Hand Sewn Raglan Daygown


This is the first hand sewn garment i’ve made since i was a little girl hand sewing doll’s clothes in my bedroom…i feel so grown up!  Ok Ok, so i know what i ‘created’ in my bedroom all those decades ago wasn’t even vaguely the same as this daygown.

 This was made from The Old Fashioned Baby company; Jeannie Baumeister creates these wonderful patterns that i love to do.  You can view Jeannie’s wonderful work on her blog…be warned – you might not be able to resist her patterns!


I’m going to be totally up front about my sewing skills on this daygown…i LOVED sewing and embroidering it, but there are a number of boo-boo’s. So keep reading for both the good and bad  of my daygown project.

😆  The daygown was made from Satin Batiste fabric – again from The Old Fashioned Baby; it’s totally affordable in heirloom fabric terms and it’s still lovely to the touch and to work with.  I stupidly sewed the front panel ‘wrong side’ up – yeah i know  😳  There are knots both in the embroidery and in some of the french seams. The knots alone would disqualify the dress in competition – no Adelaide show for me this year.  The French seams were a dream to do…and to keep honest  – I used a magnifying lamp for the entire dress.

 I made a really silly boo boo when i used blue thread to attach the lace at the neckline and i by the time i realised my mistake, i thought – ‘what the heck, i’ll just be consistent with my mistake’…consistency is important, right??

I LOVED Jeannie’s embroidery design on this gown but i wanted to personalise it so i taught myself how to ladder with overcast stitch. After many many practices, I finally incorporated ladder swirls. I probably should have waited till the finer sewing thread i ordered, arrived, but hey – i was rip roaring ready to take the plunge and  thus used a slightly too heavy sewing cotton for the ladders.

See how the swirls match the embroidery swirls in the bottom embroidery?

The hem is atrocious – yup really bad.  I basted it with tiny stitches (which have since been removed) to help evenly distribute the fabric, but it didn’t turn out well.  A-line silhouettes are difficult for me to hem…especially when the hem is quite big which is consistent with older style baby garments.

On her blog, quite some time ago, Jeannie had a raglan daygown sew-a-long…i decided to follow along, albeit a few years late.  In the button hole post, Jeannie encouraged participants to at least try a hand-worked buttonhole…It took 25 practices for me to be happy with the result – No you didn’t misread – i did indeed do 25 practices before i even put needle to fabric on the daygown!! Anal retentive much??

I tried a number of different sewing methods from rounded ends, one end rounded and one end straight, running stitch stabilising stitches around the cut, laid cotton as the stabiliser around the cut, the pin hole matching method of cutting and the fold along the length of the button hole line method of cutting.

I was so over worked buttonholes!! I ended up doing both end rounded, running stabilising stitches and fold along the button hole line cutting.  The scissors i used made a difference too…the narrower the blade and sharper the blade, the better, cleaner cut i created and believe me when i tell you the quality of your cut is directly related to the quality of the finished buttonhole. I have found a pair of Italian gold work embroidery scissors from Country Bumpkin that worked fabulously.


 This particular version of the raglan sleeve daygown has pleats on the sleeve…take a gander at these babies. Yes i’m really happy with the sleeves; i just love the pleats.

These types of heirloom quality hand crafted garments require hand washing…yeah, i know it’s a pain in the-you-know-what, but it’s not that hard and is so totally worth the effort to have your sweet precious bundle of joy wearing such fine garments.  All you need is a small plastic basin and some pure soap flakes (I use Lux Flakes).  Dissolve the soap flakes in hot water and then submerge the garment.  You can gently swish it around; i give a quick swish to make sure the garment is submerged and then i leave it till the water is cold.

Once the water is cold, check to see that any marks are removed and then rinse, rinse and rinse again to make sure all the soap suds are removed.  Hang the garment to partially dry and then iron while still damp. Make sure you use the ‘dry’ and ‘cotton’ settings on your iron, that your iron plate is clean and that you put a clean towel on your ironing board. When ironing the embroidery, put it ‘right side’ down onto the towel and iron the back. I have a clean white towel that i use just for baby garments.

Friends, have i managed to inspire you to pick up a needle and thread?   If not, have i at least entertained you for a minute or two?

I’ll take what i can get  😆


At no time did i receive any products for free or to ‘test run and blog’ from The Old Fashioned Baby or Country Bumpkin.  The products that i mention in this post were bought independently by me for my personal use and i mention them here as explanation of what tools/patterns i used and where i sourced them.




2 thoughts on “Hand Sewn Raglan Daygown

  1. Well I think the gown is just beautiful. Love love the sleeves and the embroidery is so very pretty. I really like the fabric and the sheen it has too. The whole garment is just lovely and lucky the recipient!

  2. Su, you are amazing! No, you have not inspired me to pick up a needle and thread – I do not have the patience, but I sit here dumbstruck with your awesomeness!

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