Henry the Eight – Don’t be such a baby

2 (or 3 months) ago, when deciding on projects for Halloween (Elizabeth I for me) I realizes that this would be the first (of many?) costumes I would make for my baby, and that I really wanted it to be special.

So what would I dress my chubby redheaded infant as for his first Halloween…?

The answer came to me pretty fast:
Hernry VIII – of course

workshop_of_hans_holbein_the_younger_-_portrait_of_henry_viii_-_google_art_projectPortrait by Holbein d.y. and the one I used as reference for my baby costume.

I started by taking a close look at the inspiration/reference pic, and flipping through the pages of “The Tudor Tailor” I found what I needed.
img_1287Male Tudor outfit.

Then I hit the fabric store in search for some suitable fabrics.15451386_10211259297419846_1297395615_nLeft to right: Brown fake fur (stash), burgundy/red singel Jersey, grey/silver printed Jersey, white knitted leggings and golden trim.

Since this was to be a costume worn (once) by an infant I decided to make it as easy and wearable (read soft/comfy) as possible, using Jersey fabrics and omitting anything complicated (like slashes) or small/sharp (like beading and pearls).
I also decided it was totally acceptabel to cheat as much as possible 🙂

My first move vas to get a pair of white leggings/tights from a well known clothing store. img_1271

Then it was time for the actual sewing.

I started with the body using a baby pattern I used previous and knew and liked. img_1266I stitched it up using my serger and a double needle on the edges.

The finished Body:img_2180I like that it is usable as a modern/regular piece on its own.

Next piece was the “skirt”, which was made from a lenght of fabric which I hemed and pleated to a elastic waistband.img_1291

The finished skirt:img_2171

Then it was time for the main piece – the cape

I cut a rektangel from the red fabric, folded it over cut it open at the front and pleated it at the shoulders. Then I stitched on some decoration.img_1261

The sleeves was made from rectangles stitched together, decorated and gathered at top and bottom. img_1264Ignore the wonkyness – I stitched this with my baby sleeping in the carrier on my belly, so not the best attention to detail.

Then I cut the fur collar from a piece of stash fabric.img_1269

img_1284Pining and stitching the fake fur to the cape.

The finished Cape:img_2182

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Lastly I made a small hat/beret from a circle and a strip of black jersey. img_1310

The finished hat:img_2179

This was such a fun project and I really love how the little coat/cape came out.

and finaly

Here’s some photos of my own prince wearing the outfit:img_1718

img_1721“Eat all the things…”

And some pics with the two of us together (Elizabeth I and Henry VIII)img_1762

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img_1827Photos: Elin Evaldsdotter

Monochrome Medieval baby undies

Last fall when I took a break from sewing I also quit he HSM mid run.
But now it’s time to jump on the bandwagon (halfway through) again.
I have been sewing a few things that would fit the previous challenges this year (read all about them here) but lets start with July (since that the first one I managed o finish within the time frame of he month).

The theme for this HSM 2016 nr 7 was Monochrome, and I was eager to test my hand at some historic baby clothes.

Using my newly bought book “The Tudor Child” for the patterns for basic baby gear. IMG_0179

The Pattern for the shirt is fairly simple. IMG_0180

I cut the fabric in my favorite cotton/linen blend, and started by hemming the piece as stated in the instructions.IMG_0181

IMG_0183The folding pattern for the shirt.

Then I whip-stitched the hemmed edges together.
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Once the shirt was finished (it all went surprisingly fast considering I did it all by hand with a sleeping/feeding/squirming newborn in my arms) I moved on to the biggin/hat.

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IMG_0184The pieces cut from the same cotton/linen blend.

IMG_0191Hemmed pieces. I decided to ad ties to help keep the bigging on my baby’s head.

I did a slight miscalculation drafting the pattern making the center piece to long. IMG_0192Ops… 
But really, it was just to cut it of.

I also realized I messed up stitching the shirt.
The center is supposed to be open to get easy access for the baby, and since they are supposed to be swaddled (Yeah, No, that’s not going to happen with my baby) the opening would be completely covered in other fabric. so in the end I think this way was better for me.

The finished pieces: IMG_0282

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The Challenge: Nr 7 2016 – Monochrome

What: A shirt and bigging/hat for a newborn baby.

Year: About 1500-1600

Material: 0,5 m Linen/cotton blend.

Pattern: baby swaddling Shirt and Bigging from “The Tudor Child”.

Notions: Thread

How historically accurate is it? Pretty good. The pattern and sewing methods are good (except the mistake of stitching the shirt front closed). The fabric should be linen, but since I have difficulty finding a soft linen I think the 50/50 cotton blend I use are quite legit. About 8/10

Hours to complete: 4 (3 for the shirt and 1 for the bigging)

First worn: Beginning August for photos. Was meant to be worn late August for a Medieval fair, but I’m not sure anymore (see “Final thoughts”)

Total cost: 50 Sek (8 Usd)

Final Thoughts: It was really fun making these pieces. They came together so fats and the fabric was a joy working with. Unfortunately the Shirt ended up way to small for my fast growing baby – well guess I just have to make another one…

Experimenting with (modern) baby clothes

As I stated way back in January, this year will be filled with jersey and snaps (in stead of ball gowns and corsets).

I promise I won’t bore you with it all, but for this one post, showing my first batch of baby clothes for my newborn child.

