Baby gifts and Zwergenverpackung.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Normally, baby gifts are my favorite thing in the world to sew.  Soft fabrics, tiny patterns, cute-as-can-be designs that go together quickly.  It's practically why I learned to sew.  But sometimes they're not so fun.  When you choose a pattern without any real instructions and repeatedly find yourself guessing, for example.  Or when you sew a sleeve on inside out and don't realize it until the entire shirt is finished and then find yourself picking apart a million stitches late at night.  Even in those situations, though, the end result is worth every bit of the trouble.  See?

Our Longhorn-loving friends just had a baby boy, so I knew I had to sew something with burnt orange trim.  Since I was making one little outfit with burnt orange trim, I went ahead and made a second for Big Sister's former teacher, who is due to deliver a baby boy very soon as well.  I think this heathered, striped rib knit by Kumquat (but available at The Fabric Fairy), along with the coordinating cotton-lycra French terry is the perfect cute-but-not-too-cute fabric for a baby boy. 

I used patterns in the Farbenmix Zwergenverpackung baby collection, which I purchased from Banberry Place.  For one lap tee, I used a coverstitch binding attachment.

The other I used the MADE 90-minute shirt tutorial, so the serged edges would show.

The lap tees came together very nicely, and I'm happy with the look.  I only wish I had a tiny baby to try them on.

The pants are the simple trousers in the Zwergenverpackung collection, but not made reversible.  They did not come together nearly as easily as I would have guessed.  The instructions for sewing these pants are not at all clear.  I had no idea what width elastic I should use, how much I should fold over the waist, whether I should add hem allowance to the legs or seam allowance to the waist.  I ended up pulling out some of Baby Brother's old knit pants and using them as a guide.  Based on those, I think the Zwergenverpackung trousers are very high-waisted.  I trimmed more than an inch off the back and considerably more than that off the front, and I used 3/4-in. elastic.  Still, these pants are higher-waisted than the two pairs of Tea Collection pants I compared them to.  But they look nicely proportioned and very likely to fit a real baby. 

I also made some beaded chains for pacifiers/teethers/toys.  I know some parents will see these and panic, especially first-time moms.  But I feel really confident in their safety.  I use industrial strength, thick nylon cord.  I double string and double-knot them, and I have separately-knotted safety beads on each end.  It would be nearly impossible for a bead to come off.  Little Brother still uses these, and we've never had an incident.  I know not all parents would feel comfortable with this, and that's okay.  But it does make a nice gift presentation, doesn't it?


  1. Oh that is right up my alley. I think I need to hit up fabric fairy now. I spend most my days online fabric shopping and rarely spend most my days sewing.

  2. Yay! When I saw your comment my memory was jogged. I couldn't remember where I had seen this fab color combo. I made a little edit and linked to your site. Hope that's ok?