Monday, August 20, 2012

sewing for Baby

You already know that I like to reuse and repurpose fabric - often a thrifted vintage sheet or pillow case, and sometimes, cast-off clothing.

This weekend, I pulled out a much-loved and much-worn (and too small in the neck) short-sleeved dress shirt that belonged to the resident daddy-to-be, and turned it into a play suit for our little boy!
First, I traced a 6-month sized outfit from our slowly growing stash of clothing for the little guy:
Isn't this a cute little outfit? It will be perfect for Memorial Day!
 I then measured sides, arm holes, and leg openings and used a ruler to square up my lines. I traced a coaster to get the right curve for the neck, since the neckline on the red outfit was different than what I was wanting for this one, and then measured a 1/2" seam allowance around the entire pattern. I folded the pattern in half so that I could cut it out on the fold instead of taking a chance and having mismatched sides.

Then, I cut the dress shirt open at the seams, across the back yoke, and around the collar. I cut off the sleeves and set them aside for a future little project. I ironed the easy-care no-iron fabric, which just made life a little easier. I first cut from what was once the back of the shirt, moving the pattern to one side so that I could save as much fabric as possible. The great thing I discovered about this woven dress shirt fabric is that it's the same on the right side and the wrong side. Sweet. I then used the opened up back piece, centering it on the front button placket, pinned, and cut out the front piece.

First, I determined how many buttons I wanted to actually be able to use. Three seemed sufficient, so I sewed over the existing seams to close the button placket at the bottom.
It almost looks like a zipper fly.  I then finished the leg openings with an easy rolled hem (sew 1/4" from the edge, press toward the wrong side, fold up and press again toward the wrong side, and then sew 1/4" seam to finish).
There's the little "fly" for the little guy's outfit!
Next, I sewed the front and back pieces together - just up the sides and across the shoulders, avoiding arm and leg holes - with the wrong sides together, using a scant 1/4" seam. I then turned the outfit inside out and carefully pressed the seams.

Working on the wrong side of the fabric, I sewed the same sides and shoulders again, just a little bit bigger than 1/4" from the finished seam. This enclosed the raw edges of the fabric so that nothing will be itchy on Baby's soft skin. Then I pressed the seams toward the front side and sewed them down, again just a scant 1/4" from the finished edge. This is called a French seam, by the way. You'll see this kind of seam in really nice dress shirts - check the side seams! Here is a good tutorial, if you'd like to try this kind of seam on your next project.
Here's the inside of the French seam. Click on the picture to see it better!
Next, I had to re-trim the armhole openings because of my zeal in seaming the sides. Alas.

Then, I used this tutorial to make bias tape out of the remaining shirt pieces. I then trimmed the neck, armholes, and crotch opening with my snazzy matching bias tape.


 
Sigh. Then I had to wait, because I didn't yet have snaps. But yesterday, I picked some up! Hubby was impressed with my use of a hammer as I fastened the little snaps to the outfit. I love that he's proud of what I do.
And now it's done!!
What do you think? Little guy wearing Daddy's clothes - I love it!


I'm linking up at Sew Much Ado's "We Did It! Wednesday." Go check out what other people have made, too!


1 comment:

Andy and Kristen said...

Linnea this is SOOOOO CUUUUUUTE!!! I love it!! How creative and crafty of you! Brad better watch out... he may open his closet one morning and not have any more shirts to wear ;)