Sewing for babies in the SCA - some hints
By Maggie Forest
Sewing garb for babies and young children can be a challenge, but a very
tempting one. All those sumptuous things you can't afford to make for yourself,
or aren't sure about - here's your very own little mini-model! But for the
sake of your sanity and that of your baby, there are some things I have learned
the hard way. As my little girl grows older, and I have more experience,
I will add more tips to this page.
Make layers of garments in natural fabric. Temperatures vary, and babies
get cold or overheat really easily.
When the babies find their feet, make the garments long - longer than you
would normally think. Otherwise, put tights on the baby underneath.
Remember - babies past the age of four months will put everything they can
reach into their mouths. Secure all trim very tightly. Don't use things they
can pull off - spangles are right out.
Make nothing out of fabric that can't handle lots of baby spittle - or be
prepared for the baby to eat the pile off the velvet. It won't hurt them,
but the garment will never be the same again.
Make hats. Ear infections are Not Fun (says a mum who hasn't slept in three
nights) In summer, heat stroke in babies is even Less Fun.
Remember that the garb you make will likely only ever be worn once by each
baby. They grow incredibly fast.
Following on to that; don't make garb for an event that's three weeks away
and expect it to fit. Either make it too big, or wait until the last minute.
Babies like moving their limbs. Make the armholes wide.
Babies' heads are proportionally much larger than an adult's. They don't
like having their noses squished when you get them dressed or undressed.
Make neck openings either extra wide or make a keyhole neck. Don't
give hoods that indentation around the neck, and make sure that the head
fits through there.
Brooches are not safe from a baby that loves to pick things apart (this little
one is going to be an engineer!). Use ties or buttons/toggles to close things
Mid-14th Century kirtle
14th Century outfit, in the household livery