Girls’ Nightgowns and Extending a Placket

Hello, my sewing friends! I’m so excited to share with you these beautiful girls’ nightgowns that I made for my daughters!

Confession: my daughters have never had nightgowns before.  They have always loved their footie pajamas and that’s all I’ve ever bought for them.

But when I saw this girls’ nightgown pattern and new watercolor floral fabric, I could not wait to make these.  And the verdict? I think you can tell from these photos that my daughters are IN LOVE!  And I love them because they’re cotton, which means they’re made from a natural, breathable fiber.  And they are just so pretty!!

So what are my secret sources, you ask? Here I will reveal all:

Pattern:  Esmee girls’ nightgown pattern by Violette Field Threads. I have been using VFT patterns for years and find myself going back to them again and again…they are so easy to follow and I’ve learned SO MUCH about sewing simply from following their tutorials.

Fabric:  Indy Bloom watercolor floral quilting cotton from Hawthorne Threads.  All the designs in this fabric collection are simply stunning and would make great girls’ nightgowns.  The ones I used are linked below. My youngest asked me if she could pretend she was wearing the queen’s nightgown.  I said, “of course!” She could NOT stop dancing!

For the nightgown in the photo above I used the 48″ wide quilting cotton: Little Mae in Green by Indy Bloom

For the nightgown below I used the 48″ wide quilting cotton: Little Blushing Floral in Melon on Mist by Indy Bloom

 

I added some sturdy lace to the bodice that I’ve been saving in my stash for ages.  It’s a modern lace that complimented the florals and provides a place for the eyes to rest.

I made a couple changes to the pattern, both due to the specific comfort requirements of my kids.  First off, instead of shirring, I created a simple elastic casing for the long sleeve.  I must confess that I’ve tried shirring before and that elastic thread in the bobbin does not like me… I’m open to tips if you have them! But I really liked how the elastic casing turned out. My daughters think it is very comfortable as well.  To make the elastic casing, I measured their wrists and added 1″. I cut 1/4″ wide elastic that length.  Then I made a casing at the end of each sleeve to thread the elastic through. If you’d like a tutorial on this process, please let me know!

And for my youngest daughter’s nightgown, I decided to extend the placket to make it easier for her to put on and take off.  It’s kind of difficult to tell in this photo (which is actually good for style, but not for showing you things).

So here’s a close-up. Another confession: my girls are used to wearing knits. So anytime I make them something that doesn’t stretch, there is much consternation and maybe a little grumbling.  So I’ve learned to make things easier to put on and take off. Hence, the placket that extends beyond the bodice.

And then I prettied up the skirt with a long ruffle at the bottom.

Check out that ruffle!

She LOVES it!  “Look! I’m wearing the queen’s nightgown!”

Alright, now down to business.  Here is how I extended the placket. It’s very simple!

Sew your bodice as directed in the pattern.

Here is what to cut for the skirt:

Skirt yoke: Cut a rectangle the desired length for your size x the width of the fabric. Mine was 20.5″ long by 48″ wide.  Cut this piece in half to make a front and a back.  Cut the front piece in half to make a left and right.

Plackets: Cut two rectangles 2″ wide x the length of the previous rectangle you just cut. So mine were 2″ x 20.5″.

Skirt ruffles: Cut two rectangles the desired length for your size x the width of the fabric. Mine were 12″ long by 48″ wide.

Take your two front yoke pieces and pin the plackets to the inner edge, right sides together.  Sew with half inch seam allowance.

Press the placket and seam allowance towards the center.

Get ready to hem the edge of the plackets by folding over 1/4″ and press.

Fold along the seam towards the wrong side and press.

Topstitch along the inside edge of both plackets and then you can add your buttonholes to the left side.  I added two but you can add more if you want!  Be sure to leave at least 1/2″ between your buttonhole and the top raw edge of your skirt. Mine was actually a tad too close, but it still worked out fine.

Lay the left placket (the one with the buttonholes) directly on top of the right and topstitch the rest of the placket closed.

Gather your ruffle pieces and sew the front and back to the skirt yoke front and backs. Sew the side seams together.  Follow the rest of the directions for these girls’ nightgowns as explained in the pattern, just be sure to leave your placket open when you attach the bodice to the skirt.  Now would be a good time to sew on your buttons, if you have them. Mine didn’t arrive in time for this post (shh! don’t tell!) but my daughters couldn’t wait to wear their nightgowns anyway.

TADAH! A beautiful girls’ nightgown, customized with a little extra room.

Perfect for sleeping, drinking hot chocolate, and all their girly adventures!

Have questions? Let me know! I’ll do my best to answer.

If you make these nightgowns, be sure to let me know! Tag me on Instagram, I would love to see it!

Happy Sewing!

Jen

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