Geranium Dress for a New Little Miss

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Hurrah, a new baby in the family! The extended family — not my immediate family. “Phew!” says my husband. “Awwwwww…, ” says Eli, with disappointment. That boy asks for another baby on a regular basis. Cue the Rolling Stones: you can’t always get what you want, my dear son.

My cousin and her husband welcomed baby #2, a beautiful daughter, in January. Yes, yes, I know, it is now July, and I finally just shipped off a package of homemade goodies and officially welcomed her to the family.

I swore I was going to be more timely. I sewed up a minky and flannel blanket right after she was born. But it just didn’t seem exciting enough. I tossed around different pattern and fabric ideas but nothing really struck me. Months passed. Then I decided I needed to get in on the Geranium Dress goodness I’d been admiring on sewing blogs and in the Kids Clothes Week photo pools. The Geranium Dress Sewing Pattern is from Made By Rae, and the fabric I chose is from the Out to Sea collection by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.  The “Sea Flowers” fabric is a small scale print of flowers and sea stars in pinks and blue and it is pretty busy, but I think it works really well in a smaller child’s size (in this case size 6 to 12 months — actually, I don’t think I indicated the dress size in the package I sent, so this post will have to do the trick!).

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Aside from the usual greatness of Rae’s patterns and the detailed instructions, I love that the pattern easily accommodates different trims. I chose pale pink pom poms at the waistline, because, well, pom pom trim is awesome. Enough said. Rae has a post devoted to Adding Trim to the Geranium Dress

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As much as I love the added element of pom pom trim, this part didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped. I didn’t give myself enough of a seam allowance on the waistline once the trim was added, and this necessitated closing the bodice lining by hand. Groan. Groan again. I learned how to sew on a sewing machine, so my hand-sewing skills could use some work. Sometimes, when I’m feeling super ambitious (a/k/a “fooling myself”), I declare loudly — in my head, so that no one can hear and I won’t really be held accountable — that I should spend an entire week’s worth of sewing time focused solely on hand-sewing techniques. I mean, I should do this. And I really do think it is important to be skilled and feel confident in the most basic form of one’s hobby, buuuuuut (insert whiny voice here) the sewing machine just makes everything so much easier, not to mention faster, and there are so many projects that just seem way, way more interesting than a week of sewing drills.

This is a poor picture, but you can see my totally amateur stitching by hand. Thank goodness this is the lining. Ain’t nobody gonna see it from the outside!

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So, the dress was complete and ready to be sent off with the blanket (I swear there really is a blanket! Just no photos!). All set, right? Nope. I wanted to include a little something for the Big Bro. A couple more months passed. Really, now, this is just pathetic. A classic study in procrastination.

I knew exactly what I wanted to make — a little zippered pouch to house treasures of all sorts — and I had the fabric and the zipper and, well, apparently no motivation. I knew it wouldn’t take too long to complete so I kept pushing it aside in favor of whatever was grabbing my fancy at the time — like truly important things such as surfing the internet looking at outrageous vacation rentals in far off magical places where no one with children under the age of fifteen ever visits. Tick. Tock. Finally I had to sit myself down and have a little talk about responsibility and ambition.

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Okay, actually there was no such talk, but I did finally get out of my own way and sew this cute little bag for a cute little guy. And all’s well that ends well. Or so I hope.

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Happy Fourth of July!

A-Tisket, A-Tasket, a Baby Shower Basket

One of my favorite people is having a baby later this summer, and we celebrated her baby shower a couple weeks ago. I am so excited for her and love that sewing allows me to show that excitement with something handmade. Definitely made with love.

Did you guess that she’s having a boy?!

As part of my gift, I made this fabric basket using the Noodlehead Divided Basket Pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. The pattern is well written and easy to follow along; and there are several variations, including adding pockets and different options for the handles. I’m a sucker for projects that are well-suited for mixing and matching fabrics. This is definitely a pattern I will use again.

The basket became a bit of a baby grab bag, filled with some items off her registry, a bunch of newborn-sized diapers, a couple tie-dyed onesies (have I mentioned my recent obsession with fabric dye? I dyed the basket handles, too!), and other helpful baby items. And, I didn’t even have to wrap it – bonus!

The basket seems like a natural fit for holding diapers in the early years, but I predict it will be useful for years to come. Can’t you see this on a bedside table filled with children’s books for eager little hands to peruse? Or used as easy transport for favorite things — I can picture my son moving all his plastic dinosaurs around from room to room in a basket like this. The Noodlehead site showcases some of the baskets Anna Graham has made from her pattern and suggests more potential uses, too. And her lovely fabric choices are always a treat to look at.

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A baby shower basket.

Filled with treats for a babe to come

and all my love sent with it …

 

The Early Bird: New Baby Boy & Big Sister Sewing

More baby love (and more little packages) to share!My cousin’s family welcomed a healthy baby boy to the nest two months ago.  Two months ago — where the heck does the time go?

Well, I think we were all expecting it would be more like one month ago, but the little nugget was three weeks early. No problems or issues, just excited to be part of the world, I guess. And who can blame the early bird, especially when he has a lovely big sister to hang with.

I made a pair of baggy knit pants for my new second cousin using a grey and white geometric print I found a few months ago. The print doesn’t particularly scream “baby” but knits are so comfy and easy to pull on and off a baby that it seemed appropriate. I realize we’re all expectantly awaiting summer shorts weather, so I tried to size the pants to fit for early fall. They can always be good pants for air-conditioned indoors if they fit before then.

My favorite part is the leg cuff. I am a big fan of that off-white knit; it has a nice, cushy thickness and good feel. I originally wanted to make the pants the reverse of what they ended up being — solid leg and printed cuff, and a mini printed pocket on the bum — but I finally decided that perhaps white baby pants were not the smartest idea.

I typically like for there to be some sort of connection between what I’m sewing for the new baby and what I’m making for the older sibling. Coordinated colors or prints, perhaps. But once I chose the geometric grey print, I was a little stuck on what to use for big sis. So I went around and around with ideas, until finally I remembered this pink, white and grey bird family print I had in my fabric stash. A little grey for both of them, yet remarkably different in style.

So big sis gets a fun skirt (the same as the two-timing skirts I sell in my Etsy shop) made from two layers of woven cotton. I think the bird family print is charming, and kind of fits with the new baby/family theme. Of course, the bird families on the skirt have three or four little birds sitting on the branch, and I’d like to be clear this is not my attempt to pressure my cousins to keep adding to their brood!!  🙂

I wish my cousin and family happy days with their new son, and restful nights (as if!). A big warm welcome to the early bird!