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Sewing for babies

February 15, 2012

Oh, sewing for babies – especially for the ones who haven’t even been born yet – is so rewarding. You can imagine how cute they’ll look in the outfit you’ve made, marvel over how tiny the little shoes are compared to your 7/5/2/[insert your child’s age] year old’s enormous feet, gloss over the fact that the clothes will soon be spit up upon, become covered in applesauce, or fall victim to one-too many diaper blowouts. You can hold the tiny clothes up, make them shimmy around like there are ants in those pants, and say to your husband “Aren’t these so freaking cute? REALLY. I mean seriously! So. Cute!” over and over and over again while he stares at you like a crazy person. Oh wait, that’s just me.

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It had been a while since I sewed anything for a baby, so I was delighted to start this project for a little one who will soon be entering the world. I didn’t have a particular project in mind so, inspired by Rae’s Kniterview series last month, I started with a simple knit top. I used the shirt pattern from the Little One Layette Set by Fishsticks Designs to whip this up. I’d made a few before and really like the pattern (though I have had some issues with figuring out where to pin the ends of the shoulder binding to the body fabric, resulting in a little more puckering at the arm seams than I would have liked… Anyone else have this problem?). The fabric is a knit from JoAnn that I got ages ago because it was in the clearance aisle and on crazy good sale. The rib knit for the binding and wrists was also something I had on hand from JoAnn – I don’t know that I would have paired the two together except for the fact that it was what I had here, but I ended up really liking the combination.

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Once that was done, I remembered a pattern for Robeez-style cloth shoes that I had come across online forever ago and decided to give those a shot. I had made one shoe before and then got bored (my fault, not the pattern’s… it’s a nasty habit I have and the main reason that I no longer knit socks), so I had the leather for the soles already. (It was tricky to find, but it’s sold in small squares in the craft – not sewing – section at JoAnn). I wanted them to coordinate with the shirt, so I ironed some medium-weight interfacing onto the knit fabrics and then treated them like plain old woven. This worked well, though my new sewing machine struggled mightily with so many layers of knits/interfacing/leather toward the end. I think that next time I would only put interfacing on the top (flowered, in the picture above) piece of fabric, not the heel piece, and definitely use my old workhorse sewing machine instead of my computerized one.

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After that, it was clear that a pair of pants was in order. I used the pattern from the Little One Layette set and the most difficult part was realizing that I didn’t have any elastic that was the correct size… but a quick stop at my nearby local sewing studio/school remedied that. Easy peasy.

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And here’s the whole outfit. Super cute, no? I can’t wait to meet the baby who will wear it!

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