When I saw this baby boy outfit in Sew Beautiful magazine, issue 121, I knew I would make it for Alastair. The style is so unlike any heirloom baby patterns that I have seen. He is shown here with the bib covering the unusual front, but it is shown below. Even his father noted the masculine military look.
With all its charm, it really is more old fashioned than modern. It needs to be ironed. But Rebecca is willing to do that for this sweet suit.
Usually, I change one thing or another when a project moves me to duplication. On this set, I stitched it almost exactly as shown. However, if I recall, the magazine sample was made from linen and I chose cotton Swiss flannel.
Another small change I made was to substitute some very pretty vintage, almost brown, pearl buttons for the off white buttons as shown in the magazine. From other articles in the same issue, I added the coordinating bib and bonnet.
The color combination of dusty blue Swiss flannel and ecru tatting adds to the elegant look. I repeated that color combination by using dark ecru pima cotton to line the pants, bib and bonnet.
Swiss flannel is one of my favorite fabrics for many reasons, not the least of which that it hemstitches so beautifully. And I adore hemstitching, with which this outfit is completely outlined. Another reason I favor Swiss flannel is that the tiny bit of nap and the twill weave combine to make the fabric look dressy and heavier than it really is.
The hemstitching embroidery collections that were used, as well as the patterns for the shirt and little pants, were all creations of Nivia, of Puerto Rico. The patterns are in the centerfold of the magazine.
The embroidery designs, available from Martha Pullen, are absolutely spectacular.
When I was teaching in San Juan last fall, I had a student who has studied with Nivia for several years. Oh, my! What incredible work this lady did! She proclaimed that Nivia is a wonderful, delightful person and, obviously, a wonderful teacher. I wish I had had a chance to meet her when I was there.
Alastair wore this outfit to his other grandmother’s wedding and charmed all who saw him. He just radiated “well-loved baby.” And he is.
Unfortunately, the only photo we have of him is the one below, 3 weeks old, held by his glowing grandmother. When you look at his Oma, you can see where he got some of his “pretty” genes.
Later, his parents dressed him for some casual shots on my kitchen table. Talk about casual! He looks like he is waiting to be served and is so hungry he has to chew on his fingers. This boy has an awesome appetite.
By the way, the little seat he sits in is called a Bumbo. Even though he could not yet sit up alone, in this little firm foam seat he could look straight ahead and watch the world go by. What great stuff they have for today’s babies.