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How to make a designer hospital gown

Posted by  ·  August 27, 2009  ·  Last Updated: August 27, 2009

When love overflows you get this kind of story!  A reader emailed me with a project she and her sister made for her mother during an illness.

Julie writes-

My sister and I have had a ball making designer hospital gowns for our mother who has suffered a severe stroke and will be in the hospital for a long time.  We looked for designer gowns online and they started at $50-$96, so we decided to make our own.  We used a free pattern from Lazy Girl Designs.

Our mother, ever stylish, is fully aware but unable to move much yet.  Since we can’t stand to see her in another hospital issued gown that looks like men’s underwear, we decided to make our own.  We’ve made zebra print with pink trim, purple and green batik, Lilly-Pulitzer inspired prints, cowboy print, etc.


My little sister wanted to learn how to sew and I am a home-ec major so we customized the gowns and have really gotten a kick out of how well our project has turned out.


The nurses get a real kick out of dressing my mother up and we love to see her in some color.  Even better, you can widen the pattern for a maternity patient by using two right-sides in the back, instead of a right and a left.  What a great shower gift for an expecting friend!

Some recommendations we would make for this pattern are:

-use double fold bias tape for the trim (easy and fast)
-lengthen the pattern at least 6 inches, not 3 as offered on the pattern, as it is very short for some reason.
-cut two right-sides of the pattern and skip the button in the back, using 4 pieces of grosgrain ribbon for the ties
-Use hammered in snaps, instead of Velcro on the sleeves (no sewing).

We really should send some pictures, but she’s wearing all of the finished ones! We’ve found if you use 2 right sides, you only need about 2 1/2 yards or 2 3/4 yards for each gown. We also skipped the pocket and cardiac monitor slash in the front, because we have yet to see a nurse thread them through the front of the gown and use it.

For bedridden family members, expecting friends, or even surgery or cancer treatment (for which this pattern was designed), it is a treat to give someone something special and practical to wear while they are sick. -Julie May

I could see these fabulous gowns adorned with a flower pin like on this apron! The flower pins would also make cute gifts for the female nurses. I also thought a pocket on the inside front would be perfect for holding any monitors or drainage bags.  I think Julie and her sister went the extra mile to provide their mom extra comfort. Such a caring and thoughtful idea.  I am sure their mom is so proud to have such kind and loving daughters!

Leave a Comment


  1. Sara
    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
    Hi, this is amazing. Can you email me the pattern? It is no longer on the website you posted. Thank you so much!
  2. Suzanne
    Wednesday, November 21st, 2018
    Will you make me one???
  3. mario chavarria
    Sunday, November 11th, 2018
    hey can you make a male hospital gown to look like he is wearing something for Thanksgiving.
  4. Saturday, July 28th, 2018
    where can I get this pattern? I have a daughter in law 43, who had a brain stem stroke is and recovering in a nursing rehab facility. I want to make her some pretty gowns. I know this will make her feel better and special.
  5. Rhoda Blake
    Friday, June 24th, 2016
    My sister and I are making hospital gowns/nightshirts for our Dad who is in long term care. We used farm/animal prints since he was a farmer, and they've turned out great!
  6. JunkyMonkey
    Friday, June 10th, 2016
    Save time, buy the fabric tape that already has the snaps on it for the shoulder seams.
    I made my first gown in 2010 because I like silky fabrics, V-neck's and I wanted full coverage in in the back. Got many compliments, the nurses brought in other nurses to show off my gown!
    Glad I put the slit and the inner pocket on it as I did have a drain tube and bag and needed that feature.
  7. Naeemah Polhill
    Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
    You should please make a video showing how to cut the pattern and etc
  8. Sunday, February 16th, 2014
    Here is the updated link:
  9. Monique
    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
    The link for the free pattern at Lazy Girl Design is no longer valid. I would love to make these for my mother who is now in a nursing home suffering from dimentia and no longer able to wear her own jammies. It is awful to see her have to wear hospital pjs all the time knowing she hates them.

