I’m at an age now where if my friends aren’t getting married (and let’s face it, they are all doing that at the moment – just one left to go this year), they’re having kids. And all these happy events mean more gift giving. The latest new arrival is my good friends Mark and Sophie’s little girl Alice, who popped out a week or two ago at an eye-watering 9lb (not so little then…). I’m normally much better organised on the present front – after all, there’s at least six months to prepare – but this time I’d only managed to do half my gift before the baby was born.
The first part of my handmade present is the Swingset Cardigan from Little Crochet by Linda Perman. I’ve made it several times before (firstly for my goddaughter here) and it’s always been well-received. It’s a really cute little cardi and because I was making the smallest size I think I completed it in a day. It crochets from the neckline down so you increase the stitches in the yoke as you go and eventually add the upside-down shells straight on. The yoke is probably the trickiest bit, though it’s just a case of concentrating, counting and trusting that it is going to turn into a yoke, because at the start it doesn’t look like much. I used three little clear buttons from my stash and marvelled at how teeny tiny the finished cardigan is.
Once I had the text from Sophie that Alice had made her entrance, I had to get my skates on with the other part of her gift. I knew I wanted to sew a little dress, but had no idea what to make since it’s not all that often I sew for babies (i.e. this is the first time). A quick Google brought up Made by Rae’s Little Geranium dress, which is a free pattern for 0-3 months. There’s a full pattern with a couple of add ons for kids aged up to 12, but since we’re approaching the summer I figured Alice would probably have grown out of it by the time she needs sleeves. You might recognise the fabric from one of last week’s Chardons (stashbusting FTW) and I found the cute little daisy buttons in my button box.
What struck me about this pattern is just how minuscule it is. Again, since I don’t spend a lot of time around newborns I forget just how small they are. The pattern fit onto two pages of A4, though granted, you do only get the front and back bodice pieces, a pocket and the layout instructions. The skirt is just gathered, so you only need to cut out a rectangle the width of your fabric by 11 inches.
The Geranium is a quick sew (well duh, it’s a fraction of the size of grown up clothes). The bodice is self-lined with three buttons or snaps at the back. Whack the skirt on and you’ve got yourself a dress. The instructions are comprehensive so there’s very little chance of going wrong. I did have to unpick the skirt a few times though, as my stitching in the ditch left a lot to be desired and I didn’t manage to catch the bodice. More practice required, obvs. I also put on a couple of patch pockets because babies need somewhere to put their loose change.
Along with the cardigan and dress for Alice, I also slipped in a little book for Mark and Sophie, Go the F*ck to Sleep. Have you seen it? It’s worth a look for any prospective parents with a sense of humour. Check it out, but probably best not to read it to your child.
Have you done any selfless sewing/crafting recently?