Tag Archives: baby clothes

Another little thing.

It seems to be the season, or perhaps I’ve just reached a certain age. Anyway, I had to make another baby thing. For those of you keeping track, that brings my total of baby clothes ever made up to three items, two of them in the last two weeks.

I had a baby shower to go to. It was Epona’s. Some of you may have picked up on the fact that she’s, well, a bit of a cowgirl (the bit where she wore cowboy boots with her wedding dress might’ve given it away). I try not to hold it against her. So, of course, I had to make something that no one else would possibly give her.

I made baby chaps.

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Yup. I went there.

After I had thought of the idea, I went to the googles and found this tutorial, which was enough to get me started, anyway.

baby chaps diagram

baby chaps diagram

I started with a baby pants pattern, since I didn’t have a pair of baby pants handy. It got me in the right scale ballpark, anyway (since obviously I no longer have any idea what size babies are, see my last post for evidence.) I wanted an outseam so I could add fringe to it; in hindsight I could’ve made the inseam on the fold and saved myself, oh, six inches or so of sewing. Anyway.

I chose for my fabric this browns stretch velour a friend of my mother’s gave me because she didn’t know what to do with it. Obviously I didn’t know either, as I’ve been sitting on it for a couple of years now, but it’s soft and cozy and the colour was reasonable for leather, so I think it may have found its true calling, presuming I need to make about fifty pairs of baby chaps. I made each leg lined, so they’re fuzzy on the inside, too. I used my new walking foot from Sew Classic, and while I didn’t do comparison samples without, it did a very nice job of feeding all the layers together, straining only little when I had four layers stacked to sew the outseams.  I stitched the outseams so that the extra-wide seam allowance was on the outside, and then went to town snipping little fringes. They’re super cute now, although I won’t vouch for how they’ll hold up in the wash. Then I added the band at the top, with elastic (hopefully about the right size for a baby waist, I have no frickin’ clue at this point.), and made a belt buckle out of some silver lining left over from this vest. For the belt-buckle, I followed Sew A Straight Line’s tutorial pretty much exactly.

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Baby big-ass belt buckle.

Then I sewed it on backwards. That is supposed to be a Z, not an angular S. And my latent dyslexia kicked in, so I didn’t even realize it until looking at photos after. Just shoot me now.

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With fringe.

I actually thought the fringe turned out really well; I was not at all sure it would, and they looked pretty lame before I snipped it, but I think it worked great, maybe because there were four layers of fabric to snip.

Anyway, I think they went over well. There were plenty of onesies and blankies and even a full-blown diaper cake, but there was definitely only one pair of baby chaps.

Although, I have a sinking feeling I should probably get started on the next size up…

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A Very Small Jacket

In the spirit of “How much more shit can I possibly cram in,” I made a baby jacket.

Let’s back up a bit. Last winter my bestie, Ada, recipient of the gift Ruby Slip, had a baby girl. In the spring, Ada and her husband came back to Saskabush to spend six months of their parental leave around family. YAY! And I spent most of the last six months thinking that really I ought to make something for this adorable baby who is lucky enough to have one of the most wonderful people in the entire world for a mother. Of course, in my typical procrastinaty way, I didn’t make anything. I even missed my window of opportunity to make this pattern last summer:

Simplicity 3243 – Opportunity Lost

I know, pretty unforgivable. I had fabric picked out and everything.

Alas, like all good things, this idyll must come to an end. Ada and family are headed back to the balmy west coast, and I probably won’t see baby Q (and her delicious pudgy rolls) until after she’s walking. Maybe talking. Stupid distance.

Style 2170

So I got it into my head, a week ago, to finally make up Style 2170, the un-numbered coat version. I traced it out, which would’ve been incredibly easy except for some reason the envelope designers didn’t give that view a number, and while the individual pieces were marked “Coat,” the pattern overview really wasn’t very clear about which pieces were which. I ransacked the stash a bit for coating (something I am well supplied with), Kasha lining (mmmm, Kasha), and finally settled on a flannel I could sacrifice for underlining. Although it has pink teddy bears. We’ll come back to that.

Coat

Coat

Did you notice this pattern, too, is for a six month old? Yeah, real bright, Tanit. Q is nine months. She’s not exactly a wispy, waifly nine-month-old, either (see above about the rolls.) So I have a sinking feeling that this coat will probably fit for about a minute and a half. Ah, well. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Don’t answer that.

