The most important thing to remember if you're joining us for the Small Human Being Sew-Along in April is: take it easy on yourself. We have deliberately set the bar low, low, low so even new parents or tired pregnant ladies can participate — all you have to do at minimum is sew an item (clothing, toys, accessories, whatever) for a baby or new parent.
Don't know any hat-wearing babies? Make a bib. DONE. YOU HAVE WON THE SMALL HUMAN BEING SEW-ALONG. (By the way, please do check out our #SHBsewalong Pinterest board for sewing inspiration and links to cool patterns and tutorials, free and otherwise).
Baby girl style inspiration
OK then. As the only sew-along host with a little girl (even if she is almost 5), it fell to me to provide a little baby girl sewing inspiration. Sewing for baby girls is pretty awesome. You can put a baby girl in almost any pattern or fabric you can use for boy clothes. You can keep it gender neutral, go for subversive with more traditionally boy styles OR you can sweeten things up with little dresses, ruffles, flutters and whatnot.
Anyway. At top—a fun fabrics collage. I have so little time to sew kid's clothes that I like to try to make really special garments when I do, and not just everyday basics. Gorgeous kids clothes are often distinguished by their fabrics — soft cottons in funky patterns, fancy cashmere, fine french terry, loud wax prints. Go for it! For example, here is my daughter as a baby in a hoodie I made from custom fabric with my husband's cartoons on it:
And here's my baby boy today in a cashmere Kwik Sew hoodie I sewed for him from a thrifted sweater:
Another good example: these wax-print baby and big girl outfits made from a mashup of free Made by Rae and Oliver + S patterns.
Appliqué and embroidery can elevate a simple garment to something amazing. Put a bird on it, put a cat on it, put a banana on it, put a robot on it, put a dinosaur on it, put a Time And Relative Dimension In Space on it. Whatever! Here is a pair of Ottobre "Pupu" overalls I made for my daughter with an appliquéd cat:
Stripes, colorblocking, contrast color bands — always the right answer. Combine them with appliqué or freezer paper stencils for extra baby clothes sewing excitement.
Here's a little color-blocked Ottobre outfit I made for my daughter as a baby, cut from clothes of my mom's that were headed to the Goodwill:
And here's a little outfit I made for baby boy out of a striped maternity top:
Finally, some things that are a bit sweeter and more ruffly or delicate.
Baby girl sewing pattern inspiration
The big pattern companies have a variety of fun baby patterns (I've made a few Simplicity and Kwik Sew patterns with excellent results) but don't forget to look at the independents too. So Zo had a great roundup of these recently (see part one and part two), with a particular focus on girl patterns. I was already a big fan of Ottobre Design, Oliver + S and Made by Rae, but Brindille and Twig and some of the others were new to me and very exciting.
I'm also a fan of baby sewing books — my personal favorite is the versatile Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby but there are plenty of others out there too by Amy Butler, Oliver + S, Lotta Jansdotter and more.
And of course the Internet is overflowing with free digital patterns of varying quality — do check out our Pinterest board for free patterns for onesies, hats, sleep sacks, rompers, sunsuits, hoodies and more by a variety of talented designers and bloggers.
So if you're joining us for the sew-along, what are you hoping to make? Are you going for quick & simple or elaborate and embellished? (Feel free to discuss this in our little Flickr group too—we're starting to share fabric and pattern ideas already).