Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo
I really love the Charley Harper prints that Birch has put out in the past year. This vireo print is one of my favorites, and I was really excited when it ended up on knits as well as quilting cotton! This is the second thing I’ve sewn with the Birch knits, and I really like the quality of these knits a LOT; they hold up well, have a nice (medium) weight, and the perfect amount of stretch for clothing. One thing I learned the hard way is that they do shrink quite a bit in the wash, so my usual 1 wash / 1 dry prep for fabric didn’t work as well; the Flashback dress I made for Clementine shrunk even more in the wash after it was sewn and now is more of a 3/4 length on her sleeves and tunic rather than dress length…oops! Totally my fault, but I would recommend washing and drying these at least twice if possible before making something.

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo
Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

The pattern…hmm. I’m almost 100% sure that a pattern exists for this exact style, but honestly I just traced a pair of knit leggings he already had in a smaller size and added a little width and length to make them bigger. The final fit was trial and error (read: me wrestling them on him during a diaper change, then trimming off the seams with the serger after he went to bed, then repeat again the next day) and it took a bit more tinkering than I would have liked, but they look really cute now so I’m happy with them. But all that to say: life is usually easier when you just use a pattern. I could learn to take my own advice a little more in this department rather than going rogue all the time; it just saves so much time when someone else has done the work for me, and I’m realizing more and more how much my time is really worth.

image

I guess that brings up a good issue in general that I still struggle with when it comes to sewing: how to decide what to sew when time is so limited? I remember when I first realized that I could sew ANYTHING in that classic world-is-my-oyster kind of way; there was something so freeing and awesome about being able to sew anything I set my mind to. But inevitably the project list became overwhelming and unrealistic, and I’ve had to pare it down and really choose more carefully what I want to sew, especially because kids outgrow things so quickly. So while I’m still pretty spontaneous slash irresponsible about what I choose to make, I definitely try to weigh how much something will get worn or used against the amount of time it would take to make it, and then considering whether it might just be better to buy it and weighing that against the question of whether a child in Malaysia might have sewn it up for me…OK, I digress, but you get the point. In this case, the leggings will probably get a few months of wear, but considering how cute they look, it was totally worth it.

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

 

Small World baby pants

Array

Array

Array

Though I have tons of ideas for things I want to sew with my Small World corduroy, the first thing to make it out of the gate was a pile of baby pants. Specifically, Big Butt Baby Pants. For most of Hugo’s life he’s been wearing these flannel ones and these (he’s just growing out of those ones now), so I started with a couple 12-18 month ones (the yellow and blue and pink) and then made a few 18-24 month ones (the balloons and apples) and then moved on to a 2T pair of Parsley Pants in the red. I’ll probably send a few to Penelopeanut but Hugieboogie is still going to be one Sporty Spice.

Array

Array

Array

He’s been pretty fond of moving himself around via the Retro Rocket and the Beep Beep, even though he still cannot walk or crawl. He also can’t really steer. But that just makes it a little more interesting.

Array

One more thing: for the first time, I’ve started putting size tags in the backs and good grief WHY DID I NOT DO THIS BEFORE?? Answer: because I hadn’t stumbled across this Etsy shop yet (she’s on vacay as of this writing but should be back soon). You’re welcome.

Array

We’re winding down our It’s A Small World (blog tour), After All this week. Here’s a list of the other posts in the series:

SmallWorld_340

Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!

Little Romper Thingy for the Drool Machine

Array

This was a spur-of-the-moment project (inspired by this little romper on Pinterest).  As with the dress in the last post, sometimes when I wing it it works, sometimes it’s a disaster, and sometimes it just needs some tweaking.

Array

please feel free to pin this romper but don’t pin any photos of Hugo — thanks!

Array

I drew the pattern for this free-hand-style and cut and sewed most of it in less than an hour. The only step that took a bit more time was adding the snap placket to the inside of the legs.

Array

Array

This fit is a wee bit wide in the neck — he’s showin’ a little baby shoulder — and could use a little tweaking. Next time I’ll just make the neck smaller and narrower and add more length to make more room for his cloth diapers. The yellow striped knit was left over from this Flashback Tee I made for Clementine last fall — that’s the great thing about baby sewing projects, they take almost no fabric so it’s not a huge investment if it doesn’t work out. Wouldn’t a little micro-pocket look cute too?

Array

I’m completely helpless when it comes to editing photos of Hugo. I can’t delete any. Even looking at this post I realize there are roughly four shots that all probably look the same to everyone else, but to me are so nuanced in expression they all needed to be included.

Array

Snail Trail Sleepsack for Hugo

We are big fans of the sleepsack around here. All three of my children needed a good snug swaddle to sleep for any decent amount of time. Plus our doctor mentioned multiple times at Hugo’s early checkups that we should NOT use a basic blanket to swaddle, that instead we should always use the velcro swaddler, so there you go. They’ve gotten plenty of use by our clan. So this free snuggler pattern from Lotta Jansdotter‘s Simple Sewing for Baby book on Make magazine’s site (that first link goes to something called a Craft podcast, but the free pattern is there…yeah, I’m confused by that too) seemed like the perfect way to pair some of the plain white Fanfare flannel I had in my stash with some new Lotus Pond snails!

image

The snuggler is easy to use, it’s just a matter of folding the two outer flaps over each other; your baby’s legs go in the pouch portion at the bottom.

