finally made some baby clothes (by default though...)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008
So, bad mother confession first up: I'm 7 months pregnant and haven't made anything for my baby, haven't set up the nursery (it's still my sewing room) and haven't even bought a cot or a pram yet - plenty of time for all that!

But I have now made some baby clothes although I originally made these as a gift for some friends who had a baby girl six weeks ago. I wasn't too happy with the way they turned out, so I ended up buying something to post to them (they're all the way down in Tasmania), and picked these apart to try and finish them.

I made the 'easy' empire waist top and little bloomers from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. She did give it a difficulty level of 4 out of 5, but I think that is due to her instructions and lack of diagrams (no offence Amy, but your instructions are on par with BWOF!). But I also made it more difficult for myself by using french seams instead of just overlocking the raw edges, which worked fine on the bloomers but resulted in a fairly big gap where the kimono sleeves met the side seam because I just couldn't get them to meet property. Also she has you turn and press the outside edge of the v-neck facing and apply to the right side of the fabric by topstitching - I found it difficult to get a neat finish doing that. And I think I made the sleeves too long by not allowing enough of a turn up cuff.

Anyway, these must have taken at least a day and a half to make (I could have made myself a whole outfit in that time)! If I have a little girl she can wear them, they'll only get vomit or baby dribble on them afterall, so no point being too precious really. I made these from materials in the stash - some lilac poplin inherited from my gran's stash and some gingham picked up somewhere along the line.

In response to all your questions about maternity leave in Australia, well the answer depends on who you work for as to what leave you get. The government is at the moment debating whether to introduce paid leave for all mothers, but who knows how long that will take. Luckily since I already work for the government I am entitled to pretty generous leave provisions: up to two years maternity leave of which 14 weeks is paid, and the right to work part time until the child starts school (ie at 5 years of age). I plan to add to my 14 weeks paid maternity leave with about 8 weeks paid annual leave that I have saved up for the last few years and then I will take off the remainder of the year unpaid, and the plan at the moment is to come back to work part time for another year or so. Unless I win the lotto or something equally as good and never have to go back to work (the dream............)


  1. Dont feel bad about not sewing any clothes for bub yet, they grow so quickly in the first year , you'd be better served sewing for yourself!!!Wait until he/she is a bit older when they will be able to wear what you've made for a few times before outgrowing them. Get your pram/cot etc soon , before you get too tired. I must say you look fantastic!!

  2. I always tried to sew a couple of outfits (usually for Church) that were fantastic looking, then a few more outfits for everyday that could be thrown away when they grew out of them and/or they were too soiled. I agree with Maryj....pram/cot first!

  3. Our baby was in the same boat as yours: nothing really put together yet save what I felt motivated to do in month 4 by the dreaded nesting instinct. Good thing, too, since he came SIX WEEKS early! All good now, but if not for that burst of thrift store energy, he'd be naked right now...

    Wish I had your maternity leave! Since I work from home for myself, though, I can work when I feel up to it--and nap when I don't, so that's nice enough.

    Must try the Amy B book--I saw the diaper bag and it's super cute!

  4. Those outfits are lovely that you have made Kristy (very talented indeed) but what about an outfit for a beautiful baby boy.

  5. your maternity leave options are amazing! Many places here in the US offer 6 weeks unpaid (unless you have saved up sick time)--not back in six weeks, your job is gone! My sister-in-law was very lucky when she gave birth in November, since she is a teacher she could maximize her leave; we have so many school vacations that don't count toward the six weeks, her time ended up being closer to ten weeks. Then she went back to work and my brother-in-law took his 6 weeks "paternity" leave. I think it's great to have the option to go back to work part time, too.
    Now...where will you put your sewing room?! (I'd have trouble giving my sewing room up, might have to stick the baby in the kitchen or something...) :P

  6. This is soooo totally off topic...but will your husband post to your blog to let us know that the wee little one has arrived? I mean after experiencing your preqnancy from afar, I would like to know when the object of your affections shows up!

  7. Wow, you've got amazing maternity leave options! It never fails to amaze me how behind the rest of the world the US is in this regard. Because I work for a company with fewer than 50 employees, there is NO government mandated maternity leave (although my company policy is four weeks- hah).