Saturday, May 21, 2016

Basic Infant Layette for SCA Events

A while ago I decided to join the SCA. All my historical activities were with family, and I decided I needed some time out away from family. Thus also provided me an opportunity for new research and challenges. 

I am planning and working on a renaissance outfit for myself, as I have been borrowing from a friend. I will post about that in a later post. As I'm still new to this period and with a baby on the way at any time I also required an infant layette, which I could not borrow. Unlike my Victorian layette I only require one of each item as I will not be camping and will only be attending events for short periods of time. 

I was not able to find many primary sources, so a friend leant me her copy of The Tudor Child. This is a fantastic resource with simple and easy to follow instructions. I decided to practice on the basic set and then also try my hand at the elite set which has a more detailed and complicated construction.

Basic Shirt (Edit- fits size 0000 prem to newborn)
I started with the basic set. The first item is the simple shirt. The pattern is very easy to scale up and draw. It is a simple square with a hole for the infants head and two slits for the arms.

The shirt is narrow hemmed around all of the edges. The sleeves and sides are then folded and whip stitched. It was very  simple and the whip stitched joins sit beautifully flat. 

Overall thus shirt only took about 4 hours of hand sewing. 

Basic Biggin (fits size 0000-000)
This was a little more complicated due to the shape. I made a pattern for ease of cutting and reproducing the cap in case I choose to make more in the future. The pattern gives two options. The first is a single layer that is hand sewn and the second was two layer bagged machine sewn cap.

As I prefer to try more period correct sewing, and I'm working on this while waiting to go into labour, I chose the single layer hand sewn version. I narrow hemmed all the edges.

To get the pieces to sit flat when whip stitched I found that it is very effective to only stitch though the end of the fabric with very small, close whip stitched. I only pick up 2-3 threads of the fabric at the edge.

This basic infant biggin was very easy to make. It took less than 4 hours of hand seeing while watching TV. I love how it looks and went together. 

Linen Bed (Both Basic and Elite Layette)
*as this is a published for sale pattern book I am not including any measurements for these items out of respect for the Tudor Tailor.

This item is a simple square of linen that is narrow hemmed all around. I'm becoming quite fast at hemming with all the hand sewn items I have completed recently. It only took 2 hours to hem be hand.

Swaddling Bands (Both Basic and Elite Layette)

This is a very long length of linen tape. It is cut and then narrow hemmed all around. As I am creating these items from the left over linen from constructing my own shift, I did not have a length of linen long enough to construct this in one length. As a compromised I cut multiple shorter lengths and flat felled them together before narrow hemming.

To get my lengths of linen perfectly straight for narrow hemming I drew threads to create a straight line to cut. This makes the fabric easier to hand sew and reduces fraying on the fabric edges.

This was also very simple to make, even though all the narrow hemming did become tedious after a while.

Red Woolen Bearing Cloth (Both Basic and Elite Layette)

This will have to be added later, as I am waiting to pick up the wool.

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