Monday 23 July 2018

Future world champs

A couple of babies were born recently to friends where both partners cycle and so these little newborns have impressive pedalling pedigrees.

I needed to make some bicycle themed baby gifts!

Knowing I was sewing for a baby girl and a baby boy I hit Spoonflower to see what I might find. Strike me lucky, they had just had a "bicycle love" themed competition and it was easy to find a couple of bicycle fabrics

This first one is "Petals & Spokes" by blairfully_made. It's a big print and I didn't notice that there was a smaller scale version also available, but sometimes it's fun to have a giant print on a tiny outfit.

The floral design seemed suitably "girly" and I do love using surprisingly dark fabrics on baby clothes.

Next up I found "Le Tour" by booboo_collective. And that was my baby boy fabric sorted.

Then I discovered Spoonflower now have a service called "fill a yard". It's not that easy to find on their website, but it's here via the How It Works tab. That meant I could split my two designs across one yard (the minimum purchase).

I chose the Organic Cotton Knit Ultra fabric and had my two designs printed with the yard split horizontally, meaning I had the full width and 45" length of each print.

One pattern I didn't seem to own was a basic envelope neck onesie, so I purchased the Brindille & Twig One Piece Romper.  They have a pretty big range of baby clothes patterns, many of which seem to be only simple variations on each other, but if you can't be bothered altering an existing pattern for what you want then go take a look, you may find exactly what you're looking for.

I had printed off the PDF pattern, taped all the pages together and traced the 0-3 months size when I received an email with an update to the pattern. It now included an A0 printing option, updated instructions, a change to the drafting of the neckline and pattern pieces for the neck and cuff bindings. To say that annoyed me is an understatement. When I bought the pattern a week earlier were none of these changes even in the pipeline? If they were in progress but not finalised then at least a heads up that the pattern was in the process of being revised would have been appreciated.

I couldn't be bothered re-printing the pattern so I went ahead with what I had. And it seems to be fine. The only change I made to the pattern was how the leg binding was finished: I've finished the ends like you might a waistband so the seam allowances are tucked in neatly rather than just turned over and stitched down.

There is a tutorial on the Spoonflower website for a little baby hat and since I had just enough to cut that out as well I went for it. My half yard was exactly right for a small romper suit and a hat.

It was interesting to see the difference on the two printed halves of the fabric. This darker fabric was quite tacky to the touch when it first arrived and stretching the fabric showed a bit of the white base layer. Yet the other print, on the same cut of fabric, felt lovely and had a much better penetration of the background beige colour. If they hadn't been printed on the same fabric I'd have sworn they were completely different substrates and printing processes. In an email conversation the designer of the dark Petals & Spokes print mentioned she had had the fabric printed on some Kona Cotton and also found it to be tacky to touch. Perhaps there's a limit to the quality of printing with the much darker backgrounds., Something to consider when choosing designs or designing your own fabric.

By contrast my little peloton onesie feels lovely.

The ribbings are what I had in the stash and I managed to track down a new, smaller (size 14) die set for my old snap press and bought some smaller baby size snaps. Just to balance the fabric issues out, the black snaps on the first suit behaved perfectly and the white ones on the second suit were a beast. None of the black snaps misbehaved yet he white ones had a near 50% fail rate. I tested and tested the ones that are on there now and hopefully they will last as many wears and nappy changes as are required until the suit is outgrown.

Little niggles are quickly forgotten when I got to see how delighted the parents were with their custom onesies and when the new little babies confirmed they have the lung capacity of future world champions after all!


  1. I am sure the future world champions will feel oh so comfy in their new outfits made with love just for them :)

  2. These are so cute! Did you like the onesie pattern overall (aside from the understandable frustrations with the update issue) or would you recommend a different one?

    1. Well, I don't have any others to compare it to, and I don't know about fit on a baby, or over cloth nappies etc. As for the sewing, it was OK. Nothing I would rave about, but not bad either.
      I've since seen that Jalie have a baby romper pattern and my experience with that pattern company makes me think it could be a winner.

  3. OMG these are so cute and can imagine the joy of the parents and good to hear we have new cycling champions in the making.


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