Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Pattern Alteration for Cute Hospital Gown Tutorial


Pattern Alteration for Cute Hospital Gown Tutorial

A couple weeks ago my cousin asked if I could alter a pattern for her. She wanted a cute, maternity hospital gown she could wear. The original one she liked is from MaternalNEST on etsy or Facebook.
Luckily I had this pattern in my stash: McCall's M5656. With just a little altering, it would be just like the hospital gown.
To do this alteration you'll need the back yoke piece, the two back pieces and the sleeve piece. You'll also need a ruler, pencil (I used red), measuring tape, paper to trace onto.

Start with the back yoke piece. I lowered the neckline so that the yoke was 3" total. I forgot to leave in seam allowance though so make the yoke 3 5/8" tall. I eye-balled and drew a new neckline seam. Then trace the whole piece with the new neckline. Make sure you trace all the notes, circles, triangles, etc. Write Front on this piece.
Then instead of having a fold in the center, extend the straight edge out to be the same width as the button front extension on the other pattern pieces. I think it's 2 3/4" but you'll have to double check on the front pattern piece. Copy the words, foldlines, etc.
Draw the new neckline onto the original piece and write Back. Here are the two pieces side by side. You now have a yoke front and a yoke back.
 You don't have to change the sleeve pattern at all. Just remember if you want the sleeve to be the same as the cute hospital gown, don't gather the sleeve edge and sew on the band. Just leave it flowy and hem it with a small hem.
 Next get out the back piece. Don't confuse it with the side back piece. The side back piece doesn't need any altering.
 Lay a piece of paper over it. I pushed pins through the tracing paper and pattern into the carpet to keep it still. Trace that back piece.

Write Front on this piece. Remember to copy all the markings and also extend the center like we did on the front yoke piece. The two extensions should be identical.
 Extension and copied markings.
 Copied hem marking.
 Here are the two pieces, center front and center back.
 Now one last thing you have to check is the circumference of the waist. It'll need to be big enough to fit around your tummy. The pattern envelope says the finished garment measurement at the hipline but not at the waistline.
 To find the finished waist measurement, measure across the two back pieces at the waistline. Each size will have a different measurement at the waistline. Here I'm measuring the center front and the other half of the measuring is in the next picture.
 This pattern piece measures 9 5/8" across.

 Now measure the side back which is 7 1/4".
 Here are my scribbles of math. The side back has two seam allowances so you have to subtract 5/8" twice. The center back has only one seam allowance so you only have to subtract one 5/8". Once subtracted, add the two numbers together. Multiply this by two. This gives you the total width of the back. Multiply again by two and you get the total circumference. My total circumference was 60 inches. If you need more than what is given, you'll have to extend the side seam out the amount you need. You can email me if you'd like to see an example, and I'll post about it.

All the pattern altering is done.
Wasn't that easy? The only thing to remember is when cutting out, you need two sleeves, two center fronts, two yoke fronts, 2 side fronts and 2 side backs (this is the same piece which we didn't alter), 1 yoke back on fold and 1 center back on fold.
Another thing to remember, this pattern calls for a lot of topstitching. If you want to make it easier, omit all topstitching.


  1. Thanks so much! Thanks for taking the time to figure this out for me and for posting all of the great pictures.

  2. Wow! Wish I would have found this before I had my twins. Way cuter than the hospital mess I had to wear. :)


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