Monday, 31 December 2018

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Sunday, 20 May 2018

Boy patterns (1) - Baby boys

Someone on a Facebook page gave me the idea of doing something on free PDF patterns for boys. There are so many for girls, but given that the birth rate is approximately equal between the sexes, it's surprising there's such an inbalance of free patterns.So, in this post, I'll list and review some of my favourite patterns. I treat them as unisex, of course, because only one of my 4 grand-daughters is a girly girl. Thank you to all the authors of patterns who have been generous to share. Some of them also have patterns for sale. 

Here are some shorts I made last summer from a free pdf pattern. These were for one of my grand-daughters, but they would work equally well for a boy.  

Please note that hese patterns have all been generously shared, and you should not use them to make things for sale. But you can contact most of the authors through the links.

To see my suggestions for free PDf patterns for baby boy clothes, read on.

For baby boys. (All these patterns work equally well for baby girls, of course!)

Pants and things with legs first. OK, the first thing I need to say is that I am not a fan of pants patterns where the front is cut exaclty the same as the back. It's a lazy way of making pants, and they never look right. Babies and kids, just like adults, have a bigger amount of flesh out the back than they do in the front. So pants cut the same front and back will either be tight round the butt, or baggy in the front. Some pants patterns (even paid for ones, which is shocking) just cut the legs as an upside down 'U' shape - how can that work? Therefore I don't recommend any that are like that.

1. My favourite pants pattern in this one from Suzy from Baby Pattertns at Space in the Netherlands. This is the 3-6 months size.

Click on any of the pictures on her web site to get the pattern. The great advantage of her patterns is that they are based on a squared grid, so you can be sure you can draw it to exactly the right size. I've used the 0-3 months pants and the 3-6 months over and over again. I've also redrawn the 3-6 months a tiny bit wider and quite a lot longer to make a 12 month size.

2. Here's a lovely pair of dungarees by Shwin and Shwin, for 0-3 months. Though in general I avoid making these smallest sizes - it's too disheartening when the newborn comes out already too big, or they grow out of them in what seems like days. 

(However, I'd personally still prefer to curve the back seam a bit more.)

3. Another one, from Ribbons and bibbons, for knits:

4. Melly Sews has a number of free patterns, among which I love this one.

5. This one by Shwin and Shwin is a favourite method for me of sewing pants, though in practice I've mainly used Suzy's pattern, above, or the Jereli one for larger sizes. 

6. Here's a nice basic loose fitting romper for knits for age 12  months. It would be easy to cut down (or increase) though, as she gives instructions for making your own pattern from an existing garment.

(I've cropped this picture as I didn't want to post another person's child just because she was generous enough to share a pattern!)

7. A 0-3 month pattern from Crafting Zuzzy for baby boy shorts:

8. And of course, there is the Perfect Diaper Cover from Dana which would work for baby boys as well as baby girls, depending on the fabric you choose. Dana's diaper cover comes in multiple sizes. I've also used it to make a romper suit - see picture below.

(Picture cropped from Dana's original, she was generous enough to share this pattern!)

And made into a romper suit (yes, she's a girl, but this would work just as well for a boy).

Now for some tops. Many patterns for T shirts etc are unisex.

9. Another lovely pattern by Shwin and Shwin for a great looking sweatshrt for 6-12 months.

Haven't made it, sadly - all of my grandchildren were the wrong age at the time of year this might have worked. I may have a go at enlarging it next winter. Shwin and Shwin also have a pattern for a Baby Ringer onesie and a bavby raglan onesie, so it's worth checking out the free patterns on their site.

10. Once upon a Sewing Machine also have some nice baby patterns, among which is this V neck T shirt for 0-3 months.

Free Pattern: Baby Harvey Vneck

11. Brindille and Twig, mainly a commerical site, do have some free patterns, including this T shirt pattern, in several sizes from infants upwards.
12. Other people with more patterns suitable for baby boys include:

Melly Sews - T shirt
Purlsoho - Fleece jump suit

Finally - other clothes, like hats and bibs. By and large, most people don't want to dress their boy baby in a frilly bonnet. But there are alternaitves available!

13. There are two boy hat patterns I can recommend for babies.  The first is a tutorial rather than a PDF, but it's for a nice cosy hat with flaps by Indietutes that you could make for any age.

