Thursday, 17 November 2011

Joe's Jumper Trousers

Right. It took a few months, but I'm now armed with detailed reviews on my lunch-hour baby trousers from the mums of baby Joe (pictured below) and baby Surayya. Overall, the feedback has been positive, and all those initial attempts have apparantly seen a fair bit of action which I'm pleased about.

It would appear that the overall size and volume make them suitable for easily up to six months (despite the two months as stated on the initial pattern). Sophie, baby Joe's mum, requested some extra length for future pairs so they can be rolled down when he's in his carrier so his legs are well covered, and rolled up when he's chillin' having reached his destination (see above).

I also received an order for four pairs as Christmas presents, including a larger size so have had to develop an eighteen month version as well. Basically, it's been baby-trouser-athon round these parts having made eight pairs last month.

My favourite pair, although arguably the dullest to look at, are the pair pictured above and below. These trousers started out life as a lightweight jumper belonging to my dad. He look a dislike to it for some reason so it got passed on to Patty. However, it was way too big for Patty (not that such a triviality would have prevented him continuing to go to work in it until I insisted he took it off and wore something else that actually looked like it belonged to him!). By that afternoon the jumper in question had become a new pair of Winter trousers for baby Joe. I lined up the bottom edge of the trouser pattern pieces with the bottom edge of the jumper so its ribbing would be included and I wouldn't have to bother finishing the hems of the final trousers.

Agh! He's so cute I have to keep looking away so my eyes don't start watering! What I loved about making this particular pair of baby trousers above the others is that it is directly making use of an unwanted garment that has gone down a small chain of owners, all of whom are very special to me. The jumper is now being enjoyed in its new incarnation, which reminds me a lot of the way women had to creatively reinterpret unwanted adult garments to clothe their children when clothing and fabric were scarce and being rationed during the Second World War, and no-doubt in many difficult times before and since the 1940's. Making a garment in a similar vein makes me feel connected to that tradition and the women before me to whom this was a regular activity. Using sewing skills in this 'old-fashioned' way, i.e. to make essential clothing that will be regularly worn increasingly inspires and appeals to me above making another pretty dress that may see two or three wears a year.

6 comments:

MrsC said...

Good on you Zoe! I like the idea of making things that are genuinely useful. I like making pretty things but I love making things that get used and worn and loved. :)

Kestrel said...

I love it - you're absolutely right that you're genuinely channeling a sewing vibe from a previous era and good on you for that.

theresa said...

Brilliant work Zoe, it's great to have soft, useful and well made babies and childrens clothes, it's not often found in shop bought clothes anymore. I've made mine many clothes out of cut down adult clothes, sometimes to save money, sometimes to cut waste and you're right it creats a great vibe.

Rehanon Mackenzie said...

Oh lordy what a cutie! I love the story of transformation from papa's old jumper to baby's new trousers such a great reuse of a garment. High five to you lovely lady.

Corinna said...

Love it. 3 of my children are currently sleeping in pj's made out of adult clothes which were given to me. I find a great sense of satisfaction in remaking an old and/or unusable garment and giving it new life again.

Minnado said...

Great trousers and what a cute, smiley baby! I think you know that I don't like the idea of babies needing all new fresh to them clothes, so I love this re use of the old jumper. It is probably nice and soft and cosy due to being old and washed many times!

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