This is the first post dealing with the topic of 'stuff I made for peops this Christmas'. I'm proud to say that a high proportion of the gifts I gave this year were handmade but I always feel like it's bad juju to blog about those creations before the recipient has their mitts on them, even if those recipients are less than a year old and subsequently are not yet avid readers of this blog.
For the three babies on my Christmas list, I made a pair of trousers and pair of shoes each. I know that when these tots get bigger, they'll probably feel disappointed by gifts of clothing. So crazy-sewing Aunt Zo must make the most of these years when they don't as yet feel fobbed off by not receiving a Thomas the Tank Engine-mutant-Power Ranger-in your pocket.
The trousers were all based on the lunch-hour baby trouser pattern I'm addicted to making. They are so quick to make, it's very satisfying to have made a new thing in the time it takes to Patty to have a shower, i.e, about half an hour (I know. In his defense, he has a lot of hair). I added little 'Hey Baby' labels that I got made yonks ago with roughly the correct sizing. I did this mainly to make it easier for the parents so they can quickly denote which way round they are meant to go.
These little navy and white striped trousers and tiny 'old-man' slippers now belong to Pat's new nephew, Dominic, who was only nine days old when we met him just before Christmas.
These cool action-baby trousers and slightly larger old-man slippers now belong to my friend Emma's little son, Samuel. The trousers used to be an unwanted men's T-shirt (see below).
The final set in the trio comprises of pretty floral print trousers and a different design of shoe for my mate Umi's little girl, Surayya.
Let's take a closer look at the shoes....
The little dudes' shoes were created using this free downloadable pattern. I changed the pattern ever-so-slightly so they had a lining, rather than making them them all from fleece as the pattern suggests. I used a scrap of check fabric for the outer layers and used fleece and the fleecey side of a sweatshirt for the lining. I also used some iron-on interfacing in the soles so they are a bit sturdier. I'd say a pair of these take about half an hour to make, including cutting out time. I love that some people share their hard work with the sewing community by allowing their patterns to be down loaded for free. I plan to do the same and share some of my self-developed patterns in the New Year, watch this space.
Anyways, these little dudes' shoes actually seem to function pretty well. You can see Samuel below rocking them in the cafe. They managed to stay on for a couple of hours right up until it was time to leave. Victory!
The second style of baby shoe was a wholely more complex affair. As you can imagine, Etsy has a squillion baby shoe pdf sewing patterns for sale. In the end I opted to buy this one. This style has flaps which close with a popper and little tongues, plus they are fully lined in a super-neat invisible way (unlike the previous style which requires trimming the seam allowances back which makes them not quite so perfectly neat, but much speedier to make). This sneaker style is a far more complex make and took me about a billion days to complete. They are made from some scraps of printed Ikea furnishing fabric I found at work. The print features birds and butterflies as well as your standard flowers-fare which appealed to me. I lined them with some brushed cotton and each pattern piece requires interfacing. I'm really pleased with the result, but I think life really is too short to bother making another pair from this pattern.
Without having the little tot nearby, I had to guess where to position the poppers and I was concerned that they wouldn't stay on, but thankfully Surayya seems to be rocking them successfully:
I know I'm biased, but how cute are these babies? TOO cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My friends mate cute babies. Fact.
Aside from being able to give a present made with love and good handmade juju, the next best thing about these gifts is that they all cost me nothing but my time. I was able to harvest scraps and leftovers of woven and jersey fabric to make some colourful, and hopefully useful, items for them to wear. What's not to love about that?!