A Group of Charming Cuties

Last week, I had something very interesting happen.  I had a kind of cute-splosion.  I started illustrating for the children's apparel market so I can begin to pitch my work.  I did some short research by looking at my son's clothes and picking out my super-top favorites.... and then it all just flowed.

It was remarkable.  I just worked on Illustrator and out came these characters and their back-stories and little lives.  I kept wanting (and still do) to keep on drawing them and their accessories and interactions...


Next, I want to develop each character on their own!  What do you think?

Upcycling for Baby

We're slowly running out of the really small baby clothes, and after noticing a few gaps in the little dude's wardrobe, I decided to supplement with hand-sewn items.

A beautiful cashmere blend Christmas sweater that was mistakenly felted in the wash + scrap hemp fabric from cloth diapers + an Ottobre pajama pattern = a really warm romper for the baby!

I just placed the pattern pieces over the old sweater and added the gusset.  The ribbed knit provides a nice trim and a place to attach open-ring snaps for closure at the shoulders.

patches for the knees even though the little guy just learned to turn over

detail shot: crotch gusset and cowboy socks just because


An old favorite polo shirt that's too small + scrap jersey + Ottobre romper pattern = a new romper for baby!  This used the same principle.  I just traced the pattern over the old shirt at the shoulder level, and then filled in the missing elements with scrap fabric.  It worked out pretty well!  The scale of the collar is a bit silly, but it's nice to see my old shirt back in action.

polo shirt collar and placket saved

bottom hem conserved, ribbed knit and open-ring snaps added for closure



Nursing Top from Ottobre 2009


With my post-partum body changing so quickly, and the baby growing so quickly, I debated whether to sew anything for me for a while.  I started eyeing that red maternity/nursing top I made in the spring which was too big for me now.  I stared at it for weeks.  Then, a sewing buddy of mine offered to lend me a nursing top pattern she had in one of her older Ottobre magazines, and that was the clincher.  Chop-chop went the too-big nursing top!

I'm glad I decided to cut it up... I used up every bit of that tee, and finished off the rest of that thick red jersey fabric.  I didn't have enough for the inner panel, so I used a bit of this lovely stripe jersey I bought from a fabric store closing sale.  Glad I bought 2.5 m of it!  It's so soft!


Do I look maybe a bit tired in these pics? That would be because I am.  Hee hee. Somehow, the LD (little dude) started teething at 12 weeks and I've been coping with all that entails.  He's generally the sweetest little sweety, but when he's teething he turns into a puddle of moaning sadness.  It's heartbreaking and so I can't help but comfort him... at 2am... at 3am... at 3:30am.. etc...

So yeah, a bit tired, but it's getting better, and LD is learning to cope better.  I also have many more tricks up my sleeve now that it's been a few weeks!

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Anyway, about the project:
PatternOttobre 2009, #6 "Loving" Nursing Top
Fabric: recycled red jersey from maternity/nursing tee made in May 2014
Modifications: shortened the sleeves 1", but I think I just need a smaller size on top
Recommendations: instructions for the innermost panel say to turn over the nursing edges and stitch, but I think this reduces the stretch of the fabric.  I'd overlock this edge instead.  I turned over the bottom edges and used a rolled hem foot... this is not a good application for it.  The jersey loves to roll, and it made for a curly half-lettuce bottom hem.

The pattern is a very straightforward 7 piece pattern (you cut the binding, elastic, etc. based on given measurements).  I made an EU size 40 using my full bust measurement.  Next time, I'll cut a 38 top, maybe even a 36 for the shoulders and sleeves, and keep the bottom 40.  It's easy to adjust since there's a separate waist section.  On me, though, this is more of a nursing tunic dress. I'll be making some adjustments, but I like the dress aspect of it.


The trickiest part of this pattern was the clear elastic!  My machine loves it to the point of squishing it all together and creating these teensy, tight gathers which I did not need for this particular pattern.  In the end, I found the solution to be paper!  Once I put the thin pattern paper between the foot and the elastic, everything went swimmingly... okay, not quite - that binding went a bit wonky, but I can live with it. 


This went so quickly after figuring out the best way to sew with clear elastic!

Overall, I'm happy with it - it's wearable, but the shoulders/neck are wide for me... it's tough to choose a size with such a variable bust measurement, but the jersey should be forgiving enough to allow me to make a smaller size top.  I will definitely make another!

Knittin' for Baby: Striped Coverall

And, another project completed just fast enough to wear once.  Ah well.  At the very least, it made for some nice photos.


Can I also recommend a little something to knitters who follow in my footsteps and think that open-ring snaps are the way to go?  Here's my advice... reinforce the knitted fabric with some kind of backing.  Either a thin strip of jersey or something.  The prongs are kind of ripping into the button bands.  Argh.  What was I thinking?!  Oh... I wasn't.  I just wanted to "get 'er done."  And so it goes...


Project: Striped Coveralls for the little dude
Pattern:  All-In-One in Deramores Baby DK (1009) by Deramores Retail Ltd
Yarn: Debbie Bliss, Baby Cashmerino in Dark Green and Grey (1.5 skeins of both colors)

Modifications:

  • Solid color sleeves
  • Shortened sleeves to prevent the LD from eating the cuffs.
  • Added a crotch gusset as seen below... because there was no way they would fit over cloth diapers or at 3 months... and the LD is kind of an average sized 3 month old.