Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Geekiest Baby: My Little Hobbit

It is the curse of younger siblings that they always get the older sibling's hand-me-downs. Not that I would know what that's like, being an eldest child myself. And not that my sister would know what that's like either, being so much younger than me; in the seven years between my birth and hers, my mom had plenty of time to discard and donate my old things. Although the same number of years separates Walnut and SHB, he has no such luck. When Walnut decided that he wasn't a fan of the cat house that my sister painstakingly crafted for him two Christmases ago, we put it in the garage and saved it for SHB to play with once he got old enough to enjoy it. And by "enjoy", I mean "forced to take pictures in front of it to satisfy mom's geeky fancies."

In the spirit of the SHB Sew-Along, I decided to finally get back behind my sewing machine and make something, anything really. While I know what SHB really needs is more pants and pajamas, I also knew that the thought of such utilitarian sewing wasn't going to be enough to get the sewjo going after a month-long sewing standstill. So I did what I always do to get the creative juices flowing: I made a costume. And because I'm just a huge dork, I went for -- big surprise -- a Middle Earth-related costume. This outfit is based on Bilbo Baggins' first costume, when he has his ridiculous good morning exchange with Gandalf.

I realize, of course, that he should really have a pipe instead of the One Ring, but I don't want to encourage smoking. Also I don't have a wooden pipe.

I'm pretty pleased that I had a fabric in the stash that was vaguely similar to his waistcoat pattern! 

I actually started sewing the vest while I was still on maternity leave, but got stalled by a combination of the four month sleep regression and being undecided on how to finish the vest. The thought of doing bias binding around those tiny little armholes was just too much at the time. Well, the sleep regression never went away, but somewhere in those dark watches of the night my sleep-deprived brain hit upon a solution: if I had to make a long-sleeve onesie to go underneath the vest anyway, why not just combine the two and put the long sleeves on the vest? Then I wouldn't have to worry about an ugly armhole binding showing and it would be one less piece to make (and subsequently wrangle onto my little wannabe-nudist). So it's not really a vest anymore, which is fine. It does show, though, that the costume was conceived and cut when SHB was half his current age, because look at how short it is on his torso!

Good thing you can't really tell when he's sitting.

Confession: the dark green leggings are standard RTW baby clothes, which means there's a dinosaur appliqued onto the butt. Very unhobbit-like. Good thing you can't see it when he's sitting. Moral of the story: make sure your baby hobbit is sitting. Fortunately, he just started being able to sit independently in the last two weeks!

Testing the One Ring's composition by biting it...nope, not gold. 

Pattern: Traced a bodice+sleeve "sloper" from his RTW clothes and heavily modified to get the vest and poofy sleeves.
Fabric: A fat quarter for the vest, and old t-shirts for the sleeves and scarf
Notions: Two gold plastic buttons, velcro, a tiny piece of bias tape
Hours: 2.5-3? Spread out over last November and this past week
Will you make it again? No, but I will definitely keep using his "sloper" for more garments, I'm sure!
Total cost: Everything was stash and/or given to me, so basically free!
Final thoughts: Um, I might love this the best of any costume I've made. Actually no, who am I kidding, that title is reserved for Thranduil. Or Eowyn. Or my pirate coat. But this is a close fourth!

Really, Mommy? Just fourth?

I'm pretty sure I took over a hundred pictures on my phone because SHB is so cute (and so wiggly), so indulge me as I spam you with more.

Hmm, what's this? A ring? 
You say it's a magic ring? Hahahahahaha you're so funny. That's nonsense! Great joke, but April Fool's Day was last week. 
You say mysterious writing appears on it? A secret that only saliva can tell?
Well that's easy enough to disprove. Here, I'll saliva it up right now.
Nothing's happening, right? 
Great Bullroarer Took, there ARE runes appearing on it!!!
My Black Speech is rusty, but it looks like it says "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them..." 
Sigh...I guess it has to be destroyed now, huh? Phooey. 

He has to love Tolkien now, right?

(Also, extra geek points to me for finishing this in time to post on April 12, the actual day that Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton to tell Frodo the truth about the One Ring!)


  1. this is amazing, so many references and cuteness!

  2. *pop*
    That is sound of my nerdy brain exploding from the sheer amount of awesome in this post! I love that this is a combo of a snug shirt/vest- practical AND adorable!
    All he needs is an 111 birthday party to attend ;)

  3. Cute, cute, cute!

    At 18 months, IndoorKitten falls outside of the sew along, and I finished a baby gift just before you announced. Timing. Grr.

    Anyway, tips to share:

    1. Finish all baby clothes flat, then sew up the side seams. I've been constructing my knit tops this way for a while, but it is the only way to get a presentable result out of those tiny little armscyes.

    2. The ease in baby patterns is absurd, as you have learned. I've been using Pattern Making for a Perfect Fit (which I think I learned about from you -- or maybe Sunni) to rub off Kitten's RTW. Much faster and less frustrating.

    3. If you decide to make any snapped inseam pants, add a gusset to the crotch. (I know you prefer velcro, a predilection I just can't understand. Velcro gets caught in my fur.) Kitten pops the crotch snaps in her RTW overalls all the time.

  4. So adorable!! And it's good to see the teething ring in action. I had to laugh at your pipe comment because I had the same dilemma when working on the Shire page for the quiet book--one of the bushes has a pipe underneath it, and I certainly do not want to encourage smoking, so I spent probably a solid 20 minutes debating whether to switch it up for something else. But I couldn't figure out what, and the pipe gets referenced so often in the books, so I just left it in the end.

    Since I already have been planning to do a hobbit costume this fall, just out of curiosity, how hard was it to actually dress SHB in a button-up vest? I've been debating between the real thing and a faux vest onesie tutorial that I've seen. (Of course, Hobbit will be several months younger in October than SHB is now.)

  5. awww! How can you not smile at a post like this?? So adorable! Such a handsome little hobbit in his vest! I love the story you created with the last few photos, hehe. And as adorable as he is in all the pics, I have to say the black & white one is my favorite - that expression!

    Glad to see you are sewing a little again. =)

    ~ Brooke

  6. Super adorable!!! He is adorable on his own, but you did a terrific job on his costume. So smart!

  7. THIS IS THE CUTEST THING. I need to borrow someone's baby...

  8. This is the cutest Hobbit I've ever seen! I might steal a baby and make my own... ;)

  9. This is so many levels of adorable geekiness. Love it!

  10. This is so many levels of adorable geekiness. Love it!

  11. SO CUTE! /mind melting
    He's being so cooperative too for the photos! =D

  12. SHB is so adorable here with his costume and hobbit hole! This is amazing!

  13. I think SHBFrodo should be featured in a book for kids. A photo book, with running adventurous commentary underneath. You are so clever, Cation, so why not? You have the set... If you made a littl Gandalf costume you could shoot a couple of shots of him and make it a "conversation"
    Thanks for this. Great way to start my day!
    Nancy N

  14. These pictures just make me so happy.

    You hobbit is so, incredibly, overwhelmingly cute.

    From now on, any baby boys we have will be dressed as hobbits for the first years of their lives....

  15. This is the coolest idea! I also gave birth to a Hobbit recently & he has the biggest feet ever, though not hairy. :) I think I need to sew him a little outfit to go with the large feet. Love it!


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