Happy National Carrot Day!

My Abel and Cole calendar* tells me it’s National Carrot Day today.

It would surely be a crime to let such a prestigious occasion pass uncelebrated…

Print your own carrot onesie
Hooray for National Carrot Day!

I was just going to share a nice vintage carroty image with you in celebration of this momentous event, but on my search round my favourite vintage image sites I was completely inspired by a baby carrot bib and hat set, shared on one of the Graphics Fairy’s Brag Mondays.

Well, never one to resist an opportunity to get out my iron-on transfer paper and stick some images to fabric and since my baby has just started solids in the past few weeks, I completely stole the idea and made a carrot baby set of my own.

I whipped up four bibs laboriously drafted and sewed a single bib (and broke my sewing machine three times while doing so) and ironed the cute carrot pattern onto the front.

Print your own carrot bib
Three fat carrots, sitting on a bib

When I fix the sewing machine / find some new reserves of patience, I’ll finish the other three bibs and pdf the pattern I made to share it here. I just drew round one bib we had that fit and then cut the pieces out of terry towelling and an old white shirt, stitched together and turned inside out.

This image is available at the Graphics Fairy here: vintage carrot.

Here’s a picture of the bib in action:

Print your own carrot bib
Just waiting for the slobber to hit

Getting a little carried away, I packed up the sewing machine and decided to emblazon a couple of (pre-owned) white baby-grows too, using carrot images from Clip art ETC: this horizontal carrot and these vertical carrots.

Print your own carrot onesie
Oh what a luverly bunch of… carrots

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t normally advocate using images with blank space and fine lines, as the transfer paper where there’s no image can look quite shiny. However, since baby clothes mostly get covered in sick, food and dribble for a month at best before they’re too small, I wasn’t too fussed…

Print your own carrot babygrow
Just waiting for Peter Rabbit to turn up

Non-UK based readers of my blog are probably filled with jealousy right now, but fret not! I did a little Googling just for you and discovered that it’s International Carrot Day on April 4th, 2013. I know! Which gives us two whole months to prepare some suitable carrot shenanigans. Suggestions below please…

*Yes, I am the sort of person who has an Abel & Cole calendar. What can I say? It was free with my weekly veg box, but I know that doesn’t really improve matters does it?

Related articles:

I’ve linked this project up at the following link parties. Pop over and see what others have been up to this week: Katie’s Nesting Spot, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Brag Monday at the Graphics Fairy.

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Inspiration: unisex baby clothes

My (soon-to-be) sister-in-law and niece were staying with us this weekend and they brought some gorgeous presents for the baby. My sister-in-law has impeccable taste in children’s clothing, so the Gap onesie and jumper she gave him were just stunning. Even better, they would look just as good on a boy or a girl…

I get a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the instant genderfication of babies (not a word, but it should be). Right from the minute they’re born, the sex of the baby is seen as one of the most important things about them: boys dressed in blue and girls dressed in pink. Even congratulatory cards always scream “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” as if the baby’s gender is the relevant bit of information for celebration.

I spend ages, when giving new baby cards to others, looking for non blue or pink ones, without the B or G words emblazoned on the front. It’s amazing how hard it is to find nice gender-neutral cards that simply congratulate someone on the actual existence of new arrival, rather than the fact it happened to be a boy / girl…

And then we get to baby clothes… Well, suffice to say, it’s even more difficult to find unisex baby clothes (once they’ve outgrown the ubiquitous white all-in-ones anyway). When I come to the point of designing the fabrics for my baby range, it’s really important to me to make baby clothes that can be worn by boys and girls.

The trick, I suppose, is to pick new designs that haven’t yet been appropriated for one or other sex. Personally, I think a tractor is a great motif and would be fabulous for a boy or girl, but put one onto a jumper and you can guarantee everyone will think it’s a boy inside. I also want to make sure I stick to neutral colours where possible. I am imagining some heritage greens and greys…

Anyway, enough ranting, instead here’s a round up of some of my favourite unisex baby clothes available to buy at the moment.

Click on the pictures to go straight through to the websites where they’re for sale.

Baby Gap is my favourite shop when it comes to high quality, well-designed and well-fitting baby clothes. The only reason his whole wardrobe isn’t Baby Gap is the prices. While I’m sure the quality of their product justifies the cost, I still can’t afford to spend £15 on a T-shirt that will only last for two months. That said, we’ve been lucky enough to receive a few items as presents. The few pieces he does have are absolute staples in his wardrobe…

From their current winter collection, this cable jumper is utterly adorable:

Gap cable jumper
Gorgeous and snuggly: you can’t beat a good cable jumper from Gap

And the shade of green on this jumper is just beautiful. (Plus, a cow is super cool):

Gap cow baby jumper
Moooo. What baby wouldn’t want a cow on their Gap jumper?

I’ve never shopped in Next baby myself, but we’ve received a few presents of Next clothes and I’ve always thought they’re made from nice fabric and fit really well. These baby sleepsuits are very cute:

Green and blue baby sleepsuits from Next
These look snuggly and very huggable. Baby sleepsuits from Next

I have to confess, I can’t stand the Mothercare white newborn “essential” collections: I think the cotton is cheap and becomes hard and misshapen after a few washes and the shape of the babygrows  is far too wide at the waist. But once you move past day-long babygrow wearing into a world of T-shirts and jumpers, Mothercare really comes into its own. And you can’t beat these prices…

Orange Mothercare hippo T-shirt
Orange is truly a completely unisex colour and this hippo is glorious. All for £2.50. Good old Mothercare

I really love pretty much everything from Organics for Kids. We’ve been lucky to have been given a couple of their babygrows. Their farmyard range at the moment is stunning:

Red farmyard babygrow by Organics for Kids
All the animals of the farm in a bright, cheerful colour. Plus, of course, all organic cotton, being from Organics for Kids

So, there you go, a few nice options in the shops at the moment if you want some non-gendered baby clothes. I notice that I’ve only put in babygrows and jumpers here. I suppose trousers / skirts really do end up being for boys or girls… (Well, skirts anyway. Even I would draw the line at dressing my baby boy in skirts, and I do purposefully put him in pink now and again.)