Those planning to sew clothes for a baby in the family should be careful about the fabrics and patterns, says an expert and urges one to go for cloth like soft cotton and simple styles.
Femalefirst.co.uk shares top tips from sewing specialist Wendy Gardiner (www.simplicitynewlook.com):
1. It is a great idea to choose a pattern with simple styling that offers speedy results! Look for those that say 'easy or easy-to-sew' or are 'timed' patterns (i.e. those that say they can be made in just a few hours).
2. You'll find with sewing patterns for children's clothing that sizing is calculated by age, but as children grow at different rates, do check your child's measurements against the sizes stated and choose the one that most closely corresponds with your little one.
TIP: When making a sun dress or top with straps, make the straps a little longer than needed, so when your child grows, you can unstitch and increase the strap length.
3. Soft Fabrics: For summer, choose pretty cotton fabrics that are easy to sew, wash and wear. Finish seams on the inside with a zigzag stitch to prevent them fraying, or for straight seams you may wish to use a French seam to prevent the raw edges from fraying and provide a smooth inner surface that won't irritate the baby's soft skin.
4. Playwear: For playwear, it's a good idea to use knit fabrics that are stretchy, comfortable and also easy to wash and dry!
Stretch fabrics often don't need the seams neatened either, which makes them quick to make up.
5. If making for tiny babies you'll want easy access for changing time!
TIP: You can buy poppas on a tape that's easy to apply.
6. Easy to wear elasticated waists are perfect when making children's clothes and they can expand with growth!
TIP: Ensure that you lap the elastic by at least 8cm so that you can quickly unpick the casing that holds the elastic in place. Just release the overlap a little to increase waist allowance.
7. Hemlines: If you need to lengthen a favourite garment and you're left with a mark where the original hemline was - simply cover it with a pretty ribbon or decorative stitch.
8. For little boys who love to play - it's a good idea to use robust cotton twill fabrics for trousers, and strengthen the knees with a decorative patch.
TIP: Patches can also be attached to the inside of the trouser legs before they are sewn up so that it is not visible.