Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Sweet Chic Gift for a New Baby

One of the most difficult things to locate is an appropriate gift for a new baby.  My sister's sewing background is as long as mine, so when she thought she needed a good present for the new grandchild of a college friend, she agreed I could share her ideas with you!   This was a pattern you have probably missed or overlooked in your reviews of new patterns, so I am sharing a few details in case you are thinking of creating a gift for a 'little one.'  Look for the McCall's pattern 6980, pictured below:

McCall's 6980
'Learn-To Cat'

The pattern provides options for a cat (wearing a dress, as above) or a raccoon who is designed wearing pants and a shirt (appropriate for a young boy).  Of course, the raccoon could be dressed in the blouse and pinafore, or the cat would wear the pants, as well.  I feel this is a great, modern option for the 'quiet books' which have options for each child to learn how to manipulate the functions of the closures on clothing in today's world.   It was created by designer Susan Cousineau of Sew Sweet Chic.  She has been designing since 1993, and I have provided a link so you can look into her creative background and other designs. 

The picture above is the cat made by my sister.  The colors of the dress coordinate with the colors in the baby's room, and the stuffed animal's design includes the snaps, buttons, shoe lace tying, zips and Velcro closures of interest to a young child learning to be independent.  It was fun picking out all the varied fabric patterns and colors for the kitten, and I was her cheerleader to finish the project before the baby's arrival.  I asked her permission to post the project, and she even answered my questions on what changes, warnings and improvements she would recommend for others completing this project.

Front and Rear of Finished Project

Design Improvements/Options:
DS says she could not envision the cat without including a tail.  The one you see in the picture above is one of her own design, including my suggestion of including a couple pipe cleaners to give it shape and some position options.  If you include one, you will need to create your own opening for it.  The seam on the cat's bottom is out of position to hold the tail, so you can create a new seam or a circular opening in the cat's bottom for it.  The cat also includes a few squeakers she included for auditory stimulation (in the paws (hands), feet (shoes) and belly).  I had a few in my stash, ordered from a catalog pet supply to replace those pulled from my Westie's well-loved toys.  (Domino always pulled the stuffing from his squeaky toys as a puppy, so now he only gets the toys without stuffing and multiple squeakers, which I quickly replace when they are punctured.)   The baby was a little girl, so she could not leave our home without a bow sitting right atop the head, as we wore every day as little girls. 

Select all fabrics with strong and tight weaves.  Because of the fabric pattern she wanted, DS selected the cheeta print from a selection of flannels.  It became problematic because of its loose weave.  Avoid this problem in your version.  If you would like the shoes to look like 'real shoes,' plan for including eyelets (my suggestion, my stash) and avoid stitching the laces in the seams on the top of the shoes.  I gave her the eyelets from my stash, but she didn't want to make the shoes look like saddle oxfords by using some pleather I had on hand.  Make sure your notions are in bright colors and are in all colors of the rainbow.  These are all learning options, each button (see the differently-colored flower buttons in the pictures?), oversized snap, and indoor/outdoor zipper can be from each and every color available.  One shoe has ties, one has a Velcro closure.  The cat also has a bracelet with a Velcro closure, so think of colorful and interesting options for each, keeping in mind your desire to keep each child-safe (ensuring they are not too small to be safe for small mouths, ears and noses). 

Thank you for stopping by to read my little blog.  Enjoy the your freedom to celebrate and salute our nation's veterans today.  Thanks to each and every one.

I am sewing, and have many surprises.  If you have any questions on this project, I will certainly find out the answers and post them for you.  I LOVE comments, so don't be shy!  I hope you stop by again, soon.  More interesting projects and pictures are on the horizon!

'Til then, keep sewing....one stitch at a time....!