Friday, November 11, 2011

A! The Underwear Edition.

It's not creepy to talk about an infant's underwear, right?


"A" is supposed to be a year old or younger, and generally useless as most children of that age tend to be. Adorable but completely incapable of doing your taxes or picking high-hanging fruit or properly cleaning wild game. Properly.

This will just focus on the underthings, as it would be unwieldy to discuss the outer dress as well.* So this will focus on the diaper and diaper shirt.

*I'm too lazy to find the pictures.

Starting from the bottom-up, (heh) we have the diaper. Not so shockingly perhaps, I was unable to find a great deal of information about diapers. The Workwoman's guide, from the late 1830's described a method of making baby linen, including diapers. An internet search turned up an agreement on the lack of information, but not much else by way of surviving extants.

There's a Tetris game in here somewhere...

Based off of information from The Workwoman's Guide and a few other sources, I went with 100% cotton diaper. Modern diaper is pretty thick. So despite the admonition of "A Lady" to make a square double-thick and then fold it into a triangle, I went with a single thickness of the diaper cut into a square and folded that into a triangle. So that we're clear from the start: I'm a rebel.

Peel and stick vinyl is your friend.

The diaper is sewn edges-together (I used a back-stitch but it wasn't really necessary) and then flipped around and finished as seamlessly as possible. I used two small lengths of cotton woven tape for the ties rather than a continuous piece such as "A Lady" recommends. This was mainly due to my shortage of cotton twill tape rather than subversive tendencies. Per the Workwoman's suggestion, the front "point" of the diaper has a key-hole. The opening is lined in more cotton twill tape to act as a reinforcer. This is meant to aid in closure. 

In theory. 

I can't figure out how the hell this thing works, truth be told. 

Houston, we have a diaper.

So that's a diaper. In reality (versus the hyper-colored dreamland of my mind) this thing could use the extra bulk for an honest-to-gosh, real-live peein' poopin' baby. So maybe the quadruple thickness wouldn't be such a bad thing. The jury is still out. Wool soaker covers WERE used, and while I have no plans to make one, perhaps the addition of that cover would make up for some of what this lacks. I'm convinced that vintage diaper cloth was absorbent but thinner and that the bulkiness would have been closer to what this is now rather than what it would be if I had followed the instructions perfectly.

Moving on!

The diaper shirt was based on this:

Wisconsin Historical Society. So good to me.

I liked this particular shirt because the construction was as simple as it gets (you don't have to pull this over a baby's head... that's intelligent design for ya.) being that it's two shaped pieces basically joined at the side seams under the arms, and then finished along all the other edges with a slip stitch and rolled seam. Brilliant!

Pardon the mood lighting.

I omitted the lace that's present on the original because I questioned the logic of it on such a utilitarian garment. When making infant clothing that supposed to be representational, ALWAYS ask yourself: "How easy is it to wash vomit/drool/various effluvium out of this?" Aaaaaand suddenly, no lace.

The edges were finished as I described and I selected two of the teeniest, most utterly precious shell buttons I possessed to finish off the top. They close on woven thread loops of 100% cotton cord. The shirt itself is made of unbleached muslin.


And there you have it. The remaining garments for A include a flannel petticoat, a dress and smock. Those should all be together whenever that particular post happens. One day...

On another note, I apologize for the hideously dark last three pics. I took the photos as I was working in the middle of the night. Lighting in my home is comparable to the lighting available in your average freight elevator. Pretend you're viewing photographs during a Second World War black-out and enjoy!

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