Monday, February 8, 2016

"Tweetheart and Cootie Patootie"

I have lots of friends having babies and grand babies so over the the last couple of days I have been making handmade gifts for baby showers and to celebrate births. I confess that this is some of the most fun I have had sewing in a long time. There's just something about soft flannels in pretty colors and designs. These are Joann Fabrics designs and they made the sweetest little gowns and burp cloths!

This is the first gift set that I made. I call it "Tweetheart" and the little birdie and hearts design is very sweet. Obviously it's for a girl and it is pink but not too much pink. (Can you really ever have too much pink?)

I started with a Gerber long sleeved t shirt and cut it under the armpits to create an empire waist. I then cut a tube of flannel a little more than 3 times the width of the t shirt where I made the cut and about 23" long.

I zig zagged the raw edges of the flannel piece and stitched a tube joining long ends and right sides together. I then pressed the seam opened. I think the next time I make one, I will cut two pieces and stitch side seams together.  I prefer the seams on the side and it is easier to match up the flannel piece to the side seams of the tshirt. I've done it both ways--I guess it's really a matter of personal preference.

***Please note: when stitching a non-stretch fabric to the stretchy tshirt or onesie I often purchase one size up on the tshirt or onesie just to be sure there is enough stretch to fit over babies head. The very first gown that I made many years ago would not fit because without thinking I stitched some eyelet lace around the neckline. This of course prevented the opening from stretching over baby's head. The same principle applies to the empire waist in these gowns. Attaching flannel (instead of a stretchy knit) to the onesie will prevent the tshirt from stretching properly at the empire waist. This could make for one unhappy little baby at dressing time.

I made a casing and used  about 17" of 3/4" elastic because I happened to have some on hand. After fishing the elastic through the casing I stitched the two ends of the elastic together and sewed the opening in the casing closed. You can also make a casing a few inches above the hemmed bottom which will give it a gathered ruffle effect. My youngest daughter had one and it was the cutest thing. I believe I created the casing by using bias tape. I've even used wide ribbon if I didn't have bias tape on hand.

The last thing that I did was cut a small square out of the flannel for an applique using fusible web. After fusing the applique to the top, I pinned a stabilizer to the back of the applique. For the stabilizer I recycled a dryer sheet and cut a square slightly larger than the applique square. Once everything was in place, I stitched around the applique with a zig zag stitch.

The burp cloths are made from prefolded cloth diapers. A piece of the flannel is sewn to the cloth diaper right sides together, turned and topstitched. Then following the stitching already on the diaper, I restitched right on top of the vertical diaper stitching making sure I placed white thread on the top of my machine and gray thread in the bobbin. Then I folded them in thirds and tied them up with a tulle bow.

This was the second little gown that I stitched up. I call this one Cootie Patootie!

The little bug is so cute! 

While sewing this gown, my sewing machine quit on me. I know, it's only a year old. A thread got caught in the tension thingies (yes, that is a technical term) and I am hoping that I did not break or bend anything while trying to yank it out. My machine is heading in for service in the morning.

Luckily I have another machine which allowed me to complete my project.

Anyways, I love how they turned out. There are many, many tutorials with photos on various blogs and pinterest. Everyone has their preference as to how to sew and embellish their gowns and burp cloths. I really wanted to attach a pretty ribbon bow or fabric flower to the front of the gown but from personal experience a tied bow never comes out of the washer looking nice. Bows and flowers made from the fabric are often bulky and uncomfortable for baby to lie on. I learned this the hard way when my own girls were babies.

These are so much fun to stitch up and I am looking forward to making a few more. Many years ago I made a pattern for bubble britches (my name for them) and they can also be attached to a t shirt in the same way. The legs and crotch had snaps which made diaper changes easy. I hope to locate it because it was so very sweet and comfy for baby to wear.  We are also talking about a pattern I used roughly 20 years ago so I will probably have to start the pattern from scratch. Once I have spent hours trying to recreate the pattern, I will no doubt locate the original one.

If you'd like to try your hand at stitching up some of theses sweet gowns, I have pinned some links to similar baby gowns on pinterest along with some other sweet DIY baby gift creations. Simply follow this LINK! IF you aren't into sewing them yourself, there are plenty of sweet gowns to be found on ETSY.

As always, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your visit!

The Enchanting Rose