Four-month old Vivian Rose is growing like the national debt, so I am busy, busy, busy sewing for her. The pink Imperial broadcloth “apron” is paired with bloomers of black floral lawn, which was a stretch for traditional me. Black for a baby??? I keep reminding myself that this blog’s subtitle is “modern projects for old fashioned Nanas.” But can an Old Fashioned Baby pattern be a modern project?
The pattern is Baby’s Summer Clothes by Old Fashioned Baby, the largest size of which is 6-12 months. The sleeveless apron with the scalloped hemline is the version I chose. Surely, I thought, it would fit a 4 month old baby for a few months. But not this queen-sized baby girl.
Chubbalicious Vivian Rose is now wearing 12 month clothes! I expected that she would wear this at least through 4th of July, which is why I invested the time to stitch a little hand embroidery. OFB patterns just seem to scream for a simple needle and embroidery floss, so this time I listened.
The hand embroidery was such a pleasure to do. I wish I weren’t in such a hurry all the time and could do this more often and gain some skill. Fortunately, the designs included with the pattern were simple and the stitches basic.
I love this pattern. It includes so many styles, each of which is a picture of pristine, classic beauty. The embroidery designs, which are included, are simple and sweet. Especially nice is the simplicity of each style, allowing you to make whatever embellishments you like.
Using this pattern, I stitched a bubble for Vivian Rose in the smaller size, adding ruffles to the seat (her mother’s favorite girlie feature). She looked precious in it until she outgrew it by the time she was 10 weeks old. New, longer elastic and a 3″ crotch extension gave it a few more months of wear.
When Rebecca gave me an update on Baby’s size, I was in the middle of constructing this “apron.” Fortunately, the pattern pieces were traced onto the fabric and not yet cut out as I stitched the embroidery. It was not too late to make major alterations to the pattern.
Moving the cutting line over 3/8″ from the pattern line added 1 1/2″ to the chest and widened the armscye. The 1/4″ neckline seam allowance was increased to 3/8″ giving a little more room for a chubby neck. Then rather than folding the button extension in the back as directed, I left it flat and faced it. This added a little more width to the back and the neckline.
It seems to me that this apron needs 3 small black buttons. I couldn’t believe it when I dug through my gajillion buttons and found nothing suitable. Tomorrow, I’m off to JoAnn’s and then I can finish this.
The ruffle bottom bloomers always take longer than I expect. Finally, I have finally found a satisfactory way to attach them. First, I finished both sides of a fabric strip with a tiny serger roll and whip. Then it was gathered 3/8″ from one finished edge and stitched onto a marker line on the bloomers.
Working with gathers is about my least favorite thing to do. But with the help of my Brother Quattro’s knee lift and my trusty needle trolley, it is much less annoying. If you have a knee lift and don’t use it, you are really missing out on a great feature.
One interesting feature of this outfit is the lace. In my stash I had a small bolt of 100% nylon French lace, soft as cotton and in a classic pattern. It won’t wrinkle up and will look as nice after being washed as it does now. Like most busy young mothers, Rebecca has little time for ironing baby clothes. But in my humble opinion, freshly laundered crumpled heirloom lace looks so sad. So this lace makes both of us happy. I wish I had more.
So is this is modern enough to qualify as contemporary? I doubt it. But Rebecca selected the fabrics and requested ruffled bloomers, so I expect it will please her. Both she and her husband are always so appreciative of anything I make for the children. Additionally, the set has enough heirloom to suit me and Rebecca loves heirloom almost as much as I do.
I do wish I could have pinstitched the lace to the apron. But many years ago the realization came to me that there is nothing I can do to make hemstitching look good on easy care fabrics.
Next, I’m moving on to another outfit for Vivian Rose. What are you all sewing now?