Thursday, February 25, 2016

Baby Clothes Round 1

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Last year when I was pregnant with baby H, I spent most of my time sewing maternity clothes (have you seen the cost of a maternity tshirt?). It got pretty boring. I hated spending time on things with such a short lifespan. So for this pregnancy, I'm sewing baby clothes, which...also have a short lifespan! Especially since this is (ohpleaseGod) my last baby. But c'mon, cute cuddly tiny clothes? Way more fun!

Pro tip: if you're going to sew for baby, do it in the second trimester. This is the "golden age" of pregnancy (if there is one) when you're not barfing all the time and not too big to sit at a table and sew. I've had tons of fun picking fabrics and patterns and making a mini wardrobe for baby #3 whose gender will remain a surprise; not just to you, but to me as well.

Here are all the fabrics I selected. I realize the sheep don't really "go" with the others but they were too cute to pass up (more on wool later). These are primarily Birch interlocks ordered from AACottonCreations on Etsy, though there is some cotton/spandex thrown in as well. As you can see, I'm going with a green/orange/navy/teal color scheme, which sounds kind of crazy but I think it works. My inspiration fabric was this "bubble rings" knit. It might be hard to tell, but the darkest color is navy.

These interlocks can be pricey, especially when you consider that they're only 44"/45" wide (whyyyyyyyy?!). I decided to order half yards to keep my costs low, after calculating that I could make a short-sleeved 3 month sized top with that much yardage if it didn't shrink too much. For reference, they shrunk about 1-2". I ordered a full yard of the bubble rings because I liked it so much!

I made primarily tops, not onesies or rompers. I plan to continue with cloth diapers, and my newest obsession, wool covers/pants. Wool used for diapering is expensive but high quality (and doubles as pants/bloomers), so you have to choose your colors carefully since you don't have tons of them. I made sure to sew tops that would work with most of my wool pieces.

I plan on adding a green piece and also one in an orangey tone like the color on the bubble rings knit.

These three tops were the quickest and easiest. The tank top (I'm due in July) was made from the Peek-a-Boo Patterns Summer PJs pattern. It's a 3 month size, but since this pattern is PJs it runs very small/close-fitting and will probably fit a newborn (well, one of my newborns anyway, who have consistently been in the mid-8lb range). The primary fabric is here. The orange trim was in my stash, a cotton/spandex from Girl Charlee I believe. I did alter the pattern to bind the neckline and armholes instead of using a band.

The two tees were made from the Lullaby Line Lap Tee/Bodysuit, also from PABP and also in a 3 month size. The elephants were leftover from my review with Organic Cotton Plus, and the safari animals on cream are here. Again, trims were from my stash. A lap tee is a lot easier than you think, and Amy's patterns (plus a serger and coverstitch!) make quick work.

I noticed that my choices were starting to skew a bit boyish, so to remedy that situation I whipped up some matching headbands, in case I have another girl. I found a free pattern/tutorial on Pinterest (there are a gazillion, find my faves on this board). These were also really easy as long as I remembered to size up (giant baby heads!) and to use a zig-zag stitch, since I couldn't use my serger around those tiny curves.

To make the most of my limited yardage, I did have to piece together the backs of two of these tops. I also plan to use all my scraps and appliqué them onto solid colored RTW onesies. The local kid's resale shop sells onesies 10 for $10, so for not much money I can practically double my newbie's wardrobe of customized clothing. Did I mention I sold/donated all my newborn clothes from my previous two kids? Whoops.

These are just a few of the items I've made so far! I did have to stop and take a break when my 4 year old told me I was making too many baby clothes, so I spread the love around and made my other kids some things too. I'm enjoying this hiatus from fitting myself and making preggo clothes for me. It's more enjoyable making kid's clothing when I have more than one child, since I know the bigger things will be passed down even if they're outgrown quickly.

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  1. I'm not familiar with the wool diaper things. Are they actual diapers, or covers? Do you buy them or make them? Does anyone use "rubber pants" anymore? So much has changed in the 30 years since my children were babies.

    1. Wool is used as the cover. You can soak the whole piece in a lanolin mixture and it makes wool basically waterproof. You can upcycle wool sweaters and make covers (as long as it's not the super processed washable stuff) or pay $$ for machine knit pants/covers specifically for diapering, which is what I've done :P You can also use wool interlock (the two teal covers in my photo are interlock) and those can be washed in the machine. Knits have to be handwashed.

      I don't think anyone is using rubber pants anymore haha, the majority of people use covers made from PUL, which is waterproof. It's far less expensive than wool and easy to care for (can be washed with your diapers) but wool is so cozy! Plus it's a natural fiber and both warm and cool. I'm obsessed haha.

    2. I just saw this, thank you for the explanation - things HAVE changed!
      Being able to upcycle a sweater is way cool, so to do that, you would have to felt it first, I wonder? This is quite interesting.

  2. I love cloth diapering, too! We do pockets, though, and it is sometimes hard to find pants that fit my daughter. I make some of them, and we size up for some of them. Your baby clothes look beautiful! I hope I make more time to sew with my next baby.

    1. For sure I always size up! But I find it's almost easier to make my own pants, or just go with wool pants over a fitted.

  3. You have done great work and utilize your pregnancy time great. I can understand the effort since I also offer Personalised Baby Clothes service. Very well time utilized.


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