Today I booked a flight to Boston for a long weekend in May. I'll be visiting my new baby niece, Violet, who is four weeks and a day old as of today, so I'll get to meet her when she's two months old. I can't wait.
This baby girl already has several aunts on her mother's side, but I'm the only one on this side of the family, so it's my job to dote. And dote I shall. I already knit some things I gave my brother and SIL at Christmas time (see this post to refresh your memory!). My parents were visiting us here in Madison when we got the call that V had made her way into the world, so my mom and I put together a care package for them with cookies and soup mix, and I also knit a hat that I'm sure is way too big, but should fit in the fall.
But now that spring seems to have arrived (I say this with caution, because even though it felt like summer today, it was still snowing last week), my craft of choice is sewing. I've got enough planned sewing projects to last me 'til Christmas, but at the moment I just want to make All The Outfits for this baby girl.
What is it about sewing for babies that I find so irresistible? That they're too young to express opinions about what clothes they're wearing? That everything is so little and cute? That a piece of fabric leftover from another project is enough for a whole outfit because the human who will wear it is smaller than a house cat? That I'm making up for when my own kids were babies and I was far too busy and overwhelmed with new motherhood to sew for them and now I'm making up for lost time?
I'm thinking it's probably all of the above, at least to some extent.
Anyway, now that this post is a few pictures in already, I'll share some details. I bought the Lullaby Layette pattern from Oliver&S and I've made three things from it so far, the first being this purple onesie.
I did French seams throughout except for attaching the sleeves. As you can see, I love my new baby niece, but apparently not enough to change serger thread for sleeve attachment purposes.
I also have some things to learn about installing snaps. I bought the snap setter tool from Oliver&S and even after practicing on scrap fabric, I still screwed up a lot on the actual project. Despite double and triple checking, I put on a whole row of them upside down on the purple onesie and had to pry out a couple of them with my teeth (my parents were horrified when I told them. Mom and Dad, MY TEETH ARE FINE.)
I didn't get the snaps lined up perfectly, either. But it's in the crotch so the first time it's covered with a diaper blowout I don't think anyone will say "tsk tsk! those snaps don't line up quite right, now do they?"
On the next little onesie I made - this time using double gauze by Cloud 9 Fabrics leftover from another project I will blog about once I have photos - went much faster than the first one. I was still scratching my head over the placket, though, and if you look really closely at the finished object, the pleat there is a little messy.
For this one, I eliminated the sleeves completely and just put a bias edging around the armholes. I love the feel of double gauze, but it does fray something fierce, and I didn't want to deal with hemming those tiny sleeves with such delicate fabric. The gray fabric I used for the bias edging is quilting cotton, so it's more stable and easy to work with.
As you can see, I didn't learn my lesson about the snaps with the first project. These are totally backwards. I didn't want to pry these out, not because I'm worried about my teeth (MY TEETH ARE FINE) but because I knew the fabric wouldn't survive the procedure.
Three's the charm, right? This last set is a little different. The fabric I used for the top was leftover from a dress I made for Anya when she was 2? or 3? or 4? (I thought I blogged it but I can't find a post in the archives) - anyway, it was a long time ago, back when she tolerated wearing dresses. There wasn't quite enough for the whole onesie, so I made the shirt version and dug up some knit fabric for a matching pair of shorts.
The shorts are a pattern from Brindille and Twig (cuff shorts, found here). This was the first time I'd bought a pattern from there. They do have quite the selection, and these went together pretty fast, but I wouldn't recommend them for someone new to sewing. My main complaint is that when you print out the pattern from the PDF, it's really hard to tell how the pages fit together, and then on top of that, it's really hard to tell which lines to trace for each size. Also the instructions are for using a serger, and I don't use mine for knits (I'm scared to!), so I just used the stretch stitch with a 1/4" seam instead. This actually came back to bite me in the bum when I accidentally sewed the waistband onto the leg cuff and had to spend 45 minutes picking it out with a seam ripper. That stretch stitch is practically indestructible.
In any case, the shorts turned out really cute in the end, I used up more scrap fabric, and I am especially pleased with how well they match the top.
These three outfits are the 3-6 month size, and should fit Violet over the summer.
The funny thing is, I have a whole pile of fabric I bought brand new just for this baby when we found out she was a girl, but I can't bring myself to cut it up just yet. It's fun finding bits and pieces from other projects, and those new fabrics are big enough cuts they can even wait until next year when she's a toddler (hard to imagine right now).