I am a huge procrastinator. In fact, Procrastinator should be my middle name. My brother’s girlfriend has been pregnant forever (it seems anyway) and I have been thinking about making this one outfit for the baby ever since I found out. I wanted to give it to her at her baby shower but kept putting off. The baby shower was today and guess when I actually even started the outfit……yesterday. Well, the “outfit” turned into a single piece, the top. Ha! I ran out of time. Serves me right.
Baby clothes are pretty simple and casual here in the US but Cubans take baby clothes seriously! Traditional Cuban baby clothes, often called “jueguitos dobles” because they are two pieces (one sleeveless and one with sleeves), are very frilly even for boys. I’m sure most Americans wouldn’t even think of putting lace on baby boy’s clothes but newborn clothes without lace are worthless to Cubans. Actually, everything for a new baby (receiving blanket, socks, hat, Moses basket, bassinet, crib sheets, crib mosquito net, etc) is very frilly and lacy. I personally did not subject The Monkey to such clothes because I am FAR from traditional but I thought it would a nice gesture for my soon-to-be-born nephew.
I’ve had this pattern (Simplicity 2900) since early last year but hadn’t had a chance to use it. I love layette, I love pretty layette and what attracted me to this particular patter was that it was vintage. It is a reprinted vintage Simplicity pattern and it’s so cute. It is the quintessential Cuban layette, which apparently got stuck in the 1950s. I don’t know when what we know as Cuban layette came to be but I’m pretty sure it must have been around this time. Of course, I’m only speculating here, I can’t say I have ever actually given this much thought before now.
I chose yellow for this sacque (view D), as Simplicity calls it, because tradition says babies should leave the hospital in yellow for good luck. I don’t buy into any of this malarkey but my mom does so I figured I’d indulge her. If you have ever wondered why baby clothes at places like Janie and Jack are so damned expensive even though they use such a small amount of fabric, I will tell you why! THEY ARE FREAKING HARD TO MAKE! You try hemming a teeny tiny sleeve! Son of a b….. I gave up trying to hem them so I just did a (bad) shell border, clipped the extra fabric and stuck the lace on top hide the flaws and it worked like a charm, no one (except for you) will be the wiser. I am very pleased with the result, actually, pleased is an understatement. Everyone else liked it too.
But wait, there’s more! I also made, if you will, a blanket for the baby. I had a hell of a time mitering those corners and they look like a 5 year old did them but they were my first try ever, what was I expecting? My brother’s girlfriend LOVED the blanket and my mom and her think I actually pieced the quilted part together. I won’t spoil the illusion for them 😛 The back of the blanket, the part that goes against the baby’s skin, is SOOOO soft! Putting this blanket together was awkward because I had to lay all three layers (underside, batting and topside) on the floor to cut everything to the correct size, then pin them right on the floor. Sewing them together and then binding the edges was even more fun! That’s a lot of thick, heavy fabric to maneuver!
Now I know why all this stuff is so expensive in stores! Yikes!