HandKnit Heirloom Newborn Coming Home Outfit - Why I Make Our Newborn Coming Home Outfits - Pattern Review
As I hopefully become more consistent with posting here, I am going to be branching out from just homeschool topics to others that interest me and maybe you too! Motherhood, lifestyle, and hobby posts will become more frequent in this space, but of course homeschooling is a huge portion of our lives and will always be represented here as well.
This post will highlight and review the patterns I used to make this set, explain why I make the coming home outfits my children wear, and just show off this adorable little set that I am so smitten with!
We are expecting a little bundle in a few short weeks and I just finished up this sweet hand knitted set. I purchased two patterns to complete this. The sweater pattern is called the Fisherman's Rib Cardigan and can be purchased here from the Etsy shop Rainerandbear. The pants pattern is called Calendula Baby Pants and can be purchased here from the Etsy shop Agasalhosbugalhos. Each pattern costs about $5.
I'll get in to the specifics of what yarn I used, and my thoughts on each pattern further down in this post, but first I want to share why making these outfits is so special to me.
Are you familiar with prayer blankets, shawls, etc? There are many traditions and ministries that center around these. The basic idea is that you knit, crochet, sew, etc a blanket or shawl or whatever the item is, with the recipient in mind and pray for them while you make it. One of my favorite gifts to give for an expectant couple is a knitted prayer blanket. Each stitch represents a moment that they and their new bundle were prayed for, thought of, and loved.
After making blankets for others, I started to make coming home outfits, and other articles of clothing for my own children while doing this same practice. I find great joy in creating a special newborn outfit for my children while awaiting their arrival. I tend to be a worrier, and I always gain great peace when I focus on praying for them instead of worrying about all the unknowns of pregnancy. I give thanks and praise for their existence, I pray for their development and safe arrival, for their life in Christ, their future spouse, that they will fulfill the Lord's will in their life, a life of prosperity and health, and so on.
While the item itself isn't a prayer, it is a physical representation and reminder of the time I spent with the Lord praying and thanking Him for this special blessing of a person. I save these outfits and will give them to my children when they are grown. I hope that one day they will serve as a reminder of my love for them and that it will hold special meaning for them. I hope that they will want to pass them on to their own children as a family heirloom.
That's basically it in a nutshell. Now on to the review of the actual patterns and the process of making these items.
Fisherman's Rib Cardigan
This pattern was very easy and simple to follow. Usually, I make sweaters "top down" without the need to seam, but this cardigan is knitted flat in pieces. I honestly probably wouldn't have purchased it if I had noticed that little detail, but in the end I'm glad I overlooked that and I absolutely adore how this one turned out.
I made the 0-6 month size. It came out smaller than I expected, it is the same size as a store bought newborn cardigan. I was sure to make a gauge swatch and my gauge did match the pattern, so I would keep that in mind if you are making one for an older child. I actually bought this pattern in both the baby/toddler and child sizes, and wish that finished measurements were included for the sizes. I'm not sure what size to make for my older children. I haven't reached out to the shop yet, but plan to and will update this post with any relevant info I find out!
A quick look at the process of the cardigan:
I used Soft and Sleek DK yarn in the color Linen, from Hobby Lobby. I prefer 100% cotton when knitting for babies, but loved the slight color variations of this yarn and decided to give it a try. It is very soft, especially for an acrylic yarn. While working with it, I didn't have any issues with pilling, and it is advertised as a low - pill fiber, so we will see how it holds up after multiple washes/wears. Though this outfit will be very gently used, so I don't foresee there being much issue with that. Some reviewers on the Hobby Lobby website mentioned that they felt this yarn was more like fingering and not a true DK yarn, but I've used it with multiple patterns now and my gauge swatches have all come out as they should using this yarn and the patterns specified needle size, so I think it is pretty spot on as a DK weight yarn. But of course, always always always make a gauge swatch!
I used 1/2 inch or 12mm natural wood buttons. I don't have a link for these, but I bought these in assorted sizes and highly recommend doing this if you knit a lot. I personally use natural wood buttons for the majority of my projects, I love the simple look they give.
The texture of this cardigan is AMAZING. The Fisherman's Rib gives it a plush, lofty, very luxe feeling. It is "super squishy" as my children say. It just feels so cozy and I can't wait to wrap my little one in it. It was a quick knit (as most newborn projects seem to be for the sheer fact that they are so tiny!). I started it the week of Thanksgiving, and worked on it in small bursts as time allowed and was done before Christmas.
Calendula Baby Pants
This pattern is now my favorite pant pattern and will be my go to! It knitted up so quick, I love the ribbed waistband with I-cord drawstring, the pattern is simple and easy to follow, and the instructions are excellent. This designer color codes the pattern for you, making a multisize pattern MUCH easier to follow, and offers tons of tips and clear pictures to make it very simple.
I originally made a different set of pants, in a different color way, but decided that I wanted the cardigan and pants to match.
The pattern for the other pair of pants I made is from Petite Knit and is called Ellen's Coming Home Set . I also used Soft and Sleek DK but in the color Irish Rain. The main differences in this pants pattern is the use of a casing with elastic for the waistband, and no gusset in the crotch. Otherwise, they are very similar (as I'm sure most pants patterns will be) and it is simple and easy to follow.
Back to the Calendula pants...
Again, I used the Soft and Sleek DK yarn in the color Linen. These pants are knitted *almost* seamlessly (my favorite!). You start at the waistband creating a ribbed pattern and then move through the body of the pant. There are short rows (I chose to use the German Short Row Method) worked on the back of the pant to allow room for a diaper. There is an option to skip this step if you like, but I highly recommend taking the time to do them. You knit a simple gusset and you then knit up one leg at a time. Finally, you have one short seam for the gusset between the legs and you make a drawstring of your choice. You could knit an I-Cord like I did, or crochet one, or purchase a piece of pre-made drawstring, or use twill... the options are endless.
A quick look at the process of the pants:
**Please note that these items are not suitable for sleepwear due to the buttons and the drawstring**
And there you have it. My finished heirloom coming home set. I will probably make a beanie/mitten/bootie set to go along with this. Maybe in a contrasting color? I haven't decided yet. Or I will just pair it with a store bought set - time will tell!
Do you make your own coming home outfits or purchase special ones? What pregnancy/newborn traditions do you have? I'd love to hear about them!
I'm working on a post full of our must haves for bringing home baby number 5. I feel like our list has gotten smaller and smaller over the years, so I'd like to share what we've found to be essential.
Thanks for spending time with me here, until next time!