Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DIY Maternity Hospital Gown

I am super excited about this post, for a few reasons but one of them being I didn't actually think I was going to get this project finished. 

I made my own hospital gown using this pattern.  I've had this on my to-do list since early fall.  Of course I had planned on making it way back then but fall is too busy a time to add projects I can technically put off until after the New Year.  So I procrastinated like I always do, but this past weekend I finally made it in to Hobby Lobby in the hopes of them having the perfect fabric on clearance.

They didn't have the fabric I envisioned but I really like what I found.  I'm normally more of a blue kinda girl and that's what I wanted but I found this chocolate brown with teal polka dots for $3 a yard and thought it would probably work better.  I thought the dark color would be good considering it could possibly get a little messy, the brown will hide some of that if necessary.  I ended up buying 3 yards in case I needed to add length to the gown.  I also bought 2 packages of double fold bias tape and 1 spool (3yds) of 1 inch ribbon.  Of course I used coupons for the bias tape and ribbon and the total for my gown ended up being $13 and some change.  Not bad considering the ones online are $40 or more.

Here it is without the ribbon tie.

The ribbon isn't necessary but it makes me feel less of a huge whale waddling around.  Plus it adds a cuteness factor to it.

I used Velcro on the shoulders instead of snaps like some other bloggers.  My only reason for this is I had Velcro in my stash and I knew I could sew it on quicker than attaching snaps.  Plus I really think Velcro will be easier to attach with one hand after nursing, rather than trying to re-snap a bunch of snaps. 

I also liked the look of the ribbon around the waist or on top of my belly whichever way you wanna put it, so I added 2 small belt loops one on either side of the gown to hold it in place.  I didn't notice anyone else adding this little detail but when I thought of having the ribbon I wanted to make sure if it came untied it wouldn't just fall to the floor.  As I will probably be distracted I don't want to keep track of a ribbon.

The pattern and original directions didn't call for bias tape but I saw this blog and really liked the looks of it.  I however am not great with bias tape and probably didn't do mine right.  Actually I know I didn't but hey, I gave it my best shot and I'm not complaining with the results.  One day I'm gonna learn how to put it on right.

The directions on the pattern confused me a little.  None of the other blogs I read had any problem with them so I'm gonna assume it's a combination of my lack of brain function after a full day with a 3 year old and 2 year old and pregnancy brain on top of that.  I followed the parts I could and was winging the rest but it's seriously so simple that even winging it was easy.

The pattern called for a button on each shoulder next to the neck line.  I thought this was probably pointless so wasn't going to add them.  Then when I finished the gown I realized they actually did serve a purpose.  If you try to leave them out this is what your gown will look like. 

Even after realizing this I still didn't want to do buttons so I added an extra piece of Velcro.  I didn't want any part of the gown to be cumbersome when trying to nurse my little one.

I didn't add the pocket to the top for a heart monitor since I thought it was probably unnecessary for labor and delivery. 

I wanted to make sure my backside was completely covered while making trips to the restroom and such, since I know from experience it's difficult to hold the back of your gown, the IV pole, and walk to the restroom all at the same time during labor.  So instead of cutting the fabric following the left and right back pattern pieces.  I instead did 2 left side pieces and positioned the ribbons accordingly.

I only did a 1/2 inch hem around the bottom and didn't end up adding any extra length and this came to just below the knees and I'm about 5ft 7inches.  I'm ok with this length as I didn't want anything really long to have to mess with during delivery and exams.  In a few of the blogs I looked at  they added length because they felt like this length was too short.  If your on the fence go ahead and add a few inches because it's easier to take away extra than to add more at the end.

While brown still isn't my favorite color, I'm thrilled with my gown.  I love the fact that I won't have to wear one of the dingy white gowns the hospital provides.  I love that I can use this when I get home as a nursing nightgown if I want so it's not just a one time use, not that it still wouldn't be worth it.
Here is the backside of the gown.  I still need to trim the ribbon a little  but other than that, it's ready to go in my hospital bag!
I just wish now that I had seen this pattern back when I knew a bunch of people having babies so I could make them one.  They really are easy to put together and would make a really fantastic baby shower gift, especially for a 2nd or 3rd time mom as they usually already have most of the baby stuff covered and could use some mommy pampering.

Hopefully it won't be too long before I will have pictures of my gown in action with my little one in my arms!

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