I don’t know where the time has gone!!! I continue to stay busy sewing as well as creating new patterns. I’ve also been busy making lots of new Wee Care gown samples that I will use as samples in an upcoming workshop.
Since my last post, I’ve added 2 new patterns to my Etsy shop. The first one I just adore for summertime! It makes a gorgeous outfit for beach pictures, weddings, etc. It is perfect for the little ones, boy or girl, as well as older girls.
For little ones, bloomers can be used instead of a skirt, however, I loved the idea of creating both the bloomers as well as the skirt for a little girl!
The most recent pattern is my City Frock Dress/Tunic pattern. This is another fabulous pattern for summer sewing! Of course, it’s also suitable for cooler weather with a blouse or t-shirt underneath.
All the girls were a big fan of the large pockets! I had fun making these dresses & tunics!
Of course, I continue to make my Wee Care sets for Caleb Ministry. I have completed quite a few that I’ll be using as samples for an upcoming workshop. I did a variety of different hem treatments for the gowns.
The beautiful crocheted edging on this blanket and the next one was done by another friend, Maribeth, and sent to me. It almost makes me want to learn to crochet again!
Traveling up to Michigan to visit with my parents gave me plenty of time to get the gowns smocked! It’s a really long drive! I made sure that I had several gowns ready to smock before the trip!
For the boy gowns, I added a pleated sleeve version that I’m particularly fond of. Several years ago, another smocking friend of mine, Beth, made a gown with a pleated sleeve. She generously shared the instructions with our local guild. As the years progressed, I worked with the new Wee Care chair for the guild and we tweaked the instructions a bit more to end up with a sleeve that I do like for all the various sizes from the under 1 lb. size to a NB size. I have had requests for these instructions, so I’m adding them here for you to download. All the sizes are included in the PDF file.
I hope that these will be helpful to others that make these special gowns. I wish they weren’t needed, but if they can provide one less thing for bereaved parents to worry about, I’ll continue to make them.
I hope you’re having a fabulous spring, stitching beautiful things and getting ready for the summer months!!! Keep on stitching!!!
I sew quite frequently for preemie babies and because of that, I’ve created a number of preemie patterns which I sell in my Etsy shop (Kathysheirloomshop). You can click on the shop name and it will take you to my shop.
Recently I was contacted and asked about even smaller size preemie daygowns. I currently have my Prince/Princess Preemie Pattern available for a 4 – 5 lb. preemie.
By adding length to this top (I believe I added 8″ to the bottom of the 4 – 5 lb. size), it becomes a daygown rather than a diaper shirt.
The little bit of hand embroidery adds such a sweet touch to the gown and bonnet!
The person that had contacted me felt that a gown smaller than the 4 – 5 lb. size might be needed. Challenge accepted! LOL! I worked at making a smaller size pattern. I ended up with a 3 – 4 lb. size pattern. I did a test sew of the pattern and it worked out just as I expected. However, because the diaper shirt/gown is completely lined, the sleeves are sewn in last, meaning “in the round”. Sewing the sleeves into this tiny armhole opening was quite the challenge!!! I could only stitch about 5 – 6 stitches, then would have to reposition and repeat. 😱 I also ended up hand basting the sleeve into the armhole opening. It was just to fiddly to have to deal with pins while trying to stitch the sleeve in. 😳
I tried it on a 15″ baby doll “model”. This does make a sweet doll pattern as well!
Because of the difficulty/challenge to sew in the sleeves into the tiny armholes, I have decided to offer this as a free download. I was not prepared for the multitude of questions from buyers regarding the sleeve stitching! You cannot imagine how many messages I get as a seller!!! LOL! So, be aware, the tiny sleeves ARE a challenge, but they can be sewn with a LOT of patience!!!
The download is ONLY the pattern pieces, NO INSTRUCTIONS for sewing are included. If you have purchased the preemie pattern or the pattern for sizes NB – 12 mo., you can follow those instructions. If you want/need sewing instructions and have not purchased one of the patterns, you will need to purchase one of them in order to have sewing instructions.
I’m going to do a SAGA Wee Care gown sew-along for all those that wish to participate. The Wee Care gowns are the tiny bishop gowns used at the hospitals as infant demise gowns. It’s a beautiful expression of love and caring for the precious little ones that don’t make it and the families are so appreciative. I make so many of these each year, and I thought it would be a nice way to share some of my tips and techniques.
I will be sharing how I put together this gown. I use the SAGA Wee Care gown pattern by Nancy Newell and I cut the gown out using the NO side seam method.
Download and print your pattern, gather your supplies and be sure to watch the YouTube video.
I’m providing links to the supplies that I use and recommend, though feel free to substitute if you have different preferences. Just click on the blue words and it will take you to the website.
I will be sharing videos of how to insert the sleeves, sew the bias band on as well as how to create an easy Madeira hem – with or without hemstitching. I particularly like this hem treatment to embellish a boy’s gown. Of course, the same techniques can be used on another project – Easter dresses, tea towels, quilts, etc. Lots of options! So, even if you aren’t creating a Wee Care gown, learn the technique and use it elsewhere. Of course, the tiny gowns are a great way to practice and perfect different techniques while blessing a family.
Join the fun and enjoy the process! Hopefully you’ll learn something new or different!
Keep on stitching!
Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.
This past week I’ve completed several tiny gown sets that will be donated to Caleb Ministry. This is such a wonderful ministry to those that have lost their babies. Even if you don’t sew, you can support this ministry through your financial gifts. I pray for the families that will receive these sets and that God will bring comfort in such a time of sadness.
Each set that I make consists of a gown, cap/bonnet, flannel blanket & a handkerchief.
