Showing posts with label baby projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby projects. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DIY Baby Sweater Pants

Many sweater pants, baby jeans, and baby black skirt
Another item I made quite a few of for the new baby's wardrobe are these sweater pants. I used this very basic tutorial which tells you all you really need to know is you cut off the arms of a sweater about the length you want the pants, sew a crotch seam, and make a casing for an elastic waist at the top. It is a really simply and fast project.

I don't have any of our tiny size baby clothes with us, so I used the patterns from here to guesstimate the correct sizes. In the picture of the pants you also see a little pair of jeans I made using the 0-3 size pattern. I tried to make the size of the sweater pants so with the sweater cuff folded up the pants would be about 0-3 length and down about the 6-12 month length. So far we've have big babies who have grown incredibly fast, and with cloth diapers the bum area really does need to be about the same size through all those sizes. So hopefully these stretchy sweater pants will last awhile. We discovered grow cuffs on baby clothes with our second, and thought they were amazing.

Anyway, I made a bunch of similar pants from upcycled sweaters, leggings, and knit turtlenecks. Save the other parts of the sweaters and turtlenecks for making infant gowns, onesies, hats, and even socks if you like. These will hopefully make some more great free (save the cost of thread) additions to our newborn wardrobe.

For this pair I used the hem of the sweater
to make a separate casing for the elastic.

For this pair of pants I just folded the top over
to make the casing for the elastic.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Infant Gowns and Onesies

I mentioned before how we were having a hard time finding newborn clothes we liked and that I ended up sewing an newborn wardrobe for Baby # 3. The staples of this wardrobe are probably the infant gowns and onesies I made.

For the gowns I ended up using this pattern and tutorial. I upcycled clothes as well, making these gowns basically free to make. I even was able to re-purpose elastic so I didn't have to pay for anything other than thread. For a few of the gowns I re-purposed very soft sweaters instead of t-shirts, and I thought that worked well also. I didn't put elastic in the bottom of the sweater type gowns, but simply used the bottom hem of the sweater that was already more tightly woven and stretchy.

Instead of using designs already on t-shirts, I chose to applique and embroider them. This took longer for sure, but I was able to make very custom baby clothing this way. And I think they turned out really cute. I think these could also make really great baby shower gifts.

For the onesies, I could find a 0-3 month pattern on the internet, so I ended up simply folding the gown pattern into a onesie pattern. Probably tracing an existing 0-3 onesie would be even easier, but I didn't have any in that size here. I sewed the onesies together in similar fashion to the gowns, just finishing the contoured bottom with a tiny rolled hem all around and adding snaps. After I had sewed a bunch of onesies, I embroidered and appliqued these as well.

Upcycling clothing

Gown pattern folded into a onesie pattern

Friday, August 17, 2012

Family Fridays: 33 Weeks (Pregnancy Update)

I went for another prenatal check up this week and everything is still going along fine. The baby has been head down for at least ten weeks now, so there is no reason to think it might flip into a bad position at this point. Having baby head down at this point is always good news.

We've been getting ready for baby around here.  I've been doing lots of sewing for the new baby. All of our tiny baby clothes are still in America, you're not supposed to ship used clothing here, and all of the newborn and first month size clothes that I've seen here are crotchless, so I decided it would just be easiest to make some new 0-3 stuff for this baby. I may do a separate post later about sewing baby clothes, but I feel better now that I have a first wardrobe ready for this this new little one.

Also during our cooking camp week and throughout this summer break I've been stocking our freezer for after the baby. We don't have a huge amount of freezer space, but I do have a few meals and quick breads ready to go and am almost done with that project as well.

