How to stitch a simple nighty –DIY Night dress pattern

Learn to sew a beautiful {NIGHTY} dress for yourself with this easy to draft and sew pattern. This women's night gown pattern is easy and Free.

 how to sew a night dress -pattern

Easy to sew Night Dress Pattern  

Loose! hanging! Casual – these adjectives describing the nighty makes it the ideal dress for girls to wear at home in the summer. Once you have stitched one, you will want to make one for every night of the week. It’s easy and beautiful.


How much cloth is needed to sew the nightdress

Decide on how much length you need for the nighty. Double that and add 3 inches. This is how much cloth you need for sewing this nightie pattern. 

Some tips on selecting the fabric for a nighty

Try to choose lightweight 100% soft cotton – your body will thank you. You can use cotton batiste, poplin, or lawn for making this nighty.

Before starting the stitching, wash/rinse the cloth at least once. Prewashing will remove the sizing in new fabrics – resulting in better fitting and no chemicals. 

Lawn cotton, good quality voile, or soft printed cotton in pastel colors would be ideal fabric choices for this pattern, but that is not to say you cannot make this in satin rayon or silk. 

If you are interested in a chemise sewing pattern; or peasant style night dress checkout the tutorial or a simple cami slip dress pattern and tutorial or  a Sleeveless Pajama top  or a simple strappy camisole check them out.

how to sew a peasant dress
sleeveless top pattern
how to sew a camisole top


Measurements for sewing the simple nighty pattern 

You need the following measurements for sewing a nighty

Shoulder width – From one tip of the shoulder to the other. Halve this measurement for this pattern..

Bust  round – Divide this measure by 4 

Neck depth and neck width – as per the table given below as per the bust round or your own measurement

Height – Decide on the height you need (Anywhere from knee to ankle) Add 3 inches to this, for seam allowance and hem. 

Pattern marking

You can either make the pattern on a paper, or draw directly on the cloth with chalk. If you are directly marking on the cloth, take the front and back pieces, fold them in half, take the folded side as AB in the diagram, and start marking.

As shown in the diagram below, you will be marking on the top (out of the two pieces together).

Mark everything on this piece. Then cut the back armhole and the sides (and the back neckline if you are binding it instead of using facing to finish).

Remove one-half portion and keep it aside – this is the back pattern.

On the remaining half portion, cut the front armhole and sides (and front neckline if you are binding the edges instead of facing for finish).  

Nighty pattern markings on folded fabric

The main marking points are

  • A-F – Shoulder width
  • A-E – Armhole depth
  • G-E – Bust width
  • B- I – Flare

Let us start marking

The fabric nightgown pattern

Step 1.

First, we will mark the flare of the nighty. Mark Points I- B = 1/2 of hip round ( this is the flair of the nighty)

Step 2.

Mark the neck width A-C;Neck width can be taken as per this table. This is a slightly closed neck width. Please add 1/2 inch for a relaxed neck or take the measure from an existing fitting garment. 

neck width and neck depth chart

Step 3.

Mark neck depth C-D ( this is how deep you want the neck to be – Mark the front neck depth and back neck depth);  Front neck depth can be taken as per the above table, and Back depth depends on your preference; If you decide to take front and back neck depth same, lessen the depth by 1/2 inch on both sides to adjust.

Step 4.

Mark A- F = (Distance between the shoulder tips  divided by two )  + 1/4 inch

A-E = Mark E on line A-B as per the table 

armhole measurement chart

Step 5.

Mark G as a straight line from E as per the measurement below

E-G = Divide  bust round  measurement by 4  ; Add  2 inches to this. 

Step 6.

Join G to I in a straight line. From point I mark up 1 inch to point M. From B draw a soft curving line to M to form the bottom edge of the night gown.

Mark armhole

Draw straight line down from F so that it intersects with line G-E . 

Step 7.

Mark the back neck. You can take back neck as anywhere between one to three inches. Give a curved shape.

Step 8.

From point F on the shoulder tip, mark down 3/4 inch to point L ( please make this 1/2 inch for kids). Give the shoulder slope by joining the line C-L.

Step 9.


Where the lines from F & G intersect (name it K ) go outside (measure the distance between G& K and divide by two). Mark the point as J . Make a curved armhole shape from L-J-G – this is the back sleeve line.

Step 10.


To mark the front sleeve line  Mark Point N from K to the inside 3/4 inch for adults and 1/2 inch for kids. Mark this point as N .

