2017 FO-9 : Best-ever baby gift

2017 FO-9 : Best-ever baby gift

I suck at baby gifts. I am much better at mommy gifts, so normally that’s what I do when the situation arises. But I suddenly have four friends with brand-new or imminent babies, one of whom is my friend (and now Fringe Supply Co. crewmate) Allison of Shutters & Shuttles. So when I got invited to a baby shower for her — my first in a decade or so — I decided I better hurry up and get better at baby gifts. I have a little obsession with Wiksten’s new Baby Harem Pants pattern, wishing it came in my size, of course, and it dawned on me that I had THE PERFECT fabric for making Allison’s gender-unknown baby a pair of them: the fabric she dyed and wove for me during the original Slow Fashion October.

Have you ever seen anything cuter in your whole entire life? You should feel how soft they are. My sense that pajama pants or other loungewear would be an excellent use of (the rest of) the fabric is 100% confirmed.

To my other new-mom friends who might be reading this: Yes, you probably have some coming your way. I want to make a pair out of every 1/2-yard scrap of fabric I wind up with from here on out — they are so simple and satisfying to make.

The only thing I’ll do differently next time, at least when making the tinier of the sizes (this pair is the 3-6 month size), is to finish the bottom edge of the pant legs before sewing the legs together. There was absolutely no chance of my being able to turn and press a hem with the french seams and all, in this squishy fabric, nevermind getting that tiny opening under the foot of the machine. (I wound up just serging the edge. And the leg opening was the exact width of the foot on my serger, so that was not easy!) But I highly recommend this pattern, especially to new sewers looking for an easy and exciting win.

Regarding the wrapping, the little organic cotton sandwich bag is from Natural Linens, which I had learned about last month on Reading My Tea Leaves, such a beautiful and calming blog. Apparently I did not bring a single scrap of gift wrapping supplies from California, and it made a perfect little last-second reusable wrap. The “ribbon” is a piece of bias tape — also organic cotton, indigo-dyed by my friend Molly — left over from this camisole.

And yes, she loved them.


PREVIOUSLY in FOs: My first button-up shirt

30 thoughts on “2017 FO-9 : Best-ever baby gift

  1. Regarding the gift-wrap desert: yes, it’s really too bad you don’t have practically instantaneous access to, say, nine thousand yards of kraft paper and baker’s twine in three different colors.

  2. Wow–what a dreamy gift. “Bad at baby gifts”? I have a hard time believing it.

    I’ve never been much for sewing, but I recently bought a machine almost entirely because of the new line of Wiksten patterns. I’m having a blast sewing up little bags and napkins and hope to work my way up to these pants eventually. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • These are a fantastic beginner project — so little fabric and only a few steps from start to finish. Although I’d recommend making one of the larger sizes first.

  3. I love it! I opened this link from my email while multitasking and was immediately in love with all the colors. Saving actual reading for later, I scanned your links to see where you bought the fabric and had a double take! “the fabric she dyed and wove for me” Some people! Pfft. Amazing. <3

  4. Love these and can see sewing up several from my fabric stash to have them ready for gifting. Wondering if the problem with small opening and serging could be solved by sewing inside the opening rather than outside?

    • That’s what I was doing — the issue is the leg opening is literally the same size as the serger foot, so I had to take it about 2 stitches at a time and make sure it was rotating as neatly as possible around the foot.

  5. As a new grandma, this pattern has been on my wish for a while. Needless to say, as soon as I saw your version I purchased this pattern without delay! Beautiful!

  6. I tend to make baby cardigans a lot (the Baby Sophisticate is a favorite free pattern) but lately I’ve been all about the toys! It’s so adorable to see a little person hugging a stuff doll or dog that you made them :)

  7. Karen it is such a special gift! Love the wrapping too. Would love to have some ideas for baby/children knitted sweater patterns to go with the darling pants.

  8. So lovely! The only thing cuter than those Wiksten baby pants is seeing the baby recipient wearing them :) I made some for my future-niece last winter (and also found the leg opening tricky, though I recall being able to just squeeze it around my machine’s arm) and it’s the gift that keeps on giving because now I get photos every time she wears them. Funnily enough, I was inspired by that snack bag blog post too, and made some of my own thanks to a commenter including a link to a tutorial. They’re so handy, though I hadn’t even thought of gift wrap.

    • I had gotten my order like a week earlier, washed them, and they were still just sitting in a neat stack on the dryer. So when I was foraging about for something that could work as gift wrap, ta da!

  9. I have made about a half-dozen pairs of these pants in various sizes and I love them! They are so friggin’ cute, and speedy to make – an irresistible combination as far as I’m concerned. If any of your soon-to-be-parent friends live farther north, let me also highly recommend Jenny’s tutorial for making a lined version. They are so cute and cozy!

  10. I love this pattern (and the bloomers/pants pattern as well)! What a sweet and thoughtful gift. I am lucky enough to have a tiny cute baby of my own to make these for and they make the perfect nap time project–possible to trace, cut, and sew in no time flat.

  11. What a beautiful gift! I’m also happy to learn of such a cute kiddo pants pattern for wovens. As a cloth diaper-er, I am thrilled that baby harem pants are having a moment, but thus far all the patterns I’ve seen have been for knits. Even with the harem cut, does anybody know if the Wiksten pattern has enough ease in the right place for fluffy butts?

    The baby pants pattern I’m plotting to make a dozen of right now is Brindille & Twig’s Big Butt Pants (https://brindilletwig.com/collections/bottoms/products/011-big-butt-pants). Actually, I want to make every single baby pattern they have — so adorable, and largely gender-independent, to boot. And the way they mix fabrics in their samples is super inspiring!

    I’ve frequently seen the advice to finish cuffs/hems before sewing up side seams in baby sewing land (and there are patterns written this way) — sure, by adult sewing standards it’s the “cheater” way to do it, but those are *small* circumferences!

    Some baby sewing fabric tips I’ve picked up and intend to try out, in the spirit of this blog:
    – make baby clothes from old t-shirts (certainly an unintimidating source of muslin fabric, at least)
    – look for thrift store turtlenecks, since they are more likely to come in small-ish scale patterns (now, if only we newly baby-encumbered had time to hunt thru thrift stores…)
    – outgrown onesies that are too stained for the hand-me-down pile (or which you just couldn’t part with, because babies can trigger the most unreasonable sentimentality) can make contrasting cuffs/gussets/pockets/panels

  12. Simply awesome! And I’m pretty sure the mum will keep them for another future baby or just because she won’t be able to give them away. I know I wouldn’t.

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  14. Love these!!! Super cute for baby. I have some cloth from shibori dying last summer to use as well, could be a winning combinations for my baby girl as well.

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