Wee Care Week

Last week I celebrated my birthday – another year of life that the Lord has blessed me with.  I chose to celebrate my birthday by sewing tiny gowns for babies that would never celebrate a birthday here on earth.  I prayed for the families of that would receive these.  I have been blessed already by doing “for the least of these” as Matthew 25:40 says.

I wanted to do a variety of patterns, so here is the result of that.  I’ve been saving preemie patterns for years, but never tried any of them.  I enjoyed stitching some different things for these babies.

The first 2 gowns were very quick and easy to make.  I used the pattern downloaded from a blog.  These are the size for 2.5 – 4 lbs.  Because I made these from a tea towel, the hemline was already decorated and finished.  On the first gown, I matched the neckband to the stitching on the hem, but decided that the second gown was getting a pink gingham neckband.  I did not line the gowns as the pattern directs.

I liked the quick stitch and simple design of this gown pattern but wanted to add some embroidery, so I adapted the pattern and added a box pleat to the center so that I could machine embroider tiny designs to the front of the gowns.  The box pleat protects the babies fragile skin from the embroidery stitching.  Again, the are unlined.  I chose French seams instead of lining and it works quite well.

The dress with the blue gingham trim is the smallest size (1.5 – 2.5 lbs.) and the dress with the red trim is the next larger size.  The sweet embroidery design comes from Appliqué for Kids and is a perfect size for these tiny gowns.  I neglected to write where the anchor comes from – I have so many designs to choose from.

I drafted a tiny hat to go with the little gown and embroidered the hat.

One of our guild members brought in some tiny quilts with her gowns last year and I thought that was a lovely idea.  So, I found just the right tiny print in my stash of fabrics and cut 2″ strips and pieced together a tiny quilt to match the red trimmed gown.  The finished quilt is 18″ square and works well for a baby this size.

I have also made another identical quilt sized for the 1 lb. babies.  It is not pictured because it looks exactly the same, but measures 15″ square.  I think I will eventually make a gown to go with that quilt as well – I would prefer a gown with the turquoise stitching for that one.

I like using a nautical theme because our guild sends gowns to Camp LeJeune and it just seems appropriate.

I also drafted a tiny hat to go with the gown and embroidered it as well.

As I looked for other patterns in the files I’ve collected over the years, I found a pattern for a smocked boy’s cap, but it had no picture.  I was intrigued and had to make it.  It was labeled “preemie”.  It drives me crazy when the size cannot be identified!!!  I will eventually make a tiny gown to go with the boy cap, but I’m not thrilled with the finished look, so doubt I’ll use it again.  The finished size would fit a 1 lb. baby.  I think I just don’t care for an open back with a bow for a boy.  Call me picky!  LOL!  The pink hat is similar to my preemie pattern, but sized for a 1 lb. baby.  I will definitely be making a tiny gown to go with this.  I just ran out of time.

I first saw one of these sweet buntings at the SAGA convention in Hampton, VA.  One of the members had made several.  I had saved the pattern for the bunting prior to that, but hadn’t made it.  After seeing it in person, I knew I would have to make some of these.  I made 3 of them using chenille from my stash.  These are designed for babies smaller than 1 lb.  The doll inside the bunting is 5″ – just for reference.  These take a bit longer to make, but are well worth the effort.  The pattern is free.

The next gown is the smocked gown  rom AS&E #29 – a favorite pattern of mine.  I decided to do some machine embroidery at the hem and used a bodice design from Kathy Harrison’s Gals and Dolls pack.

Thought these are designed to be stitched on sheer fabric so that they will mimic real lace, I was very happy with the stitching on the batiste.  The smocking design is one that I made up as I stitched.  I rarely follow a published design when I smock the tiny gowns/bonnets.

The last 2 gowns were made from the SAGA Wee Care #1 pattern.  I used the pattern adaptation that was published in Sew News Volume 35, Issue #3 and the bonnet from Volume 36, Issue #3.  The corded pintucks add sweet detail and a touch of color.

The hem embroidery bear is another quick stitch from Appliqué For Kids.  I didn’t do the shadow work, but just stitched the outline – it was stitched in less than 2 minutes!

The tiny bear is another embroidery design that I forgot to note when I was choosing designs, but I’m sure that it would be easy enough to find a tiny design that is similar.

That wraps up a week and a half of stitching.  I have enjoyed every minute of it and hope that this inspires others to do some charity sewing as well.  There are so many organizations that would welcome additional items for their hospital donations.

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20 thoughts on “Wee Care Week

  1. Mary Kaye Bailey

    Kathy, what a sweet unselfish spirit you have! I love how you wanted to celebrate your birthday. Almost as beautiful as your spirit are the fabulous gowns you shared. I am indeed inspired to sew for others. I have lifted your name in a prayer and asked that God continue to bless you as you bless others.

    Reply
  2. Karin K. Eveland

    Kathy, I think these are just lovely. Happy Birthday sewing sister,..I keep saying I will get to my wee care…sigh,

    Reply
  3. Cheryl Clapp

    Thank you for making and sharing these beautiful gowns from a mom who knows about loss! I lost a full term and a 22 week plus 3 miscarriages. I was finally blessed with two girls – one who was a preemie! I would have cherished a gown! I have a question about your bias sleeves and hem. Is it from a bias strip or doublefolded bias? Purchased or did you make? I love all your workand kind heart!

    Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      I’m so sorry for your many losses Cheryl. As far as the bias, I cut 1″ strips (some 1-1/8″) and did a single fold bias band. I stitched it to the wrong side of the garment and then topstitched on the front side to finish it. I do love the look of a hand-whipped down bias, but topstitching is so much quicker and I can get more finished doing it this way. Sometimes I cut the strips slightly wider (as in the smocked gown) and then will fold the bias back and stitch it down from the front “in the ditch”.

      Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      Thank you. How wonderful that you’re able to make these gowns as well. I know they are really appreciated.

      Reply
  4. Genie Creighton

    Kathy,your gowns are beautiful.I was a Navy RN in a neonatal unit in the 80’s and parents had to buy doll clothes for their premie infants. Thank you for sharing with us,and families of these precious babies.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      Thank you for your service to our country! What I do is only a small token – a way that I can express my gratitude to those who give so much to our country. I am honored to be able to do this.

      Reply
  5. Sandra P. Calver

    Kathy, these are beautiful!! Could you tell me what year and month the adaptation for SAGA Wee Care #1 is in the Sew News?

    Reply
    1. Kathy Post author

      Thank you Sandra. The issue that is mentioned in the blog post has the information regarding the adaptation as well as where the first article is. My issues are in the library display at the moment, so I cannot look them up. However, I know it was in the Wee Care issue, so it would be the 3rd issue of one of the years of SAGA News. Hope that helps.

      Reply

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