Hand Smocked Nightgown

This month the Project Run and Play challenge was hand work.  As in smocking and embroidery and other intricate, detailed sewing projects that usually give me hives.  Why? Well, look at my first attempt at hand sewing.


I am TERRIBLE.  It got all knotted up between the K and Y, and there is even a bit of a hole there where I tried unsuccessfully to remove the stitches.  Also, the text is horribly off center (although I did a good job hiding it in the posing for the photo.)

Fortunately, it is just a craft smock for Kindergarten, so style is irrelevant as long as the teachers can read his name.  My older two had their names in Sharpie at that stage in their schooling, but the little mister is much too picky for that to fly.  Fortunately, he doesn’t mind my messy stitching.

Now, onto this month’s project.  (I had hoped to use the little mister’s Kindergarten shirt, but as you can see, ouch…)

This was a tricky one, because the boys both thought my ideas were too girly, and the princess thought everything was too juvenile.  We eventually settled on a sweet nightgown that she loves to death.

I started practicing the flower smocking (or whatever it is called) on two strips of fabric that I figured I could turn into the shoulders if it worked right, and I could replace if it didn’t.

Lucky for me, they turned out perfect!


I wanted to try pin tucks and fagotting for the hem, but I gave up the pin tucks rather quickly and just did the fagotting.


I had enough material to make the skirt twice in case I messed up badly, and since I didn’t, I used the back up material for a lining.  Now the nightgown is super modest!

The whole thing is my own design, created by piecing together the bits and pieces as I made them.


I was going for an oriental style back for ease of pulling on and off while avoiding any buttons or ties for comfortable nighttime wear.


I did, however, end up adding some elastic and velcro to the back.  Sometimes not having a pattern can make things tricky!

No matter how long it took, or how it changed as it formed, it turned into a nightgown that she absolutely loves to death.  Here she is in the photo studio enjoying it immensely!

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3 thoughts on “Hand Smocked Nightgown

    • Oh, I failed to mention where the fabric came from. It was an old sheet (like my husband’s grandmother’s) that had torn in the corner and she was going to throw it out. It was so soft and pretty I couldn’t let her!


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