This is the first in a new series of blog posts by Zoe Edwards offering tips for gifts you can make for a new baby! Take it away, Zoe!
If you are craftily inclined, the birth of a new baby can often inspire the desire to get making. Unless they are crazy, the parents will certainly appreciate receiving a handmade gift over another pack of shop-bought onesies, but embarking on the right baby-sewing project will ensure that your hard work actually gets used!
This is the first in a mini-series of blog posts that will give you some ideas for items you can make for a new baby that won’t languish at the bottom of a drawer. ‘Well, what qualifies you, Zoe, to write such a ground-breaking series of posts?’ you are no doubt asking. Well, my daughter is nearly two years old now, so exactly which gifts we found useful and which never got used is still pretty fresh in my memory, but the fog of new parenthood and sleep deprivation has cleared sufficiently for me to string two sentences together.
So first up, may I recommend making some baby trousers or nappy covers? To first-time parents, it is genuinely shocking to discover that their tiny new person may require more outfit changes in one day than Britney Spears did during her last tour. Whether you choose to make trousers that cover the legs, or nappy covers that (as the name suggests) are pants designed to cover the nappy, you should be guided by what season the baby will be wearing them in. The season can also give you direction on what type of fabric to use for the project. It is frustrating to be given something lovely for your beautiful baba to wear but it doesn’t get used because the weather is too warm or cold for it to be appropriate. I know it is obvious to say, but babies grow super quick so it’s very likely that if you put a garment aside for suitable weather, it won’t fit them anymore. Sad face.
Now that we are firmly into autumn, I made these baby trousers in a delightfully soft needle cord in a fun print. After a couple of laps of the baby section in any department store, the parents will probably be very much over looking at pastel pink or pastel blue stuff, so this project really is your opportunity to pick something fun. The repetition of nappy and outfit changes will be brightened considerably if they are trying to clad that squirming little bottom in something that makes them smile. This needle cord also has the benefit of being made from 100% organic cotton by Cloud9 Fabrics, it’s called Oh My Darlin’Clementine from the Small World range designed by Rae Hoekstra. The Small World range is comprised of fantastic, colourful, gender-neutral, perfect for this application. If you’d prefer a subtler look, this project would also work really well in these deliciously soft double gauze or striped or solid interlock knits.
The pattern I used was the Modern Baby Set by Green Bee which includes patterns for both trousers and nappy covers for babies aged 0-3 months. One of the awesome things about this pattern is that the front and back pieces are cut from the same pattern piece. Explain that to the new parents, then it’ll save them a lot of bleary-eyed attempts to figure out which way round the trousers or nappy cover goes during nappy changes. If you use a different trouser or nappy cover pattern that has front and back pieces that are different, then why not stitch a loop of ribbon into the back waistband so the back can be easily identified?
Happy new-baby sewing, friends.