Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Baby Making Story (Clothes that is.)

For Christmas this year Jim very kindly went on a hunt for something that I have been wanting and looking at pretty much every time we went to a Sears, Target or similar store. A sewing machine. At Target they are right next to the clothing steamers, which Jim has been wanting in lieu of ironing his work clothes with our bulky and old ironing board. (His mom happened to have 2 of these and was eager to give him one so we returned the one that I got him for the holiday and considered the refund savings.)

I was so excited to see that I could now being making baby clothing for our upcoming bundle of joy. Baby clothes are so expensive and worn for such a brief amount of time that it is hard to rationalize spending $10 on a pair of pants that would only last for 2 months. I have a friend from high school who recently welcomed her first son into the world and at less than 2 months, he is already moved out of many of his 0-3 month clothing. I think I am having a shower back in MI where I will get some clothing, but he will probably get mostly newborn clothes, and while I don't know if he will grow as quickly as the aforementioned baby boy, I know that he will need more clothing to supplement the gifts he has already and will receive soon.

I am hoping to find clean used clothing at garage sales, but because of our weather out here in MN, the sales will not likely being until after our son is born, and I do not want to count on my feeling like leaving the house to go hunt through boxes placed on someone's driveway for baby clothing with a 1 month old in tow.

I have visited several used clothing stores in the area, and I was surprised at how expensive clothing is at these stores! I am used to Goodwill and other places offering clothing for 50 cents a piece, but at the best of the used stores, I found infant pants to be $2.99 or $3.99 per pair! If I wanted to pay those sort of rates, I would simply hunt for sales and go to the nearby outlet malls, rather than wear something used from someone we don't know. I did purchase one pair of Children's Place pants to use as a template for my creations that are soft and blue and lined so they should be warm enough to handle the cool springs around here.

I may receive some used clothing from other women at church, but I do not want to lean on the hope of this either. We are relatively new to the church-- since the beginning of last summer-- and the vast majority of women at Faith have given birth to girls. One day while I was working nursery I was pretty much told that I HAD to have a boy to begin to even out the ratio because one woman had given birth to twin boys, and another adopted a boy, but otherwise every child under 1 was a female.

So the easy solution to all of this is to make many of the baby clothing that our little one is going to use, at least for the first months of life. We visited a nearby fabric store and picked up some "practice" material for about a dollar a yard, a fleece remnant for $2.99 a yard that I have already made 2 pairs of pants from and have barely made a dent in, and a plaid quilted fabric that I have made a pair of really cute shorts (patterned after some shorts my mom sent us) and I intend to make overalls out of as well.

It took me a couple tries to get a workable pair of pants. My sis-in-law Jess told me about a great site, where there were pants patterns and other ideas for handmade baby items. However, the baby pants pattern didn't print out in a correct proportion, so I went with creating my own pattern off of pants we already had. I do intend to try out their pattern to make yoga pants out of old t-shirts because it looks too easy and cheap to pass by.

Right now everything is a plain, basic gray fleece that isn't the plaid pattern, so I purchased extremely small remnants and will be making patches using Photoshop and some of my photos of things like geese, and other boy baby appropriate items, iron on fusible webbing and then sewing around the outside. Of course, I'm sure I'll visit the fabric store again to get some other color and patterned materials, as well as to make pillows for the living room and curtains. Other future ideas include, a baby hat (how cute are babies in hats, and how necessary if we want to have fun this summer) a nursing modesty blanket, Boppy cover, a wet bag for diapers, a sling to carry him in, and of course, the thing that scares me most-- cloth diapers. We're still planning on using cloth, and that is one thing that I do have a pattern of, but it is much more complex than my simple pants patterns. We'll see.

(Pictures are to come soon Jessica, I know you asked me about them, but I need to finish one or two things before then. )



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