Up-cycled baby T-shirt

I have a stack of old T-shirts in my fabric box waiting to be turned into baby shirts (ones that are no longer fit for adult use but have enough good fabric in them to be worth chopping up), and this week made my first attempt, with an old Belle and Sebastian shirt. Lots of pictures after the cut.

Pink Belle and Sebastian "Write About Love" T-shirt, adult size, a bit crumpled
The original grown-up size shirt

I got some ideas from this Makerland blog post (though in this case I didn't need to use her shoulder yoke trick), and used Burda Easy pattern 9614*. The smallest size was 3T, which as expected is way too big (better too big than too small, I thought, for a first effort). He will grow into it soon enough.

Dismantling the T-shirt properly (I took apart the seams rather than just hacking it, to maximise available fabric) and cutting the pieces took half an hour or so. I was able to use the existing hems for the back piece and the sleeves, but not for the front as I prioritised getting all of the T-shirt picture in. It is worth carefully unpicking the neck ribbing so you can reuse that, too.

Yellow tissue-paper pattern pieces for front and back of toddler T-shirt laid out on dismantled original adult T-shirt body
Front and back pattern pieces laid on fabric

Yellow tissue-paper pattern pieces for toddler T-shirt sleeves laid out on dismantled original adult T-shirt sleeves
Sleeve pattern pieces laid out

The actual construction was pretty easy (took about 1h20 all in, and I think I'd do it quicker next time). As jersey doesn't fray, I didn't bother finishing any of my seams properly on the inside, especially as I don't have an overlocker anyway. I did press as I went, though, which really does help it stay neat.

Body of toddler T-shirt, sleeves separately resting on it, with pair of scissors nearby
Body and sleeves both sewn, ready to set in sleeves

Close-up of neckband of pink toddler T-shirt, slightly puckered
Close-up of neckband

The neckband is a little puckered; I tried a bit too hard to stretch it as I sewed.

Cut-down pink Belle and Sebastian T-shirt, picture of girl writing with "Write About Love" caption.
Finished shirt!

And on my slightly grumpy model.

Slightly sombre baby looks at camera, wearing pink Belle and Sebastian T-shirt
Leon models his new (and rather large) T-shirt

(Note for my own reference: total time taken, from getting pattern out of the packet to finished T-shirt was 2h20 (done in several stages).)

For my next one, this post covers making a neckline that crosses over at the shoulders (a lot of baby shirts have this; it makes it easier to get their head through the shirt). I'm intending as well to cut the pattern down to 2T size myself, and make the long-sleeve version to have ready for next winter when he's outgrown his existing shirts.

* A irritated note in passing: nearly all the patterns, even ones for unisex clothes like T-shirts, have little girls on the front. Very very few little boys. Apparently one doesn't make clothes for boys? [sigh]

Gardening and parenting: a note to self

If I intervene with horrified shrieking when Leon plays with dirt and hoicks things up now, he is less likely to be positive about the garden later on, at an age when he can learn the difference between 'weed' and 'not-weed'. It is therefore worth sitting on my hands as dirt and plants go everywhere. (The volunteer broccoli raab from the satsuma tree pot may survive; the rocket certainly won't but there is plenty of rocket.)

Leon pulling a handful of dirt from a large pot
Scattering dirt is fun!

A corollary: any potentially vulnerable plants that I really seriously care about are going to need some form of defence. I'm thinking in particular of my carefully-nursed autumn olive seedling, the sole survivor from a handful of seeds I stratified last winter and planted out in the spring, currently overwintering on the windowsill.

It was a lovely afternoon to be out in the garden, though. I planted peas by the fence, and Leon ate moss and dirt and threw soil around by the handful. Happy times.

Babies on Bikes!

I have a post today on putting your baby on your bike, over at green parenting blog Peas and Love. Head on over there to read about how old your small passenger needs to be to get started, the advantages and disadvantages of front and rear seats, and a few general safety tips.

Off this morning (after dropping my fixie at On Your Bike for a new headset & new, higher, steerer to accomodate my growing bump) to check out cargo bikes and trailers at Velorution for the next installment in the babies+bikes series. Rumour has it you can put a car seat in one of those...