When you’re pregnant and you sew, a question you often get is ‘Have you made something for baby yet?’, or even ‘You’ve probably made a lot of baby clothes already’. I know I was looking forward to diving into this new realm where everything is made out of unicorn and rainbow cuteness, but until now my answer has been ‘no’. First it was ‘no, we’re waiting to find out the gender’, but after we found out, I still didn’t feel like it. I was even starting to get worried a bit – was this a sign of denial, or fear or some kind? But no, the main reason for me is sustainability. When I sew for myself, I want to make my clothes in a way that they last as long as possible. Babies grow so fast in their first year that they’ll be growing out of their precious handmades in just a matter of weeks. Even though the cuteness appeals to me, I don’t feel like putting time and money into something that will only get worn a handful of times.
Besides, who do we really sew for when we sew for baby? I do want our baby to grow up amongst handmade items, but those first years, baby really couldn’t care less. As long as it’s soft and comfortable, where it comes from doesn’t matter. We sew for baby but mostly for ourselves, until he or she is old enough to appreciate it. So even though I’ve gathered some cute baby fabrics already, it’ll have to wait. Still it is a new domain to me and I don’t want to pass it by just like that. So I’m making things that will last – in this case I’ve started on making quilts. We’ll need a big play blanket and crib blankets, and I happen to have saved a lot of scraps with just this goal in mind. What I love about this already is that all these scraps remind me of the garments I made with them, some of which I still wear but some I’ve already tossed. If I incorporate them in a blanket I still get to look at all the fabrics I love all the time.
For the play blanket I’ve settled on the design on the right, the triangles just randomly distributed. The ombre version is nice too but would require some more planning and I wanted to not plan for once. I could do with some mindless sewing, and if I’m going to sew in short bursts it’s better to just be able to start and not check a plan first. I was torn still by the argument that the ombre looks like I actually put some thought into the design, but practicality wins over looking smart this time.
I didn’t put in the shibori dyed linen (from the wrap top that became the tiny pocket tank) in the end because it just didn’t fit in, but instead made a little blanket quilt to practice and because we needed one anyway. So interesting to read about quilting and the ‘rules’ of it, it’s a whole different subculture in sewing that I knew nothing about. I only quilted the dark blue triangles, and I love how it turned out. I makes me even more eager to start on the big one now!
Do you/ have you sewn for your baby? Why (not)?