November 19, 2011
I made a hospital gown for an American Girl doll. A friend of mine was doing an awesome thing and donated part of her liver to her mom. I wanted to do something for her. I made her a hospital gown to wear and I made one for her daughter’s American Girl doll, in hopes it would help ease her fears about her mom and grandma’s surgeries. It’s been a long time coming, but here’s finally a tutorial.
First, draw the simple pattern. You only need one piece for the gown. It will fit on a sheet of copy paper. It’s easiest to begin in the upper left corner. Mark a dot one inch down the page and another three inches along the top. Connect these two dots with a slightly curved line. Follow the diagram below to complete the pattern piece.
Cut out the fabric pieces. Place the left side of the pattern on the fold of your fabric. Repeat one more time to get two identical pieces. Flip the pattern piece over and cut one, not on the fold. You will need to make one alteration. Place the full size back piece, right side up. Draw a line from the armpit to the top of the neck curve. Cut off this sleeve portion.
You should now have your three pieces to make the gown.
Fold the fabric on the neck towards the back twice, Iron the pieces to make stitching the curved portion easier. Stitch along the neck for all three pieces. I didn’t do this the first time around so I had to rip part of the gown apart to complete the neck since it was just too tight to easily stitch after the shoulders were sewn. I went ahead and did a sample to show you the part with the neck stitched, and just pretend the pictures following this step have the neck completed.
Place the back pieces on the front with right sides together. Line the shoulders up and stitch using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Use pinking shears to trim the seam allowance and iron open. You can also serge or do a zigzag stitch to finish the edge, but I find pinking shears work fine on doll clothes.
Fold back the end of the sleeve two times (about 1/4 inch for each fold is sufficient) and stitch.
Line the sides up and stitch from the end of the sleeve to the bottom of the gown, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Pink the edges.
Fold back and stitch the remaining sides to finish the edges on the back pieces.
Hem the bottom of the gown and attach fasteners of your choice. You can use snaps or Velcro. Placing one at the neck and one along the side. With this design, the back flap stays closed.
That’s it! As an alternative, you can use bias tape around the neck and to tie the gown closed.
If you need a matching down for your child’s hospital stay, I have that pattern available too!