Collar. Perfect button.

Collar. Perfect button.

I had hoped for two buttons for the closure (as per the drawing) but couldn’t find any pairs in stash that worked as well as this one perfect purple button. You can see I made no adjustments for turn of cloth when stitching the collar. I only had one afternoon to construct the whole thing, I wasn’t really thinking about fine tailoring.

Fold-over facings

Fold-over facings

The front and front yoke both have fold-over, cut on facings; this made for some nifty construction I don’t think I can explain without long diagrams, but was a pain in the butt when it came to adding the lining, since the original pattern wasn’t lined and when I went to sew in the sleeves, well, the front and back yoke were all sewn to each other. There was some seam-ripping and pouting. I wound up stitching the lining sleeve to the lining body by hand; technically it could’ve been done by machine, but the space was so small and fiddly. Baby clothes are pretty annoying that way, aren’t they? There was a fair bit of ease in the sleeve cap, as you can see; I didn’t really notice with the shell fabric, which eased gloriously.

Quilting for Q

Quilting for Q

I got it into my head, during the gap between cutting and actually sewing it up on Sunday, that I should quilt the back yoke. The thought process actually went: I want flannel interlining. Interlining is sometimes quilted to the linings. Think of those gorgeous quilted petticoats you like so much. I could totally do something like that! I should quilt a “Q” onto the back yoke! Then I tried to add a bunch of curly, floral bits. I’m not good at either quilting or embroidery, so I don’t think my results are terribly legible or lovely but, well, there is a Q there if you look closely. There are also some pink smudges, because when I washed the piece to get the little purple tracing-paper dots off, it appears the pink bears on the backing flannel bled. Aargh.

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Lining and facings

I used featherstitch topstitching to attach the facing to the front lining.

Hem and seam (un)finishing

The guts.

Here you can see those darn pink bears. This flannel had been pre-washed at lest twice, and it still bled. WTF? I cut the flannel 2 cm shorter than the lining, and then sewed the hems together (which took a lot of easing on a flared coat like this) and managed to sort-of get it to lie nicely once it was turned around. My coating fabric was really fray-prone, so I blockfused it to a knit interfacing , which made it lovely to work with, but I probably still should’ve serged the raw edges. I was assuming this was a poly coating, but maybe there’s some rayon or even wool in there; it sure pressed and eased beautifully. I love coating. I found a lavender lace hem tape in stash to cover my hem, though I picked a darker purple thread to sew it on, which doesn’t look terribly nice. It’s very tidy, though, at least.

that bit

that bit

I backed the purple button on the outside with this clear, boring button on the inside. I was looking for a cute purple one, but couldn’t find one that was small and flat enough.

Back view. Very boring.

Back view. Very boring.

I kind of wish I would’ve piped the lower yoke seam, as it’s a pretty feature and hardly shows. Or maybe I should’ve done the back yoke on the bias. Ah, well. What’s done is done.

Bonnet. Fail.

Bonnet. Fail.

As you may have noticed, the pattern included an adorable bonnet. I was pretty excited about this, until I got it to this point, and looked at it, and realized that it was highly unlikely to actually fit, or cover anything enough to keep it warm if it did. So it went to the bottom of the queue and didn’t get finished. It would’ve been lovely, though.

Bonnet insides.

Bonnet insides.

Don’t you love my featherstitch understitching?

I have to say, much as I don’t love making baby clothes (they have such funny squooshy bodies, regular clothes really don’t make much sense, and they grow too quickly), I sure do love making coats. I love working with the heavy fabrics, I love the way they ease and press and even the fiddly things like turn of cloth. This was a pleasure to make just for how the fabrics handled, and it was so much quicker than a full-sized coat would’ve been.

Edited to add:

It fits! It fits it fits it fits! I added an inch to the sleeves when I made it, and they are a little long, and the shoulders are still a little wide as well. Silly over-sized baby clothes. The sleeves aren’t particularly wide, especially for chubby baby arms, but she’ll be able to wear it for a bit, anyway (and she’ll get a lot more wear out of it in warm Vancouver than she would here, that’s for sure.)

