Sunday, March 8, 2015

Solving the Baby Boy + Cat Problem

I've mentioned before that one of the things that frustrates me most about RTW baby stuff is that manufacturers don't seem to think that boys can be into cats. There's no shortage of blue puppy-themed items and pink cat-themed items, but what's mom of a cat and baby boy to do? Obviously, the answer is to sew my own blue cat-themed item. Oh, I guess I could buck the socially accepted gender-color associations, but TBH, I don't feel strongly enough about it. I do feel strongly about cats, though, so decided that SHB needed something cat-themed to wear. Start 'em early with the indoctrination, right?

I used Kwik-Sew 3127 to whip up this fleece outfit for SHB. Of course, the minute I finish, the weather here takes a turn for the better and it's been way too warm for fleece anything! New Englanders and Canadians, please don't stone me for complaining that it's too warm and sunny. *ducks head* I'm kind of hoping it gets cold again, because look how adorable SHB is in his cozy new suit:

Once again, testing the mobility: can I lick my, hand?

Unfortunately, despite sewing up his recommended size, the outfit is HUGE on him! His feet don't even reach the ankles of the pants, and the body of the jacket is way too wide. The sleeves, hood, and waist of the pants are spot on, though, so I'm not sure what's going on with the sizing. Maybe Kwik-Sew is intended for long-legged, babies with muffin tops? I'm not sure, as this is my first time working with an actual baby sewing pattern.

Can you tell that his knee hits right where the crotch is? And that right footie portion is totally empty. I scrunched up the other pant leg to get his foot into the bottom, but then he just looks like a wrinkly Shar-Pei. 

I didn't bother finishing the inside seams, because come on, baby clothes get worn for such a short time anyway, and fleece doesn't need it.

I did try to trim everything neatly though. 

My stitching of the ears was a little messy. I think if I did this again, I'd line the hood to hide some of this. 

My favorite things about this pattern: elastic in the hood to help hold it on a wiggly baby's head, and the ingenious footie design. It looks so real!

I think it would be pretty easy to reproduce this/scale it up for adult pajamas. 

See, when there isn't a baby in the pants, they look so normal! Then once you put them on, it becomes obvious how comically large they are. 
The sleeves are so long and the jacket body is so wide. It looks like his leg is broken, the way the pants are angled, but that's just because the bottom half of the pant leg is basically empty. But hey! The hood is perfect for his 90th percentile head!

Pattern: Kwik-Sew 3127
Fabric: 1 yard of light turquoise anti-pill fleece, a couple scraps of white fleece for the ears.
Notions: a separating zipper, 3/8" and 1" elastic
Techniques used: Instead of following the instructions for the elastic waist on the pants, I used Lladybird's oh-so-easy tutorial.
Hours: I think around 3? I hand-stitched the ears to the hood, so that took a while.
Will you make it again? I don't see why not! Once I make some alterations to the width of the jacket and length of the pants, that is. These could be made in different fabrics for less warmth, and since I traced the pattern, I can still make all the other sizes as need arises.
Total cost: I got the fleece on sale, so the total cost was $6.
Final thoughts: This was my first time ever working with a Kwik-Sew pattern, and it was overall a good experience. I'm sure if I really wanted to, I could've figured out how to draw up the pattern and sew it myself, but it was nice to let somebody else do the work for me. Especially now that mommy brain has set in (it is all too real!), and figuring out order of operations is too much thinking. The footed pants are especially great, since SHB is all about losing his socks. It's just too bad that the 3-6 month size is ridiculously big on him, and with the way the weather's been heating up, it's unlikely he'll get much wear out of this outfit except for when we go to San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, let's talk about the other reason why I was inspired to make this outfit! It wasn't just about the blue cat business; the last time I went back to the city to my parents' house, I was looking back at my own baby pictures and came across these pictures:

Well looky there, I'm wearing a blue hooded fleece suit with elastic footies! My mom's dress is so fabulously vintage-looking, isn't it? And let's not even get started on the couch. 

So of course I had to try to recreate it with SHB!

I don't look nearly as chic as my mom. 

SHB is also two months younger than I was in that picture, so he's a lot more wiggly and unsteady in a standing position. 

It's really obvious here that his foot doesn't even make it into the footie part of the pants. 

He's also not quite sitting up yet, so we have a lot of outtakes where he's about to fall over...

And of course, it's only natural that Walnut, an actual cat, would photobomb a photo shoot of a cat suit.

Oh hello there, I'm just going to walk in front of you like you're not doing anything important. 