Snail Trail Sleepsack

Snail Trail Sleepsack

Snail Trail Sleepsack

I should note that I didn’t find the free pattern to be completely intuitive; I had some issues piecing the pattern pages together (an issue that would, admittedly, have been a non-issue if I had actually purchased the book rather than downloading the free version…you get what you pay for am I right??) and the instructions took us a few thinks to get right, but once it was together it made total sense and I think the design is totally adorable. So there’s that for my 2-cent review. Most importantly, Hugo will sleep in it, so clearly he likes it too!

This snail fabric is one of the prints from my new line of fabrics for Cloud9, Lotus Pond! To see all the posts from our Lotus Pond Extravaganza, click HERE.

Little Color Book for Hugo

Array

One of the joys of living in Ann Arbor is the sewing and blogging friends I get to see on a regular basis at monthly Sew Ann Arbor sewing meetups. Many of those friends have turned into people I hang out with In Real Life, and Emily of Emmmylizzzy (and @emmmylizzzy on Instagram) is one of those pals. Her daughter Phoebe and my Clementine are the same age and love playing together. You might also remember that daughter Phoebe helped Clementine model a legion of Tsuru Geranium Dresses last spring…they were so cute together!

Array

Array

Emily made this adorable color book as a baby gift for Hugo, and I just love it. Had to show it to you, because it’s such a great way to use scraps, and such a fantastic baby gift idea!! Many of these scraps are from my own past sewing projects; I often bring my scraps to sewing meetups for the quilters to take and Emily was clever enough to collect a bunch and incorporate them into this book.

Array

Array

One hilariously tragic thing you might have seen if you follow Emily on IG is that after she had completed it, her youngest daughter Penny found it and drew with a marker on the ENTIRE THING….ACK!! Luckily it all came out in the wash and you can’t even tell it happened; I would have never noticed it. Can you imagine though?? I would have cried.

Array

Elliot and Clementine have already identified a number of scraps that look familiar to them…do you see anything YOU recognize?

Array

Such a fun idea, right??? Thanks for the awesome gift, Emily!

My little cloth diaper model

Array

Hi everyone, it’s Rae! I figured it was about time I shared some more pictures of the new little dude in our fambly, especially since he is so cute and wee and is already 2 weeks older than he was when I took these pics (Hugo was 2.5 weeks when I took these photos, but he’s 1 month old now).

Array

The goal was to get a photo of him in each of the cloth diapers I made him, but getting that many pictures turned out to be harder than I thought. Either the baby was sleeping or the diaper I wanted the photo of was dirty (most likely) or it was dark and I couldn’t get a good photo. Anyway, I managed to get four of them on him. Enjoy!

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

You can read about the cloth diapers I made Hugo in this post (by the way, I do NOT make diapers to sell, so please don’t email with requests, thanks!)

Sewing for baby: knit baby leggings

made by rae just hatched leggings

I love to make baby pants and leggings. I always have so many cute baby onesies hanging around that making tops seems fairly pointless, but pants? Leggings?? Bring it on. So far I’ve made these and these, and now…there’s more. From knits this time. Hopefully these will fit when Baby Boy is newly hatched:

Array

Array

Array

Oh yes and the adorable kitty pants were from the same pattern, just with a drawstring made of a strip of jersey:

Array

Someone needs to stage an intervention.

It all started innocently enough…I just thought I’d try to chop the feet off of the free pattern in my Baby Tights Tutorial. That worked great for this little navy striped pair, which are made of rib knit:

Array

Super cute right? But then when Tashina was cutting out another pair here at the studio, she accidentally put the fold down the center of the pant instead of along the leg, and it was just as cute. So we tweaked the shape a little, added a cuff, and we had a new pattern!

Array

And then we made a free pattern (link below) just in case YOU want to make a pair! Or twenty!

I’m calling these the Just Hatched Leggings, though I suspect that they will fit more like pants in the very beginning. If you add a cuff they might even fit 3-6 months? Who knows? You’ll just have to give it a try. Here’s how to make them!

Continue reading

Sewing for baby: Cloth Diapers

I am a Cloth Diaper Mama. I used cloth diapers for both Elliot and Clementine and found it to be a great experience. However, my babies both came out like long and skinny little birds, so the majority of the cloth diapers I purchased (these and these) were too big for them for the first few weeks. As a result I ended up using other newborn-sized cloth diapers that weren’t as cute (YES. BIG BUMMER THERE). So I drew up a pattern for a newborn diaper in the 6-8 pound range or so and sewed up a few before Clementine was born. This time around I wanted a bunch more. Cuter ones even. So I made a few more. I love the happy colors.

