Oliver and S 'Lullaby Layette' Sewing Pattern Review
Sewing for babies is a great way to start dressmaking.
Since my little lady has been born I've decided to take the opportunity to get more comfortable with dressmaking. Sewing for babies is a great way to do this; projects are generally small and therefore leas time consuming and less demanding in general, and the fit of the finished garment matters a lot less. So you can pick up some really great dressmaking techniques without totally overwhelming yourself.
Baby/Kids Pattern Brands
Two baby/kids pattern brands I've been really impressed with are Minikrea and Oliver and S. Both of these brands produce really patterns for really pretty garments, and I've generally found their patterns to be straight forward to follow. You can buy both brands here.
'Lullaby Layette' by Oliver and S
Below is my take on Oliver and S 'Lullaby Layette' pattern. I chose the shirt option in 0-3 months because I thought it would work really well with this gorgeous fabric from Bonnie Christine's Forest Floor collection for Art Gallery fabrics.
In retrospect I think the shirt is a little less practical for a baby of this age. If I was doing it again I'd choose the bodysuit for the 0-3 month stage. The long sleeves on the shirt are going to be harder to squeeze Lara's wee arms into, and with Lara being a bit of a squirmer the shirt will most likely ride up and annoy her more than the body suit would.
When it came to sewing the shirt up, it was pretty straight forward. The pattern calls for you to make your own bias binding for the neckline, but I chose to buy ready-made binding. This saved me some time looking for the right fabric match and cutting it up and re-sewing to make the binding. It probably saved some money too. The only downside to doing it this wag was that the width I bought was slightly narrower than the pattern called for, which meant it was trickier to sew when it came to topstitching the back of the binding down along the back of the neckline.
Installing Press Fasteners
Baby clothes generally have press fasteners or 'poppers' because buttons are seen as a choke hazard/health and safety risk. Sewing for Lara meant I had to become acquainted with attaching poppers to a garment for the first time. I used Prym's 'Jersey' 10mm Press Fasteners. Prym provide a handy guide for attaching this type of non-sew fasteners here.
They were straight forward to attach, although I did find that the first fastener I accidentally attached crookedly. I carefully prized the front and back of the fastener apart and managed to rectify my mistake, but to avoid you having to do this I suggest you spend as long as you need practicing attaching the fastener to scrap fabric. (I'm known for being impatient with my trial runs and often jump the gun in the hope that I can fix my mistakes.) No matter how many times you practice, be careful when installing these for real.
Want an extra special tip? I bought the Prym plain silver press fasteners and painted them the colour I needed with nail varnish! It worked really well. The varnish got a bit damaged as I hammered the fasteners on, but I applied another coat (really carefully) once they were installed. I love that they match the neck binding. I generally hate compromising on these kind of design decisions, because why sew if the garments aren't going to look good in the end?
The exact fabric I used is Wild Posy in Rose by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. To get inspired, follow along on the Forest Floor blog hop, where a selection makers worldwide are sewing up pretty projects with Bonnie's latest fabrics and taking turns to post about it daily. Yesterday Jodi Goddfrey inspired us with a hexie quilt, and tomorrow Bonnie is joining in on the fun herself!