Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Micro-Preemie/Preemie Gown and Sleeper Tutorial

This tutorial is mainly for bereavement purposes. I don't think these would work well in the NICU because they wouldn't allow for all of the wires, IV's, etc. I'm sure they could be modified for that purpose but my purpose was so that these sweet babies who die too soon would have something to wear. No parent should have to be sad because their baby is too small for clothes and therefore will go naked.

We will start with the Gown tutorial first. Some of the steps for the gown and sleeper are the same. If you want the pattern please see this website Teeny Tears. They will be uploaded there in the near future. A soft knit fabric works best for the gown, hat and sleeper.
Gown Instructions
1. Cut out 1 front piece, 2 back pieces and 2 sleeves from your fabric.

2. With right sides together sew center back seam up to wear the facing begins.

3. With right sides together sew sleeves to front and back pieces at the four shoulder seams.

4. Hem or add ribbing to the neck line. (I recommend adding ribbing because they are so tiny, making hemming difficult. You can make your own out of the same fabric by cutting a 1 1/2 inch wide strip of fabric. Fold each side in 1/4 inch and then fold in half. Place neck edge into the fold of the strip and topstitch down.) Fold the facings in while hemming or ribbing.

5. Hem sleeves.

6. With right sides together sew underarm/side seams. Clip at pivot. On one side leave a small 1/2 inch opening in the side seam about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the gown. (This is where the ribbon will go later)
Example of opening left for the ribbon.

Sew side seams where pins are.
7. Fold facings under and apply velcro closures. You could use snaps or buttons also but velcro seems to work well.
Note: When applying velcro make sure the "rough" side of the velcro is facing out away from the body. These babies have skin that is very fragile and we don't want anything "scratchy" touching them.

I use a wide zig zag stitch to attach the velcro.
8. Sew a 1 inch bottom hem. Thread the ribbon through using a safety pin and tie to gather the bottom of the gown.

Sorry the pictures are sideways. I couldn't get them to rotate.
Sleeper Instructions
1. Cut out 2 back pieces, 2 front pieces and 2 sleeves.

2. Sew center back and center front crotch with right sides together. Leave opening open (where facings start).
For center back sew from neck line and stop where the upslope stops.
For center front all you sew is where the curve is in the crotch area.
3. Sew sleeves to the front and back pieces at 4 shoulder seams with right sides together. 

4. Hem or add ribbing to the neck. (see the note above about ribbing) Fold the front facings in as you are hemming or adding ribbing.

5. Hem sleeves. 

6. With right sides together sew underarm, side seam, inseam, side seam and underarm. Clip at curves. Turn right side out. While sewing these seams fold up the back of the foot at the fold to line to create the heel. Pin in place and sew side seams to secure. 

7. Apply velcro closure to the facings. You could use buttons or snaps also but the velcro seems to work well. See Note above for tip on applying velcro.

Added Disclaimer: The patterns that will be posted on the Teeny Tears websites I designed by looking at and then altering common sleeper/gown patterns. The facing on most of the patterns I could find is perfect for a full size baby but when you make them smaller and smaller it became almost non-existent, therefore I made it larger on my patterns. I tried to make the opening large enough that dressing these tiny little ones would be feasible but that the clothes would still look like traditional baby clothes. The gown is probably easier to put on a tiny baby and could even be altered to where the facing extends to the bottom of the gown on the back with velcro closures all the way down (instead of a seam part way down with opening only half way) so that there is no pulling it over their legs or head. I purposefully placed the gown closure in the back to allow it to look more like traditional baby clothing.


  1. LOVE this tutorial...thanks for sharing. Do you know the approximate size it makes? I didn't see a link on the Teeny tears site yet. Would you mind emailing it to me at mikaylasgrace (at) gmail.com? I'd like to post it on our non-profit site where our volunteers get patterns to sew, crochet and knit items for our Mikayla's Grace memory boxes. http://www.mikaylasgrace.com/2012/01/handmade-gowns-booties-hats-and.html

  2. Kristy, you have huge amounts of talent, and the ways in which you put it to use are amazing. You are definitely one GREAT Momma. :) I also wanted to let you know you were on my mind and in my prayers last week. I was actually sitting in the drive-thru at a restaurant one morning, and you came to my mind. As I waited on my breakfast, I took my thoughts to God in prayer. I guess maybe knowing I would dress my kiddos in Halloween costumes made me think about what Grant might wear, and it just tugged at my heart to the point of tears. Anyway, I just wanted to share my love this morning. I hope you have an amazing day! Lord, bring on the sibling(s) for Grant!

  3. Are you making these 3 mistakes when putting your baby to rest? [STOP!]

    Dear Reader,

    When was the last time your baby slept through the night... or fell asleep when you needed him to?

    Maybe you’ve tried all kinds of “tricks” and gimmicks just to have your little one wake you up 5 times a night.

    Then you'll definitely want to hear this...

    Scientists from the Stanford Sleep Lab recently released an eye-opening report on 3 common mistakes parents make that make it almost impossible for your child to sleep...

    And you're probably guilty of the #1 culprit right now...

    Click here ===> 27-second trick INSTANTLY puts babies to rest and helps them sleep through the night <=== <<<