This weeks 10 Year Blog Anniversary comes from Jeanette at Lazy Seamstress. Jeanette and I have ‘known’ each other for years online, since I first frequented the home birth yahoo groups in my elusive hope of a trouble free baby birthing. She and I have since become even more closely linked after mutually losing our own precious 5th babies; Jeanette lost her daughter Florence shortly after birth due to a massive pulmonary hemorrhage a year before we lost Freddie to an unknown cause. I recall being deeply affected by hearing of the loss of Florence and Jeanette was one of the first to bring love and understanding to my after I announced Freddie’s death. She has been the source of friendship, support and love ever since and I value her kinship enormously, albeit through paths we both wish we had not had to walk.
I’m incredibly honoured to have this beautiful sewing tutorial on the blog today. The pattern pieces are linked below and there is a full reproduction of the instructions in a pdf at the bottom.
Thank you Jeanette, for everything.
Newborn Bundle – a free pattern and tutorial from Lazy Seamstress.
I love to see a newborn baby snuggled up in footed leggings and a matching beanie. No matter the time of year, newborn babies still need a little help keeping their tiny toes cosy, and often a hat too, so these footed leggings and matching beanie made from recycled sweaters are perfect.
I usually use sweaters I’ve found in the charity shops, but my relatives also save me old sweaters to use. My father in law is a good source of old golf sweaters. I prefer cashmere or angora mixes, but lambs wool is good too, as is cotton. Actually the beauty of this project is you can pretty much use any old sweater you fancy, or t shirt for that matter! I would suggest a fine to medium weight sweater works best; it doesn’t matter if it’s been shrunk in the wash, so long as it’s not too heavily felted. Sweaters with a few moth holes can be used too, but wash first in as hot water as the garment can stand (remember some felting is ok) to kill any tiny moth eggs that night still be present. If washing in hot water isn’t an option, you can freeze the sweater to kill any eggs before washing as normal. Remember when cutting out to avoid any moth holes. T shirts work well too, preferably t shirts with a good amount of stretch. Of course, you can use any stretch fabric that takes your fancy; you don’t have to recycle anything. Have fun and experiment. These really are quite simple and quick to make, and are a lovely gift for any newborn baby.
What you need:
Access to a printer to print the pattern pieces
Scissors (paper and fabric)
Sweater or t shirt, medium sized is usually sufficient, but a larger sweater gives you more fabric to play with.
Matching sewing thread
5mm flat elastic, approx. 40 cms
Buttons for decoration
Sewing machine (optional: over locker)
Iron and ironing board
Print out the pattern pieces. Do not scale to fit. There are four pages, match each set of two pages together and stick with sellotape.
Cut out the pattern pieces.
NB: For this tutorial, I have used two different sweaters. When using sweaters from charity shops, it’s not always easy to predict what exactly you will be working with. I have used a cashmere ladies sweater and a cotton mix ladies cardigan. This tutorial now splits into two parts, a beanie hat and mitten tutorial followed by a footed legging tutorial.
Work out where your hat and mitten pieces will fit on your chosen sweater. Usually this will be with the bottom edge of each piece on the hem of the sweater, to make best use of the ribbing. If all pieces will not fit along the hem, remember you can use the sleeve ribbing edge too. Once you are happy with your placement, keeping the pieces aligned with the straight grain of the fabric, pin in place. Cut out your pieces.
With right sides together pin and tack your mittens and beanie with a 1 cm seam allowance, sew machine seams, back stitching at the beginning and end. If your chosen fabric is felted or a cotton interlock that does not fray, there is no need to neaten these seams, just trim carefully, remembering each seam will be next to baby’s skin so needs to be as unobtrusive as possible. (This is why I like to use cashmere or angora mixes, and also why well washed and worn older garments work well).
If neatening is required, use an overlocker if you have one, if not an overlock or zig zag stitch on a regular sewing machine works well.
Turn the mittens and beanie, right side out and press with a warm steam iron, shaping as you go.
Finish the beanie with decorative buttons. Ensure any buttons used are secured very well. Buttons can be a choking hazard so should be stitched on firmly. I like to secure the back using a buttonhole stitch.
A note about cutting out: Experiment with your sweater to see where your legging pieces will fit before cutting out. Ensure each piece is cut on the straight grain. (Stretch running sideways.) If you prefer you can use the ribbing edge of the sweater as your waist edge on the leggings, meaning there is no need to neaten that top edge or make a casing if that’s your preferred method. (If you prefer to make a casing, remember to add an extra 2.5cms to the top edge *before* cutting out)
With right sides together stitch each upper foot piece to each front legging piece. Trim and press seam.
Sew centre front and centre back seams, Trim and press.
With right sides together stitch front and back of leggings together, Trim and press, shaping around the toes as you do.
Neaten top edge, using either a zig zag stitch or an overlock stitch
Cut 38cms of elastic (the average waist size of a newborn baby). Fold your elastic in half lengthwise and pin the centre to the centre front seam of the leggings, about 1cm down from the top edge. Divide each half in half again and pin to side seams. Join the ends and pin in place at the centre back seam.
Starting at the centre back secure the elastic in place using a three step zig zag stitch (If your machine doesn’t have a three step zig zag, a regular zig zag will suffice.) Gently pull on the elastic to stretch it to fit between each seam, and stitch with the three step (or regular) zig zag, keeping the elastic 1cm away from the top edge. The elastic will pull in the waist to the correct size.
Complete with matching beanie and mittens following the instructions in part 1.
A few notes about this pattern and tutorial:
This pattern and tutorial is for personal use only. Please DO NOT use this pattern or tutorial to make items to sell.
If you do use this pattern or tutorial, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me Jeanette@lazyseamstress.net
If you feature any items made with this pattern or tutorial on your own blog, website or social networking site, please do link back to me at www.lazyseamstress.net
Thank you, I hope you enjoy making some snuggly woolly loveliness for the babies in your life.