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?
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.
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.
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?
After the bindings, it's on to assembly. There aren't a lot of seams on these gowns!
I used my original sewing machine, the Kenmore, to take advantage of zigzag and stretch stitch settings. Isn't she cute. So petite.
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!
With scraps, I also made a knot hat from this Prudent Baby tutorial. Such funny-looking pattern pieces!
Awwww... hats that match bindings. Dreamy. Just add baby.
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.
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.