Thread Thursday 4: NICU Preemie Baby Gowns



My most recent project is making some little preemie gowns. I don't know that I will need them with my little one, but they are pretty simple and I am planning on donating them either way to the NICU.
As my pattern sources, I used the pattern provided by the Miracle Baby foundation of Australia.

I also used a blog post from the Badskirt Blog for the tutorial. 

Project NICU - Baby Hospital Gown Tutorial.

They however cleverly modified the pattern to make just one big pattern pieces out of the 3 of the original pattern and that I cut. I thought that was a great idea but did not work for me because I used old Paul Frank pajamas from a friend and had limitations on how big the pieces could be.

So here, I first cut out the pattern pieces from the pajama fabric and plain white cotton sheets for the lining. I cut pieces for two gowns per size (small, medium, large preemie).


Then I sewed the sides of the outside pieces together and the same for the lining pieces.


Next, the corners. My advice: don't cut corners, cut the corners! 
(Ugh, what a dork. :D )
Cutting the corners of the seam allowance after sewing will help reduce bulk inside the piece. But careful not to cut too close or through any seams.


Now I ironed the seams flat. They will be in the inside. If you had done the pattern modifications above, steps up until now would not have been necessary. So if your fabric allows it, I strongly recommend it to save time.


Then I pinned the lining and outside fabric right side together and sew all around, leaving about a 2 to 3 inch opening for turning. I clipped corners again and also clipped little triangles into the seam allowance of any curved seams. This is necessary so the seam will curve correctly without bunching or bulk once the piece is turned.


Here you can see the little opening for turning:


I pulled the fabric through the hole to turn in right side out. This can be quite tricky especially for the smallest size. I used a crochet hook to push out the corners .


Followed by another ironing sessions to make everything nice and flat.


So all will stay in shape better I top stitched really close to the edge once around the whole piece.


Last, I added some buttons on the straps and one in the back. You can use snaps, buttons, Velcro or similar but it cannot be metal as this may heat up too much in the incubator in the NICU and cause injuries to the baby.
I used some old tiny plastic sew on snaps I had bought a very long time in bulk on eBay. For  the large size I will use press-in snaps because it is easier but I only had a larger size, too large for the smaller gown sizes.


And here the first of the gowns done. This is the smallest size:




I have a picture of all of them as far as I am at this point as the header of this post. I still need to top stitch them and add the snaps.

If you sew, this may be a quick project for you too. And the NICU always needs some preemie stuff. I think I will do some preemie hats as well.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Tune back in next week for some crochet again :)

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