Homemade baby presents; a quandary

Can you give my weary brain a little help this fine spring morning?

I’m having a quandary about what to make for the imminent arrival of my future niecephew (tbc) and could use some advice…

When my sister had her first baby, last summer, I put together a lovely little box full of homemade goodies: a blanket that I’d been knitting for the previous four months or so, some homemade baby trousers and some homeprinted babygrows.

In five weeks or so, my brother is having his first baby and I’d like to do something similar for them. Only problem is, in, oooh, two weeks or so, I am also having a baby (yeah, yeah, I know I’ve mentioned it a million times before) and my recent knitting has been dedicated to a blanket for him. (Which is, as of yesterday, finally finished. I’ll share some pictures after the weekend…)

So, I’ve got (probably) a few weeks of late pregnancy brain fug and lack of crafting mojo to work on something now, followed by a few weeks of new baby brain fug and, I suspect, no time at all for any crafting, mojo absent or otherwise.

So, what I’m after is a quick make, but still of something really special. Does such a thing exist?!

I trawled my Pinterest board, I could make that, to see what had inspired me in the past and this is the shortlist. Does anyone have any advice on these projects? Or any suggestions for something completely different? I’ve been pondering over this for so long now, I could have made something really nice in the meantime!

Seven homemade baby presents

Click on any of the photos below to go through to the tutorials…

1. Purl Bee big bottom baby trousers

Purl Bee baby trousers
The cutest thing ever?

These trousers from the Purl Bee are just too adorable, aren’t they? I have some really lovely fabrics in my stash so I could almost certainly make these without having to go to the shops. In fact, I think I must certainly have a go at these, irrespective of anything else I decide to make…

2.Rainbow blanket from the Purl Bee

Purl Bee baby blanket
So colourful. So perfect for a boy or girl…

I am still tempted to go for a knitted blanket, but making sure I pick something simple and quick. I’ve long admired this simple block colour blanket, also from the Purl Bee, and am tempted to try and make one with four rainbow colours (red, yellow, green and blue) and then add a border around the edge in cream.

But, two concerns: is knitting that much garter stitch going to be so boring that I can’t bear to pick up the needles? And, am I simply setting myself up for a sure and certain failure in trying to knit in a blanket in two weeks? Hummmm…

3. Fabric stacking blocks

Homemade stacking blocks
Every baby needs a lighthouse

These stacking blocks from the Shabby Home blog have been sitting on my Pinterest board for about two years now I think. I absolutely love them: the long teetering lighthouse, the nautical stripes, the hint of Italian (“mare” means sea) that every cultured baby should surely have in their toybox…

Potential issue: is this one of those projects that looks quite simple, but actually takes a long time to make? I have a sort of feeling that I could be spending hours trying to get the perfect pointed corners.

4. Squishy bunny toy

Homemade bunny
He’s squidgy, he’s a bunny, he’s red and striped. What’s not to like?

Then, of course, I could go for a homemade toy (or two). I love this little squidgy red-tummied bunny from Chez Beeper Bebe. Why haven’t I simply started making one already? I’m just never quite convinced that toys are the perfect new baby present. I know the sproglet has accumulated a lot of toys over the 21 months of his life so far and maybe it is better to give something a little more useful???

5. Little puppy

Homemade puppy
Woof woof

Then again, this little scrap fabric puppy is almost irresistible, isn’t he? And would surely keep a child company from babyhood all the way through to… …well, who knows how old?

6. Yoked knitted cardigan

Yoked cardigan
Love these big red buttons

Back to the knits though. Maybe I should still aim for something with the knitting needles (easier to pick up and put down and work on little by little when I have time and energy in the evenings) but just focus on something a bit smaller than a blanket? This cardigan is really gorgeous, and if I knit it in a neutral colour like grey, I could always add buttons to make it more feminine / masculine after the baby’s arrival. Again, I already have wool in my stash I could use for this too. And the pattern is available on Ravelry as an instant download.

7. Homeprinted babygrows

Homeprinted babygrow
Modelled by the sproglet in his younger days

This is the only one I am sure about. I will definitely be making some homeprinted babygrows, with an appropriate picture on the front, once the baby has been born. (I’m kind of hoping they have a girl and call her something like Rose or Violet, so I can use some lovely botanical images…) Check out my tutorial for how to print on fabric for more info.

Well, even as I’ve been writing this, I’ve been vacillating wildly between all the different choices so, please, any suggestions to help my indecisive brain would be much appreciated!

Related articles:

Various other baby projects I’ve made are:

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10 thoughts on “Homemade baby presents; a quandary

  1. Bibs and burb cloths would be a wonderful quick sew and probable get the crafting mojo started. A cute simple toy old be fun to include. It sounds as if a baby blanket in garter would bore you silly so what about some adorable little socks …..baby socks or booties go so fast. And then a quick baby hat to go with. You can always give a rain check for a sweater next fall when the baby really needs it.

    1. Yes, I’m stacking up the jumper or cardigan patterns for the autumn already! I think you’re right, get started on something quick and simple and hope the mojo returns at the same time…

  2. Love the big bottom trousers! It sounds like you really WANT to knit something, so I’d suggest you do something that will be quick but still stunning. That Purl Bee pattern is on big needles but it still looks like a lot of rows (garter stitch grows so slowly…) so probably quite dull. If you really want to make a blanket, I’d suggest going for a super soft chunky yarn in a great colour (how about a really deep purple for a boy – so cool) and choosing a textural reversible stitch (check this page out: http://www.knittingonthenet.com/stitches.htm). You can always add a slipped stitch start and ending to the rows to make sure it all looks super neat – or even a contrast stitch edging. Or, what about making one of these: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/classic-knit-blanket-and-bonnet?

    Hope you’re mojo connects soon! 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness, those photos for the blanket and bonnet are super cute! That’s a great idea as well about just going for a blanket with a nice stitch. Going to have a good browse of the page you sent and make a decision! Thanks so much for suggestions…

  3. I love the box you made for your sisters first baby, full of lovely things! I’d definitely make the trousers and I’m a sucker for anything with a face on it so would have to make the bunny and puppy 🙂 I have favourited the yoke cardigan, toooooo cute.

  4. If a whole knitted blanket sounds like a chore too far, why not back some favourite fabric with fleece and make matching bibs and burp cloths? I think if you manage to put together a couple of quick things it might take the pressure off and you can think and plan for the rest more leisurely.

  5. I made a minky blanket (link below) for a friend’s baby – the minky was lovely and soft and I put a really pretty unisex soft cotton on the other side. It was really quick to make, I am a total beginner at sewing and I don’t have any fancy feet on my sewing machine but I was thrilled at the way it turned out! http://icraftblog.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/minky-blanket-tutorial.html
    Hope this is helpful! Look forward to seeing some baby photos soon.

    Pauline

    1. Oh that looks really lovely! I did a similar sort of “burp cloth” a while back, with terry towelling backing, which I really enjoyed making as well.

      I’ve decided now to bite the bullet with the knitting, though, and cast something on. Let’s hope that I can get it finished in time…

  6. If a baby blanket is a must, how about using super chunky wool and large needles eg 10 or 12mm so that it grows very quickly. Love the big bottom baby trousers and the puppy also! Can’t wait to hear what you decide to make and looking forward to lots of photos of the imminent arrival!

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