The first few weeks after having a baby are my favorite; it’s the only time you’re allowed to just sit around in pjs all day long, resting, eating whatever you want and snuggling a precious new baby. Life doesn’t get any better!
Today I’ve got a tutorial for the perfect postpartum nightgown: long, stretchy, lots of coverage and nursing-accessible! Of course you can make one even if you don’t have a new baby, and if you leave off the placket, it’s a super quick project!
2 yards very stretchy knit fabric
4 matching buttons (if attaching optional placket)
10″ x 10″ piece of lightweight fusible interfacing
1. Find the stretch of your fabric and fold in half with the stretch running horizontally (perpendicular to the fold). Cut out front and back of nightgown according to diagram (the diagram show just the front bodice being cut out on the fold, but you’ll need to cut out a back as well!). Cut out sleeves and placket also, ensuring that the stretch runs across the width of the sleeves.
2. Lay your front and back pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew along the shoulders and side seams, using a stretch stitch or serger, Press seams well.
3. Sew underarm seams of sleeves by folding sleeve in half lengthwise, RST, and stitching along the long raw edge, using a stretch stitch. Press well and repeat with second sleeve.
4. Turn bodice inside out and sleeve right side out. Insert your sleeve into the sleeve opening of bodice (insert narrower opening in first!), matching up raw edges and underarm seam with bodice side seam. Stitch sleeve to bodice using a stretch stitch; press well.
5. Fold under raw edges of sleeves and bodice hem and topstitch using a double needle; press well. You can also choose to leave your sleeves and hem raw since knit doesn’t fray!
6. Create neck facing: Measure the circumference of your neckline and subtract 1-2″ (you want your facing to be shorter than your neckline so that it pulls the neckline taut when sewn together. How much shorter depends on the stretch of the fabric…here I cut mine 2″ shorter that the neckline because my fabric was super stretchy; if your fabric is less stretchy, try making it just 1″ shorter. It’s kind of a trial and error thing!) Cut out a neck facing measuring 1″ x the length you just calculated (neckline minus 1-2″). Sew short ends of facing, right sides together, to create a loop.
7. Pin facing to neckline, right sides together, stretching facing to distribute evenly around neckline. Stitch facing to neckline using a 1/4″ seam allowance and a stretch stitch, again stretching facing to fit. Press facing & seam allowance away from bodice, and then press raw edge of facing under 1/4″. Fold facing to inside of garment, pressing again. Topstitch facing to bodice, close to folded edge, using a stretch stitch.
This video is a great resource for sewing a knit facing, in case you haven’t done this technique before!
8. OPTIONAL button placket: Cut a rectangle out of the center front of your your nightgown measuring 10″ x 1″. Here I’m gonna save you the chore of reading a really wordy explanation that doesn’t make any sense and instead have you watch this video! It’s a great, simple explanation for inserting a placket. (Note: I used a very lightweight interfacing because I was using a very thin knit fabric…you don’t want to go too much heavier than your fabric!)
And voila! A perfectly cozy, comfy nightgown perfect for lounging with or without a new baby!