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Forum > Creative Sewing > No luck sewing cute baby clothes ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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No luck sewing cute baby clothes
Why do my homemade baby clothes look so...well, homely??
Raye Ann
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Raye Ann  Friend of PR
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California USA
Member since 3/25/09
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Date: 10/7/10 12:29 PM

I have been very excited to start sewing for my new baby- she is 12 weeks old today- but I am disappointed in my results so far. I haven't reviewed any of the patterns yet because I am so disappointed in my results!
I have only used two sources for patterns so far:
The much loved Kwik Sew: Sewing for Baby
And an OOP Butterick pattern for a baby layette. Here is an etsy link for the pattern if anyone wants to get a better idea of what I am working with: Butterick pattern

The problem is that the clothes I am making - long sleeve Tshirt from both, pants and hoodie from KWBaby- just look very old fashioned and fit my daughter poorly. Her RTW clothing uses narrow bindings, and narrow arms/body shape. She is long, so needs a bigger size(6 ms ish) for enough length. But her shoulders are narrow, so all the lap-sleeved shirts are too wide and make her look a little Flashdance-y.
Unfortunately, the sewn clothes are way worse! The body is very wide, shoulders are wide and dropped, and call for wide ribbing as a finish. I can't seem to figure out how to alter the pattern to fix all of the above issues. Is this because I am working from very old patterns reflecting old design, or are all baby patterns this way??
I just thought I would throw this out there and see if my PR friends had any suggestions. Thanks!
ETA: I don't think the construction is hard, the pattern instructions are fine, it is just the finished product that I am unhappy with:)
-- Edited on 10/7/10 12:30 PM --

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Raye Ann

kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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In reply to Raye Ann


Date: 10/7/10 1:20 PM

Hmm interesting. I have only sewn items for somewhat older kids, typically dresses, shirts, etc. I love dresses for toddlers and older babies because fit isn't really a big issue.

I do remember one exception, a tee shirt and pants for real infants. I hated the way they truned out, and never went back.

I think if I were you I'd wait and sew things for her when she is a little older. As soon as you get a pattern to work she'll outgrow it. Maybe someone else will be more encouraging

Congratulations, btw!

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

sky
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sky
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Date: 10/7/10 1:32 PM

Raye Ann,
Do you have pictures? Maybe of both the store-bought with features you like and your sewn ones? I'm afraid I won't have much help to offer, but I'm gearing up to make my first nephew (not due till Feb) some clothes so I'm interested in the responses.

ryansmumAria
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ryansmumAria
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In reply to Raye Ann


Date: 10/7/10 2:22 PM

Raye Ann,
Making tiny clothes requires lots of little itty bitty bindings which are very time consuming and require alot of practice for veteran sewers so it's a built in problem and not your inability.

I don't do barbie clothes for this reason ~ just too complicated...

D

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"I am still learning" ~ Michelangelo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I finally have a blog!
You can visit it at
www.zigzagthesewingrag.blogspot.com

missusprim
missusprim
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Date: 10/7/10 3:46 PM

I have a Kwik Sew book for babies and I just loved it. However, my kids are now 19 and 24 respectively so the version I have may be outdated! Maybe yours is a newer updated one? But, although the book may seem dated, there are ways to alter things so it reflects 'todays' styles.

For example, if the ribbing called for is too wide - just make it narrower. Or, you can always make the ribbed bands out of self fabric in a coordinating print that is so popular now.

Did you take into account that the final fit will be bigger everywhere, not just in length for example? In other words, if your baby is only taller than most, possibly only altering the pattern piece of a 6 mo. old to reflect a 9 mo. old length. KWIM?

I'd stay away from the Fab 4 (Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity and Vogue) found in most fabric stores as I haven't had a lot of luck with them - especially for kids and babies. Sleeve, pants, neck openings can be too exaggerated - things like that. Pants too long, or the overall fit is just too big period. You're more safe if you're doing dresses out of these as a dress is not fitted.

Burda is a good choice. There is a cute magaizine geared towards children/babies that seems more towards couture sewing. I'm sorry but the name escapes me. Maybe search this site and see if anyone has some good sources or tips for making baby clothes. They're so helpful on here!

Congrats on the bambino and please don't give up on sewing for her - you'll find something!

misschris
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In reply to Raye Ann


Date: 10/7/10 3:47 PM

It might be worth checking out Ottobre magazine. They have some very cute baby stuff.

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chris

Melbourne

Raye Ann
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Raye Ann  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/7/10 3:49 PM

Good points, kkkaty and ryansmum-
I have made adorable kids' clothing from sizes 3T and up. Maybe these clothes are just tooo tiny to make the effort on. And kkkaty- I have realized that the 2-3 weeks of sewing(tweaking the pattern, practicing techniques) it would take to get a great fitting t-shirt from one of these patterns is enough time that she won't even be in that size anymore:)
And, I will try to post some photos. I need to charge the camera, and have an awake and compliant baby. That is a trick these days!

I actually did make a cute pants/hoodie set (jogging suit from the KS book), but it is very large on her right now. And, I didn't get the facings to line up properly (sewist error I am sure), so I am not entirely happy with the way they look.
Photos as soon as I am able.....

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Raye Ann

MelissaB in WA
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MelissaB in WA
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In reply to misschris


Date: 10/7/10 3:49 PM

I second the Ottobre magazine suggestion - that is what you really need!

P.S. Congrats on your daughter!
-- Edited on 10/7/10 3:50 PM --

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"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~Dolly Parton

Fabric sewn in 2014 ~ 25 yards
Fabric sewn in 2013 ~ 73.5 yards

sewgramma

sewgramma  Friend of PR
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Washington USA
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In reply to Raye Ann


Date: 10/7/10 4:04 PM

I know what you mean about sewing for long & thin babies! Both of my granddaughters are built this way & it was a challenge to figure out how to modify patterns to fit them. I trolled around the web & found body measurements for infants, which neither KS nor the Big 4 give you (Ottobre and Burda do though!). Height and weight are just not enough to go on and are misleading by themselves as you have found out. These measurements helped me immensely in exactly how and where to modify patterns for little ones.

What I ended up doing was lengthening the smaller infant sizes so they fit my GDD's. For example, my now 3 yo granddaughter measures a 3T in height but a TWELVE MONTH size around. When she was a baby she had similar proportions like your baby girl does.

Kwik Sew patterns tend to be very basic items and the patterns themselves are very well drafted. Ottobre patterns are more fashion forward and VERY cute made up!! Check them out & I think you may change your mind about not wanting to sew for your baby.

When it comes to bindings and such, I never use that nasty Wright's bias tape for edgings and instead use the fashion fabric I'm making the outfit from. Sometimes I also use a coordinating or contrasting fabric for the binding, but always in a similar weight as the fashion fabric. I usually do small narrow hems or even rolled hems on my serger depending on what I'm doing.

Once you get the hang of what adjustments you need to make to a pattern, it really goes very quickly. I also have a grandson who is built the OPPOSITE way, tall and beefy! Again, having standard measurements that pattern companies use has been extremely helpful so I suggest you download them.

Raye Ann
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Raye Ann  Friend of PR
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California USA
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Date: 10/7/10 6:02 PM

I have a some photos posted here on my flickr page.
I have added descriptions to everything.

Sorry no photos of her wearing said clothes, she was not in the mood earlier! But- she did just wake up from her nap pretty happy....Gratuitous baby photos:)

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Raye Ann

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