DIY: The 4 Squares Nightgown

11:38 AM

With only 4 pieces of stretchy fabric, you can make this cute and comfortable nightgown for your little girl. It's easy! I give credit to my Mother-In-Law for coming up with these adorable nightgowns.  

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*Measurements for my 6 yr. old:

Front and Back Pieces
Around widest area (hip/bum) = 22" + 2" = 24"
Desired length from collar bone down = 20" + 1" = 21"

So I need to cut 2 rectangle pieces 24" wide x 21" long

Around widest part of arm = 6", Double that number = 12"
Desired length from base of neck down the arm (to the elbow) = 11" + 1" = 12"

I need to cut two squares 12" wide x 12" long

I used .5" wide elastic. Measure loosely around the base of the neck and then add 1" for seam allowance. For my 3 yr. old and 6 yr. old I used the same measurement of 15".

Cut pieces

Lay out the back piece right side up. On the upper right hand corner, lay the sleeve exactly on top of that corner (right sides together). Pin in place approximately half or three fourths of the way down, depending on how much space your child's arm needs. I recommend pinning 3/4 of the way down in most cases.

Repeat on opposite side.

Fold the sleeves in half, so that the pins are now covered.

Lay the front piece of fabric on top. Make sure the right side of the fabric is facing down. 

Pin the outer edges of the front piece to the sleeve it's laying on (the same way you pinned the sleeve to the back piece). Be careful to only pin together the two layers of fabric - it can be tricky since there are four layers there.  If you pinned 3/4 of the way down on the back piece, make sure to pin 3/4 of the way down on the front piece.

When you open the folded sleeve, it will look like this below. 

Sew down the sleeves where your pins are. Start at the top and stop where you placed the bottom pin.

Here's what it looks like after you sew the sleeves. 

Pin up the sides, around the curve of the arm pit area, and down the sleeve.

Sew the sides closed. This is one straight stitch from the bottom of the dress to the end of the sleeve. You can do a zig-zag stitch too if you would like. I always sew at the edge of my presser foot. 

Fold over the neck 3/4" and pin into place.

Sew around the neck like so and leave a small gap so you can string the elastic through.

Sew the elastic together. 

Pull it right side out.

Finish the edges however you want. I chose to add lace. You could leave it as is, hem it, serge it, or do whatever you want.

Supplies we LOVE: Gingher Scissors and the Project Runway Sewing Machine!


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  1. I love this! This makes me want to learn how to sew and actually put my sewing machine to use!

  2. it looks easy to saw :)
    would you like to visit me ? I'll be glad :) greetings:)

  3. It is really nice, this nightgown. The tailoring procedure is also explained so well.

  4. Hello, I've made two if these and they keep puckering in the armpit. Any suggestions how to sew the side seams so it doesn't do this? Thanks!

    1. I wonder if your fabric is stretching while you sew. Try to not let it stretch. Or perhaps your tension is a little off. I'm not sure why it would pucker there; I've never had that problem. Best of luck to you!

    I plan to sew this nightgown for my 2 grandnieces who are exactly the same ages, 6 & 3. I'll ask them what colors they'd like. I love the wide lace at the bottom, which seems "fancy." THANKS for sharing.

  6. Can I use a warmer fabric like flannel instead of the stretchy fabric?

    1. I think you would be ok, just make sure there is enough room in the armpit area.

    2. Use bigger squares for non-stretch material. I use a variation of this pattern for Renaissance costume chemises (the poofy-sleeve peasant blouse worn under the big full skirts and front-laced bodices) in muslin or linen. If necessary, add underarm gussets...

  7. This gown is so very cute!!! What type of stretchy fabric did you use

  8. This gown is so very cute! Great idea for my granddaughter . What type of stretchy fabric did you use? Keep up the great ideas!

  9. I'll try this adult size :) Looks cute and easy, hope it's comfy too. Thanks for the tutorial!

  10. So well written. I think I will try this as a dress also. Please tell me where you found your awesome lace. Can't wait for the next project.