Better-Late-Than-Never Baby Dresses!

Friends, I’m gonna let you in on one of my ugliest, dirtiest secrets. I hate sewing things for babies.

Baby dresses made with cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics.

I can feel the searing rays of your judgment! But let me explain– baby clothes are fiddly to make, fit for about 10 minutes, and never stay clean for very long. It’s a lot of work for very little payoff!  Plus, many babies are showered with so many tiny outfits when they could probably use a big box of Pampers much more than another cardigan!

Baby dresses made with cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics.

But, when dearly-beloved friends have babies, even the grumpiest baby grinch is occasionally tempted to dabble in the world of tiny clothes, hence these little dresses. I knew that I wanted something pretty and sweet, but I didn’t want to go completely pastel for these dresses. I found a nice compromise in these beautiful 100% cotton shirtings from Mood Fabrics NYC. The combination of gingham and stripes is cute for a tot, and the fabrics are much more soft and luxurious than you usually see in children’s wear.  Another benefit is that cotton shirting is tough enough to take a beating in the laundry. (Mood has a huge selection of checked shirtings here, and an even larger selection of striped ones here). Plus, it doesn’t take much to make garments this small, so you can get a little fancy with your fabric. I had just over half a yard of each fabric and was able to make two dresses.

Baby dresses made with cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics.

I used Made By Rae’s downloadable Geranium dress pattern, and chose the option with cut-on cap sleeves and a pleated skirt. The bodice is fully lined, and I turned and stitched the center back seam and used French seams on the sides (I’ve heard that serging can be too scratchy for sensitive baby skin). The bodice has a back button closure– not sure how easy this is to get babies in and out of. Any feedback, moms and dads?

Baby dresses made with cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics.

Although I wasn’t eager to make these, I found myself smiling as I stitched on the buttons and put the finishing touches on the dresses. There’s just something so sweet about itty-bitty clothes! I really like how these turned out, and I caught myself planning future versions in blue, yellow, and gray combos. But before you think I’ve turned into Santa Claus overnight, you should probably know that I made these both in the 12-18 month size… because it’s been a while since these little girls were born. Better late than never, right?

Baby dresses made with cotton shirting from Mood Fabrics.

What’s your opinion of homemade baby gifts? A sweet potential heirloom? Better saved for older kids who are interested in what they wear? Tacky? Treasured? What’s the nicest handmade baby gift you’ve given or received?

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Comments


  • oonaballoona
    October 1, 2013

    fiddly, check, outgrown, check, just check all of the cons for me. i agree with you, the finishing touches make you coo at yourself, but by that point i’m usually on my third glass of whatever and eyeballing target’s online kids department!

    but, every time i see handmade kiddo stuff, i think, those parents are gonna scream, and that kid is gonna love the picture years later. and yours are ADORBS.

    • Ginger
      October 1, 2013

      You raise a great point! I definitely have some favorite tiny tot photos in handmade clothes that my mom or a sweet neighbor made for me, and I really wish she’d kept the little outfits! And I guess we owe it to future generations to contribute rad clothing to future #throwbackthursday instagrams, right?

  • Lauren
    October 1, 2013

    I hate the idea of sewing stuff for kids for exactly the reasons you mentioned, but then every time I see actual handmade children’s clothing (or even just the patterns), I melt into a puddle. SO CUTE. These are ADORABLE. Omg the little pockets and the ginghams and omg.

  • Seattlerain
    October 1, 2013

    Infant and toddler clothes are so quick to make compared to my usual Colette or Sewaholic works in progress! I hate taking away from sewing for me, but seriously, these mini clothes are satisfying to complete! Super cute dresses!

  • Erica B.
    October 1, 2013

    If any Judge Judy’s are out there, they can feel free to judge me as well. I have three kids and I have an almost 2 year old granddaughter. And I HATE sewing baby clothes too! I seem to collect cute patterns, but I just can’t make myself sew for her. I keep saying as soon as she gets bigger, I will. We’ll see…

    But those dresses are adorable! Great use of the fabric!

  • Lori
    October 2, 2013

    Super cute dresses. I do like making little clothes, just so quick and rewarding. Plus, you can do all sorts of embellishments you never would do on your own garments! Great job on these little dresses, the recipient will be thrilled with your thoughtfulness

  • Amy
    October 2, 2013

    How cute! I just adore how these two dresses are opposites of each other. I hope their recipients love them as much as I do!

  • Barbara
    October 2, 2013

    I don’t feel so bad anymore. I was beginning to think something was wrong me. I hate sewing baby things. Thanks for freeing me!

  • Autumn
    October 2, 2013

    No judgement, I don’t have time to sew much at all, but I started sewing by making baby diapers, and oh what a rewarding first project. In 30 minutes you can get a finished project from cut to velcro on. Then when I tried adult size projects I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of cutting and ironing and seam ripping and spreading out the project over days, so sewing little things is for me very enjoyable as long as that is not all I sew… gotta set aside some longer sewing sessions for mama (my) clothes.

    • Ginger
      October 5, 2013

      That’s a good point– adult-sized projects are much more time-consuming! I hadn’t thought of making diapers– that sounds like a really thoughtful gift!

  • Sarah
    October 15, 2013

    These are really cute. I often use the dresses my daughter has outgrown as tunics. My daughter is in 18-24 mos. clothes, but her size 6-9 mos. dresses work great as tunics. Plus, as a tunic, she’s not tripping over it constantly. Also, if you’re making clothes as gifts, I recommend giving larger sizes. Anything larger than 12 mos. is super appreciated and if it’s something that can be worn in all (or multiple) seasons, even better.

  • Amanda S.
    October 16, 2013

    These are cute! I’m with you on making small stuff – not my thing. I waited until my baby girl was 2.5 to really start sewing for her. Tiny sleeves are especially hard!