

  7. Thank you so much for this pattern, Jill! My 2-year-old desired a "princess dress" for bedtime, so I was very glad to find your pattern. I adapted it to fit her size,and tell you what - I just couldn't stop sewing today until I had finished it, right before bedtime. So now my little one is sleeping happily in her new princess nightgown, made from pink Janea's World jersey fabric with cute bugs on it and with a white ruffle and straps. Greetings from Germany!

  8. This is super adorable. Thank you for the free pattern. I need a simple pattern to turn a sheer halloween costume (oops, Mommy fail) into something a little less risqué. Do you think this would work if I used cotton instead of jersey?