Well, guys, I finally finished it - my newborn gown pattern! I hope you like it as much as I do! I believe that babies should be celebrated. So I created this pattern to help you celebrate your baby... or your friends' babies - with a newborn gown!
-the pattern (at the bottom of this post)-1 yard of medium weight knit fabric
-Ball point needle
-16 inches of 1/2" elastic
-100% polyester thread or stretch thread
You will need to cut several binding strips. Be sure to cut them in the direction of the stretch.
I would recommend a thinner knit (instead of a heavier ribbing) for these strips. I often like to use the same knit as my main fabric. If you'd like more info on cutting binding strips for knits, check out this post.
-One 1.5" (long) x 9.5"(wide) strip of knit fabric for the front binding
-One 1.5" long x 9 inch wide strip of knit fabric for the back binding
If you would like to use bias binding on the sleeves you will also need:
-Two 1.5" long x 6.5" wide strips
Or you can hem the sleeves.
(Rae wrote a fantastic post about stretch thread here.)
A few things, before getting started:
-After you print the pattern, be sure that the 1 inch box on page one measures at 1 inch.
-Tape the pattern together so the lines at the top and bottom of each page overlap. Trim away the paper above or below the line.
-If using a double needle with stretch thread I would recommend using a size 4,0/80 not a 2,0/80. I had a lot of trouble with my thread getting tangled using the 2,0/80. I like to use this double stretch needle.
-Using a double needle is actually very simple. Here's a great tutorial on how to do it.
-Be sure to prewash and machine dry your knit fabric before use. Knit fabric shrinks quite a lot, so don't skip this step!
-When sewing with knits using a straight stitch (with stretch thread) or a double needle, I like to increase my stitch length to between 3.2-3.8.
-I start sewing about 1/4"-1/2" away from the fabric edge and then backstitch to the edge, otherwise I find that my machine eats my knit fabric, pulling it down into the needle plate.
-I like to use polyester thread for all of my seams (the side seams and the sleeve seams) and stretch thread for the bindings and the hem. If you only have polyester thread, that's fine too! I've made six with polyester thread only, without any problems. 100% cotton thread is more prone to breakage.
All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.
Start by sewing on all of the bindings, both to the front and back necklines and the sleeves (if you are using the bindings on the sleeves). If you plan to hem the sleeves, you'll do that at the end. :)
Pin the right side of the binding strip to the wrong side of fabric, once at each end and once in the middle. Add additional pins as needed.
Then sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Press the binding strip up.
Turn to the right side and fold the raw edge by 3/8". Press.
Fold the pressed edge over, covering your stitching line. Edgestitch.
(Since I was using stretch thread, I sewed the bindings on with a longish (3.2) straight stitch. The truth is, though, I have made 6 of these gowns without using stretch thread and have used a longer straight stitch on all of them without any problems after two months of wear. Technically speaking, though, you would use a double needle for this step.)
Fold the gown onto itself to find the center point at the shoulder. Mark this point.
Sew on the sleeve. Repeat with the other sleeve.
After your sleeves are sewn on you will sew your gown sleeve and side seams. Turn the gown onto itself, right sides together. Pin, matching sleeve binding, if applicable, and side seams. (Sometimes knit fabric will shift a little during cutting and the gown might be slightly off at the bottom edge. If this happens, just trim the edge so it's even.)
Then sew the seam in one fell swoop, from the sleeve edge all the way down to the bottom edge. I use a stretch stitch for this step. Or a narrow zigzag stitch (.5 mm in width and 2.5-3.0 in length is often suggested).
If your seam get wavy at this step (or ever) just press it really well with a hot iron and that should take care of it!
Press the bottom edge of gown up 1" to form a hem casing. Since knits do not fray, I choose not to finish my raw edge. The double needle (or zigzag stitch) gives it a finished looked.
Leave 1-2" open to insert the elastic.
Thread your 16" piece of elastic through the casing. Stitch the elastic together securely. Then stitch the opening on the hem casing closed.
If you are choosing to hem your sleeves, do so now. Press the sleeve edges to the wrong side by 1/2". Then hem them use a 3/8" seam allowance using your preferred method.
And there you have it! Your finished newborn gown!
When printing the pattern make sure your page size is set to 'Letter' and that 'Fit to Page' is NOT checked.