As for the winner of the One Teething Ring, congratulations to Ravenna! Email me with your mailing address so that I can get it out to you as soon as possible!


  1. I love that you tried to recreate it! I was grinning through this whole post!

  2. I love that you tried to recreate it! I was grinning through this whole post!

  3. So cute! And of course... the kitty photobomb. It would not be a true photoshoot without that. =D (I find all the baby patterns HUGE. I really dunno who's baby they're fitting... clearly not mine...)

    1. P.S. He looks like Max from Where the Wild Things Are in that first photo. =D White version too perhaps???

  4. So Cute! There are no words for the adorableness...

  5. Adorable! I just love your pictures of SHB - he's beautiful, really dear. And your posts are wonderful, heartfelt, and amusing. Remind me of my baby-raising times. Thank you so much!

  6. Cute! Perhaps it will fit better when the chilly SF summer rolls in?

  7. So adorable! Too bad it's so big AND that it's too warm for him to wear it.

  8. SHB is continuing to melt hearts everywhere!

    Kwik Sew's idea of a baby is pretty damn big. I know that the body type used for pattern making is a lot more....corn-fed than your coastal child will ever be. This isn't allowing for wiggle room or room to grow. They are just huge (the LL Bean snow suit we got for a 6 month old that he was still too short for at two years comes to mind).

    This disconnect will continue until he grows into child sizes, which are still a little stout. And then it will all be just right (which makes me wonder what those corn fed kids are wearing...oh, adult sizes!).

  9. He's so cute--and so is the onesie! You also looked a lot alike as babies.

  10. Ha! We had that same couch (and the matching loveseat) when I was a kid too! I hated sitting on it with shorts though--so itchy/scratchy! :-P Love the photoshoot re-creation, and Walnut is a character. :-)

    I'm not sure about the Kwik Sew sizing, but at least the pattern pieces are simple enough to alter easily! I made a lot of them for my son once he reached toddler age, but their baby sizing is a little different. And I feel you on the head size. Scotch is the 97th percentile, and he already is wearing the same size hat as Irish (who is 8). And as I'm sure you've noticed, a lot of people seem to think they are older than they really are if they have big heads...

  11. The recreation is awesome! I've got some photos of my mom and the actual patterns from some of her dresses that I want to recreate sometime.
    Love that this is a cat hoodie. So cool. Usually babies grow long so maybe that's why this was drafted with extra long legs...

  12. This is the cutest thing! Love that you were able to recreate an old photo. I totally feel you on the annoyingness of the gendered clothing. I feel like it's gotten worse over the years too. Finding gender-neutral baby fabric is almost just as bad.

  13. Awww! Zac is so cute and so were you in those old photos! Love the blue kitty hoodie-footies! (btw, I think my mom had almost the same dress yours did!)

    I've always found it a bit odd that dogs always seem to be boys and cats always seem to be girls in the land of kids stuff. Also, it bugs me that all babies are usually referred to as female in ads and articles about babies when a pronoun is used - like babies can't be boys or something (or maybe it's because in America girls are preferred by mothers?).

    ~ Brooke

  14. It's really cute! The ears make it remind me of Where the Wild Things Are. I'm not sure about the Kwik-Sew sizing, since I haven't used those yet either, and I'm just hoping that the one thing I did sew for clothes fits the Hobbit at some point.

    I've noticed the dog-heavy leanings of boy clothes too--a rather high percentage of the free hand-me-downs I've received so far have some kind of dog on them. But I'm ok with that, since between our two and the two that live at my parents' house, Hobbit is going to have a lot of dogs in his life for awhile. So the closest thing to a similar problem I'm having is that there also seem to be a lot of sports-themed things that are pretty much everything but hockey (the only sport my husband actually cares about). We actually ended up passing those clothes along to Goodwill, since he said no kid of his was going to wear a baseball outfit, lol.

  15. Oh, this is adorable! Love that you recreated an old photo. So cute! And in my experience, kid pattern sizing is totally whack. If you thought big 4 adult sizing is crazy, it's even worse in kid sizes! I have had great luck with Burda patterns though.

  16. I find it very difficult to figure out the right proportions for babies. Anyway, your cat suit looks adorable!

  17. Both you and your SHB look totally adorable in your cute little onesies!!! Definitely good idea to start with the cat indoctrination early - if you didn't, Walnut would definitely take over ;)

  18. Well, this is gosh darn adorable!

  19. Holy cow, this is adorable. Or should I say holy cat!

  20. This is the CUTEST! I love that you've copied the poses you were in when you were tiny :) the cat outfit is pretty genius - well done!


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