Sunday, March 22, 2015

Introducing the Small Human Being Sewalong!

(Does that sound like we're sewing small human beings? Oops. Spoiler alert: we're not.)

Adorable badge by Mikhaela!

One of the things that surprised and delighted me the most about sewing blogging is what a lovely community we have here. When it seems that so much of online interaction is negative (cyberbullying! bodyshaming! awful YouTube comments!), it's nice to be able to count on this corner of Teh Interwebs to be kind, encouraging, and constructive. This was especially evident after I had SHB and so many of you reached out to comfort me that yes, this time is hard, but it will pass and I will sleep, eat leisurely with two hands, and sew again. I'm especially glad for Clio and Mikhaela and their new darling boys to celebrate and commiserate with. We've been emailing back and forth and decided that it would be nice to do a little sew-along to give us the push we need to get back to our machines. Then we started thinking about how many other sewists are welcoming new or coming SHBs, and we thought, why not invite everyone to join us?

As new parents (or even veteran parents!), we know just how hard it is to find the time, inspiration, and energy to sew, so consider this an invitation to push through the the fog of sleep deprivation and cluster-feeding to do something creative. Besides, the nice thing about sewing for such small human beings is that we can finally use up those tiny scraps that are too big to throw away, but not small enough to clothe adults or even kids. Or if you're looking for an excuse to buy new fabric, well, most baby sewing patterns don't need more than a yard of fabric, so you can splurge on something nice. There are so many free baby sewing patterns out there, you don't even need to go out and buy a pattern if you don't want to. Plus, taping up those pdfs will be a piece of cake since there's no way a baby pattern will take up 40 pages!

Want in? Here are the guidelines:

  1. Human babies only, not fur babies (sorry fur babies!). 
  2. Items should be for babies ages 0-12 months old (It's OK if the baby isn’t born yet!).
  3. They can be for any baby -- your own, a friend’s, a niece/nephew/grandchild/whatever, or you can make baby items to donate to charity (we will be posting about a few charities that accept baby-related donations if you would like to do this). 
  4. Sewing only (no knitting or needle felting or other crafts). Hand-sewing, serging and sewing machine are all acceptable construction options. 
  5. The sewn item can be as simple or as complex as you like -- if all you sleep-deprived parents have time to do is sew a simple cotton knit baby hat or serge a pair of reusable nursing pads, that’s cool.

Other details:

Timeline: We'll sew during the month of April, and then at the end of the month we'll do a round-up of our favorite pieces and choose winners for some prizes!

Categories: You can sew as many items as you would like to enter into three categories: 1) Baby Clothing, 2) Baby Accessories and Other Items, such as quilts, toys, burp cloths, bibs, etc., and 3) For Parents -- because you can still do somewhat selfish sewing! -- things like maternity clothes, nursing tops/covers/pads, diaper bags, and baby carriers.

Prizes: We will choose a winner for each category to receive a year's subscription to Ottobre kids' sewing pattern magazine, and randomly select a couple of winners to receive a copy of the Oliver & S Lullaby Layette pdf pattern.

How to participate: Grab the badge for your blog if that's your thing, then leave a comment here or on Clio's or Mikhaela's blogs saying you want in (and your plans, if you know already). You can post photos of your makes on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SHBsewalong, or post to our Flickr group. At the end of the month, we'll also post a call for links if you want to link to a blog post with your items.

If you'd like a more warm-weather badge, there's this option as well!

I'm going to try to make some pajamas and pants for SHB, and if I'm really ambitious I might try to make some more toys for him. And if the seas gang dry and the rocks melt wi' the sun and SHB starts sleeping more, I might even go so far as to make a nursing-appropriate garment for myself. Clio and Mikhaela and I will not only be sharing our makes, but also doing inspiration posts to give you an idea of what's out there and what's possible, so stay tuned! In the meantime, what do you think, sewists? Are there small human beings in your lives you can sew for? (I'm looking at you, Becky, Juebejue, and Amity!)

Here's SHB enjoying gnawing on the plush shark I made for him while lying on the nautical-themed quilt I made for him!
And as you can see, his pants are getting way too short.


