Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Make a Pillow Case Nightgown

What is the traditional present that everyone opens on Christmas Eve? Pajamas. Here is a tutorial on how to make a pillowcase nightgown from fabric, not a pillowcase, for your kids, grand kids, niece, or anyone! Use holiday fabric or just her favorite licensed design.

Materials needed for size 10-12 girls:
  • 1 yard 45"(or wider) or 1 1/2 yard 44" fabric for body
  • 8" of 45" or wider fabric for top edge
  • thread
  • 1 yard 1/2" wide elastic OR 1 1/2 yards ribbon.
This shape is so simple, adjusting to make larger or smaller sizes is very simple. Add/subtract 1/2" or so for each size larger or smaller, taking into account height.

Finished garment
measurements are:
8"armhole length

Fits a size 10/12 girl.
1)I found a piece of fabric that looked like it would fit my daughter well- make sure there is space for the body AND the arms to go through.
2)I cut a rectangle out of the folded fabric.
22 1/8"x33 5/8" you can round up or down.
(44 1/4"x 33 5/8" unfolded fabric measurement)
3)I found another fabric to add to the top as the casing for the elastic. You can use ribbon or cord, too. I put it next to the length of the first peice to match the length and folded edge next to folded edge and then cut it to allow for the width of the elastic with 'gathering space' x2 and then add 1/2" seam allowance.
(I only use 1/4" seam allowances- if you are not experienced in sewing I recommend you use the standard 5/8" s.a. Added up it would be 1 1/4" s.a. onto the width of the casing, not 1/2".)
My elastic is 1/2" wide. My casing is 2 1/4". I allowed a lot of gathering space.
4)Sew 'right sides together'.
5)Iron upwards toward casing.
6)Turn under raw edge of casing 1/4"if this is the size of s.a., or 5/8" if that is the s.a. you are working with. Stitch.
7)Mark your armhole length down the sides. Fold your s.a. around armhole and iron. Stitch. Stitch side seam.
*On the folded side of gown, mark the line to cut down the side from the top. Fold over about 1/4" around armhole and use a wide sitch (zig-zag) to 'enclose' the raw edge.
I forgot to do this step BEFORE sewing the casing down. Boy, that was annoying!
8)Fold the casing in half and pin.
9)Stitch next to edge. (HINT: I use a wide decorative stretch stitch because it hides imperfections in stitching straight.)
10)Finish the bottom by folding it 1/4" and folding it one more 1/4" so it is rolled inside its self. Pin if necessary or just stitch as you roll.
11)Use a safety pin to move the elastic or ribbon through the front and back casing. You may want to put 2 ribbons through so you can tie them at the shoulders to look cute, but my experience is that they quickly come untied.
12)Keep the elastic 'too long' until you fit it. Add length to overlap elastic and cut. Add cute decorations, flower shapes, pockets, anything you want- just make sure it's still comfortable to sleep in!

Here is another great tutorial on how to make an 'Elf Cape'. It uses simple shapes. It fits 4t to size 10 girls. Imagine using green knit and faux fur edging around the hood... Perfect for your little elf!

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