Mini Making

I’ve reached the age where my friends are all starting to have babies (which is lovely, but alarming. I’m sure we aren’t old enough for these things. Yes I know I’ve just turned 30, shh). Obviously, I’m using this as an opportunity to make lots of tiny cute things for them! I’ve given two sets of gifts so far, so I’ll post about those ones now and the other ones later, so that I don’t spoil the surprise in the unlikely event that the recipients read my blog…

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First up is this super cute little jumper. It’s the Livingston pattern by Nadia Cretin-Lechenne, which I fell in love with when I saw Abbey Morris post her version on instagram. I love the cute button up neck and the loopy texture on the front panel, and it was a fun wee pattern to make. I couldn’t figure out how the stitch pattern worked until I started knitting, but you slip two stitches for two rows, and then move them two stitches to either side with a cable needle on the third row. Simple and effective! Knitting the front flap was easier than I expected, though I did have to fudge it a little bit and do some tidying up at the edges of the openings when I sewed the ribbing down at the bottom of the openings on either side.

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I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for the first time on this project, and it is so nice to knit with! It’s so soft, and the stitch definition is lovely. I initially bought two balls, intending to make the newborn size, but my friend is having a large baby according to her recent scans so I decided to make the 3 month size instead! I had to put a rush order in to get another ball so I could finish it in time for her baby shower, but it all worked out fine! He’s due at the end of the month, so if the sizing is right we’ll be in the middle of winter when he fits it, which would be perfect. I picked some plastic tortoiseshell-ish buttons out of my stash, I like that they’re fairly neutral but not boring.

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To finish off the gift I made up a couple of pairs of tiny sweatpants using some merino sweatshirting left over from my other projects. I used the Streaky Legs pattern from Ottobre Magazine (Spring issue 1 Kids from 2015), there are so many good patterns in that magazine! These pants are super simple, just two pattern pieces (front/back and cuff), and they’re so cute. The sizing is done by measuring the height of the child, which is a bit tough when a) you’re making a gift, and b) the kid is still in utero, but I had a guess and hopefully they’ll fit! Stupidly I didn’t look at the instructions, because they were so simple, but if I had checked I would have noticed that there were no seam allowances included in the pattern. Unfortunately I didn’t pick that up until I was checking to see how much elastic to put in the waistband. Being a European pattern from a magazine I should have expected that there were no seam allowances, so it was a bit stupid of me. Hopefully they’ll fit for a little while at least!

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For my other baby gift I made up a couple of baby bibs and a little sun hat in some super cute matching cotton. I love that there are lots of uses for craft cottons when making baby stuff, there are so many gorgeous prints that I would never use otherwise! I used two free patterns, the Purl Soho Bib and the Oliver + S Bucket Hat. Both patterns were really easy to use, and I love the results for each!

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I chose a woodland themed cotton from Stitchbird Fabrics for these gifts, as the baby I was making them for is a Canadian/Kiwi and I thought he would appreciate the bears and squirrels (eventually). I paired the cotton with more remnants from my stash, the orange is the left over linen from my Harvest Tee. I thought it was a slightly unexpected colour to pair with the muted colours of the cotton, but it matches the squirrels and deer and I liked the contrast!

The bibs were a very quick and easy sew. I used a scrap of blue drill (left over from Hamish’s first Jedediah shorts, I think) and sewed on a patch with my favourite bear on it, so that everything wasn’t too visually similar. For the backing I used a nice squishy cotton sweatshirting, with the looped side facing out. I just couldn’t find toweling anywhere, and buying a towel to cut up seemed messy and a bit wasteful when I could just use sweatshirting! Hopefully it’ll do the job just fine…

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It turns out sewing baby gear is a great stash buster, I’m so glad I’ve been holding onto all of my merino scraps! baby stuff is nice and quick to sew up too, perfect for fitting in around other projects. Expect to see a few more teeny garments being made in the next few months…

18 thoughts on “Mini Making

  1. What gorgeous and useful makes! I’m sure the baby will look gorgeous in them! I’m excited to make a few more things for my nephew now that my sister approves of my sewing.

  2. I think you picked some great patterns to make! That little sweater is just adorable. I just found out we are getting a new baby in the family so I have been prowling the internet for suitable baby makes! I will be looking forward to your other post as well.

    1. Thank you! There are some great baby patterns out there, so many choices for cute things! I really rate the Ottobre kids magazines though, they have an awesome range of patterns 😊

  3. Wow – your friends are so lucky! Great move on the sizing for the sweater – and the button openings are so much easier for little ones than a regular neckband. They’re going to be the smartest babies around. (NB If you ever get stuck on the sizing again, the World Health Organisation growth/age charts are available online – I’ve been known to estimate the size of other people’s kids using these!)

    1. That’s a great tip, thanks! I find it so hard to know how big babies are when I’m making them stuff, they’re always smaller than I expect! Better too big than too small I suppose…

  4. That jumper is amazing! Such a cute little outfit. I also think ottobre mags are great AND routinely forget to add seam allowance – haha. They seem to have a more modern fit (e.g., skinnier legs) than some of the other kids patterns around. I had a big stash busting session last year where I made lots of bibs out of scraps. I did a similar thing as you did with the two-tone one and it meant that I could use lots of little, otherwise useless, bits of fabric which was a good feeling. I didn’t use towelling, just soft scraps like merino, old sweaters etc and they are great to use, much better than rtw ‘cos you can make them nice and big.

    1. Thanks Naomi! Ottobre seems to be awesome value as well, and I love the range of patterns! I might have to look into the women’s magazine too. I loved getting to use those merino scraps up, justifies me hoarding them for so long! I’ll need to keep my cotton scraps for more bibs. I’m glad that any soft fabric works on bibs 😊

  5. Such a gorgeous and thoughtful gift Kristen, exercising your inner mother perhaps? I recall making a very sweet but embarrassing romper out of men’s shirting wit matching baker’s hate -0 my sone looked like a Snap or Crackle or Pop! Judging by the look on his face in the photo he will never get over it! Xx

  6. Super cute. Good call on making the bigger jumper size, your friend will be inundated with newborn things that will fit him for all of 4 minutes! Another good way to finish off the harem pants is with a wide fabric waistband that can fold over when they are small and unfold as they grow to get a good 3-4 months of wear. I use the patterns for pirates free harem pants.

    1. Thanks Sarah! Yeah, I would hate to knit a jumper that only fit for a few weeks, I want it to be worth the effort! That sounds like an excellent idea for the pants, I’ll try that next time. I was a bit worried about the elastic being too tight and digging into his wee belly!

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