this post is part of the Stretch Yourself Series hosted by Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute – all last week they had fantastic and comprehensive tutorials to learn to sew with knits, and this week they’ve invited guest bloggers to share tutorials! Today Leanne and I are sharing loungewear projects. comfy comfy loungewear!
when Mim emailed me inviting me to participate in the series, the first project that popped into my head was a simple nightgown for Em. she wants to wear a nightgown to bed every night, the cozier the better, and cycles through them so often hers are starting to show some wear. i wanted to put a little twist on a basic design, use what i had, keep it simple yet fun and modern. presenting the two t-shirt nightgown!
this nightgown is modeled after her favorite store-bought one, and also inspired by Heather. it’s made from two of my husband’s gray t-shirts that didn’t fit him quite right, which i stamped with sparkly pink hearts and stars (a la Celina). the style of it is quite versatile though; it could just as easily be a daytime dress!
if you already know how to draft a simple shirt pattern in your child’s size or learned how from either Mim or Miranda’s tutorials, do that first. i just used one of my favorite patterns, Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee (FBST) as a base. this tutorial will make a nightgown likely fit up to a size 5.
let’s get started!
- two adult size t-shirts (one will turn into the bodice and sleeves, one will be the skirt – mine were men’s large)
- rib knit or stretchy binding material (mine didn’t have quite enough stretch)
- if stamping, also gather sticky back foam sheets, scrap cardboard, and fabric paint
cut out the proper size of FBST or draft your own shirt pattern. create the nightgown’s bodice pattern by measuring 1″ down from the armpit and drawing a horizontal line onto tracing paper. trace the rest of the pattern, marking the fold and neckline of the original.
if all you have is boring man shirts like i did, stamping is a great way to add personality. it may seem tedious, but i always think it’s really relaxing!
first, draw an image onto the sticky foam. simple is good with this technique. cut one out, then use it as a template to cut another. stick those together for a double layer of foam. stick those to the cardboard, and you can fold up part of the cardboard backing as a handle if you want.
i mixed neon pink and glitter together on a plastic lid, then used a foam brush to apply the paint to the stamp – this helps keep it even. then start stamping the bodies of your t-shirts!
let the stamps dry, then heat set the paint by tossing it in the dryer or hitting it with an iron.
my nightgown’s sleeves have a slight puff at the shoulder – i used a technique similar to Rae’s tutorial, but I only wanted the shoulder puffed rather than the whole sleeve. to do that, i just angled the top of the pattern away from the fold by 1″, but had the bottom of the sleeve match the fold for its normal width at the hem. as i cut, i extended the shoulder line from the pattern, then used that cut sleeve as a pattern for the second one to make sure they matched.
cut the sleeves out, then add notches just down from the top curve of the shoulder to guide where to place your basting stitches. you can also add a little notch right at the top shoulder fold to help place it at the shoulder seam later.
cut out your front and back bodice pieces, then sew or serge shoulder seams right sides together.
sew two rows of basting stitches at 1/4″ and 1/2″ between the notches on your sleeve. pull bobbin thread to gather, lay the bodice flat and pin to the armhole opening, right sides together. sew/serge the sleeve on, then remove basting stitches.
pin the sleeves right sides together and sew, continuing down each short little side seam.
your bodice is ready for a skirt!
grab your second t-shirt. use a straight edge and rotary cutter (or mark and cut with scissors) to cut it off evenly under the armpits – this will become your skirt, already hemmed and everything! if you’re making this nightgown for a smaller girl, estimate your skirt length based on a dress she already owns.
gather the top of the skirt with two rows of basting stitches, pin to the bodice at the side seams, then distribute the gathers evenly and pin the bodice to the skirt, right sides together. sew/serge.
remove the basting stitches below your seam, and press.
and you’re done! easy, right? might need to whip a couple more up!
she didn’t want to take it off. in fact, she wore it all day.
dance party time.
i love it when she has such a fun reaction to what i make. did i mention the pink was her idea?
if you make a nightgown using this tutorial, please add it to the skirt as top flickr group! happy sewing!