Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DIY Hospital Gown


No, I haven't gotten so big that I can only wear a moo-moo, and I haven't gone into labor, yet.  This is a picture of the hospital gown I made.  Okay, okay.  I know this is totally useless and silly, and that the hospital actually provides ones for your to wear.  But sometimes it's nice to do something frivolous for yourself.  Especially after you've pushed something the size of a watermelon out of the size of a, I don't know....grape.  Unless, of course, you are this girl.  (click on it after you read this post.  It's funny, I promise)  

Anyway.  I've seen the designer gowns that the celebs wear when they have their babies, and, as cute as they are, they cost a pretty penny.  We are talking upwards of $70.  For something that you'll probably bleed all over and wear once.  But with this free hospital gown pattern and a few yards of fabric, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.  Mine ended up costing about $18 total, but I did make a few upgrades, which I'll get into later.  You could definitely make yours for much less though.

The pattern calls for about 3 yards of fabric.  The fabric I chose was $10 per yard and I had a 50% off coupon at Joann's, so it ended up being $5 per yard.  (Did you know there is a Joann's app for your iphone that you can upload coupons right to?)  That's an okay price, but if you really looked hard, you could find a fabric for about $5 a yard and then use those handy Joann coupons to lower it to $2.50.  I made two gowns, one for me and one as a gift for a friend, so I was a little pickier about the design on the fabric.  Once I used the pattern to cut out the fabric, I stopped using it and didn't pay attention to the directions, so I have no idea if I did it according to the pattern or not.

This is what I did: 

1)  Cut the pattern out on the fabric.

2) Start working at the shoulders.  Make a hem where the shoulders are.  (I always double it over, it looks nicer)  You will have 4 of these.  Front right, front left, back right and back left.  I hemmed the top and the side, where the arm hole is.

3)  After hemming, I added the snaps.  These shoulder snaps are really handy when you are breastfeeding. The pattern calls for velcro, but I upgraded to a strip of snaps.  It's a little more expensive, but I felt like it was a little nicer touch. 

Be careful when you are sewing this, especially with the male side of the snaps.  If you get the metal snaps too close to the presser foot it can get caught in the foot.

Another thing to be careful about when adding the strip of snaps. Be sure that the snaps go together like THIS so it lays flat:
And NOT like THIS:  (I made this mistake not once, but twice, and had to rip it out and do it over again....twice!)  It doesn't lay flat and looks really stupid if you do it like this. 
4)  Once the snaps are in place and the arm holes are hemmed, it's time to add the bias tape.  I already had two packages of pink bias tape for a project that I never got to, so this was a free step for me.  You also don't have to use the tape and can just hem the edges down, saving you a couple dollars at the same time.  I added tape around the neck and all down the back.  Leave the bottom and sides open.  If you DO want to use bias tape, be sure to get at least 1/4" or 1/2".  Working with anything smaller will be a huge pain and not worth your time.  I added the ties WHILE sewing on the bias tape.  For mine, I used a pink ribbon.  While it was easier, I thought it didn't blend in very well, so for my friend I used some of this teeny tiny bias tape I had from a previous project that I knew I would never use again as bias tape, because it was too small.  I sewed it shut,
And added it under the bias tape. 
I much prefer this look, because it matches, but it IS more work.  
 
A note on where to add the ties:  I don't know where the pattern said to put these, but I put them at the neck, chest height and waist height.  In this picture, you can see the neck and waist ones.  (The chest one is tied on the inside.)  I also put the ties on the sides where the seam is, and not just along the open edges on the back.  Given my smaller frame, and knowing this was a one size fits all pattern, I wanted the option of pulling it tighter.  It also gives the back full coverage.  You may or may not want to do this, depending on your build.

5)  Sew the front to the two back sides along the side on the inside.

6) Finally, hem the bottom edge.

This whole project took me about 3 hours, including undoing and redoing my mistakes.  I'm sure that if I were to do this again, it wouldn't take nearly as long.



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