Also, Ada has promised pictures of the jacket being worn in its natural habitat. 🙂

Also, I’m apparently going to a baby shower on Sunday. Which means I may have to make more baby clothes. /sigh.

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Not my best work

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Deets

Every time, in the last little while, a friend or colleague has a baby, I think that I should make said baby a homemade gift. I’ve even bought several baby patterns with such things in mind. But so far, every time my own slackitude has won out, and I haven’t gotten around to it.

Well, this piece has, perhaps, made it clear to me why not doing so wasn’t such a bad idea.

This is a present for a little boy born last winter who’s technically my husband’s cousin (or is there such a thing as half cousin?). So this is really a lot of firsts for me—first baby sewing, first little boy sewing. Except, peeps, it’s jeans. I’ve made umpteen however many at this point. Oh yeah, first deep cargo pockets. Joy of 21 Wale did a nice cargo-pocket tutorial a while back that I totally would’ve re-read and applied if I’d had a bit more time, organization, or motivation.

Anyway, details.

This is another pattern from the excellent kids’ issue of Patrones magazine Her Selfishness bestowed upon me lo these many moons ago. Previous makes include this vest and these capris for Tyo. Anyway, there aren’t a whole lot of baby patterns in the magazine, but I did like the idea of the little cargo jeans at the back. I did decide to forego the gathered ankle, and as a result opted to square off the rest of the leg, which was drafted to taper. It has some cute details like the cargo-pockets, and a mid-leg horizontal seam that would let me use up some teeny scraps of denim that have been languishing in the not-quite-scrap pile for… well, since I made my first pair of jeans, frankly.

The pattern came in three sizes, 3 months, 9 months, and 18 months. Since the baby is currently about five months and (last I checked) a rather large specimen, I opted for the 9 months.

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Syo, modeling.

Um, yes, this photo is Syo modeling said jeans. That would be my almost-nine-year-old, wearing the jeans for a nine MONTH old. I mean, there’s ease (and diapers ease) and then there’s ease. The top of the pattern is basically rectangular, relying entirely on the gathered waistband for shape. Considering that they actually fit OK in crotch depth, I’m suspecting there would be plenty of ease even for cloth diapers. (And you’ll have to forgive the crappy late-night flash photos. The fact that it was dark when I finished them should tell you everything you need to know, considering we’re only a few weeks from the longest day of the year.

Er, yeah, they’re a bit roomy. Maybe he’ll get to wear them next summer…

They would’ve been quite fun if I wasn’t on such a tight timeline to get them finished for this weekend. I used two different kinds of denim, plus some grey

Side view

stretch linen for the detailing, and remembered to add some nice touches like flat piping along the side-seams and random patches and flaps here and there. I even managed to attach the snaps on the  cargo pockets without totally mangling them. (I find snaps stressful.) I did a LOT of reinforcing with soft interfacing, in the hopes of avoiding blowing my topstitching, Some of this was useful, some was overkill, and some just caused its own set of problems. A lightweight knit interfacing would’ve been better, but the only nice knit interfacing I have around here is soft but fairly bulky, which I also didn’t want. In hind-sight, I should’ve done the waistband (which is designed as one piece) with a separate facing in the linen. It’s so nice and soft, whereas the denim I used on the waistband is fairly harsh. Though it does soften fairly nicely with wear.

I added studs, but because I didn’t want any metal against sensitive baby (or, as it will be by the time they fit, toddler) skin, I inserted them just in the outer layer of the pocket, before sewing the pockets together. Strictly decorative. I also used a my usual adjustable-buttonhole-elastic in the waistband, rather than doing a stitched-down elastic waistband as the pattern suggested.

All in all, they were fun, I just wish I’d been less rushed—I would’ve been able to enjoy the process more, not to mention taking more time to screw up less (and fix what I screwed up more.) If jeans are all about the precise details, well, these have plenty of detail, not so much precision.

Ah well. They’re done, and gifted, and the mom and I had a nice chat about how she loves the idea of sewing, and the amazingness of Pow-Wow costumes, and geez if I had a nickel for every time someone says to me “I’d love to learn to sew BUT”…

Ah. well. Done. And I can get back to sewing for MEEEEEE.

As soon as I have the energy to do more than stare at a screen, anyway.

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