Tiny Daygown for A Tiny Girl

tiny dress all 2


This preemie daygown was made for a tiny baby girl who was born last week weighing 3 lbs. 9 ounces.  Almost 8 weeks before her due date, she is doing quite well in the neonatal intensive care unit at an excellent hospital.  But she is sooooo little!

Her mother was a classmate of my daughter’s as well as one of my favorite students in my children’s sewing classes.  Now she is a wife and new mother to a precious baby daughter who will probably be in the hospital for some time.




I had planned to smock a daygown for this little darling, but she arrived before I even began.  So I whipped up this simple A-line so she would have something girlie to wear over her itty bitty institutional nappies.  If I can find a little more time, I’d like to make a bonnet and blanket.


tiny dress hem


She is a very pretty little thing, but I was shocked at her size.  Each of my babies weighed exactly 9 lbs. 1 ounce and all three of my grandchildren were 10 pounders.  Even at that, they seemed tiny to me.  I can’t imagine a baby almost 1/3 their size.!

Sewing such a small garment was a new experience for me.  When our first grandchild was on her way, we expected a tiny babe because her mother is so small.  So I made a preemie daygown for her coming home.  But even weighing 10 lbs., the gown fit perfectly.

She would not have fit in this!

The pattern is very simple, with a kimono style layout with only one pattern piece, except for the bias neck binding.  The neck binding finished at only 7″!!!  Necklines for standard newborn-4 month daygowns finish at 10 1/2″.  Only side seams are needed on this gown.

The fabric is Swiss flannel hemstitched with French lace.  The construction, hemstitching, feather stitching and machine embroidery were all done on my sweet, ever ready and reliable Brother Duetta. It does beautiful hemstitching.

My favorite font, #22 in PE-Design, was used for the monogram.  The flowers and design between the buttonholes is from Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Elements.


tiny dress buttons


I’m not at all satisfied with this gown, but time was short and I rushed.  It is so hard for me to accept that a baby can be that small for more than a few days, even though my head says it is so.  So I felt pressured to get the dress done and delivered.

The feather stitched oval is too large and not even properly shaped.  The beading and lace look skimpy.  They were applied flat to the sleeves but the edging should have been gathered.  The embroidery design between the buttonholes is not evenly spaced.

It seems that since my sewing projects are no longer featured in magazines or scrutinized as class projects, I have gotten sloppy.  More projects are finished with my “relaxed” sewing attitude, but the level of satisfaction is not nearly so great.  I’m going to think on that a while.

What about you?  Are you very fussy?  How willing are you to redo?

12 responses to “Tiny Daygown for A Tiny Girl

  1. Janice the gown will be so appreciated! My daughter is a neonatal nurse practitioner and I have made a few much simpler items for her to take to the unit where she works. Really tiny Preemie items are almost impossible to find.

  2. I think it’s beautiful! I love the design, with the feather stitched loop and the tiny flowers. You could take some comfort in the fact that babies that small can’t sit up, so no one will see any less-than-perfect stitches on the back. 😉

  3. I’m generally fairly fussy but this looks good to me.

  4. Venita Henderson

    It is BEAUTIFUL!!! What ladies I know would give for a handmade item like that.

  5. STOP looking at the imperfections! This is a wonderful gift and probably sewn with many prayers into the seams…. what more do we want or need? The Amish women actually create an imperfection with in their works of art/quilts because they believe only what God makes can be perfect, everything else is imperfect…. as it should be. The child should outshine the gown! Happy Valentines day my friend!

  6. I think it looks perfect and beautiful. But, I am right there with you when I think I could have done a better job….it comes out! In fact I am in the process of clipping out all the tiny flowerletts and all the clusters of flowerletts around a baby bishop. The dress is Barely Pink Imperial batiste. The flowers are just too pink..so I am going to purchase more floss and “re do”. A softer look will be much better on this color. It will, of course, delay the gift but will definately be worth the time and wait.

  7. Janice,
    Its sweet and beautiful. They will be so appreciative. I’m picky too, but I’m my own worst critic. They will always remember your generosity and giving spirit, not that a stitch isn’t perfectly centered. I’ve also found out that the recipient never even notices what we may think isn’t right.

  8. It is beautiful, Janice. I cannot imagine a 7″ gown for a real baby! This will be very special to this young woman. You are such a generous and lovely person.

  9. Merrilyn Fowler

    Now, that I am retired and with all my little pieces of lovely material from other projects, it is my idea to make special little dresses for the tiny babies that need pretty little outfits. Please help me to find some free patterns so that I can put together some treasured items. Thank you, Merrilyn

  10. What a fun and generous way for you to put to use those bits and pieces of pretty goods, Merrilyn! One source of free patterns is at Laurie Anderson’s Southern Stitches. Click here for the blog post I put up and find the link to the free patterns there. I found this site with a google search. There were lots of others, so check out google. I’d love to see photos of your little dresses, Merrilyn. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  11. Where can I get the pattern?

  12. Becky, the Angel Gown pattern is available at Children’s Corner here.

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