Friday, December 5, 2008

Wee Things, Mid-19th Century Style

It is perhaps a wishful whim of mine, but I do want to bring Baby home in period attire. How this will work in very cold temperatures I do not know. How I will safely buckle the little one in the carseat with long skirts in the way I do not know. But, anway, Baby shall have a tiny set of mid-19th century things to wear, whether at the hospital or at home.

I usually machine sew the inner, long seams on my repro clothing, including baby items. The things I finish by hand usually include hems, trim attachment, finishing piping and finishing seams on the inside. I wanted to use the same method for the baby clothes I'm making my yet-unseen little stranger but my sewing machine is giving me fits right now. So, it appears I will have to make everything by hand.

I had hoped by now to have pictures to share but I don't (yet!). I do however have some pictures of a recent little outfit I made, very similar in style to what I'm making now, for a customer last month.

The gown has a plain jewel neckline finished with piping, plain coat sleeves finished with a bias band, and a slightly gathered waist, also finished with piping. The bodice and sleeves are lined with cotton but the skirt is unlined. For interest, I added a little bias band on each side of the bodice and finished them off with a ruched row of cotton lace. I think I made the skirt about 30" long if I remember right.


Very plain garment made with raglan-set sleeves and a plain long skirt with drawstrings at the waist and neck. The back is open to a few inches below the waist. Made of plain white cotton with all seams felled. I really love this garment since it prevents me from having to make a seperate shirt and petticoat and everything stays neatly in place.

Also very plain, I made these about the same shape as woman's drawers of the period but they are differently proportioned since they are for an infant. I personally confess to using elastic in the waistbands of my babies drawers but for these I made a drawstring. (which I've also done, but not found as easy to use as elastic when it comes to emergency diaper-changes).

So, these garments along with an infant sacque in white wool, a wee baby bonnet and white wool hood will form the new ones layette. And there is something terribly romantic about sewing your baby clothes by hand. Wasn't it in Anne's House of Dreams where the passage is written about Anne sewing all her baby clothes by hand when she was expecting her first, little Joy, who lived but one day?

At any rate, I must get busy. . .



  1. How incredibly precious! And I have been wanting to read the Anne series for some time, I may have to pick it up soon. I've read the first one, I believe, and almost all of Montgomery's other works.

  2. Ah Sarah, that's a dream of mine too, to have a whole store of wonderful, period correct baby clothes! Should God ever bless us with another baby (and oh! I wish he would! 8 is *not* enough) that sweet little stranger will need his own wardrobe,right?! I can hardly wait!


  3. I hope your machine gets fixed soon. Though it is charming to sew the baby clothes by hand!

  4. How sweet. I can't wait to see pictures of him in his little outfit. I'm excited for you guys! God Bless you dear friend.

    Love Lauren

  5. Thank you all so much! :) Mrs. G, I will be in much prayer that the Lord will bless your family with another little one. When he/she arrives I know he/she will be one of the most beautifully dressed babies in this little online community. . .

  6. Ooooh,

    Sarah, I can't WAIT to see your new baby layette and then your beautiful new bundle in it! How wonderful.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!