Duckling Preemie Isolette Shirt


Another preemie isolette shirt is finished and delivered for soon-to-arrive Baby Beatrice.  Her adoptive parents are now 5 states away from home awaiting the birth.  It was planned for her to be delivered via C-section at 30 weeks, due to the birth mom’s earlier pregnancy complications.

The good news is that Baby might not need this or the other diaper shirt I made for her! At almost 36 weeks in utero, she may be bigger than the 4-5 lb. size of these garments.  That’s something to celebrate!  Our church has been praying and eagerly waiting for this lucky baby to be delivered into the arms of her fabulous parents.  We can’t wait to see her.

I really, really like this pattern by Nancy Coburn of Ginger Snaps Designs.

It come in several  sizes from micro-preemies all the way up to regular size newborn. Recommendations are included from NICU nurses for this sweet, specialized sewing.   Variations of  the single fabric design are included, such as this one made from two tiny scraps of pique’ and gingham.



The darling vintage duckling embroidery designs are from MommysApronStrings Etsy shop.    They stitch out beautifully and are perfectly digitized and proportioned for this little diaper shirt as well as other children’s projects.  There are several other charming designs that I will be using for future projects.  The “buttons” were also machine embroidered before the soft velco  was sewn to the shirt at the front and shoulders.

The edging trim is a soft cotton faux tatting.  Blue rick rack was intended to be suggestive of water, but I’m not sure it does.

An improvement over the first shirt I made is  the addition of a size label. This is a standard label which was tucked inside the lining.


Size label is sewn between the batiste lining and the outer fabic.

When sewing for preemies there is rarely any advance notice.  Unlike Beatrice’s situation, premature deliveries are almost always unplanned.  So having the patterns, designs, and fabrics on hand (who doesn’t have a small scraps in  their stash?)  makes sewing for them so much easier.  Ironically, I purchased several preemie patterns and it seems unlikely that I will need them.  But I have them on hand for charity donations to hospitals and for other bitty babies that will come along in the future.

It is so satisfying to stitch these tiny garments.  I have a dear friend whose husband is a neonatal doctor.  Frequently, he would “fall in love” with a particular baby and ask his wife Cherry to sew for this wee babe.  Her breathtaking creations were a comfort, distraction and joy for the anxious parents.

Have you ever sewn for preemies?  If so, would you share your experience and perhaps a photo?  I would really appreciate that.




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