Array

Array

I mention the appearance of these diapers because while issues like LESS WASTE, LOWER COST, LESS POO ALL OVER (yes really) and FEWER WEIRD CHEMICALS TOUCHING MY BABY definitely played into my decision to use cloth diapers, the thing that really sells me on cloth diapers is that they are FAR CUTER than disposables. Shallow, yes, but I find the Cloth Diaper Debates that always seem to spring up whenever the topic is brought up pretty tiresome. I suppose this is largely because I too used to participate in said conversations to the point where I finally realized, this is not fun anymore, this is actually….annoying. Here. Let me give you some examples:

Typical Cloth Diaper conversation #1:

New mom: I’m thinking of cloth diapering, can anyone tell me what they use?

A BAJILLION CLOTH DIAPER MAMAS: “Me! Me! Let me overload you with so much information you won’t know what hit you!!”

Typical Cloth Diaper Conversation #2:

Mom who chose not to cloth diaper: “I just can’t stand the thought of all that poo in my washing machine. (or the more commonly-used: “my husband can’t stand…”)

Cloth Diaper Mama: “Well actually, you get more poo all over everything with disposables because of how poorly they’re designed, and I use liners to toss the poo before they go in the wash, and there’s this diaper sprayer thingy that hooks up to your toilet…blah blah BLAH BLAH…”

Typical Cloth Diaper Conversation #3:

Mom who tried cloth diapers: “I just couldn’t get my cloth diapers to stop leaking so I gave up!”

Cloth Diaper Mama 1: “Have you tried X?”

Cloth Diaper Mama 2: “Have you tried Y?”

Cloth Diaper Mama 3: “Have you tried “Z?”

Typical Cloth Diaper Conversation #4:

Mom who chose not to use cloth diapers: “Well actually, if you look at the overall energy costs of doing all that extra laundry and manufacturing the cloth diapers in the first place, the energy comparison is kindof a wash…”

Cloth Diaper Mama: *world crumbling around her* “That is simply NOT TRUE!!”

Array

See what a crotchety old grump I am!?!  The truth is, it’s hard for Cloth Diaper Mamas not to feel at least a teensy bit morally superior, and we just wish that we could convert every mom over because in our heart of hearts we know that the only reason NOT to use cloth diapers is sheer ignorance. As a result, those who chose the disposable route can’t help but feel defensive around us. And that’s not cool. So I’d rather just sew sew sew away on my diapers and not be the Poster Child for Cloth Diapering, but then of course if you blog about them, it’s hard not to invite that in.

Array

So all that to say, I’m no expert on cloth diapering, but it’s worked well for me through two children now, so I’ll be using them again with this baby. And I might even manage to do a follow-up post or two on my cloth diapers and maybe even how I sew my own diapers, we’ll see what I have time for.

Array

Array

For now, I’ll say this: these are pocket diapers, so they have a waterproof (PUL) outside, a soft microfleece or suedecloth inside layer (I use either), and they have an opening in the back between the two layers so you can stuff in a removable cotton or hemp insert(s) to absorb all the moisture. And yes it is quite a bit of work to make them rather than buy them. I would never encourage someone to sew their entire cloth diaper stash — that is craziness — this is something I do because I enjoy it, not because I want to avoid buying them. The cost you pay for this kind of thing in the store is totally worth the labor and time it takes to sew one, but like I said, I find it to be pretty fun.

Array

If you want to read more about these little pocket diapers, you can also read this post that I wrote about our cloth diapers four and a half years ago before Clementine was born.

Anyway, they’re CUTE.

Sewing for baby: adorable kitty outfit

Array

This is definitely a situation where I will admit I went a bit overboard. In retrospect it probably would have been easier to buy an off-white baby outfit and embroider it, but WHY? when I already had this amazingly silky soft organic knit terry I ask you? Why not just make a pair of little tiny drawstring pants, a snap-shoulder tee, and a hat with ears and then add embroidered faces to make it even cuter? WHY NOT?

Array

I was enamored with a couple of baby boy items that I had pinned onto my Baby Boy Pinterest board that have little animal faces stitched onto them and had to try it out. The animal ears/faces on baby stuff trend has been around for quite some time, but there’s something really adorable about the hand-stitched whiskers and nose that I can’t get enough of. Just a sidenote: if you embroider baby items, you may want to attach some little pieces of soft fusible interfacing or fabric to the inside of the items once you’ve finished adding the decorative stitches, to make sure that any knots or threads from the embroidery don’t irritate their sensitive skin.

Array

Array

The shirt and pant patterns were drawn on the fly with only other baby items for reference, the hat pattern you can find a bit more information on here (note: HILARIOUS pics of newborn Clementine in that post), but I added ears and left off the ties of course. I’m going to have to cross my fingers that a) these will fit my little bean RIGHT AWAY and b) that they will all fit at the SAME TIME.

Array

Want to see more of what I’ve been making for baby? Check out these posts or follow me on Instagram (@madebyrae)!

Sewing for baby: Newborn Pants
Sewing for baby: Nursing Pillow Cover Tutorial (+free pattern!)
Bringing Back Big Butt Baby Pants