A Special Anniversary – Our Free Hospital Gown Pattern Is Two Years Old Today

Lazies, I can hardly believe that today is the second anniversary for our free hospital gown pattern. This pattern is downloaded about 1,000 times a month from my website here.

susie-stiving.jpgSo on this anniversary, please indulge me while I share the story of Susie (pictured here), Rita, Carolyn and how this pattern came about.

My friend Carolyn has a habit of volunteering me for things. We all have friends like that, don’t we? I don’t usually protest because I know if something is important to my friends, then it’s important for me to listen.

Carolyn called one day and said, ‘Rita at Creations SewClever quilt shop is getting requests for her hospital gown pattern but there’s no pattern. Why don’t you make one?’ I didn’t know Rita, but I said ‘sure’ and called right away. I didn’t even think about it. Carolyn knows I’m as pliable as conditioned polymer clay.

Rita created the pattern to make gowns for her friend Susie Stiving. Susie tells the story better than I can, so…

Here’s Susie:
‘The hospital gown design was born of a loving friendship with Rita Fishel. She owns the quilt store Creations SewClever in Chillicothe, Ohio and I had the pleasure to work for her part time. It was a joy to work with a best friend, and beautiful family of friends surrounded by wonderful fabrics.

In December 2005 I was diagnosed with leukemia, and my world seemed to become smaller as my battle was to be a long one. As the odds seemed to mount against me, Rita became more inspired.

She pulled fabrics off the shelves that she thought would speak to my soul, designed a simple hospital gown pattern with Velcro closures, stitched them up, and brought them to me at the hospital like bouquets of flowers.

The gowns became quite a conversation piece as the doctors and nurses complimented me on the cheerful colors and themes. They also like the convenience of the Velcro openings when doing procedures. I loved wearing them and they certainly made me smile.’
- Susie

Read the rest of Susie’s story, and get the pattern here: Susie’s Story and Hospital Gown pattern

One of my favorite memories of this project was that first phone call to Rita. She referred to the inner workings of a computer as ‘gremlins’ and said if I can get those gremlins to do what I hoped – more power to me. I have to say, I like Rita right away.

So, I met with the gremlins and we created a bare-bones click-n-print pattern with the pattern pieces and instructions included. Be sure to read the printing instructions at the website.

If you prefer, Rita will mail a printed copy to you. That information is located at my website with the pattern.

Oddly enough, I don’t have a photograph of a gown made from the pattern. Or, I should say it’s not my photograph to share. But, you can see a finished gown and read a review of the hospital gown pattern here on the Pattern Review website.

The gown pattern has been profiled a couple of time in Sew News Magazine – a big ‘Thank You’ to Janet Klaer and all of the Lazies at Sew News for sharing this project with their readers.

Variations – Turn the gown around, use the the back as the front, add a belt, leave off the Velcro and buttons to make a simple cotton robe for your mammogram visit. Crop the pattern at the waist and lengthen the sleeves for a bed jacket.

I hear stories from people who have used the pattern and tell me how it has touched their lives or the lives of their loved ones. I invite you to share your story with us here or email me privately.

We are working on a gown pattern in children’s sizes. It should be available in the next few weeks. I’ll post another announcement when it’s ready.

So, this is a happy anniversary for me. Susie is doing great. I met her about a year after the pattern was completed. She is truly one of the loveliest people I have ever been fortunate to know and now call a friend.

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8 Responses to “A Special Anniversary – Our Free Hospital Gown Pattern Is Two Years Old Today”

  1. Betty Bishop — March 19, 2007 @ 10:41 am

    I turned on my computer this morning and there was an email from you. I was delighted to get it. In the last l2 days I have come to look forward to your email and the new pattern. Thanks.

  2. Cecile — March 19, 2007 @ 10:46 am

    Thanks for sharing Susie’s story. I knew about the hospital gown pattern, but had not heard the story that goes with it. And as for you being as “pliable as conditioned polymer clay,” wherever did you come up with that simile?
    Cecile
    - – - – -
    Hi Cecile,
    Well, as for my polymer clay comment – I know I am a softy and a push-over, but I am a little more solid than Play-Doh. Conditioned polymer clay seemed like the right amount of ‘softy’ to me. I credit you and Carol Duvall for my knowing what that is.
    Joan

  3. Bev Q — October 1, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

    Hello!
    Thanks for the hospital gown pattern. I have posted a link to it from my HOSPITAL page at bevscountrycottage.com

    I know many seamstresses will be making these to help out friends, and hospitals, because of your generosity!

    Thank you again
    Bev Qualheim
    http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/hospital.html

  4. David A — December 27, 2007 @ 11:56 am

    Hi Joan, I found your hospital gown pattern in an Internet search–maybe you could help me find what I want for my friend entering weeks of radiation treatment soon. I would like a gown that is filled with brightness and life and celebrates our gratitude for our daily life; and, of course, it would have to be free of snaps or other metals and otherwise not interfere with irridation treatments. I suppose I am asking for a style, pattern, gaity of print, crazy color combination, richness of fabric or other description–maybe you could help me with an over-the-top design that would add to her spirit and have the other patients in the radiology lab envious of my friend. thanks, David

  5. Racheal W in Donaldsonville, LA Says: — June 22, 2008 @ 1:13 am

    Hello Joan, Thank you so much for sharing your hospital gown pattern online….. I care for my elderly mother in law who lives with me. Today the aid and I could hardly get her night shirt off due to stiffness for her bath. I had to go to plan B… I looked online and found your pattern, printed it out and made her a gown that meets her needs. My mother in law is confined to her bed and I am confined to my house for her care. It is Wonderful to have this pattern at my fingertips. Thanks again for helping to meet our needs at this time.
    Racheal in Donaldsonville, LA

  6. Desiree — March 31, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    I am so excited to see this pattern, I am going to make my daughter some. We still use hospital gown at home since she is wheelchair bound and in bed they are easier to take off and on but they are drafty and I think these will work great. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Betty — April 27, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    I love the thought of making my own hospital gowns, I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and have under gone surgery a few times, I have another coming up soon. The Dr said it will be at least a week in the hospital. This will be perfect…. I think I am going to make my own and take with me, they will definately be a lot more cheerful.

  8. karen payne — May 10, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

    I would like to know if your hospital gown pattern is one the has shoulder snaps. Thank you!