Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I can make baby clothes!

Sewing with knits...  If anything was going to make me want it bad enough, it was having a baby.  I almost talked myself out of it too, but I've been making such good progress on my baby make list that there really wasn't an excuse to keep procrastinating.  And then Rachel (Stitched Together) published an awesome, free baby gown tutorial and Fabricworm sent me some Birch knits.  How's a girl supposed to wiggle her way out of all that?

Birch Knits baby gowns

So, ta da!  I can make baby clothes.  It feels a little super-human.  Though, I suppose, making the baby is technically harder?  Don't know.

Birch Knits baby gowns

Let's start at the beginning.  Rachel goes over all the details about what needle and thread and stitch settings to use on this project.  She wrote her Celebrate Baby Newborn Gown Pattern for first timers with knits, like myself.   I'm using organic cotton Birch knits from the Acorn Trail collection.  These"interlock" knits don't curl when you cut them, like jersey knits do, which makes interlocks a great choice for beginners.  You can find a huge selection of knits at Fabricworm.

Birch Knits baby gowns

The first step is to sew all your binding strips on neck openings and sleeve ends.  I had my only project snafu at this point.  When I pressed the binding fabrics with my normal, super-hot iron setting, the heat discolored the knits.  I reduced heat by half to avoid discoloration.  The discoloration did fade over several days, but it didn't disappear entirely.  Since I was just getting started, I went ahead and cut some new pattern pieces to fix the problem.  I wonder, is iron/heat sensitivity a common problem with knits?

Birch Knits baby gowns

After the bindings, it's on to assembly.  There aren't a lot of seams on these gowns!

Birch Knits baby gowns

I used my original sewing machine, the Kenmore, to take advantage of zigzag and stretch stitch settings.  Isn't she cute.  So petite.

Birch Knits baby gowns

And, do you know what I did when I finished my first gown?  I walked around the house showing it to everyone and proclaiming with pride, "I can make baby clothes!"  Ah yes, sure sign of a novice.

But, well... I can

Birch Knits baby gowns

With scraps, I also made a knot hat from this Prudent Baby tutorial.  Such funny-looking pattern pieces!

Birch Knits baby gowns

Awwww... hats that match bindings.  Dreamy.  Just add baby.

Birch Knits baby gowns

Here's my first collection of handmade baby layette.  I'd like to do some solid colored gowns too, but maybe I should wait and see how often I use these first.  I did compare the gowns and hat to my friend's newborn.  They look to fit well, if with some room to grow.  I think they'd fit anywhere from newborn through 2-3 months, depending of course.

Birch Knits baby gowns

Thanks to Rachel at Stitched Together and to Fabricworm for launching me into knits.  It's freeing!  And, I do think these little gowns will go sweetly with this little cardigan, one of my favorite purchased pieces. 

Oh, baby clothes!  Love.


53 comments:

  1. Oh my god. These are SO precious!

    Ok, I'm off to RUN to buy some of that pink floral knit. You know, so I can maybe make a gown and keep it for when we're ready for a baby :p

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  2. I think I have died and gone to baby clothes heaven! They are beautiful! My son had some of these as a baby and they are so useful as well as cute….*sigh* Can't wait to see your little one in these :)

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    1. Thanks, Jo Jo! I would say I "can't wait", but I think I can. =) So much left to do. I just made a list!

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  3. Wonderful gowns!

    Oh, I was always afraid of trying sewing with knits. But I'm expecting too and this tutorial (+ your tips) make me a little bit less shy:) As soon as I will find out if we're having boy or girl, I will give it a try.

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    1. You should, you should! It's the perfect reason to finally dive in. And then you won't be scared anymore either!

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  4. Rachel, these little gowns are beyond adorable. You did such an amazing job!!!! I used gowns like these when my children were babies all the time, they were definitely my go to pieces of clothing although mine were store bought and a far cry from adorableness yours are :)

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  5. Congrats Rachel they are beautiful and look store bought!!! I have sewn with knits before, but nothing that small, but now I am SO TEMPTED! I squealed when I saw these cute little outfits for your precious little girl!

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    1. Small = faster, I think, in this case! Hope you find a good excuse to sew some, Marci =)

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  6. Adorable! I love every one of those prints. What a lucky baby :)

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  7. you can be so proud of yoruself! I used to be scared to death by knits too! these baby clothes are the cutest!

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  8. Rachel, I can't tell you how awesome I think these are! I could not believe the cuteness when I saw the teaser photo on Feedly! I love the fabric you picked! These are so adorable! Gah! You did such a great job! And I don't know about the ironing thing with knits. I do use a cooler iron with knits only because they crease easily with the iron but I have not had that happen with discoloration. I can't wait to see Eleni in these! So exciting!!!

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  9. Oh this is so encouraging! Knits have been on my 'one day in the far off future when I have a brain again' list, mostly out of fear. I did buy some earlier this year and made wraps and loved the fabric, but cutting it! Now I may have to try!