This set uses the smocked pattern from SAGA. The cross design is from Sonia Showalter Designs and it stitches out beautifully every time, as do all of her embroidery designs. I don’t remember where the tiny footprints come from.
I especially enjoy making the little girl sets – I guess I love lace and pink! This is the SAGA pattern for the gown. The bonnet pattern is from Laurie Anderson and stitches up quickly. Again, the embroidery design is from Sonia Showalter (link with the first picture).
Again, this gown uses the SAGA pattern. This is one of my favorite embroidery designs from Sonia Showalter – what a precious Bible verse and so appropriate.
In addition to making all these sets, I have been working to learn how to make video tutorials. What a learning curve this has been! I’m certainly no expert, but I have learned a few things and have MANY more to learn. With the video, I also had to learn how to set up a YouTube channel. This morning I uploaded my first tutorial – Tiny French Seams tutorial. I hope to continue this learning adventure and will post more tutorials as I’m able to. Hopefully each will improve as I learn more.
So, that’s how I’ve been spending my time these cold and wet winter days! I hope you’ve enjoyed some special stitching as well.
Today as I worked on a Wee Care gown, I realized that the micro-preemie bunting pattern and instructions that I’d previously shared was one that was lost. Therefore, I’m sharing it again so that anyone wanting to make these and donate to their local hospitals has access to the pattern.
This sweet little bunting has been designed as a burial bunting for micro preemie babies. It stitches up quickly and uses minimal amounts of fabric. Quilting the fabric gives it the necessary body. Small bits of lace or trim can be used for embellishment if desired. A little hand or machine embroidery can be done very quickly.
In the past, I used one of the bunting patterns that was shared online. While I was happy with the finished bunting, it was far too complicated (my opinion).
This bunting is designed to ensure that the baby is securely wrapped. It can be completed in a very short time and it is done completely by machine.
Fabric for the inside of the bunting should be flannel. A variety of fabrics can be used for the outside fabric. If pre-quilted fabric is used it eliminates the need to quilt the fabric. Quilting cottons, broadcloth, satin, lightweight fleece, etc. all work well for the outside fabric of the bunting.
Small scraps of trims or lace can be used to decorate the front flaps of the bunting. These would include ribbons, soutache braid, Swiss eyelet lace, Val lace, rickrack, etc.
12″ x 15″ piece of fashion fabric
12″ x 15″ piece of thin cotton batting *
12″ x 15″ piece of batiste
12″ x 15″ piece of flannel (lining)
24″ of 1/4″ or 1/8″ ribbon
12″ of lace or trim (optional)
blue wash-out marker
ruler with 1″ grid marks
*alternately, 3 – 4 layers of flannel can be used instead of batting
Open the PDF pattern file in Adobe reader on a laptop or desktop computer. Print the pattern. Ensure that the pattern has been printed to the correct size by checking the 1” box. Printing should be done from a computer, not a phone or tablet. Cut out the 2 pattern pieces and tape together, matching the notch. Printing 2 copies of the pattern and taping both together down the center will give the full pattern piece, which is helpful for aligning patterns with designs that need to be centered.
To mark the fashion fabric for quilting, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and finger crease. Open the fabric up. With a blue wash out marker, draw a line along the crease. Fold the fashion fabric in half across the width and crease. Open the fabric up and using a blue wash out marker, draw a line along the crease. Using a ruler with a grid, mark additional lines at 1” intervals along both the length and the width of the fabric.
Place batiste with wrong side facing up. Place the batting on top of the batiste, matching all cut edges and then place the fashion fabric, right side up, on top of the batting, aligning all cut edges. Pin to secure. Starting at the center line of the 15” L, stitch along the line from top to bottom. Moving out from the center line, stitch remaining lines until all the lines have been stitched along the 15” length. Repeat for the process for the 12” width to complete the quilting of the fashion fabric. (For interest, the grid can also be stitched at 45º angles.)
Cut out the bunting pattern from the quilted fabric and another bunting from the flannel. It works very well to print 2 copies of the pattern and tape them together in order to work with the full size pattern.
Tip – the pattern can be traced onto the quilted fabric and then straight stitch along the drawn line. This secures the 3 layers together and is easier to work with. Cut out the shape just outside the stitched lines.
Cut straight across the top of the bunting, leaving the “dip” section in the front uncut.
With a blue wash-out marker, mark the front “dip” section. This will be the dart that makes up the shape for the bunting hood. It is easier to sew the dart in first and then trim away the excess fabric. Mark the dot below the dip as well as the placement lines for the ribbons with a blue wash-out marker.
With right sides together, stitch the dart/seam for the hood of the bunting, stopping at the circle. Repeat for flannel. Trim away the excess fabric inside the dart. Do any embellishments desired at this point.
Cut the ribbons into 6” lengths and pin the ribbons to the quilted fabric at the placement lines.
With right sides together, pin the flannel to the quilted fabric all around the outside edges. Stitch around the entire bunting, leaving a 2” opening between one set of ribbons.
Trim seam allowance a little, clip curves and clip the corners at an angle, stopping before reaching the stitching line.
Pull bunting through the opening to get it right side out. Press. Edge-stitch around the entire bunting, closing up the 2” opening.
Remove blue wash out marker by spritzing or soaking in cold water for 5 minutes.
Fold up lower section, bring outside sections together and tie the ribbons into a bow.
These are so quick to make, it’s easy to finish several of them in a very short time. Be creative with little bits of trim.
I hope that this will inspire you to use up some of your smaller pieces of pretty fabric and create a sweet bunting! I am including the PDF file for the pattern for your use. Click on the link below to download.