I gotta lay it out right now. This post is about sewing baby clothes. I promise I will do my best to scatter it with the witty quips, of a sassy gal living in London, but it is more than possible that it’ll just be about babies and sewing clothes for them, that are very cute.
Just incase you’ve swung by for a read as you are one of my supportive friends or family, I’ll give you a quip hit now and then you can be off. This slice is an appropriate respite, as it’s about about booze and buying nice things, neither of which are related to babies, unless you are the leading lady from Kayne’s mega hit ‘Goldigga’.
Now my gent and I are just taking a turn in life and are starting to spend more and more time living a coupé kind of life style. It’s pretty marvellous and to be honest by owning these glasses, I owe them the style of living for which they were intended. HOWEVER we live in flat in North London and both have jobs which are silly for varying reasons so living a coupé life did need some N5 adjustments.
We now drink proseco or sometimes even champagne, just as a nice tipple on a weekday, from said classy glasses whilst eating pasta bake.
I use the classy glasses for other beverages instantaneously making them mega classy, i.e. orange juice, coconut water or chocolate milk. This is great because all my drinks can be fancy drinks if I want them to be, however saucer champagne glasses only hold about two mouthfuls, so if you are after a mega hit of electrolytes from your coconut water, aprés pilates, maybe stay with a standard highball or at least a decent heavy based brandy glass.
…In addition to very fancy glasses, I am also lucky enough to be getting more little lady babies in my life. So, apropos of this, I decided to whip up some Oliver + S patterns for them. I am sure you have seen these patterns online and on Pinterest, in an amazing array of quilting cottons.
I chose the Ice cream dress and and the Lullaby Layette set for this particular Oliver + S love-in.
Now let’s start with the Ice cream dress.
I picked up some lovely fabric from Eternal maker whilst at the Knitting and Stitching show back in October. This fabric has always been intended to be a child’s dress; as much as I like the lion faces, I can’t see where it’d fit in my wardrobe that is increasingly becoming a parade of grey, bretons, black, white and denim.
The patterns are very simple to follow and are easy to stick together. I know a lot of other sewers are adverse to print out patterns, but I quite like the sturdiness printer paper gives and especially when it comes to child’s patterns, knowing that I can print out again in the different size.
One of the first steps on the dress is to sew the yolk. I must be honest when I started I thought “this is more complicated than it needs to be”. However in trying to be a well behaved seamstress, I followed the instructions and low and behlod this was a good idea!
The second step was the join the main bodice pieces. Now… bear in mind I had just conquered the semi over complicated yolk pieces and was drinking a very small amount of lemon squash from a coupé glass at this point, so was feeling really pretty fantastic.
In joining the bodice pieces I decided to do french seams, because french seams are great and I was bloody queen of the world. What happen in reality is that I did a very
neat, but overly chunky french seam meaning the curve of the arm hole would not sit flat, however much I steamed and pressed it. So I had to start over, less squash, more accuracy this time.
Next came the pockets; On the pattern the pockets have a very lovely notch detail, I did this for one of the pockets following the instructions, but I just couldn’t get the points as sharp as I wanted once I turned them out.
I abandoned the notch and just bound the edges of the pockets, I wasn’t too disappointed with this, as the fabric is quite busy, the detail would have probably been lost anyway.
I am quite pleased with the pockets and the neatness of my top stitching, however the seam I turned under is not a smooth a curve as I would have wanted- if anyone has any tips for this it’d be much appreciated, send over with a cocktail recipe.
The rest of the dress went to plan and I particularly liked the method for the hem panel, which gives you a lined bottom section. Having two layers at the bottom of the dress adds a weight, which makes the dress hang well.
For the smaller lady arrivals I went with the Lullaby set, making the shirt (and the trousers are soon to follow as soon as I get round to ironing my chambray!)
Although the the shirt is very small it was jammed packed with opportunities for me to master two new skills- making my own bias binding and buttonholes (it also had a placket and we all know that plackets are a trial to me!)
I had bought these handy bias binding makers sometime ago, but considering how much I love pre made binding and how convenient it is for misbehaving sewers like me, never got round to it.
Once you have cut your strip on the bias, all you need to do is feed it through the wider mouth of the metal contraption and it will fold it neatly for you and you can press as it pokes out of the narrow end. This was a great opportunity for me to also use my new teeny tiny iron, purchased for sewing tasks of champions.
(what other amazing sewing geek contraptions are there out there for me to buy? answers on a post card please)
Now button holes.
The Lullaby pattern calls for snappers, but I had the taste of revolution and wanted this try buttons. These have been on my ‘to conquer’ list for an age. I have a pretty fancy sewing machine, that has several button hole stitches and came with an automatic button hole foot.
Now tell me this WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME HOW EASY BUTTON HOLES ARE WHEN YOU HAVE A FANCY MACHINE?!
I mean it’s magic, it’s crazy voodoo that is both unnatural and amazing, it’s only one step away from A.I. really.
Just sneak your button of choice into the holder at the back of the foot and your clever clogs machine will just work it out, it’s really a true wonder. It did take me while to get the placing right, but after only a little help from my seam ripper, I was hooked.
Once you’ve sewn the button hole, just use your seam ripper to open it up. Then on the other side of the button opening mark where to attached your buttons. I chose some little white flower buttons, like this top wasn’t hella cute already.
The rest of the construction was really easy and the floral cotton behaved really well. All the seems are just finished with zig zag stitch and pressed.
As mentioned I am following up with the matching Lullaby trews too in a nice chambray, but will get to that after I’ve stopped adding button holes to EVERYTHING.
My pièce de résistance was adding a FOB label to the bottom of the hem. Now I justified this to myself, in that the baby can’t read yet and it’s written as ‘F***’, so she would need to know ‘Fuck’ already to even get the reference… it’s all gravy.