Thursday, February 6, 2014

Puppy Love

Sewing for newborns is fun, and addictive I am learning.

I had purchased a yard of this knit fabric from Joann's
and made a few diapers, but was still left with a lot of fabric. I knew it would be perfect for clothing, but wasn't sure what to make. I don't like gowns on babies, and being due in the summer, I didn't really want footed sleepers either.

So I opted for a shirt and pants, I could later shorten the pants to shorts if I wanted, or not. If not, I will get longer use out of them, so win win.

I had made a jumpsuit for a friend before, but wanted this two a be a two piece option to allow for more options in the summer heat.

I chose this pattern for the shirt:NB-2T shirt pattern
It works wonderfully with knits, and having used patterns from this site before, I was confident it would be well drawn and would fit very well.

I cut out my pieces one day, and began to sew it together later, thankfully this is easy enough to do, even if you don't do it all at the same time. Frequently my projects are broken up over several days, so I like easy to make things.

I chose to use the same material to make my binding because A: I didn't have any other knit, and B: I just liked it.

So I got to work, I cut a strip 1 inch wide and pinned it right side to wrong side around my collar piece:

My machine has a knit stitch, it looks like a little lightning bolt. Perfect for working with knits (#3 shown below).

I sewed the back of the binding onto both collar pieces and then began folding and pinning the fronts. I prefer to work in assembly line style doing all the pieces that involve the same steps, but that's just a preference. You certainly could work the front piece and then the back. Your call.

After the back is sewn down, you want to fold the binding strip to the front, and under to create a nice binding edge.

Then sew the front portion down, again with the knit stitch. This allows the collar to stretch and move around baby's head without popping stitches. DO NOT PULL the fabric here, let the machine do the work. Speaking from experience, I can tell you, if you pull the fabric from either side, you will stretch and pucker, and ruin it. Been there, done that.
It looks a little wavy here, but it did flatten out. Just a poor picture. Then I trimmed my excess off the ends, I'd left them longer on purpose, but now it was time to let them go.

Now you create the envelope neckline so familiar with baby shirts. You want to lay your pieces on top of each other, overlapping at the shoulder binding.
Sew your shoulder seams. and if needed, cut away any excess from the points. Then you begin the arms.
Pin your arm pieces at the shoulder, ensuring the points of the armholes all line up.

Sew your arms to the shirt, and turn it wrong side up. I had cut long sleeves, and chose to shorten them at this point. Folding and hemming tiny sleeves after they are sewn together can be daunting, so I chose to hem now. I did the super scientific method of using an existing onesie to measure how long to make them:

Hem your sleeves, and then you are ready to sew up the sides and bottom.

Trim away any excess here, and then you can hem the bottom. I chose to leave mine unhemmed because I want to get longer wear out of it, and knit does not fray.

Notice the collar is looking flatter already, after a wash and dry it lays flat. 

Coming Soon: Sewing the pants to match

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