Handmade baby clothes are one of the best things about having a baby (besides the obvious, of course!). I have a handful of adorable sweaters – a couple newborn sizes and a couple toddler sizes – that I’ve had sitting here, just waiting to be photographed. So finally, here they are.
I did not make any of these sweaters, nor do I have any pattern links for them, though I wish I could say that I did! Many of these sweaters were either given to me by friends or family, or found at the local Goodwill. I always seek out those gorgeous handmade baby clothes and blankets and such that are passed along to donate. I know how long and how much effort goes into making handmade things, whether crochet or knit, or whatever. So when they end up in a donation, I like to honor the unknown maker by buying that item and appreciating it the way that I think it should be appreciated – from one fiber artist to another.
This infant sweater is one of the first. My in laws picked it up at a thrift store, I believe, and even though it’s 100 degrees out and little Alice likely won’t be wearing it in this heat just yet, I certainly hope that it will fit through the cooler months. It seems like it might get up to a 6 month size, we’ll see. It’s knit, and cuddly; baby colors throughout. I can only imagine someone sitting, night after night, working on this sweet little sweater for a loved little one.
This is another tiny sweater or jacket that a little one might wear. This one has a lot more detail, including the variegated yarn, the cables, even the hood (below). I think that this one, even though it’s relatively small, can be used as one of those shrugs that the girls can use as they get a bit older. The arms are longer, so it has a lot more flexibility.
I wonder sometimes about the people who might have made these items. It seems so sad that they end up in goodwill or other thrift stores, going for just a few pennies, when I know how much effort and care went into making something like these. I wonder sometimes that my afghans will one day end up going for a buck or two somewhere. I’d love to think that handmade baby clothes and other handmade goods would become family heirlooms and be appreciated and passed down through the generations, but I suppose that there’s just so much stuff anymore that handmades are just one in a pile of textiles.
But I still like to think of it as “rescuing” these handmade baby clothes or blankets or whatever when I’m out and about thrifting and come across them. Sometimes they need a little bit of TLC and I’ll weave in some ends that have come undone and started fraying, but in the end, they’re good as new, and filled with a lot of life left in them. One such is the sweater below, which really had a lot of loose ends flying about when it was first given to us. But oh, what a difference a little care makes. Check out how unique and beautiful it is:
If we’re speaking of handmade baby clothes that were made with a ton of love, this is my absolute favorite of the bunch. I in love with this adorable, elaborate sweater, that was obviously made with lots of love over a decent period of time. This is more than just your everyday knit sweater. It’s full of details and all sorts of goodness. The colors, the added animals, flowers, stars; even the structural elements like the pockets and the zipper – all of them have been painstakingly added to create the cutest little sweater you’ve ever seen.
And look at how sweet the back of it is – just as much thought and detail as the front. I love the little raindrops and the appliqued rain cloud. And wait until you see the elfin-like hood:
It’s soooo cute! Seriously, I cannot get enough of this sweater. Clara wore this all winter long. She’s not wearing it right now, since it’s in the triple digits, but if it doesn’t fit her by the time that fall comes around, you can bet that I’ll be saving it for Alice. I love this so much, I’m even debating whether or not to recreate it in a crocheted version. Even if I did, though, the knit version has so much more detail than a crocheted version could contain. I love it. Isn’t it the cutest thing? If you do happen to know the pattern to this, or even who could have made it, definitely let me know! This is fiber artistry!
And last, but definitely not least, the only crocheted sweater of the bunch. This one will definitely fit the girls for a few years to come, with its extra length. It is a well-structured garment made solely of double crochets; but it’s beautiful. I love the simplicity and the minimalism of it; I love that it would work well as both a spring jacket or an over-garment for another dress during the colder months. Someone, again, put a lot of time and effort into making this piece, and I hope to do its maker justice by seeing that it’s well worn and loved.