In the last six (eight?!) months, it seems to have been raining new babies. Not all that unusual really, given the season myself and my group of friends are in…but still: #allofthebabies! As each newbie arrival greets us I’ve been busily sewing up bibs and burp cloths and blankets and appliquéing singlets here and there. I have so very much fabric in my stash, a ridiculous amount of small pieces mostly, which are perfect for little baby projects. I keep small pieces of special fabric in plastic tubs (sorted into boy/girl/florals/stripes/spots etc) in my sewing room for just the right occasion. They are pieces too small to do much with in the way of whole clothing pieces, but I know will make a great bandana bib or initial on a baby singlet for a new baby boy or girl.
I love putting together little newborn ‘sets’ for a sweet new bundle, matching fabrics and prints and this and that. If it’s not already known, I eagerly await the announcement of boy or girl, and get busy sifting through various florals for girls or classic blues, stripes or animals for boys. Lately I’ve also been putting together matchy-matchy sets with a board book too – a little “welcome to the world, here, get reading!” pack! And I wouldn’t be lying to say that I’ve been known to peruse the book shop for the perfect book to match my fabric stash. This ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ print I’d had in my fabric collection for possibly years, awaiting the right occasion. My friend Tegan’s baby shower, where the gender of the baby was then unknown, was it’s lucky day to be put into use for a bib, appliqué singlet and more unisex grey and white dots…
Another favourite baby ‘thing’ to make for newborn gifts are bunny-ear teether toys. Using a wooden curtain ring, which I gently sand and oil with a food grade oil (grapeseed usually) which is safe for babies to chew on, I sew a little bunny-ear shape of minky and cotton. My girls had a few of these which they sucked on as wee ones, and played with happily in a pram or car capsule. Goodness knows I’ve got the worlds largest stash of minky…are we sensing a general theme that I have too much fabric?!
I do love the fabric used above in that set for a second baby girl, I thought it was perfectly pretty without being a pink overload considering it was the family’s second baby girl. From memory I bought that fabric from Spotlight yonks ago, but I still have a fair bit in my stash which I am hoping to make Eleanor a denim pinafore for Winter, using that navy and neutral print as a yoke/contrast. Once I stop making all these new baby gifts, that is! Every time I go to get cracking on a sewing project for my girls – another baby is born. The little nappy cover is not something I regularly make, because each and every time I do those leg elastics casings I ask myself whhhhhyyyyyyy I didn’t do little shorts (with a straight edge to hem) rather than a nappy cover (with a curved edge to hem). Enter, my last and latest new baby gift…
Pretty pastels for baby Paige. In my wisdom, I made little shorts (Tadah’s flexi shorts pattern, which I think I could make with my eyes closed I’ve made so many). A bigger, square style bib which I swear by (covers little messy shoulders, I was so surprised how messy my babies shoulders were getting, so designed a bib to suit), appliquéd singlet and a seaside top (also a Tadah pattern). Another sweet little bundle sent north for a family’s first little girl.
All of these small gifts are nothing fancy – no stellar crafting here, simple and straight stitching, easy sewing and not too time consuming, because: I have small children too! But all made with care, love and thoughts for the new parents sewn into every stitch. It does make me a bit warm and fuzzy knowing that a new family has received a handmade gift, rather than another stuffed toy or another jumpsuit (well, they can be handy…)
Do you like to gift handmade little packages to new babies?
Got a favourite bib pattern? I have three regulars I trot out – the big square, the bandana (for dribblers like my Harriet) and a more regular sized rounded edge one. All tried and tested and have stood the test so far through two babies.
Do you stash away small squares of fabric for those ‘one day I’ll make a bib with that’ occasions?