A good way to make it easier to let go of those cute baby-grows that your once newborn baby has grown out of is to make them into a keepsake blanket. There is no denying that we all fall in love with a few items of clothes (blokes included, don’t try be all macho on me now fellas). When it comes to getting rid of them it can tug on the heart strings, probably moreso with your firstborn as it’s a new experience. Your baby is growing up and they grow out of the cute baby clothes in next to no time.
There’s something about a baby-grow. Besides getting all the cuddles, they look so damn cosy with their closed feet, and buttoned all the way up. For the first few months, they might live in baby-grows almost full time! They’re toasty warm, easy to deal with (unless you’ve got a wriggler in which case it’s like trying to put an octopus in a bag), and you get fit hundreds in your changing bag. You need plenty for all those times your baby gets food everywhere (or covers them in shit. Nice).
Before I go on I should note that I have zero sewing skills. Wifey did this and made a bloody good job of it too! I should also add that this is a bit of a crash course. I can’t sew for toffee so I’m pretty sure I can’t write about it too well either! There’s a more comprehensive guide over at QuiltKeepSake.com
The first task at hand is to decide which baby-grows to put on the blanket. Think carefully here as you’ll shortly be chopping them up. You’ll want to find about 24 pieces, which have a suitable square you can cut out around 10″ square.
Top Tip – Cut out a 10″ square from paper, you can use it as an overlay to make sure the design will all fit in the square when you start chopping. You can also use it to cut round to make sure your squares are all the same size.
Spend time on this bit. These are the baby-grows you’re keeping a little piece of as a momento so think about the outfit you brought your baby home from hospital in, and so on. My personal favourite was a little blue and white polka-dot from Carters baby-grow with little pink foxes on the feet. I always used to call PG foxy-feet when she wore it. Just look how freakin’ cute she looked in it! (and look how snuggly she looked in her Babymoov Sleep Positioner)
Cut out your 24 ten inch squares and arrange them on the floor how you want them. Next comes the tricky bit. You’ll want to have someone who is handy with a needle or sewing machine for this part. You are aiming for six rows of four squares, so stitch the squares together one row at a time, then stitch the rows together.
You should now have a single sheet of squares all sewn together. Tack it onto a large piece of wadding (using wadding is a load easier than using fluffy stuffing). For extra thickness you might choose to use more than one piece of wadding. Keep in mind if you plan on actually using it as a blanket you don’t want to it to be too thick as your child may get too hot.
Now sew the whole thing to piece of cotton, which will make the back of the blanket. Just sewing round the edge should be fine, but Wifey sewed a small cross into the intersections of each square for a little added stickiness (is that even a sewing word? I’ve no idea either). Finish the blanket off with some edging and voila, it should look like a blanket (if it doesn’t use a different guide or draught in someone who can actually sew like your Granny!).
What to do with the rest of the clothes
Whatever you do, DON’T chuck them in the bin. That’s crap for the planet. Unless they have holes in and are physically no good, there are many many different ways of disposing of your old clothes. There’ll be no need to teach you to suck eggs here, but as a starter for ten (or three at least!)
- Take them to a charity shop. Each town has several and most stock baby clothes.
- Take them to a baby bank. Much like the charity shop idea but they usually deal specifically with families with little ones, so the items will go directly to someone who really needs them. Check where your nearest baby bank is online (there’s a good list over at Stripey Stork), or do your own research.
- If you’ve space and plan to expand the family, save them. You’ll be thankful of it when you start all over again as it’ll be a few less things to buy.
Made a keepsake blanket before? Let me know how you got on in the comments.