One thing I remember from having Annabelle is how hard it was to nurse in a hospital gown. There was no easy way, and since I had a c-section wearing the nursing tank top I brought was out of the question.
I decided this time around I would make my own! The fabric was on majorly sale, so I figured I would make two.
Tank top to measure
3 yards of fabric (I am 5’4 and 3 yards was a little more than enough. If you are taller you may want more).
A: Find a tank top you can use to make up your pattern.
Here is the tank top I used:
B: Fold the tank top in half.
C: I hope this part makes sense. You want to tuck the back of the tank top down so you can trace the front.
D: Trace around the tank top. I wanted the front to be a little higher, so I raised it up a little. Also, since this shirt is stretchy I extended the pattern a little.
E: Do the same thing with the back. This time extend the straps an extra few inches (this is so the go over your shoulders and snap in the front.
Now that your pattern is made, it’s time to start sewing! If you are looking for a new machine check out the Brother SE400. It’s the one I have and love it!
STEP TWO: Cut out the Front
A: Fold your fabric in half and place you front pattern piece on the fold. You are going to want to extend depending on how long you want your gown to be.
B: You want to make the gown A-shaped to account for your belly. So on the opposite side of the fold put your measuring tape at a diagonal and trace
C: Do the same thing with the back. This time though, you want to cut on the fold. So that your back is open
D: So now, you should have a front and back cut out.
STEP THREE: Ribbon Tabs
Next, it’s time to make the tabs that will hold the ribbon in place.
A: Cut a piece of fabric (about 1.5 inches by 3 inches). Fold the long edges down a little and iron them.
B: Then fold (wrong sides together) it in half and iron.
C: Edge stitch the open edge to close it.
D: Now the ribbon hold is finished.
Next up is to sew the back pieces to the front.
A: First you need to figure out the placement of the ribbon tabs. I measured about 5″ down, and placed it there (you can see the purple mark).
The ribbon tab should be sandwhiched between the front and back pieces
Sew the sides of the dress together.
Now it’s time to bind the armholes, neck line and back of the dress. To do this you need to measure each arm hole, the neck and the back of the dress. You should end up with 5 measurements.
A: Cut five strips of fabric, 1.5″ wide, and however long your measurements are. We are going to be making our own bias tape basically.
B: Fold each strip in half hotdog style.
Then fold each edge into the middle.
C: Next up you will need to pin the binding to your gown. Be sure to pin to the wrong side of the gown.
If you can see, I opened up the binding to pin it on. You are going to be sewing on that first crease.
It’s super hard to see, but after sewing on that first crease (not the middle crease) I used a zig-zag stitch to “finish” the edge.
D: Now you are going to want to fold the other side of the binding into the middle, then fold everything over the raw edge.
Keep folding and pining.
Then, sew it in place. You want to sew it as close as you can to the edge that is on the gown.
After binding everything zig-zag stitch (or serge if you can) the edges.
Next we are going to add snaps to the back. To do this I folded the edge of one of the back pieces (I chose the left piece) over about 1.5 inches. And pined a male end snap (from a roll of snap tape) right at the top.
I then spaced them as equally as I could going down.
When pinning be sure to only go through one layer of the fabric. You are going to open that fold up to sew the snaps down.
Sew the buttons on. I found it easiest to do using the zipper foot attachement.
Once the buttons are all sewn on, fold the fabric back over (so that the buttons are facing up) and run a straight down the raw edge securing it in place.
Next up is to sew the buttons on the opposite side.
To do this I put the other snaps onto the ones I already sewed on, then matched up the two back pieces. Then I pinned down the snaps that hadn’t been sewn on yet.
After all the snaps were pinned down, I unsnapped them and sewed them in place.
So now, you should have your back complete.
Last up is to sew your snaps on your shoulder straps. I used hand sewable snaps, but if you want you can use the snap tape too.
A: On the front should straps measure about 2-3 inches down. This is were you will place one set of snaps.
B: Then you need to sew the buttons on the back strap. I sewed them as close to the bottom as I could. Notice I sewed them on the right side of the fabric.
Next I folded the back buttons over and sewed that fold in place with a straight stitch,
Last up is to hem the bottom (sorry, no pictures of that).
And there you have it! A fashionable hospital gown that allows epidural access, and breast feeding access.