Friday 28 March 2014

Refashion Friday: Sleeping Tops to Baby Trousers

So here's something I've learnt about babies: they grow really fast. So fast that if you watched them constantly, you could probably see it happening. Clothes that seemed a bit big on Dolores one day can be far too small a couple of weeks later. Thankfully we have positioned ourselves down-stream of a flow of garments from her 20-month old cousin, however a healthy dose of charity shopping or mum-makes is required to fill in the gaps. 

A very good thing about babies is that they had absolutely no sartorial opinions. Therefore you can make their clothes out of anything and they won't complain! Clothes that are super shabby, like these two sleeping tops that I've owned for longer than I care to remember, can be given a second life when hacked up and used as baba-garms. 

For the pattern, I started with an Ottobre magazine pattern that I redrafted to alter the style and improve the fit. I incorporated the original hem ribbing from the pink towelling zip-through and the original hem finishing from the grey ribbed striped top saving me some construction time on both the pairs of trousers. If you'd like to get an idea of what it feels like to wear these trousers, here's a wearer's-eye-view (kind of):

I've written a lot in the past about how much I love the idea of turning old garments in to new ones, especially new ones intended for loved ones to wear. It's very satisfying to cut away the worn bits and end up with something that's got a whole heap of new life in it (literally!). Clothing that is passed it's best can be such a great source of sewable fabric, particularly if the things you are making are for a tiny person. I can see A LOT more reworking of my old clothes into useful things for Dolores in the future, hopefully most of them will end up as useful as these trousers have been so far.   

What about you? Have you reused old clothes for babies and/or children? What do you like about it? Have you any tips or ideas to share with the rest of the class?!


Ellen said...

Naw- what a cutie!
A lot of my sons clothes are refashioned from old clothes or op-shop fabric. Because they're so small I can get some pants or whatever out of the 50cm lengths of corduroy some nice person keeps donating.
I generally add ribbing for the waist and around the ankle so they can have growing room without being obviously too big. Same with cuffs on wovens. My most recent batch of trousers are here.
We're just getting into winter, so fingers crossed they'll last!

tialys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tialys said...

Funnily enough, I was pondering the other day on what to do with a stripy top which had developed a hole not near enough to the seam to repair but otherwise in good condition. It would have made a great pair of baby leggings but, not having any baby acquaintances at the moment, I'm afraid it ended up as a duster. Dolores looks gorgeous .

Cucicucicoo: Eco Crafting & Sewing said...

Oh YES, I'm contantly refashioning old clothes for my kids! When winter clothing becomes to short, the legs/arms get chopped off and become summer wear. Old grown-up sweatshirts and shirts become cozy pants (trousers) like you did. And I just love how you can get all the fabric you need for little kid clothing from some adult offcast clothing. Unfortunately as they grow, it gets harder and harder! I look forward to seeing your future adult-to-baby refashions! :) Lisa

Panifrau said...

My son was born just a few weeks after Dolores and he got so big already! I've made a lot of cloths for him, some using my old stuff. This onesie used to be a legging.
The best adult-to-baby refashion yet is my husband hoodie to baby jacket, based on Burda pattern from the September 2013 issue. I really have to post it.
I still have a whole bag of slightly worn out stuff to be refashioned I just don't have enough time.

Panifrau said...

My advice for baby refashions would be:
Keep the scraps, baby stuff is small enough
Keep your old clothes, they are a great source of fabric
Go thrifting
Consider fabrics you normal don't see in baby department. I've made a baby jacket out of a felted cashmere sweater
Even if your project is not perfect a cute baby will make a fail look adorable

Philippa said...

Your baby is beautiful :) I have teenagers now and they love me to buy oversize printed dresses and make little gathered floral miniskirts for them. Cute and cheap! You could use them for baby and toddler dresses, too. I also use a lot of charity shop buys to make my own clothes. I use them as fabric and put patterns on them just like you would new yardage. So much less expensive and you know the fabric will work in a garment.

Fooniks said...

What a great idea! My SO became an uncle for the 6th time yesterday. I totally fell in love with the little baby boy and now I know what I have to do with my stash/clothes I don't wear much anymore. The way I see it it's a win-win situation. I get more room in my closet and new excuse to make more stuff for myself and I can give the little cutey-pie something that's made with love :)

Roberta said...

Do you know the children's story "Something from Nothing", by Phoebe Gilman? You might appreciate it (and it's beautiful and was a fave of my kids, now 19 and 20)

Michelle said...

You're wonderfully resourceful! These little pants are really, really cute! Dolores is growing quickly and even more gorgeous than when we got a peak of her last, if that's possible.

Lovenicky said...

Absolutely! I have refashioned lots of my clothes, my husband's clothes for my kids. I have refashioned outgrown clothes from my son for my daughter. It's practical, economical and fun to do! I haven't bought much clothing for my children at all except may be shoes and snow gears. I get so much pleasure in seeing my kids in my refashioned creations too. And your daughter is soooooooooo adorable!

badmomgoodmom said...

Lola is so cute!!!!!

I used to cut up frayed t-shirts and turn them into
baby pants, using Kwik Sew's Sewing for Babies pants pattern.

The fraying starts at the edges, but the center part of the F and B is usually just fine. I'd make a stack in her momentary size (or a bit larger). I'd set aside old t-shirts (or gladly take donations from friends). Then, I have a stack ready for the next growth spurt.

The sleeves became dusting mitts when I sewed one end shut.

Anonymous said...

She, and the clothes, are adorable!

A while back, I ran out of knit fabric and took a couple of screen printed t-shirts out of my husband's drawer, dyed them purple, and cut around the printed motifs to make a dress for my daughter. Everyone thought it was amusing, but I got the impression that no one wanted me to make a habit of it. Here's the dress:

kati said...

She is a cutie-pie!

I love pants-for-babies made of the long sleeves of t-shirts. It's the part of the shirt I seem to destroy the least (the part around the belly button, or more precisely the top of the pants fly is what gets destroyed the most for me).

My girls are too big for this now, they're 3 and 5. So we make doll clothes out of the same t-shirts. Not quite as cost-effective, I would say, but not bad either.

Jacq C said...

She looks so sweet - the trousers are a brilliant idea. Lots of friends are having new babies at the moment, I'm working my way through my scraps box with a very smug 'this is why I can't through even the smallest scrap away' look on my face :)

Giggles said...

For little girls: dresses become tunics become tops :-)

Also once you get to size 1 (the size they wear when they are 1 year) it's worth keeping the shorts and pants and skirts when they seem too little, because once they are out of nappies that'll fit again

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