Sunday afternoon

I’ve been feeling a little sad of late, when I think about my sewing room. I hope every day to get a little bit of time in there-even 30 minutes would do. But more often than not, it doesn’t happen lately, no matter how hard I try. Little D is not one for anything more than a power nap during the day, and she is at the age where she likes constant interaction rather than lying and playing next to me for a while, which makes sewing a bit tricky. And unfortunately I am no good at sewing at night because I find it really hard to see, even with a ton of lights on (maybe I don’t eat enough carrots? Wasn’t the old parental story that they gave you good night vision?) Anyway, I know this phase won’t last forever-and it is lovely to have a tiny person just busting to hang  with me. But it would be nice to have just a little stitchin’ time…So to give me a chance for some one-on-one time with my little old Elna, Sunday week ago Mr Hen took on the job of solo baby minder for the afternoon and I spent a few hours messing around without feeling guilty that Little D was getting bored waiting for me.

Now I am quite desperate for some new post-baby jeans, but I didn’t want to start a project that I couldn’t finish in a few hours, so I moved on to the next thing in the pile-baby sleeping bags.

Baby sleeping bags are pretty great, as I have discovered. They come in different weights and are basically bedclothes that your kid can’t kick off. Now, this can be a bad thing-you have to be very careful that the baby doesn’t get too hot, as overheating is supposed to be a risk factor for SIDS. But if the baby stays the right temperature in their little bag, then they won’t wake up because they have wriggled out of the covers and gotten too cold. Sleeping baby=a very good thing.

In the shops these sleeping bags are puzzlingly expensive. Some I have seen sell for nearly $80 for a very simply constructed armless bag and zip! I had bought one or two of these on sale before Little D was born-ie before I knew what we would really need-but they were too light-weight for winter in the treehouse. And I have discovered that you need to have at least 2 of these badboys as a contingency for midnight floods. Or poo-namis. (Or shituations, as they have also been dubbed in these parts.  ‘Scuse my French.) So I decided to have a crack at making my own.

Another safety factor to consider here is that out in the wilds of consumer-land, there are strict safety standards concerning the flammability of children’s nightwear. You have to be very careful about what you pick for baby and child pjs, and be aware of what your child is wearing if you have an open fire or wood stove or anything like that in your house. Ok, safety message over, back to the sewing.

I ended up using polar fleece because it is cheap, light, warm, washable and dries quickly. All I did was to use one of the sleep suits I already had as a template and cut out a 2 fronts and a backs the same size, but a little bit bigger than the bag I already had to allow for seams. These 4 pieces were all for the same bag, to make it double thickness so it is warm enough for our really cold nights. Then I cut 2 pieces in half for the front, and overlocked down the center front edges to keep them together while I sewed in a chunky zip. I also added a 1 “piece in the bottom of the seam below where the zip had ended-to allow for the gap created by the zip. After that it was just a matter of sewing the back to the front at the shoulders and around the body-I did this with the overlocker-and then overlocking the neck and shoulder edges. I was going to bind them, but after I overlocked I thought that this was really unnecessary-and time is of the essence as I’ve already mentioned. Lastly I sewed to small tabs of fabric at the top of the zip, just to protect a soft little neck from being scratched by any hard plastic-ey bits. And there you have it. A fairly boring project but very practical, and a way to save yourself nearly $70 (mine cost about $10 each).

In your face, overpriced baby shops!

028 033

~ by Little Red Hen on May 11, 2009.

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