Saturday, November 22, 2014

Creating a Modern Baby Layette

Today's modern baby layette is a blend of both old and new. Modern babies still use receiving blankets and swaddlers, but they may use home sewn double layered flannel rather than the cheaper single flannels sold in stores. Or, they might even prefer the very thin gauze ones that are so popular now, and can make those yourself, as well!

And while newborns may use disposable diapers for a week or two during the family adjustment period, a large number of today's mothers and fathers prefer cloth diapers in the new styles with outer covers made of PUL (a new waterproof laminate) or even wool fabrics covers,  with inner gauze or flannel pads...or folded diaper like liners, as I made. Known as all in ones or all in twos, they no longer require the use of clips or safety pins but feature velcro or snap closures, often adjustable to a multitude of changing sizes.

There are always the standard sleepers, sleepsacks, t-shirts, or onesies (once the little navel has healed) and lots of other cute things. But it's the basics that one needs first, since newborns are often dressed and wrapped very simply in the first few weeks.

So, think of things like little simple (but double sided) receiving blankets, comforters for wrapping up baby up for outings, burp pads and bibs, for the inevitable spurts that happen just as you are all ready to leave for a special occasion,  and lots and lots of cloth wipe ups, face and body wipes and towels, changing pads and pad covers,

crib and co-sleeper sheets...the list can be as simple or as complicated as you have the time and money to create.

With my first grandbaby on the way, I spent the last few months creating hundreds of simple items that gave me an incredible amount of joy to make myself and to give to her mother and father, at the baby shower as creative, home made, (think American made!) in a clean sewing shop without pethair or cigarette smoke or other issues that may occur in unknown homes or sweat shops.

Using the simplest of cottons, flannels, organic or other natural fibers, and armed with coupons galore in repetitive shopping experiences, I was able to make dozens and dozens of gifts for either my granddaughter, or for the other newborns that we wanted to bless with homemade gifts.

For now, I chose to purchase some quick little starter outfits...sleepers, onesies etc... but knowing that I once sewed all of my own three children's clothing, I know once I get going that I will have great fun continuing to sew and create many more items in the future! (and yes, I ended up buying a few more ;-) It's my first grand baby, I couldn't help myself!


Sewing a Modern Baby Layette: What do you really need? 


Crib Quilt: 1 or 2
(1 to hang for display, 1 to cover baby when old enough for that)

Waterproof Crib Pad: I used a simple rectangle of PUL waterproof fabric that was the same size as the top of the crib mattress.

Crib Sheets: 2-3

(I made three different colors to match the variety of  colors in my baby quilt and the baby nursery.)

A Bedskirt

(the one I made is white with a tiny floral print in all of the colors you see in this post. It fills in the spaces of the lower rails to the bottom rail but is modern and minimal. Here's the one I made just being cut out. It goes under the mattress on top of platform.)

Crib Mobile ( I made my own mobile out of different sizes of fanciful fabric to create bumblebees (see the bee in my quilt at the top?) for our own little 'Baby B' and and all of them plus a variety of 3D fabric circles (circles are all the rage now!) and my son strung them from a wonderful Manzanita branch.....way cute.

And big enough for a baby's eyes to see!!! Plus if they make me laugh, they should her ;-) I know every time I visit and walk by her nursery, I want to laugh out loud at how cute they are..and babies love black, white and yellow, and big eyes, of course!

Comforter (soft for swaddler-wrapping in a carseat or stroller) 1-2
Car and Stroller Blankets (fleece etc.) 1-2

Receiving or Swaddling Blankets: 6

Burp Pads: 6 or more (here, you can see I made burping pads from each of the receiving blankets or comforters such as this one)


Bibs: 3 to see if they are used, up to 12 if they do use them!

Cloth Diaper Wipes, face or body cloths, baby towels:
(saves our natural resources and uses leftover fabric instead of store bought wipes after wipes after wipes!) Just toss them in the wash with the cloth diaper liners!

And then, I made a PUL  'wet bag': (shown open but folded over, above)
 with a velcro closure that held 25 plus little serged or zig zagged edge cloth diaper wipes (about a 6" square each and just using my leftover odds and ends flannel....they were a huge hit!!!

Shown here, a purchased 'Summer' changing pad available from Target that I made it three sets of "Changing Table Covers" for. These were soft and baby friendly, washable sheet-like covers from cotton, flannel, or fleece.

I made two of flannel, and one of fleece.

This pink one was two toned, both sections of flannel nursery prints.

 Here it shows the underneath side with the elastic casing. It took 33" of flannel (after prewashing) plus width of fabric for the wrap under sides and casing. So, 33"x 44" each, unless you make duo toned ones! I sewed on about 13" first, you cut out the four corners as shown, sew them together underneath at the corner seam, and make a 1" or so casing for a piece of 45" elastic. Just like making a crib sheet, only a bit smaller!

 And here is the fleece one, loaded up with some gifts to go!

* no photo
And I made Changing Pads to go ( PUL or fleece): 1 or 2 that can be tossed into your diaper bag)

Just cut a piece about 22" square or larger. I did double sides and serged the edges. It does catch the air a bit.You can also just use a remnant of fleece. Sew or serge the edges all around the square.

Rocking Chair Cuddle Blanket (big enough for mom or dad and baby) 1 large fleece or quilt

Baby Catch-all Bag (to keep nearby the rocking chair)

And then... you might want a bag or two of emergency disposable diapers and...then....

Modern Cloth Diapers: (PUL+flannel liners):
all in one or all in two diapers/cover combos 6-12

+ enough inserts for 4 sets per each All-in-2 (I sewed two sets of flannel squares that were folded into thirds creating 6 layers of padding)

And then of course, all of the fun outfits and accessories: sleepers, sleepsacks, two piece sets with booties or socks, mittens, that list goes on and on! You can get buy with a few and wash frequently or use all of the many hand me downs or gifts you graciously and gratefully receive!

I had so much fun making all of this plus lots and lots more that I haven't shared yet. Make a couple of items or make a lot. It's all fun and all appreciated and used!

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!