    I would appreciate it if you could send me the pattern and instructions. I do hope your mother has made a full recovery.

    Thank you in advance for all of you help.l
  10. David Lawson
    Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
    Would Julie and her sister be interested in making and selling a few hospital gowns made to certain particular specifications? I do not sew; thus, a pattern would not be helpful. If interested, please e-mail me.

    Thank You,

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  15. Monday, April 22nd, 2013
    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the closing part :) I take care of such information much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.
  16. Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You're wonderful!
  17. Thursday, January 31st, 2013
    Thank you so much for these tips. What a great project! I plan on making several of these for my aunt, who is currently bedridden while battling cancer. I hope I can cheer her up in some way.

    Looking forward to digging in!
  18. Janet
    Thursday, December 20th, 2012
    How would you suggest adjusting the pattern for a woman who wears size 3X and has a very large bust?
  19. Sunday, March 25th, 2012
    Thanks so much for sharing this! I just made one for myself - I'm having a baby at the end of May and want something with a little more personality that the plain old hospital gown. It turned out great...thanks again!
  20. Betty Lou Reed
    Monday, January 23rd, 2012
    I am so glad to find this idea and I also downloaded the same pattern from Lazy Girl Designs. I am a medical assistant at a small rural health clinic as well as a quilter, sewer and scrapbooker. I am looking for a pattern to use to make my clinic some bright new gowns to liven up the place as well as use some of my large fabric stash. This may even end up as a gown giveaway for those in the community.
  21. Saturday, September 24th, 2011
    very nice idea i just loved what you said in your blog, however there is a company that make these products at a very reasonable rate. check yourself go to www.jmommies.com and see for yourself
    Sunday, September 11th, 2011
    What do you think the best fabric to use is? a Cotton quilters blend or something "THICKER"?
  23. Donna
    Friday, August 26th, 2011
    Hi - I'm making gowns for a friend of mine about to deliver a baby girl, love the ideas about the ruffles and all. In looking at the photos, it show the gown tying in the back to the right - did you add a tie in the side seam? love these ideas, makes me want to make them for children and other patients.
  24. Friday, August 5th, 2011
    i made a list to make a few of these for my friends 2 year old little girl who is having brain surgery in a few weeks.. what little girl would'nt want to wear a dora or fancy nancy gown instead of the boring hospital issued one. It brightened my day to find this link... just as the fun gown will brighten hers. thank you..

    sarah wick
  25. Linda King
    Monday, January 31st, 2011
    Hi, Hope you can help. I can sew, but am not good with enlarging patters. I need a pattern for a XXXXl person . Can you help me?
  26. Margie DiGiovanni
    Thursday, January 27th, 2011
    I hope you can help. My husband is in the bed or a wheelchair all day. He gets too chilled with the lightweight hospital gowns, so I would like to make him a few heavy duty material ones. But finding a pattern for him is impossible. He wears an XXXL gown. Is there any way you can help me get a pattern to fit? I thought of getting a ready made gown and taking it apart, but they are a bit expensive to use as a pattern.

    Help, please!

    Maggie D.
  27. Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
    I love it! Who knew hospital gowns could look so good!
  28. Monday, September 13th, 2010
    I have a few weeks before my baby is due, and I plan to make one of these. What a wonderful gift to make for others who are in the hospital! I think my 97 year old grandmother might like one too!
  29. Gina
    Monday, September 6th, 2010
    I made one of these to wear when I had my daughter last year. It wasn't too difficult, but I found that the neckline was much too high. I cut the V lower and added some fun ruffle ribbon. My friend made me a cute matching flower for my hair. I was the talk of the maternity ward, partially for the cute gown and partially for my crazy 23 minute delivery!
  30. HveHope
    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

    Where to find the photos of the 'finished product'??? I'm a terribly 'visually oriented' person and would LOVE to see what you've described.


    grateful for His gifts, HveHope
  31. Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
    Thanks so much for sharing. I am currently on bed rest (have been in and out of the hospital) and have had way too much time to think about my upcoming stay in the hospital. This would be such a fun addition to my stay! How great would those first pictures look with the baby if I had on a way cool gown : ) Thanks again!
  32. Sunday, August 30th, 2009
    I've been making hospital gowns for myself as well! I go to the hospital every 4 weeks for treatment and the ugly ones are just...well, ugly. I think I even have one in the same paisley blue/green material as one of your pics! ha ha!!!