  1. I don't have my own SHB, but I've had plans for a Totoro-bib for a colleague's SHB for a while now, and this is perfect to push me into getting this done.

  2. I have several friends having babies this summer so I may join the sewalong. Thanks for organizing!

  3. I bet those yummy long legs are just right for the footed pjs you made him last time?!?
    LOVE THE QUILT! He'll outgrow the pants, but that quilt will have a long baby life I bet you.
    Keep up the wonderful blogging. My babies are 16 & 18 now, but I still have some of the things I made them!
    Nancy N

  4. Yay, this is great to help me get some baby sewing in before this summer!! I have already gathered some supplies for category 3, and would hope to do some 1, and pooooossibly 2 as well. Thanks to the three of you for hosting!

  5. Oh, I am expecting a baby in August and would LOVE to participate in a sewalong with other mamas and SHB sewists! I'm definitely planning on sewing a few maternity clothes for myself as well as a lot of pieces for baby. Thanks for organizing this!

  6. Haha, I love it! I'm still in process of making a bunch of cloth diapers, I definitely hope to work in some more maternity/nursing clothes for myself, and I have some scraps set aside to make a geeky t-shirt for the Hobbit. A nursing cover is definitely on the list as well. So much left to do, but having a sewalong to motivate me will help!

  7. Yay! I'm in! I've got about three more months before my own SHB pops out, so it'll be nice to have some extra motivation to get the sewing done now.

    1. Sounds like we're due around the same time, then!

  8. I'm in - all my friends are having babies and I was planning on making some dresses anyhow.

  9. How fun! But, I've been aged out. My SHB is now 14 months old. Maybe you'll motivate me to finally sew something fun for her to wear (more than just during Halloween) anyway. I won't have to be a part of your contest, but it's always fun to join along!

  10. Great idea! I could just scrape in as my SHB turns one on 6th May! I will have a think about what I could make - so this is not a pledge - but whether I join in or not I'll be following along! And I love the badges - they are do cute!!

  11. Sounds fun. I have my 4 month old for whom I have some things planned - this will be a great time to get them done.

  12. Ooooo...I've got a dress shirt I've been wanting to Upcycle into a baby boy's outfit for a long time. This looks like a great excuse to do sew. I'm all in!

  13. I want in!!
    Planning: a baby lord-of-the-rings inspired dress, and a coordinating nursing/maternity lord-of-the-rings inspired dress for myself...and baby elven cloaks...

  14. Exciting! I definitely need a push to get some sewing done. My SHB is just 6 months, and I have managed to sew two pairs of pants for him, and do a lot of in-my-head sewing(planning), but little else.
    I have a pattern for a mei tai carrier to try, and would like to make him some more clothes (does everybody get gifted a zillion onesies and no pants to go with them?).
    If I get really ambitious, I might make a couple of nursing dresses, I've been wearing my pre-pregnancy tiramisus _constantly_

  15. I can't wait to see what everyone makes! I may even be able to join in since everyone I know seems to be pregnant right now and I'm cranking out baby gifts like crazy! The logo is SO cute.

  16. fun! added to my social sewing calendar: ‎

  17. Oops, I thought I posted but it seems to have gotten lost. I am in! I've been wanting to make a costume for my grub... just 'cause. This is a good deadline. (Deadlines are good... nothing gets done around here without deadlines.) =D

  18. I want to play along. I love babies and I love sewing for them.

  19. Oh, I was going to join but it's for under 12 months? My small human being is small, but 2.5 years old... Oh well, maybe next time... not pregnant yet, but who knows!

  20. No definite plans yet, but I have a large stash of scraps and a new grand-daughter. I'm excited to sew lots of girly things!

  21. I want in! My teacup human needs new clothes like a hole in the head but I haven't sewn anything for her in ages. I've been playing around with my own leggings pattern so maybe i'll whip up a few pairs of merino leggings...

  22. I'm joining as well! Can't believe it's half April now and I'm only made a few bibs :-/.

  23. I'd love to sew some gifts for some new additions to friends' families! :)


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