Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Big Baby Clothes Project ...

It has begun!
The big Baby Clothes / Tree Skirt Project I have been dreaming of for years.
I have actually started this HUGE craft project.

Wednesday I will be giving up Facebook, my current addiction, and so I am hoping my "project" will consume me and keep me from FB withdraw. I know this project could take me a long time.

So, what is this "project" I am embracing you wonder?

I, like many Moms, have an over-abundance of baby clothes I can't part with. They have been sitting in Rubbermaid containers for years...20 years. I love them. They are so full of memories of my Darlings. Having two girls, hand-me-downs, were a must. But even when my girls were tiny, they had a mind of their own and favored certain outfits. Before Emily could talk, she would fuss about certain clothes. We found if I gave her a choice, she happily would agree to one of the choices, as long as she had a choice (and their was pink involved). Baby Annie, had a flare for bright colors, and animal prints (sometimes crazy mixes).
sweet baby clothes

My project is to make these precious garments into quilting squares, then turning the fabric into vivid Christmas tree skirts. Three of them. One for each daughter and one for me. Here is a sample photo of the skirts I am attempting:
{Piece N Quilt}
The tutorial can be found HERE .  This will show you how to make a tree skirt. The baby clothes is my choice of fabric.
Which brings us to the tedious task of ripping seams and cutting up the clothes. Now, I know what you are thinking...what a waste of Baby clothes that some babies could wear!  Hold your Horses! I have split the clothing into several piles and many will find their way to good homes. Most of the clothes I am using are not recyclable for wear, the elastic is shot, they have those stains that are invisible when you packed them, but reappear years later. Milk stains? Anyway, I am re-purposing these into a new useful purpose. Why am I explaining? 
I am busy ripping out seams while watching television with Hubby. It is a time evaporator. Very, very tedious indeed. I am pleased with the progress. Knowing this is a long project I am trying to pace myself and not fuss.
Annie's 1st Christmas Dress
I thought I would have a tough time with disecting these clothes but, actually, it is wonderful! Each item brings me memories. Even Hubby, will look over, smile and say something sweet about a memory or how he remembered who wore what.

My daughters are excited about this gift as well. I thought they would think it was strange or even ugly, but they have genuinely showed gratitude and anticipation.

I will keep you posted as I progress. With patience and hard work, I am hoping they turn out just the way I envision♥


Linda said...

Wow, I give you great credit just for dissecting the clothes - I couldn't do that. I know how I am, so I'll be stuck with rubbermaid containers of baby clothes. ;) Actually though, Sarah wore some of MY baby clothes and I plan to do the same for her children with her clothes, so I do have a plan.

But this looks like a wonderful project that will certainly be very involved. I'll miss you on Facebook though I'm not there all that much, other than to post links to my blog for my family who don't automatically check here without those reminders. :)

Good luck! I'm sure they're going to look beautiful when you're done.


Anonymous said...

I never kept any clothes from my sons' childhoods, didn't see the point. There would be no more children to wear them in my house, so they all went to charity. But if it were me, I would be making heirloom quilts with them them, one for each girl so she takes her memories with her when she goes to find her own way in the world.
The only thing I kept were christening gowns, and they have now gone to the charity shop. I haven't the time or space for sentimentality of that sort.

Bee Lady said...


First of all, don't even separate those clothes into piles. Wait until you are completely finished with the projects before giving them away. I go to garage sales all the time. Prices at garage sales are cheaper than goodwill, salvation army, rescue mission, and then there are the charities that give baby clothes away. So keep yours until you are sure you don't need them.

Also, I wouldn't use a seam ripper. Use some good sewing scissors and cut close to the seams. You can get really close with some good scissors such as Ginghers, and it'd go a lot faster. I've taken apart a lot of clothes/coats etc. I used to seam rip, now I cut.

And GREAT project. My Mom crocheted a Christmas skirt for me, years and years ago that I still have and use. We also have some blankets that my MIL has made, love all that home made stuff.

Cindy Bee

janis said...

Linda~ I have one item that the girls wore that I too wore. I receiving gown. I didnt much care for it on them though & they rarely wore it (it is in the pile to "dissect"). I talked to the girls about passing clothes to their children and they have no interest in outfitting these darling dated items on their children. And truly I get it. Todays baby clothes are so much more wearable and green. I have some saved items, to pass if they want. The precious Rothschild wool Coats that made them look like sweet children of the 40's, the Christening gowns, and baby blankets.
Maggie~ Goodwill loves me. The gentlemen there started to know me by my frequent visits. I would rather pass some things to children without than sell cheaply in a garage sale. I have gotten much better about sentiment and saving stuff. We have downsized and much had to go. With the thoughts of possible retiring out of state, I will have some big decisions on the items in my attic that I can't imagine letting go of. I have a HUGE collection of American Girl Dolls and accessories, as well as Pet shops and the original Polly Pockets. Hubby is concerned if I have Grandsons instead of granddaughters some day, I will force them to play with them :)

janis said...

Cindy Bee~ Thank you for this great advice! I was planning on waiting to rid myself of the get rid of pile. And I will admit, I have used some scissors on a couple of items. I will do so tonight as you suggest close to the seams and see how that goes. Thank you!

ellen abbott said...

What a great idea tho I would rather do a wall hanging or some such.

Reality Jayne said...

This is gonna be good when done. I wish my Mom woulda done this for me. Your daughters are lucky, Janis. .For sure.

Scott said...

I am a confirmed hoarder and a slave to sentimentality. I let Sara sort the baby clothes, and we have passed quite a few along. A boy at church wears David's old clothes almost every Sunday. It is nice to see them given old life. I love the idea of quilting them whether it is for a blanket or tree skirt, but I could never be the one to cut them up. It would almost feel cannibalistic to me, like I were cutting up my child. I can't bear to cut up anything, let alone something with sentimental value. I'll miss seeing you on Facebook.

JC said...

I never thought of doing that. I've already donated most of the clothes. Kept just a couple of them (the ones that weren't too messed up).

Kristen In London said...

What a completely GORGEOUS idea, Janis! I have always made a point of saving Avery's special clothes for my two nieces, where the more ordinary run of the mill stuff goes to my local charity shop here in London. How I wish I were smart enough to make a tree skirt! Once I did patch my husband's knees-out jeans with Avery's toddler bathing suit and we have never been able to throw them away. Bless your heart for this project.

Herrad said...

Hi Janis,
What a great idea, hope you enjoy your project.

Judy Miller said...

What a great idea Janis, wish I still had kids baby clothes, long gone. I did keep some old curtains from my moms and made tote bags to give to my sisters next month when we are together.

Lori ann said...

Great you've started this long awaited project! it's going to be terrific Janis! what a treasure you are making for all of you.
good luck!

diaper coupon said...

Oh, so many pretty skirts, I don't think I could pick a favourite! I
think it's time for me to start working on my own collection of