The more I read about babies, the more I realize I have some pretty serious misconceptions. Take sleeping, for example. Apparently babies should be laid down with nothing in the crib - no blankets, no toys, no pillows. If the baby can turn over, then no bumper pads either. All of these things can smother a child during the night, so out of the crib they go. Consumer Reports has pretty much put the kabosh on all of my visions of cute bumpers and quilts.
Enter the sleep sack, which Europeans have been using for years. This is basically a bag that the child wears to keep warm while sleeping. This version was made from an Ottobre pattern - #7 from Issue 5/2006. I used microfleece for the body and interlock knit for the binding.
The applique was made from a scrap of flannel fabric. Funky Monkey indeed.
Now let me say that this was my first experience attaching knit binding with a twin stretch needle. This is hard, people, hard! If you look too closely, you will see that I am definitely learning. I even broke the needle at the very end, so no more twin sewing until I order a replacement from the States. Note to self - buy multiples.
I learned the following in this exercise.
1) Go slowly with the twin needle. On curves, sharp ones especially, turn the wheel by hand.
2) Set the stitch length long and keep the tension loose.
3) Stretch the binding as you sew, more than you think necessary. Else the binding will be loose and ruffly around the curves.
4) Check to see that the binding is feeding properly as you go, or some unsightly seams may peek through on the back side.
5) Go slowly. For reals.
While this particular sleep sack is certainly not gift worthy, it is not a bad first stretch binding project. One of the things I like so much about sewing, and knitting for that matter, is that I am challenged with new skills and techniques all the time. I love that I am constantly learning, constantly getting better. A nice way to contextualize mediocre work, wouldn't you say?