Thursday, October 20, 2011

Magic Baby Snuggle Jackets

When I began designing baby clothes years ago, I found that the process was similar to how I approach making art. In this case, inspired by a new grandbaby, I pulled out flannel scraps left over from making Magic Baby Snuggle Blankies. I have always been frugal in most aspects of my life; needless to say, I was not going to let those exquisite scraps go to waste, especially when baby clothing requires so little fabric. My first step was to cut off any selvedges from the scraps, then rotary cut them into strips and squares, which were stacked together in a box. Piecing the strips together, I could make matching snuggly, cuddly reversible jackets for the Snuggle Blankies. It was easy to add little tags of ribbon into the seams, keeping everything very soft, and snippets of trim to the fold-up cuffs. After turning the jacket right side out, I inserted a scrap of pre-gathered satin pink ruffle into the bottom edge.

Magic Baby Cuddle Jacket Prototype, front
The biggest challenge in this design, as is the case in many of my designs, is coming up with a unique closure that is also functional. For the jacket, I inserted a piece of medium gauge, round elastic into bias tape, gathered it and measured the length before inserting it in between the front and reverse jacket sections. Next, since I don't want to be buying tons of buttons, and because buttons can pop off, I created a "soft" button using ribbon blanket trim satin stitched over a cut-down cosmetic sponge, and stitched in place with an "X" of embroidery floss.

This design was fast, easy, and, in my mind, a complete success. I have the pattern worked out from NB to 4T, and plan to make jackets that also match my reversible dresses. 

I am still working on prototypes for my "story clothes", finishing up my new holiday designs (the boy's overalls are finished, and ready to ship!),  and completing three custom orders from the show last weekend.

I am an artist, so why am I spending so much time designing baby clothes? There are several answers to this question: a) I need to earn a regular income, and baby clothes sell faster than artwork b) I am a grandmother, and like making things for babies c) It's fun and challenging. Granted, I have had to put my current book project on hold, and don't have as much time in the studio to make artwork. I do, however, make time for art. Can't live without it!
My new granddaughter wearing her MagicBaby Cuddle Jacket.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First of all, let me say that I am happy to be posting again. There have been some problems with blogger, and I couldn't post or leave comments. Hurrrah, Magic Baby Designs blog is back in action!

I am thrilled to be participating in my first boutique with Magic Baby Designs this coming Sunday. I hope to see some of you there! By the way, order your holiday custom order outfits now. I have several choices in my etsy shop, will have some new designs on Sunday, and more to come. Happy Fall!