(I've blurred this picture as I didn't want to post another person's child just because she was generous enough to share a pattern!)

14. And the second is another (reversible) hat with flaps, from Victoria White of the Creative Workshop.

There are also quite a few patterns for knotted hats, so you can look these up for yourself. Just too many to list. But they work equally well for girls as for boys. 

Likewise, there are many free patterns for bibs - I guess boys need these as often as girls! I've already done a post on free patterns for bibs and aprons, so you can check that out. 

And my blog has many other things that would be suitable for boys, including hooded towels, quilts and blankets, and even a wigwam. So do search this site. And have fun making things for baby boys.

My next task will be to continue my review of free PDF patterns for toddlers and older boys.

So watch this space. 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Super-quick child's quilt for the weekend

This isn't the first time I've made children's bedding in a hurry, and it may not be the last. The previous time, I threw together two quilts by two different methods.

This time, I had about an hour and a half's notice that I was going to need one extra junior quilt, for a grand-child who would be sleeping on a cot bed mattress on the floor. Last year's quilt was much too small for her and wasto be demoted to the smaller cot mattress for her sister. It had been agreed that their other grandfather would be staying over at ours, as well as the rest of the gang, which meant everyone needed to move round a bed - musical beds. I did actually know about this, but in all the rush to get ready for having a houseful, it had slipped my mind, and it was only my daughter's timely reminder that saved the day.

To find out how I made a really fast quilt, read on.

Quiet books - a technique for making pages removable

I enjoy making quiet book pages, but there is always a question of how to bind them, how to display them etc. In the case of single pages, I would prefer to do them back to back (after sewing each page) and using grommets to attach them into a file, or using a set of ties etc. That way, they can be taken out of the book to play with.

My problem was that so many of the pages I liked (and wanted to copy) are actually double page spreads. For example, many of the pages which come with templates by Imagine Our Life. (For more ideas, see below.) So removing those meant removing two separate pages. And if the designs on the back are also double page spreads, you can end up with multiple pieces. (Also tricky if there are lots of loose bits.)

So I came up with a plan, which works for me, and might work for you. To find out more, and for links to other useful pages, read on.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Quilts for boy and girl twins

It's a while since I made baby quilts - almost a year! I've written about how to make baby quilts a number of times - here, here and here. I've also written about metohds of making super quick quilts in a hurry, here. So I won't spend more time here repeating the tutorials. But I did want to make sure I put my latest efforts on the blog. It's become easier with practice!

Now, I had two to make. My husband's niece the other side of the world had twins recently, a boy and a girl.  A bit earlier than expected, so I had to get a move on - espeically as they would take a while to arrive in the post.

Here's the boy's finished quilt.

For a little more information, read on.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Quiet book Mr Potato head, abacus and cooking breakfast

For my general thinking about quiet books, and more ideas, please see this earlier post. Most of my efforts have been double page spreads with two singles, so they can be removed as a set from the book so they can be doled out. I've described how I did this in a separate post, together with some links to other pages I really like, and other pages I'd like to have made, if I'd ever had time!
This double page spread has at its centre a cooking hob and a breakfast table. Again, this comes from Imagine Our Life, with only minor alterations. The person who runs this web site generously provides not only pictorial ideas and tutorials, but templates for many of her ideas.

To see how mine differs, and to see the other single pages in this set, read on.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Quiet book - garden with bee, weaving and tic tac toe

For my general thinking about quiet books, and more ideas, please see this earlier post. Most of my efforts have been double page spreads with two singles, so they can be removed as a set from the book so they can be doled out. I've described how I did this in a separate post, together with some links to other pages I really like, and other pages I'd like to have made, if I'd ever had time!

The next double page spread is a bee visiting the flowers in numbered orderThe idea from this is also from Imagine our Life. (Stephanie is so prolific and makes such beautiful and elaborate pages that I can't imagine she has much time to do anything else at all!)  

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Tartan dresses for a little Scottish girl

One of my grandchildren, Jane, was born in Scotland, although she moved south near to London soon afterwards. For her fourth birthday, I made her two little tartan dresses to recognise her heritage. Here's the green one. I also made a classic red one.

They were made from two different patterns. To find out about the patterns and how I made these dresses, read on.