We are a bit short of baby clothes because I lent them to someone a few years ago and never got them back. So I decided to use up the lovely Viking jersey initially purchased for my nephew’s birthday jacket to make a baby version of the same Klimperklein pattern.
Klimperklein is the brand of an amazing woman with 5 lovely children who still manages to create lovely patterns for baby and children clothes. Her blog is in German and I think the e-books are also only available in German but they are brilliantly written and with so many pictures that even those professional looking jackets were fairly easy to make. So I guess, what I am saying is “Learn German” 🙂
So far, I have made these for my children…
and this one for my nephew…
I love the colour combination of this one, I made the cuffs and the hem (I really have no clue how you call the red piece of the main body: hem, waistsomething? Help, anybody, please) slightly wider as I had one of the pattern pieces accidentally folded on the wrong line and the main body would have gotten too short. Oops.
But back to the modified baby version. As you can see the original klimperklein jacket has a zip and in my case a hood but there is a collar version too (and many more options to choose from).
But I thought for a baby, none of these things are very suitable, all I wanted was a simple jacket with snaps, normal neckline and simple hem and cuffs. Something like this:
At first glance it is what I wanted but actually I have mixed feelings about it so lets have a closer look.
The most important modification from zip to buttons or snaps is obviously that the front pieces have to overlap rather than just meet in the centre. So I added 2cm to the original front pattern and the initial zip facing to make sure that I would have a wide enough button border.
First jersey snaps of my life, 10mm from Prym, I think I want to find slightly smaller ones for those children clothes. Also, I need to get stronger, they are slightly on the loose side I think.
Instead of using a ribbing for waist and arms, I just added 2cm seam allowance, neatened the edges with the serger, whilst at the same time closed the seam between the button facing and the hem
but as I have recently noticed that these seams seem to fall apart easily (not sure what I am doing wrong) I wanted to do something different and went for another stitch.
So, I ironed the hem to the back, estimating 2cm instead of using a ruler. But then suddenly I took it very seriously and actually tacked on the serged edge to give me a line to follow when sewing on the right side, making sure that I am really sewing on the serged edge… Which was a good plan but I never actually compared the ends of my tacked line and also got a bit caught up when finally topstitching it with my fancy stitch. So….. good idea but really bad execution led to this:
Whilst I am really unhappy with the result (especially as this was a very obvious danger and something I knew about), I think that it has been a necessary mistake to be made once. And hopefully I will forever remember and for once really learn from it 🙂
The other section that needed alteration was the neckline. My initial idea was to use the pattern for the hooded jacket and cut the neckline without seam allowance and to finish with some bias binding. But when I stitched the facing to the front openings, I thought it would be clever to just continue the seam where the facing goes into the neckline to make the whole bias binding attaching more straight forward. Which was a big mistake. Obviously, if you are stitching facing to jacket right side to right side and then turn it, you will loose the width of your seam. So there will be a gap or maybe rather jump between the part of the neckline with facing and the part without facing.
It wasn’t a big deal, it just meant that my whole neckline became slightly wider (which does matter in the case of a tiny newborn jacket), but at the same time I realised that actually I would prefer a normal neckline with facing all around. So I copied the neckline from the pattern to make a back neckline and elongated it to hide the ends on the already existing neckline.
As the initial facing gets really narrow the result looks a bit silly. But again, the learning curve here is really steep. If I ever make a baby version of this jacket, I will make a proper facing, widening the neckline part of the button band facing and make it longer, to make sure it would go around the whole neck. This might result in a waist of fabric but I guess, once the pattern is perfect you could split it into three sections and safe some material.
Now that I have shared all my mistakes with you – maybe one last thing I would like to add: I made the smallest size 56 which corresponds to something like 1 month or 1-3, I forgot, but to me it looks really really huge. I don’t think it will fit for the next couple of months but I will find out I guess…. considering that I still need to get the future owner out, I am actually hoping it will only fit in a couple of months 🙂
Back to the start of my sentence: Now that I have shared all my mistakes with you, I would like to point out that I am still pleased with the result. I kind of want to make another one just to see that correcting the mistakes will lead to a perfect baby jacket but then we won’t need two of these. Maybe someone else could step in and use my mistakes to make their own perfect baby jacket, please?