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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Free PDF patterns for newborns - Page 1

In general, I try to discourage people from making clothes in newborn baby size, at least, in large quantities. See my posts here and here. Often a newborn is bigger than you expect, and they grow just SO fast. But there are times when these very small clothes may be appropriate, especially if the baby was small at birth, or perhaps, was born too soon. Or you just want to make some because they are cute, so you are happy to ignore my advice. Just don't say I didn't warn you!

In fact, there are quite a lot of patterns available as free PDFs on the internet in this size - perhaps more than for other sizes. So you'll find in this post (3 pages-worth) my recommendations for which to choose. These are almost all patterns that are described by their designers as newborn, 0-1 months, or 0-3 months - I'll tell you which. There are dresses, onesies, pants, hats - you can make a complete outfit for a tiny baby using these free patterns. Most come with tutorials. Let's start by thanking the designers for their generosity in sharing. And please remember that they are shared freely on the basis of people using them for personal use, not for commercial purposes.

If you are looking for even smaller sizes, you could look at my posts for premature babies. But often, PDF patterns can be printed a little smaller, and can be adapted to be suitable for premature babies by adding in some extra openings. I give some suggestions for how to adapt them in this post.

To find out more, read on.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Free PDFpatterns for newborns - Page 2

You are on the second page of my post about free PDF patterns for newborns. If you missed Page 1, you might want to return there first. 

But if you've read Page 1, then off you go  - read on. As before, larger pictures on this page are my own, from things I have made for my grandchildren. The smaller pictures are from the pattern designers' web sites. 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Free PDF patterns for newborns - Page 3

You are on the third page of my post about free PDF patterns for newborns. If you missed Page 1, or Page 2, you might want to return there first. I wrote in those pages about onesies, dresses, T shirts, hats, and clothes with legs. In this post, I'll try and pick up on patterns for other types of clothes you might want to make for newborn babies.

I should say first of all that I still strongly discourage people from making clothes in newborn size. (Though even I sometimes ignore my own advice, and then regret it. ) Many newborns are already too large for the smallest size clothes, and if they aren't at birth, they soon will be. But the fact that you are here suggests you also intend to make newborn clothes anyway, no matter how much I urge you not to. So go ahead. Read on to find free PDF patterns to help you make cute, tiny clothes that may never be worn!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Premature Baby Patterns - Introduction - Page 1

It's taken me a long time to be able to write this series of posts, but I was nudged back into it by seeing a request on a web site before Christmas for premature baby patterns. I did so much research a few years ago, that it really is time I shared what I learned. 

40cm doll in premature baby hat

Premature babies have very specialist needs, and it's not just that they need tiny clothes. At the time it mattered most in our family, I was shocked at how unsuitable a lot of the commercially available ready-to-wear clothes were for premature babies. They were very small, granted, and often very cute - but likely to be pretty useless for an intubated baby. I saw size 000 dresses that had to be wrangled OVER THE BABY'S HEAD, and then there was a button to do up AT THE BACK! I was pretty sure the designers had never seen a premature baby. (I have to say, what is on offer now is much better, at least from the specialist web sites, and seems more reasonably priced. So I'll also briefly touch on ready to wear in the last page.)

So, five years ago, I got stuck into some research, and again, a year ago. In my pages on dressing premature babies, you can read what I learned, and find some ideas and patterns for premature baby clothes.

The needs of premature babies vary at different stages, so I've divided up the ideas into three stages. You can look at all of these, or pick the one most appropriate for you. However, if the baby is likely to have an extended stay in hospital, whatever his or her gestational age, I suggest you start in any case with the first stage.

1. Babies born before about 32 weeks' gestation, or weighing less than 1.5 kg (Page 2)
2. Babies born from about 32- 36 week's gestation, or weighing 1.5 -2.5 kg (Page 3)
3. Babies born from about 36 weeks' gestation, or preparing to be able to leave hospital, and other small babies (Page 4)

Before you head over to these pages, though, please read on for more general thoughts.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Premature Baby Patterns - Page 2. Dressing a very pre-term or very small baby.

Page 2. Dressing a very pre-term or very small baby.

This page is aimed at people who would like to make clothing for very small babies, those born at less than 32 weeks' gestation, and / or weighing less than 1.5 kg at birth, who are likely to be in incubators. If your baby is older or larger than that, you may be able to skip through to my stage 2 or stage 3 pages - but have a look at what I have to say here, first. Any baby in intensive care, even if larger, may also need special consideration regarding clothing.

The first thing I will say is that it's important to seek the advice of the health professionals at the neonatal intensive care unit as to what clothing is appropriate. The reality is that these tiny babies not only may have no need of clothing at this early stage, but they may be unable to wear any. They may have several wires and tubes attached, to help them breath or feed, and to monitor them, such that any normal clothing could not be used, as it would not be possible to get the necks and sleeves over these without detaching them. Additionally, they may need to be under a blue light, which requires maximum skin exposure.   Or they may be swaddled in a special type of plastic blanket that won't stick to their delicate skin, but will keep them warm.

To find out more about dressing a very pre-term baby, read on.

Child's handbag and small doll

I wanted to make a child's handbag to give a birthday present, and after a bit of research, I decided that this little pleated purse (here in my version) was just the free tutorial I needed. 

Normally if I give a purse or a bag as a gift, I try to stuff it, to hold its shape. However, I thought 4 year old Rose might get excited by some screwed up tissue paper and then suffer a disappointment to realise there was not anything inside the paper. So I decided to make a little doll to put inside, which would match the bag.

To find out how I made these, read on!