Lets just start by stating that – Buying nice baby fabric is hard!
Especially if you don’t want “blue cars” or “pink princesses”, but still would like some color in your kids wardrobe.
Although I live how a small amount of fabric (like 1 m) basically gives you a whole set of clothes, including body, pants, romper and hat.

After some frustration in the beginning, I did find some nice fabrics in a “not to obvious gender specific” print/color.
IMG_9712Some of the sourced fabrics. Aren’t they cute 🙂

Alongside the fabrics I also bought a few basic patterns, which I would use as a base and the alter for size and style as I grew more comfortable working with stretch fabric and baby sizing.IMG_9745Bodice taken in to make for a smaller size.

Al of these pieces are first tries at the pattern, so a lot of strange sizing is going on which I will have to fix until next time. I find it really strange how different pattern company’s make a standard baby size 56 in totally different size/proportions.

Anyway – this is what I’ve made (so far)

A simple hatIMG_9737

3 bodys (using 2 different patterns)IMG_9830

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2 rompers (and a third one on its way)IMG_9833

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3 pair of pants20160714_103251_resized

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Speaking of different proportions to the same size…
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And a jacket/sweatshirtIMG_9732IMG_9735

And here are proof that, at least one (so far) of the pieces, fits my baby boy.20160713_155916_resizedHe is 5 weeks by now (OMG!)

It’s so fast and rewarding to make these clothes.
I mean one body in an hour, and pants and hats even less, how could that not be fun.

Swaddling – or not…

While searching the internet for cute pictures of baby’s in history (mostly to look at their clothes) I inevitably came across a lot of pics of swaddling.

The Swaddling in itself means that you wrap your infant tightly in cloth, so as to resemble the tight and warm uterus of their mothers.

This practice was wide spread and lasted at least from the medieval times to the late 18th/early 19 century, when the teachings of Rousseau became more accepted. In some countries the practice is still in use today – in fact, almost the first thing our nurse did after delivery was to wrap my baby really tight in a blanket, and tell us he should stay that way through the first night. So even here in Sweden it’s still used in some way.

Read more about the practice: wikipedia.org/Swaddling
A great resource with step to step pics of how to o it your self at: www.sharonburnston.com

1454c0328b140b0ba3655d3ed4389920Two infants swaddled, 17th century

Even though, nothing I would seriously consider for my baby, I was tempted to try it once – at least to get some cool historical locking photos of him.

I found instructions and tips in my new book “The Tudor Child” on how it was done in the 16th century (and probably long before and after)12963796_1390845904277015_3094627140263033254_n

Swaddling-set300The pieces needed for a proper swaddling during 16th century

9a1dfe35c6acc042d0bbda1db106a6abA doll completely wrapped in linen to show how it should look once done.
(See the whole picture series and read more about Swaddling at www.sharonburnston.com/baby_linen/swaddling.html)

I decided quickly that I would not even try to make all the items called for, but to settle for the absolute minimum – a forehead cloth and a big linen square to wrap him in.

How it went?

Hm, not as good as one could hope…

IMG_9921Trying to tie the forehead cloth on a squirming and screaming infant is no easy task for a nervous new mom…

“Lets just settle for a few pics on the balcony, before the entire linen cloth falls of your little butt”.IMG_9925

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Learning to make Baby Clothes

As I told you in my last post I now have a legit reason to indulge in all the prettiness that is baby clothes.

I bought this pattern about 5 years ago – the first time it looked to be an addition to the family.
And it’s been unopened and forgotten since.IMG_9229But this summer (after the happy news) I dug it out again.

I ‘ve never done baby clothes before, and are quite a newbie at sewing in yersey.
So the decision to leap onto the kids clothes train was a bit of a scary one.IMG_9228 I decided to start with a bodice for the little girl (yeah, pick the most difficult thing you cold find, why don’t you…).

I bought a super cute gender neutral fabric in grey and red, some red knit, white stretch bias tape and snaps.IMG_9231

Then I got to work.

IMG_9250It’s crazy how small amount of fabric you need for these kind of clothes. Compared to my usual sewing that easily swallow 5 m of fabric

I found a twin needle in my stash, and stitched a few test rows before getting the tension right.IMG_9233 IMG_9234

Using the patterns step by step guide (perhaps for the first time), I basted the small reinforcements of the shoulders.IMG_9235

And stitched the reinforcements in the crotch.IMG_9236

Then I turned the seams over, finished the crotch with a twin seam and stitched the bodice pieces together.IMG_9237

Then I set the snaps.IMG_9241They where not very cooperative, and I had to pray a few mistakes lose and try again.

I had some trouble deciding on the size for the ankle cuffs. Since the pattern called for whole foot pieces I couldn’t get any help from there.IMG_9238After some hesitation I decided on the bigger ones – better to big then to small.

I finished the bodice by trimming around the neck and armholes with the red bias tape.

Finished:IMG_9242

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From the leftovers I made a quick little hat.  IMG_4773

Pattern: Burda Kids 9636

Fabric: 0,5 m of cotton yersey.

Notions: Thread, 7 snaps (front and back), 60 cm of bias tape and about 10 cm of red knit.

Time: 2 hours from drafting the pattern to finished.

Cost: about 100 sek – How knew that baby fabric and notions would be so expensive… I’ve made whole dresses for less.

Final thoughts: I’t was really fun to create such a quick and cute pieces. I liked it so much I immediately made another one (in about half the time) for a friends newborn son.