A bunch of baby clothes has a nice alliteration to it, but it seems that the proper term for “lots of baby clothes” must be a mess, since that’s what they are all going to turn into once they actually get worn! I started working on this pile of baby clothes during my first trimester. Since it’s been a crummy pregnancy the whole way through, it took me weeks to cut out the clothes and then months to get them sewn. But that’s okay. Each bit of sewing stemmed from a small burst of energy, and I was able to pour that energy into tangible bits of love and excitement for baby’s arrival. I made a range of sizes from newborn to 9 months so that she doesn’t outgrow my work all at once and used a pile of different patterns as well, including several vintage patterns. All the fabrics came from my stash and most from the scrap bin.
Since baby girl is growing up in the Pacific Northwest, clearly the most important garment to fit into her wardrobe is a plaid flannel shirt. This fabric was from a very failed attempt at sewing Adam a surprise flannel shirt as a gift last year. The fit was off and not salvageable (grumble), so I was pretty happy to cut it up into something that baby will use and enjoy. I’ve got to make Adam a successful flannel shirt before baby fits into this so we can be a happy flannel family, since I have my favorite plaid flannel shirt. I used Simplicity 7807 from 1997 and drafted a collar in place of the jacket hood. The fleece romper from this pattern has been a go-to baby gift since I bought the pattern in 1997 and I’ll definitely be making one for baby girl by the time winter rolls around.
I think this little rainbow romper is my favorite make from the lot. It’s so darn cute and happy!!! The straps are quite a bit longer than the buttons so they can adjust, though I did sew the buttons down so that the romper would be finished. I sewed snap tape into the crotch since I knew that I wouldn’t be able to set in individual snaps through the thickness of the elastic on the edge. I bought the fabric at the thrift store and didn’t realize when I bought it that it had already been cut into placemat-size pieces, so it went straight to the scrap bin. I’m glad I hung onto it and found a use for it, because zomg this is cute! The pattern is simplicity 5469 from 1982.
This sleeper probably wins most sentimental garment in the lot. I used McCalls 9331 from 1984. It was my mom’s pattern and she sewed me the same sleeper when I was a baby and helped me to sew this very sleeper. The fabric is a lightweight cotton that was my grandmother’s (my dad’s mom). She and my grandpa were enthusiastic sailors and one of my favorite memories of time with them as a kid was being out on the Shearwater (their sailboat) and sailing into the middle of a pod of orcas! The nautical print on this cotton reminds me that :)
My mom spent an afternoon helping me sew for baby (several months ago now) and along with the aforementioned sleeper, she sewed the two wrap shirts on the right from Stretch & Sew 824 from 1985. We decided the red pinstripe is baby’s baseball watching shirt (which makes her G-Pa Steve happy as he whispers to my belly “throw right, bat left” every time he sees me). The orange top was made from scraps from my Ph.D. dress (it was the piping). The kimono style sweatshirt was from scraps from my professorial raglan sweatshirt which I have worn quite regularly throughout this pregnancy as it looks nice unbuttoned. I added a little brontosaurus patch to the sweatshirt as I love dinosaurs (my favorite dress ever being my dinosaur dress). In fact, I’ve been stockpiling thrift store baby clothes of various sizes with dinosaurs on them :)
I used the same Stretch & Sew pattern to make a selection of basic t-shirts. The purple was scraps from the dresses I sewed for my bridesmaids. The white was from a failed early draft of the Conifer Skirt and the bright print was from a Conifer Skirt sample I made for the Conifer Skirt Sewalong (that I’ve been wearing throughout pregnancy – nice to find that it’s a maternity friendly pattern!). The blue backs of the print tee and the stripe tee were scraps from a conifer skirt sample I used for the pattern photoshoot. The stripes are scraps from my plaintain maxi dress hack that due to the the super-stretchy nature of the fabric and the empire waist, I’ve worn throughout most of my pregnancy as well.
Since baby needs to wear something on her bottom half as well, I sewed a few pairs of pants from Simplicity 2291. The denim was from my high waist light denim jeans. I love how the addition of a tiny bit of topstitching makes them look like jeans! The sporty shorts material was leftover from a soccer jersey to bike jersey hack and the orange was from a friend’s gifted stash – I got rid of most of the scrap size bits of fabric that she gave me, but I couldn’t resist hanging onto this cheery print and I’m glad I didn’t.
I used the same Simplicity 2291 to sew a couple of onesies. The purple is again from my bridesmaids’ dresses and the gold stripe is from a long sleeve t-shirt. I installed individual snaps on the neckline and at the crotch since I thought it was easier than sewing in snap tape.
Finally, a sleeper and a jumpsuit from vintage Kwik Sew 243 from 1972. I added a patch pocket with decorative patch to the jumper (again from scraps from my raglan sleeve sweatshirt) and installed snap tape along the leg inseam which wasn’t in the original pattern, but having changed a fair number of diapers before, I figured it would be a helpful addition. The sleeper is again from scraps of my plaintain maxi dress hack. There aren’t any openings on the legs, but the zipper goes all the way down the front and half way up the back – time will tell how functional that construction actually is.
I’m so excited to have a pile of clothes for baby and very much looking forward to sewing more for her after she arrives when all I’m dealing with is severe sleep deprivation :) Do you have any favorites from this stack? Or any suggestions about what I should sew next time?