Thankfully, my baby-brained desire to plaster and paint walls has been replaced with fussing over baby clothes. After pulling out Heckle’s baby clothes and rewashing them. It took 18 loads, giving my homemade laundry detergent a real work out. Just quietly, I am really happy with how well the detergent works and knowing there’s no toxic nasties to rub against bub.
Last time I was pregnant, I bought a lot of white baby suits with the intention of personalising them, but since Heckle arrived early that didn’t happen. This time it’s a different story.
To hand sew or not to hand sew
I don’t have a working sewing machine at the moment, so I just did this by hand with the smallest stitches I could manage. It’s all pretty little, so it doesn’t take that long. Mrs Edmonds, my sewing teacher who deemed it inappropriate to swear whilst knitting (as I mention in my crafty flop post), would most definitely not have approved of my frayed edges, but I like them that way. However, some fabrics won’t hold up in the wash without over-locked edges. Tight woven cottons seem to hold up well.
Reuse old clothes and fabric
You’re not going to want to wash items separately, so it’s definitely worth using scraps from pre-loved clothes or pre-washed off cuts, so they’re less likely to run in the washing machine. My bits of choice were the off cuts from old jeans turned into shorts, a holey cushion cover, gift wrap ribbon and garden twine.
Choosing the images
Choose images that don’t have too much detail. You can draw your own by free hand if you’re a better artist than me. I have traced images from books, flash cards, around puzzle pieces, blocks and similar toys.
This is a bit addictive. Soon you’ll be trying to sew little images everywhere.
Decorating baby suits
Plain t-shirts, vests or onesies
Tracing paper or baking paper
Tailor’s chalk or a pencil
Fabric and ribbon off cuts
Fabric off cuts
To decorate the baby suit:
1. Trace pictures from books, or use the outlines of toys, puzzle pieces and the like on to tracing or baking paper.
2. Cut out the shape of your image and draw around the edge, using tailor’s chalk or a pencil and cut out the fabric shape.
3. You can also use interfacing to toughen up finer fabrics (this can slow down the fraying too). Cut out the interfacing slightly smaller (it’s the white bit under the calico. Next time, I’ll use a better contrasting background!)
I wanted to show off my seven-year-old niece’s fabulous artistic duck. It’s gorgeous and just goes to show that with a bit of imagination really anything can work.
Next on my list is an apple and I’m tempted to sew a little hungry worm in there too. What do you think?