Hospital Gown Tutorial

Maternity Hospital Gown

Can I tell you how excited I am to go into labor?  And be huffing and puffing and yelling for more ice?  All right, I’m not excited for the pain but let me tell ya, I’m going to be riding that pain in style.

I saw this Etsy gorgeousness ($69- not bad!!!) on Pinterest:

maternity hospital gown

and wanted it… right then and there.  But with a few changes.  One of the bothersome things about hospital gowns for me is the fact that when you unsnap your shoulder snaps to nurse that new baby, the shoulders fall all over and before you know it you are nekked from the neck to your waist.  Unfortunately, while this gown is worlds apart from the standard hospital issue, it still had snaps on the shoulders.

So I went and made exactly what I wanted.

Maternity Hospital Gown Blue

Two of them.

Want to know how?

You need:

Hospital Gown Pattern Pieces (pattern is for a smallish person although it can fit bigger with very few alterations)

3 yards pre-washed fabric

1 yard snap tape

Coordinating ribbon

Sewing stuff

zipper foot

This tutorial uses 1/2” seam allowances


To save paper (I went through a lot with the muslin and re-drawing over and over…), I made the pattern pieces for the front and back just for the neck/sleeve part.  For the rest, use a measuring tape along the side of your fabric to mark where to cut.


For my 5’4” frame, 36” was the magic length from the neck to the bottom.


As I cut the front piece, I tapered it pretty good so it made an A-line shape.  You want room for that belly! Use the same pattern piece to cut your back pieces (not on the fold), and I used my already-cut front to help me cut the same A-line for the back.


Then I cut my sleeves.  My blue gown has longer sleeves than my pink gown, and I think they look a little better longer.  Just add a few inches to your pattern if you want to go longer.


Next, I cut the yoke pieces from fabric and lightweight interfacing.  The blue gown wasn’t interfaced, and I realized how valuable it is!  I highly suggest it, even though it isn’t on the pattern.


Next, place your sleeve pieces on your back pieces, right sides together, matching the curves.  Sew these together at the curve.


Finish your edges.  This whole finishing thing is a big deal for this project- so either serge, zig-zag, overlock, roll hems, or use pinking shears.

Once both back pieces have a sleeve attached, it is time to move on to the yoke.


Sew your yoke pieces together into a long back-front-back strip.  You will end up with two long pieces.  Then, sew those two long pieces together, right sides together, along the short ends and inner curve.


Trim the seam allowance to get rid of bulk, or clip the curve; whichever you prefer.  This was just faster :)


You’ll end up with a shape akin to a toilet seat… lovely!


Turn it inside out and iron that seam flat and beautiful.  I used a dull pencil to get my corners to a nice point before I ironed.


While you are at the ironing board, iron the outer curve under about 1/2”.  I think mine ended up more like 5/8”.


Next, top-stitch that inner curve.  I didn’t do this on the blue gown and it just looks nice with it.


Now put some snaps on!  Pin the female snaps to the underside (you choose which is the underside) of your yoke.  The snaps should span just the center yoke pieces.  Use a zipper foot to get a nice stitching line, making sure you sew through both layers of the yoke as you go.  I just sewed down the long sides.  The front should look like this:


I’m going for practical here, not absolutely beautiful 😉


Now take your front gown piece and finish the sleeve edges.  Then, gather the top neckline.  You want the gathers to end up the same width as your front center yoke piece.  When you get it to the right size, finish your top edge.


Add the male snaps to this piece, matching the snap placement with your yoke piece.


We’ve reached goal #1- a detachable front!



Ok, now for the sleeves and back part.


Place your sleeves right sides together on your front piece, matching curved edges.  Sew only 1/2” along the curved edge.  You want it left open the rest of the way.  Attach both sleeves to the front piece this way.


Finish the long sides on the back pattern pieces and sleeve curves.  Next, gather your back neckline and sleeve top edge. When it is gathered to the same length as the remaining yoke pieces, go ahead and tuck that gathered edge in between your yoke layers.


Pin it really well!  Make sure your bottom yoke layer is attached too- you don’t want that to slip out of the way.


When you get to the edges near the front yoke, fold the sleeve under 1/2” and pin it in the yoke like that before you sew it down.  Ignore the ratty nest my thread made up there…


Put your male snaps on the front yoke along your finished sleeve edge.

side snaps

Fold your sleeve edge over 1/2”, and sew your female snap tape to the underside of the sleeve along the hem.


Snap all those snaps together and this is what you’ve got!  Goal #2 reached- sleeves remain on shoulders!

edge sewn

Lay your back pieces right sides together with the front and sew along the edges, including the armpit edge.  Match your sleeve seams the best you can.  Finish the edges.


On one back edge, make about 5/8” hem.  I wanted to keep it in place, so I sewed about 1/8” down the edge.


Cut 8 snaps off your snap tape and place them evenly down the back of your gown (I did this only because snap tape is a zillion dollars a yard a JoAnn’s and I was trying to conserve :)  But it works really well.).  Sew them on, one at a time, along your ironed edge.


Attach the other half of your snaps to the other back side, this time on the front of the fabric.  It is super important that you make sure the snaps line up before you sew them on.  No one wants to see a wonky-snap-bum.  Right?  Yay- Goal #3 done: epidural access :)  No, really, you need the back open for lots during labor and delivery.


All that is left is hemming the bottom of the gown, and hemming the sleeves.  I used a 1/2” hem for both.

Trim your threads (there will be tons), and put it on!  Use a ribbon to wrap around just above your bump (or mountain, whichever) and tie a fun bow.

Maternity Gown Back

The back is nice and closed (but has easy doc/nurse/anesthesiologist access),


And the front is ever-so-cute, unlike my face in this picture.

Want to see it in action?  Er, not on me… Alta will take this one for me.  And in terrible light, no less.

Alta model

See?  When you need to nurse, you just unsnap the side you’re on and you remain almost completely covered the whole time.  Sorry to Alta for exposing so much 😉

Now, I know the snaps in the front make it less beautiful than that Etsy inspiration, but it gets the job done!  I’m absolutely thrilled with these gowns.  Kind of makes me not want to wear them because they are so darn cute and things are bound to get messy.

Pink for the potential girl:


Blue for the potential boy:


(because I am still bringing both colors of newborn outfits to the hospital ;))

I am excited for those new baby shots where I don’t have half my chest and a shoulder popping out!  Yay!

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