I still need to make small diaper covers and more new cloth diapers and wipes if I get time, but we're getting close to being ready for baby. :)

Linking up to My Joy-Filled Life Pregnancy Journal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DIY Mei Tai Baby Carrier

Finished carrier hanging
in our entry way
I mentioned how we like the baby carriers here, and that I made two to carry our two boys. This is a pretty easy sewing project in general. However, positioning the straps so you don't sew them into a side seam can be a little tricky. I consulted this pretty comprehensive pattern and a few others and then worked out what worked well for us. I think these could also make a nice unique gift for new parents, if you knew the parents would like this type of carrier. Here are some general instructions about how I made these carriers and how you can make your own.*

Mei Tai or Bēi Dài (背带) Baby Carrier

  • 1 1/2 yards sturdy woven fabric (60" width)
  • 12" square decorative fabric for pocket or applique (optional)
  • thread
I cut 3 straps (11" by 60"
and body (18" by 48")
  1. Lay out you fabric on a clean flat surface folded width wise. I wanted a finished body size of about 17" wide by 23" and 5" wide straps and used a 1/2" seam allowance.  I cut 3 strips 11" wide by 60" long (the whole length of my fabric). This is a good length of strap for me, and I am almost six feet tall. You may want shorter straps if you are shorter. I cut one of these strips in half (to make 2 strips 30" long) to use for the short waist straps. Then I cut a rectangle 18" by 24" doubled over, making it 18" wide by 48" long. I cut this with the 18" width on a fold so that I didn't have to sew the top of the carrier shut or worry about sewing the straps into the top seam. But if you don't want to cut on a fold, then just make sure to cut two pieces (18" by 24").
  2. Cut a 12" square of decorative fabric to use for an applique or pocket if you wish.
  3. If you wish to make a pocket, sew a double folded hem along the top of the fabric. Sew a single folded hem around the other three sides.  Center the decorative fabric on the right side of the front piece of body of the carrier. Pin in place and top stitch around the applique/pocket.
  4. For the straps, I folded the 11" strips in half right sides together and sewed lengthwise. I finished one end of each at a 45 degree angle to make a point. Turn straps right side out. I did not choose to top stitch the straps, but you could at this time to give them a more finished look.
  5. Now for the one tricky part: positioning the straps. Lay the front piece of your body fabric right side up. If using one piece for the body like I did, mark the fold line with pin and the whole piece flat. Position the straps at each corner—long finished side in towards the right side of the body, short unfinished end out (at least 3" to use for reinforcing the straps) at each corner. You may want to angle the straps like she shows, but I did this on one and sewed the other straight out perpendicular, and, personally, I didn't notice a huge difference either way.
    All straps pinned securely
  6. Fold and pin the long straps securely to the front of the carrier so that you don't sew them into the side seams. Place the back piece of the body right sides together with the front and pin around all side, leaving a gap for turning at the bottom. Sew around all sides (unless the top is a folded edge), leaving a gap for turning at the bottom. Make sure to stitch all the straps securely; back stitch over them, or sew additional seams to make sure they are secure.
  7. Turn right side out, and unfold the straps.
  8. Pin the bottom seams closed, and top stitch around the whole body. Sew reinforcing rectangles at each corner, over each end of the strap, and then stitch through the middle of the rectangle or make an X through each rectangle. You really want to make sure that the straps are really well reinforced and stitched securely to the body of the carrier!
    Body sides sewn securely
  9. Look over the whole project for any mistakes or weak areas that need attention. Trim any hanging threads, and you're done with the sewing!
  10. Learn how to tie your baby securely to yourself. I found the these instructions helpful. Now you're ready to go hiking with baby.

*This is what worked well for me and my husband (who is the same height but with wider shoulders) and our two toddler boys. This doesn't mean this is the best design for every adult and baby combo out there. Personally, while I see these used all the time here for even really little babies, I don't think they are the best type of carrier for infants. I am sharing these instructions with the hope that it may be useful to someone wanting to make their own carrier, but use your own judgment as to what would be best for you and your baby. I am no baby wearing or baby carrier expert and take no responsibility for how you choose to make your carrier. Our children are obviously the most precious cargo there is, and we should take great care when transporting them.


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