Hey guys, I’m so sorry for not posting recently – I’ve been busy, not just with sewing but managing my life in general, which I’m sure you’ll know gets much more difficult when you add a new baby into the mix… and although I’m in a good place, I’ve started a new job at the Picture House in Hebden Bridge, so adding that into my daytime work has thrown me off a little bit – it always take a bit of time to settle into a new routine, but with the help of my wonderful girlfriend, I’m getting there…
Anyway, I stumbled across some fabric called Unicorns Barfing Rainbows, and well, you know me, I just had to buy it! Also, I was feeling some guilt for not making Mini-Mini (Mini 2?) something to wear so I decided to make something for her…
So I’ve had this pattern for. along time – never got around to it when Mini was little so I thought, now’s the time to do something for my gorgeous little one.
This is the pattern I’m working from, it’s New Look 6240, which is a baby’s dungaree set with wide leg trousers and some strategically place elastic so that it should last a long time.
I’ve not tried a pair of dungarees before, and since (at this point), she wasn’t on the move, I thought that using this amazing quilting cotton would work really well. It’s very satisfying to make a whole outfit that isn’t a dress, and I love the end result.
But, guys, I gotta tell you, I struggled a little bit with the instructions, they weren’t so clear an da little confusing, so I’ll do my best to talk you through them.
I started out by having a little bit of a tantrum. The instructions recommend 1.5m for baby’s size, but I could only afford 1m of the fabric, and usually the guidelines you’re given are far too big. Then, I thought I couldn’t fit everything on and so had a sulk for a couple days before I realised that the trouser pieces were one for each leg, and didn’t need to be cut doubled up (it’s not so clear on the pattern), so I sulked until I realised that I had just enough fabric to make it work. it’s worked out because the pattern on Unicorns Barfing Rainbows isn’t directional, but if you have a solid directional pattern, just get a little more to stop you from having a mini tanty… haha
As you can see from the photo, the rise on the bib is pretty high, depending on your baby’s shape, she might be flashing a tiny booby so you’ll probably want to put a vest underneath or cardigan on top, but it’s a lovely pattern to work with. I even thought about adding pockets, but then stopped myself by realising babies aren’t gonna put anything in there except maybe bogies, so unless you’re making it for a toddler, there’s no need for that!
I went for the A version, which is the long-legged pant version, but I didn’t want to do the appliqué pockets because the pattern is pretty big on its own, and I didn’t think that was necessary… that said I love the example version with different colours and co-ordinating pockets…. ooh you could make it out of chambray, that’s my fave fabric at the moment, so why not?
So I just dropped the pieces of the pattern that required appliqué, although it does look pretty cute.
I also used a little bit of edging cord around the front bib in hot pink (it looks like red in the picture), because y’all know I love a bit of piping, if you’re not sure about it take a look at my tutorials… I love it, and this type is very small so it’s very delicate on a baby outfit.
Oh, and I did my usual thing and forgot to take photos of the main construction, but this pattern is self-lining, so you’ll cut extra pieces of the front bib to cover it on the inside, although if you’re short on your good fabric, you can use a cheaper fabric because you won’t see it on the inside.
The main construction goes as follows – make the two bibs (one for the front, one for the back), the stitch the legs together. This’ll give you the lovely wide-leg trousers you can see in the photo, then we’ll work on the elasticated sides of the bib and the cuff, and sew them all together.
You can see the piping here, I didn’t quite manage to push out the corner as sharply on this side as the other, but it looks pretty cool.
The second (back) bib includes the straps, which curve slightly inwards to follow the shape of your baby’s shoulders, and with that done you can see how it’s going to fit together. I used these flower buttons that I’ve had for years but thought they were a good fit for this outfit, I’ve no idea where I acquired them from, sorry.
Now, I’d like to say that I didn’t have a problem with this pattern but OH MY GOD. The instructions regarding the waistband (flat panel that goes beneath the bib) and the elasticated side panels are not clear at all. Basically, you’ll have cut two smaller pieces for the sides that need to be elasticated, but the pattern and pattern pieces don’t make this entirely clear because they refer to all of them as the “waistband”, and, maybe I was just being really thick but I struggled a lot. So, you’re supposed to find the smaller waistband pieces and create channels that you’re gonna thread your elastic through, but the instructions specify how to do the channels and OH MY GOD (again) it doesn’t make sense, because you’ll end up with uneven channels, so just go by eye – if you’re using children’s elastic or standard elastic which is generally 5-10mm wide you’re gonna wanna make sure your channels are 10mm wide, and the gaps between are whatever according to the width of your elastic (making sure to leave a 150mm seam allowance) – just do it by eye and don’t worry if it’s not equal, don’t follow the instructions because they DO NOT make sense.
I swear I did it about 10 times before I was happy, and in the end, the gaps between really don’t matter. But the instructions are rubbish, so just ignore them. Also, use a bodkin, if you have one (if not, get one! Your rage will subside)
Here’s Mini giving her opinion on that bit then!
But yes, after that little trauma I did understand the pattern a bit better, so next time, I won’t make that mistake.
Sewing the trousers together was super simple, just place one inside the other with the notched parts together (right sides together) – yeah, I always not inwards, such a rebel!
The last part of this pattern is adding the cuffs – again just ignore the instructions and follow your instinct with the channels, it’s not going to make a big difference if it’s a little un-equal. I just measured 10mm for my elastic and then made the gap the width of my pressure foot, it worked out okay and I think it look fine.
Here we go! So the most troublesome part was the elastic sides and teaching them to the bib (I accidentally sewed the back bib upside down to the side panels, again, go with your instinct because the diagrams aren’t that clear), but I just unpicked it and it worked out okay. You’ll also want to make sure that the buttons and straps are low enough that you can’t see a gap behind – but I think it’s best o measure your baby and see what the shortest you can make the straps is – it’s meant to come up high so that shouldn’t be a problem.
You can see that the legs are way to big, but she’s little pickle and her legs are very short – babies come in all shapes and sizes just the same as regular humans, so don’t worry if there’s a little bit of growing room, you can always adjust the buttons if you want it to last longer.
So, my general opinion of this pattern is: NNNUUURGGGHHH. they’ve made it way harder than it needs to be, and if you have a little experience of reading a pattern, or just use your gut instincts, hopefully you won’t get in such a mess as I did… but for the end result I’d definitely use it again, knowing how to do the side waistband channels and the sides now I’ve messed it up will really help in future.
Hope you like it, never pass up the opportunity to make something out of a fabric you love!