Learn how to sew a nightgown, using my free girls nightgown pattern. The pattern is available in sizes 3 to 16.
Summer Nightgown Pattern
I’m still catching up on all of the sewing I did before our end of the summer trip. We’d left the kids with their cousins for a few extra days and I thought my lil’ missy would like to have a new nightgown for her trip.
Free Girls Nightgown Patterns:
This summer nightgown pattern is based on my tank top pattern, so if you’ve made that one, you can make your missy a summer nightgown with no problem!
I also have a great Princess Nightgown Tutorial (called princess due to the fancy sleeves.) That nightgown can be made with any fabric since it is based on my peasant dress pattern.
I’ve just about run out of ideas for altering my tank pattern, although I do have one more project planned before putting it away- I’m going to create a sleeve for all the sizes and add it to the pattern. But first, I’m making another one of these dresses and some shorties with this pattern. (See my free t-shirt pattern long and short sleeves here.)
Easy Nightgown Pattern Designed for Knits
When I first created this girls nightgown pattern and tutorial, it only went up to a size 8. I’ve now extended the sizes to go up to size 16. The free nightgown pattern is designed to use with stretch knit fabric and should hit at about the knee.
What makes this pattern so easy is that it is just a couple of pattern pieces (front, back, optional ruffle and binding strips) and it can be cut out and assembled in just a couple of hours.
A few tips for sewing with knits:
New to sewing with knits? I recommend starting with a few easy upcycled projects using old t-shirts. And when you are ready, There are so many cute fabrics and projects to sew! (I have over 100 projects and patterns made with knit fabric here.)
- Always use a ball point or jersey/stretch needle. A ball point needle has a rounded tip and allows the needle to move in between the thread fibers instead of piercing the thread fibers. (Which will cause holes in the fabric.)
- When sewing seams that need to stretch, be sure to use either a narrow zig zag stitch- set at a medium stitch length, or many newer machines have additional stretch stitches you can use. (Refer to your manual to find out which ones your machine does.)
- It helps to loosen the needle thread tension just a tiny bit. (experiment on scraps til you find what works best on your fabric.)
- For seams that don’t need to stretch (like side seams) a regular straight stitch set to a slightly longer stitch length and loosening the needle thread tension just a tiny bit should be ok. ALWAYS do a few practice stitches on the fabric you will be using and then make any adjustments needed.
- If you are working on a fabric that keeps curling, use fabric starch and your iron to flatten out the fabric. This technique is helpful on all knits as the starch makes it less stretchy and moves through the machine smoother.
- For hemming on knits, you have a few choices: 1. Leave the edge raw. This looks fine on casual garments. 2. Add a bound edge. (You can see examples of how adding a bound hem works here and here.) 3. Use a walking foot and hem the edge with either a zig zag or other stretch stitch or using a twin needle. (The walking foot helps feed the material through the machine with less stretching.)
- You can also try using this wash away hem tape. It’s .25 inches wide and you iron it to the bottom of you hem, fold it up and sew right over it. Make a nice stable, non-ripply, but still stretchy hem.
- Remember to try a slightly longer stitch length and to loosen the needle thread tension just a tiny bit!
- If your fabric is getting sucked into the machine or is still stretching, you can place a piece of thin tissue paper between the fabric and bottom feed dogs. After you are done sewing, you can gently tear the tissue paper away.
Knit Nightgown Pattern Info:
- Enter your name and email to download the pattern. Save it to your PC, open the pdf document in adobe acrobat reader. (Don’t print from directly from google’s online version of adobe reader. It will sometimes cause the pattern to print to small.)
- Seam allowance is 1/4 inch with a 1/2 inch bottom hem.
Materials need to make this nightgown pattern:
- Stretchy knit fabric, 60 inches wide (1 yard for the largest size) or an old stretchy t-shirt, rib knits work great.
- Ribbed knit for binding
- ball point/stretch needle
- basic sewing supplies
- walking foot
- double needle
- Wash away hem tape
Products used and Recommended:
- My favorite fabric shop for knits: Fabric.com, Funkalicious Fabrics and Girl Charlee.
- My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
- My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
- Ballpoint/stretch needles
- Ballpoint/stretch double needle
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
- Wash away hem tape
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
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