Some good friends of ours, and some family members are currently expecting their first kids, and I am so happy for them! Inspired by this lovely news (and even though they're not due anytime soon), I saw the new Art Gallery Knits Nest panels at my local fabric store, Fabric Crush, here in Ottawa, and I knew it would be a match made in heaven. However. I definitely underestimated how something so tiny could be so complex and time consuming (metaphor for motherhood?). Here's the story!
Having never sewn anything for kids/babies before, I decided to go with the Brindille and Twig pattern for this make!
I started with 4 different panels, the two pictured above, as well as a light pink panel with a lamb, and white panel with a fox.
I thought this was also the perfect project to try using my new serger! I mean - a cute little onesie - what a quick, easy project to dip my toe into the world of sergers.
The first night, I spent 6 hours, into the wee hours of the morning trying to get this serger to work. Confidently, I threaded with my white thread initially, but as the pile of scraps grew and grew, and my pleas for help on Instastories became more dire, I switched to the coloured threads to be able to diagnose the issue. Serger 1. Trish 0.
The next night, armed with a furious vengeance I brought my machine over to my mothers house. A serger may have bested me, but I'd like to see it try and take on my mother.
She too, was stumped.
Again, with persistence, I would not be set back. I dusted off my mother's serger, determined to sew these little onesies. And it was when I was threading her serger - I realized my mistake: I was not inserting the threads in the tension disks correctly.
You see, my second tension disk is hidden by the cover - on my moms machine, I could see them both clearly, and realize that I was not, in fact, threading in the right spot.
Weellll. Problem solved, right? So then I triumphantly return to sewing my onesie once I got the tension right and the white threads back in. But then I read the rest of the instructions, and I needed a REGULAR sewing machine to topstitch my bindings.
SO, back down to the basement I go, to dust off my mom's other sewing machine. I manage to dig out a "stretch" needle, and some white-ish thread and back up I came to topstitch that binding.
It was a disaster.
In addition to sewing with a serger, this was a new skill for me too. And my poor onesie looked wrinkly, wonky and not at all like I wanted it to be. I unpicked, and tried again. This time a bit better, but still not great.
So that was the end of the first panel.
After a little red wine, and a good night's rest, I returned to my home the next morning, armed with my regular sewing machine aresenal. I've had that "wonky seam" problem with my mom's machine before when sewing with knits, but I knew how to adjust mine perfectly, so I felt more confident. I also busted out a twin needle for the firs time!! This. was. game changing.
Very much improved right? Persistence makes perfect.
So I started and finished this Bear onesie next. Besides a little hole I need to stitch up under the arm (my serger blade got a little excited), I was so happy with how this one turned out. Especially since the first one was such a fail.
So, confidently I moved onto my next panel, the lamb. I had topstitched everything perfectly, even saving some of the pink on the side of the panel to use for the binding. Everything was going well until I started to serge the sleeves on...
Again, very new to this serger thing, and it was not lying flat on the underside. The back piece got caught, and my excitable serger blade cut a hole right through it. GAH.
The good news: I have extra fabric for the back to cut a new one, and I can still save the panel and probably sleeves. But for self-preservation, I decided to move on at this point.
Next I sewed up this last one, using both pink, tan and blue binding for a more "gender neutral" feel to this onesie (thanks to everyone who voted for grey snaps on insta-stories!)
I'm not sure I'm crazy about the tan- on - tan colouring, but I really love this panel. I was also extra careful sewing with my serger, especially with the sleeves!
For all the backs, I used this tan, "days of the week" fabric that came from the same Nest Art Gallery Knits Collection. Super cute.
I got 300 snaps I think, in all different colours, off Amazon for $25. They work really well, are incredibly easy to attach, and it's fun to match all the different colours.
Snaps are going on everything now.
So there you have it folks.
I do intend to go back and selvage at least the pink panel, if not the white one too, but I think I need a little break from onesies.
I will say, that I am quite proud to have used some new skills with this project. Sewing with my serger as well as a twin needle were firsts for me, and something I plan on using a lot more.
Have you ever had a project like this? What kept you persevering?
Self-taught sewist, Knitter, Crocheter, and all round crafty person from Ottawa, Canada.