Saturday, July 23, 2011

Delicate Handsewn Diaper Shirt Finished!

Another finish! Doesn't it feel great? This little diaper shirt is really pretty simple to sew, making it an ideal project for a handsewing beginner. This project is from an old SAGA class by Claudia Newton that had been sitting in storage for more than a couple of years. It worked up so quickly that I'm sorry I didn't get it out earlier. I'm not exactly a beginner at handsewing, having made this French Acadian Christening Gown several years ago, almost entirely by hand.

I say almost because I did cheat a bit and made the buttonholes by machine, using the heirloom buttonhole stitch, B9 on my Viking Designer I. This time I made them by hand. They're a bit wobbly, but I'm sure I'll improve with time. They look much better when washed and ironed, as you can see in the first photo.

The neck and armhole finishes were very simple, just a bias band sewn to the edges after basting the seam allowances.  Note the french seam at the shoulder.

You can barely see it, but the end of the lace is turned under, whipped stitched, then stitched over with a buttonhole stitch and trimmed very close to the end. It make a really nice finish for the lace, which is very hard to roll and whip. The facings are finished with a tiny whipstitch. 

And finally, a Ronald Reagan rose to brighten up the mess on my sewing table.

I've only made two complete items of clothing by hand, this shirt and the gown mentioned above, but it's a very satisfying and relaxing way to sew.  It's also nice to know that I can make a garment by hand, just like our forebears had to. I've always loved the "Little House" series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, especially one section in which the family buys a sewing machine and were so thrilled with it! Now they could sew muslin lengths together for sheets in minutes instead of hours!

It's now Saturday morning and I have maintenance scheduled for today, first a trip to the hairdresser then a pedicure. Maybe I can squeeze in an hour or two stitching in the afternoon. I have another old project that I started when my granddaughter was a baby, but didn't get it finished in time.

Have a great Saturday!


  1. The Carmelite nuns who taught me would be very pleased with your work. Absolutely lovely and so sweet. Did I miss that there is a special babe you are sewing for or is this what some call figment sewing? Your Figment sewing is wonderful if it is.

  2. Love the diaper shirt. It turned out very sweet. Worth all the hours it takes to handstitch. And I've read the Little House series over and over.
    Well, I'm off to do some smocking.

  3. Beautiful stitching. I love reading about the process too.


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