Baby clothes. All the baby clothes, basically. How else are you going to manage seven garments (and a blanket!) out of 2m of fabric? I mean, really. I knew that my first little foray into baby clothes wouldn't be the last, so I've added some new drafts to the repertoire and made a whole stack more for the next little fella in line.
It's not my kid, of course. As previously discussed, all my kids are going to be four legged and furry. This kid belongs to a workmate and his wife. According to him, the child was going to be a dragon (named Megatron) rather than a human baby. As it turns out, it was in fact a human, and his name is Arthur. He was born a few weeks ago, and the first photo they sent was of him in the little hat I knit him.
I decided to make a little merino collection, because August is still pretty chilly here in New Zealand, and I was pretty sure I could knock out a stack of merino baby outfits for less than they'd cost in a shop. I bought 2m of the periwinkle blue merino, and used a bit of a remnant of a brighter blue for a onesie as well. I also ordered two fat quarters from Spoonflower to satisfy the dragon requirement - those, compared to the others, were a bit more expensive per onesie (and they're also cotton, not merino) but still worth it for the dragon factor, I think.
I drafted all of the patterns in this set using a couple of lists of 'standard' baby measurements I found online - I had to sort of combine lists because not all of them had all measurements (they were specifically lacking in the 'length' department) and there was some confusion over whether the hip and inseam measurements included a diaper or not, but I worked it out in the end. I was somewhat encouraged along the self-drafting path by the fact that I'd recently encountered the kiddo who got the first batch of clothes, and he was wearing one of my onesies! And it fit him! I figured I must've done okay, so I carried on with the same draft and made a few new variations.
I used my (very rusty) grading skills to make sure the kid had a variety of sizes - this little collection is meant to work from newborn through to one year, with a couple of steps in between. I was also very careful of my seam treatments - everything is finished for minimal itchyness, and most seams are zig zagged rather than overlocked, because sometimes those sorts of seams can bother sensitive skin.
The blanket is made from a 1M square piece of merino, folded twice and zig zag hemmed. It's a good size for wrapping, and since the fabric itself was 130cm wide and I bought 2 meters, I still had loads leftover to make matching clothes with! I did a fair bit of research, and the 1 meter square size seems to be pretty common as a baby blanket.
The little wrap cardigan was a lot of fun, and quite different from the rest of the set. I'm not sure how practical it's going to be, because baby sweaters tend to ride up, but it sure is cute! I made it with a couple scraps from the fabric my boss gave me for secret Santa this past Christmas - merino interlock that is so cuddly and soft! The button tabs are made from fold over elastic, and the little shank buttons should make getting the kid dressed easy, even if he's trying to crawl away. I've also reinforced the neckline with a length of clear elastic to keep it from bagging out. I didn't stretch it at all during application as it's not intended to cinch anything, but it should add a bit of stability.
I mentioned making a selection of sizes so that the kid would have some options to grow into, but I also tried to make a couple different variations on the traditional onesie as well - long sleeves, cuffs, legs, snap configurations, the works. Below, you can see the sleeper onesie with one cuff rolled up and one cuff not. I'm hoping that one lasts from 6 months to a year. I reasoned that it would be good to have a lot of wardrobe options, but actually it was probably 50% this and 50% me wanting to make each one slightly different to make things more interesting to sew.
I also spent a lot of time working out the escape hatches for different scenarios. The envelope neck, of course, but also the snap inseam was a fun puzzle to put together, especially since there's a butt gusset in there as well. I used the gentler ring snaps for the inseam instead of the KAM snaps I used for the onesies because I thought they'd be lower profile and better for the legs but in all actuality I'm not sure how much it matters. I like the KAM snaps because the hole they poke in the fabric is in the center rather than around the edges, which makes things less likely to rip or snag, but they're quite firm to snap and un-snap whereas the ring snaps are a bit more delicate.
The last little garment I made was a pair of leggy harem pants, with a big gusset for diaper room. The cuffs and waistband can both be worn folded or unfolded so they, like the sleeper, will hopefully fit for several months. Arthur is still too young to wear them so I'm not entirely sure that they'll fit how I pictured them, but I will let you know if I ever get to see him in them. They're drafted off the onesie, anyhow, so there's really no reason they shouldn't fit.
When I finished the sewing, I ended up feeling a bit like I was shirking my knitterly responsibilities by only sewing clothes, so I used some leftover wool from the last baby I knit for to make a little pointy ear-flappy hat, and then realized I still had enough left to make most of a pair of booties, if I combined it with some additional leftover white wool. I'm really pleased with how they turned out!
I'm glad I squeezed the set out of scraps I already had, but it was also so fortuitous that they happened to match the rest of the set so well!
I'm always satisfied with how quickly baby clothes come together, and for as many items as I made, it was fun to watch my coworker go through the bag and pull each thing out individually. He's been occasionally updating me on how much Arthur likes his clothes by measure of how many times he's thrown up on them. Luckily, I chose machine washable fabrics! I already have another set of baby clothes in the pipeline for a kiddo due in December, and his mom has distinctly different tastes so I'll have some fun working on those. In the meantime, I've been under a 'no non-essential sewing until the wedding plan is under control' embargo since mid-August, which is working well for my productivity even if it is kicking my desire to make ALL THE THINGS into overdrive. I'm hoping to have an update on that front for you soon, but in the meantime I'm just so focused on actually making progress!