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    1. These were completely straightforward to cut. I've hand sewn jersey knit before (Alabama Chanin dress) and it was curly and difficult to work with. This interlock knit was SO much better.

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  10. Holy adorable! I'd want to make some tee for myself with those fabrics! Great job!

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  11. Gowns were always a must-have on my baby supply list. They make nighttime changes so much easier! You did a beautiful job on yours. Kudos to you for taking the leap on knits!

    P.S. I'm not sure I mentioned this before (forgive me if I did), but have you heard of the Woombie? Best. Swaddler. Ever. I wish I'd known about it when my first two were babies because my third looooved it and it makes swaddling a snap! xoxo

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation! We actually swaddle with thin blankets, like the Aden and Anais muslin ones. We're pretty committed swaddlers, actually. Yay to swaddling! Babies must sleep.

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  12. Oh my! These are ADORABLE! So, so cute!

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  13. These made my heart melt. I wish my 6 month old was a newborn again so I could try these out. The fabrics you used are just gorgeous. How long until you can be dressing bump in these?

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    1. Only 11-ish weeks left! That sounds both long and short...

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  14. Rosemary B here
    Oh this is great to read this. I do not want a serger, no time to learn that thing with all of those nutty parts.
    Anyway, I have plenty of zigzaggers over here in my collection and I will make some of these too.
    This was such fun to read this evening. I spent 4 hours at the dentist with mom and dad. Mom got a crown today. Oh myyyyy.
    Anyway, I love this. I can make some of these, Thank you for the inspiration.

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  15. I absolute adore those gowns and hats - what a wonderful gift - wish I had seen this when my daughter had her triplets - they are 3 1/2 now so don't think the gowns would work, but I do so love babies in gowns....

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    1. Yes, not quite right for 3 year olds... =) but thank you! I feel very lucky to get to "do baby" again after having got my sewing legs under me. So much good stuff to make!

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  16. These are soooo adorable -- both fabric and design. And, after you make your first baby clothes, I think it's perfectly acceptable to parade around the house announcing your new status as baby clothes maker to everyone :-) So fun!

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    1. Oh good! Because I do parades with most every big sewing milestone! really.

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  17. Adorable! Congratulations on this major threshold! What a lucky baby!!

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  18. I say it again, I just love you to pieces! You always seem to be posting exactly what I need to see or sometimes you post it before I know I need to see something! This si exactly what I needed to see today, I have always feared knits. It is on my list for next year and now I have my first project to tackle! Thank you sooooo much for sharing.

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  19. Aww. What's not to like about baby clothes! Yay for you for sewing with knits!

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  20. Oh! Those are very sweet. How are you doing, Rachel?

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  21. So glad you tried knits!! And you did a super fabulous job!! Such cute little clothes!

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  22. So adorable and well done. I'm encouraged to try after seeing your pictures.

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  23. Those are the sweetest gowns! Great job!! I used that type of gowns with my babies at night time as they made for quick middle of the night diaper changes and kept their legs nice and warm.

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  24. Such darling little gowns!
    Thanks for the inspiration ~ just found out that I'm going to be a Grandma in July! I've got to get cracking and make some baby stuff ~ I've already got a little sweater knit and tights on the needles!

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  25. They are darling Rachel! Sewing small stuff often takes as long as sewing for grown-ups!

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  26. These are so darling. I am going to be a first time grandmother in May. My daughter and her husband do want to know the baby's gender and will find out right before Christmas. Once I know that, I will be launching into baby sewing. I have enjoyed following along with your journey of adding to your family and the sewing and other projects you have done. Best of luck to you as this baby must be due pretty soon.

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  27. Utterly adorable! Such precious prints. I love gowns like these for newborns. And YAY for you for conquering a new sewing frontier!

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  28. Love it! It's such fun sewing baby clothes! A kimono top in knit is equally easy to make and matched it with Rae's newborn pants pattern that was perfect for cloth diapers and easy to sew in knit. My knits do discolor with a hot iron but it's all better after I was them. Even with a prewash they come out even better after another wash post sewing.

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  29. How cute are these baby gowns. Congratulations, Rachel :)

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  30. So sweet. Looks like a little girl is on the way?

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  31. I need some help! I have printed out the patterns and am trying to figure out how much fabric to order if I want to do contrasting binding with hats that match the binding. Is one yard of each just enough? One yard way too much? Can you give me a ballpark of what would be a good amount? It's kind of expensive fabric so I don't want to end up with tons leftover. I can't even imagine what knit fabric looks like!!!

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    1. 1 yard of each is what I had. It was enough for a hat in each fabric, as well as extra contrast trim (the trim takes hardly any fabric). I think you could do a 3/4 yard cut if you only wanted to make a gown (no hat) in a fabric.

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  32. I don't see that I ever commented but if I did then you know I really appreciated this pattern and to know I could create some cute unique onsie and not the standard ones in the store.
    Thanks for sharing

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  33. Are these for sale?

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