Newborn Day Gown
This sweet day gown is constructed from a pattern that Sarah Howard Stone and I adjusted in 1997 to use for my second daughter. I went into preterm labor at 24 weeks with my daughter and I proceeded to spend the next twelve weeks on bed rest. Four weeks of that time was spent in the hospital. Knowing that she would be early and tiny, I wanted to create a gown for her to come home in. The regular size day gown would most definitely have swallowed her. She arrived at 36 weeks weighing 5 lbs 3 oz and she was only 4 lbs 13 oz when it was time to go home. This smaller “newborn” size was perfect for her and she wore it until she was 12-14 lbs.
Sarah Howard Stone Pattern
For the gown in blue Swiss batiste shown above, I adjusted the pattern by reversing the opening to a back opening and lengthening the original pattern by adding three inches. To accommodate the lace work and embroidery, I felt the pattern needed the additional length.
On this design, I used ecru French Maline laces in the “crown” pattern. Down the front of the day gown is the narrowest insertion in this pattern. The ⅝” French Maline edging is gathered around the neck edge and the larger 1” version is gathered on the sleeve ruffle.
Family Heirloom – Hand Embroidery
The center section of the lace work was not pin tucked while the outer sections have three pin tucks each. The center section was left plain in order to hand embroider the initial of the family name. Since the first name initial was not embroidered, future children can also wear the gown home creating a family heirloom for this and future generations.
French Hand Sewing
On all the day gowns that I create, the neck edge and sleeve edge are hand rolled and whipped and then gathered. The neck and sleeve ruffles are also attached by hand. The plackets and hem are blind hemmed by hand as well. YES, hours upon hours of hand work go into each gown!!
For this gown, I made a matching T-cap bonnet with pin tucks in blue Swiss batiste. The ⅝” ecru French Maline insertion was applied to either side of the pin tucked strips with the matching ⅝” edging gathered around the bonnet. Ecru satin ribbon was used for the streamers and ties.
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