    And the nurses and hospital staff totally love to see all the fun, bright colors. It definitely cheers up the day for everyone, not just me. If anyone is interested in seeing a finished product, you can look at my slideshow on my AVM website.

  33. Sunday, August 30th, 2009
    This is such a cool idea! I included it on my weekly link roundup - link to the post is under my name. Thanks so much for sharing!
  34. Kelli
    Friday, August 28th, 2009
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post pics of the final product! Especially if someone were wearing it.

    This is such an AWESOME idea! Thank you so much.
  35. Krista
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    Wonderful ~ Thank you sew much for the tips on the pattern. I'm going to jot done your note, download the pattern and sew up a blessing or two for some special people. May even get a group of young girls together and make these as community service gifts. ~ Totally inspired !!!!!
  36. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    So sweet. I hope my craftiness rubs off on my daughters so they'll bond and make me pretty hospital gowns some day : )
  37. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    That is so sweet!
  38. Linda
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I would love to see a picture of a finished gown.
  39. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I have a friend, currently hodspitalized with luekemia. This would be just the thing to brighten his day! I am going to make at least one of these, Maybe more. We'll see how it goes.
  40. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    my story is somewhat similar. but i make hospital gowns for children. i started a little group called "project giggle gowns". i add ruffles or appliques to the gowns and use fun fabrics to give them some spunk. it's sad enough for a child to be a hospital, so hopefully the gowns bring many "giggles" to them. it's VERY rewarding to be part of such a great thing!
  41. Lynne in NC
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    This is so timely! Thanks for the link for both the adult size and child size.
  42. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I sure wish I would have had a couple of these when I was on bedrest with my quadruplets! What an AWESOME idea!!!!
  43. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    Aw, what a darling idea. This brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet, thoughtful and heartfelt gesture. Thanks for sharing.
  44. cwa
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    What a terrific idea. Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. Kudos to such beautiful daughters for showing their mother true love and compassion while she is recuperating. Blessings to you.
  45. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    How sweet would these be for donating to patients who require extended stays in the hospital? Get the girlfriends together and sew away!
  46. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    That is awesome! I am pregnant and plan to have the baby at the hospital. Pictures after my last delivery were so horrible with those hospital gowns. I'm definitely going to have to get at least one of these together to roam the hospital in!! Thanks for sharing!!
  47. April in Texas
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    WOW! Talk about coincidence! Yesterday, I saw a vehicle sign for designer gowns from a local business owner (http://www.designerdeliverygowns.com). I just perused their website before I opened my email from you with this!

    Perfect timing; thank you.

    And, kudos for Julie for not only being creative and supportive of her mother, but making it a special family experience for the three of them to share.
  48. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I would love to have one of these for when I have to go to the hospital. Maybe I can get my grandmother to teach me how to sew better so I can make one before the baby arrives in Sept.
  49. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I want to see some pictures! This is way too much fun!!
  50. Tracey
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    What a wonderful idea! I may make one for myself to wear when I give birth to the baby I'm currently expecting!
  51. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    wish i had this when i had my surgery. what they had was too small & i was too fat. but of course they were SO UGLY!! i needed pretty to make me feel better!
  52. Jenny
    Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    What a great idea! Love these gowns as a wonderful alternative to the standard issue hospital gown.
  53. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I love this! What wonderful daughters! Child sized ones would be great to make too!
  54. Thursday, August 27th, 2009
    I LOVE this idea! Will definitely have to share it with others.