The Electron Layette is so named because it’s a current take on a baby layette – modern, full of personality, and gender-neutral. It includes easy-to-sew patterns for harem pants, drool bib, hat, and sweatshirt in newborn through 2 year sizes.
Drop-crotch (or harem) pants are easy to fit and easy to sew. They’ve got plenty of room for baby to walk and crawl and wiggle around. Trust me, I can vouch for this one personally. Evelyn is just figuring out how to crawl and the little wiggler won’t hold still! The pants also fit nicely over both disposable and cloth diapers. We cloth diaper Evie and you can see in these photos that she’s got plenty of room to wear the pants comfortably over her big cloth diaper. I went up a size for the purple pants pictured here so she has room to grow but you can also choose a size smaller and get a more fitted, less droopy pant (like the grey pants below).
The cardigan sweatshirt has little pockets for little hands (or just a little decoration) and makes an outer layer that’s easy to pair with any outfit. They’re great over everything from onesies to dresses.
The drool bib can be sewn from a knit or a woven and includes instructions for a waterproof lining so that it adds personality and function to the layette.
The hat is a tightly fitted beanie-style hat with a knot on top for just a bit of interest. Sewn from knits with stretch, it’s a great lightweight hat that adds just a bit of extra warmth. Evelyn wears hers inside, especially in chillier areas of our drafty old house. It’s also great as an under-layer – we put it on under larger knit hats or hoods when we go out in the freezing cold winter.
The patterns are meant to be accessible to all levels of sewists. If you’re experienced, you can crank out a whole layette in an afternoon. (Yay for a fun and easy baby gift!) If you’re beginner sewist, you’ll appreciate having your hand held with fully illustrated step-by-step instructions. I’m putting together a sew-along that will give a photographic step-by-step, some video content, and a bunch of extra helpful information if you feel like you want just a bit more help.
“You’re not switching to just baby patterns, are you?” you might be asking. The answer is a resounding, “No”, so don’t worry. Women’s clothing is my biggest passion (I’m a selfish sewist at heart). As I was getting back into the swing of work post-maternity leave, I was getting frustrated trying on muslins of the women’s garments I have in the pipeline as my body was unfamiliar and changing rapidly post-baby. I was having fun sewing things for my daughter and decided to focus on a baby pattern for a palette cleanser. I’m back to working on women’s garments now and I’m excited about what I have coming up for me (and hopefully you!) to wear! I will probably produce some more baby clothes in the future as I find it fun to sew for my munchkin (and it sure is a good way to use up small bits of fabric) but I will continue to focus on women’s garments for Every Day Dress Up.
Speaking of using up small bits of fabric, that’s exactly what I did for these layette samples. The purple pants and hat are the last of the fabric I used to sew my bridesmaid’s dresses. The pink bib is leftover from my southwest eyeblinder sundress. The sweatshirt is leftover from my jasper sweater sweatshirt. The red bib and hat were leftover from my Bowie tribute outfit. Finally, the floral pants were recycled from a maternity skirt.
“Wait, explain the name again,” you’re saying? Okay. You see, I really struggled with the name on this one. I usually have a working name for my patterns as I develop them (like twist swimsuit, shingle skirt, or messenger bag – simple ways for me to organize files, but not what I want their final name to be). The working title for this pattern was the hipster baby layette. But I know that “Hipster” is a pretty polarizing term and I wasn’t sold on it as the name – I just needed something to call the pattern while I worked on it. So I asked my mailing list for help. I asked what they thought of “Hipster” and a couple of variants – “Hip” and “Indie”. I found it surprising that the opinions on all three were pretty equal but I wasn’t surprised that none were smashing successes.
I’ve used a scientific bent to name my other patterns (I am a scientist after all) so I also asked about a science-inspired name for the pattern. Volpes – the fox genus – as foxes are both trendy and timeless. Folks like the name more than the other options, but it just wasn’t getting me excited. I kept brainstorming and trying to come up with something scientific that represented “modern” as what makes this layette unique is that it’s a modern take on an old fashioned idea. Well, “modern” wasn’t getting me anywhere but as soon I started brainstorming around synonyms I hit on current and got so excited I went running upstairs and burst into the kitchen to tell Adam “Electron!” He looked at me confusedly… “Current is a flow of electrons! My layette! It’s current! The Electron Layette!” :)