Draw up a straight line to L. From N, Go outside 3/4 inches diagonally, as shown in the diagram, to point O. Draw a soft curved line touching O from L -G – This is the front sleeve line.

Mark pattern markings for the nighty on folded fabric

Step 11.

Draw a soft curving neckline from C -D; For accuracy, mark up 1 inch from the intersecting straight lines from C & D; now join the points C & D through this to get a soft U neckline. If you want different necklines, refer the page for drafting necklines 

When cutting the pieces, first cut on the back sleeve line and back neck piece; Keep aside that piece; then cut the front sleeve line and neckline on the remaining piece (which has all the markings you have made). 

Mark on the fabric

If you  want to make sleeves use the instructions in the  post to draft and sew sleeves here . Or opt for an angel wing sleeve or flutter sleeve or checkout the post on the 3 easy DIY sleeves for sleeveless dresses which you can add after you have made the nighty ( or any other top/dress which is sleeveless) 

If you want to make a sleeveless nightgown, you may want to reduce the armhole depth by about 1/2 inch; otherwise, it will hang loose. The shoulder also may be reduced by 1/2 inch if you like..

Stitch this pattern in a fabric of your choice

Sewing instructions for this easy nighty pattern

I have decided to sew a Nighty pattern with a yoke . To draft different types of yokes for your night dress please read this post on drafting yokes.  You can stitch the simple nighty without yoke following the same direction. 



You will get a yoke piece like this

Yoke opened up after cutting it out

How to cut out the front bodice for the yoked nighty– I cut out the front by keeping the yoke piece on top and marking the main fabric with a carbon sheet. I go up 1/2 inch from the yoke bottom edge to add the seam allowance. Then cut it out. It is a waste of some fabric, I know. But I do not know a better way. 

Sew to the bottom part

Join this yoke piece to the nighty front bodice ( Which is already cut out minus the yoke area -plus seam allowance of 1/2 inch) right sides together

Stitch yoke and body fabric pieces together

yoked nighty pattern

Make a neck facing piece. Mark the neckline on it. Finish the edges (For more details checkout the post on facing.)

Keep it on top of the right side of the front bodice. The facing piece should be wrong side up .Stitch through the neckline. 

sew the facing of the nighty

Cut the neck out with a very small seam allowance.

Cut out the neck

Understitch the facing and the seam allowance of neckline together (This is so that the facing will roll to the wrong side smoothly)

Understitch the neckline and facing

Turn the neckline facing to the back

Finish the back neck by sewing a neck binding with a bias strip.

Stitch the shoulder together. 

Finish the armholes with bias strip binding.Checkout the detailed tutorial on making bias tape and to do the bias binding in different ways (I did a simple Sashiko embroidery on top of the topstitching line )

Stitch armhole with a binding

Stitch the sides

Finish the hem. Your nighty is ready.Easy Peasy, right ?

If you would like to add a Placket opening in the front of your nighty checkout the post on sewing plackets for a tutorial. Also checkout the 5 types of sleeve plackets you could sew on sleeves.

How to stitch a gathered nighty

The above yoked nightwear can also be stitched with gathers in the front. For that, you need a pattern with fabric in the middle for gathers.

For drafting the pattern, you need to make the pattern as below and add 3 inches to the fold side as given below. 

Gathered night gown

Arrange the gathers evenly near the center fold line when sewing the yoke to the main bodice. For details checkout the post on How to gather 

Embellish your nighty with some cute embroidery. Check out the post on embroidery stitches you can use on the nighty. I would think a bullion rose or french knots or some lazy daisy flowers would be ideal to decorate your nighty.

A simple tunic dress also can serve as a cute little nightdress . Checkout the tutorial to make a tunic dress/ top. 

Checkout this pattern for a tank top for another way to finish the neckline with a yoke which is embroidered.

tank top pattern

Another great sleepwear you can sew by yourself is Pajama pants. Make one with slash pockets and a comfortable elastic waistband following the tutorial to draft pajama pants pattern and sewing instructions.

pyjama pants pattern


Subscribe to get weekly notifications of posts in your email

Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

3 thoughts on “How to stitch a simple nighty –DIY Night dress pattern”

    • Yes, please post the actual nightie. I love that you give such clear instructions but because I can’t visualise what I’m supposed to be doing, it’s almost impossible for us really really beginners to get it right. You know the old saying……if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else:-)

Your opinion is important. Leave a comment