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The Internet Needs More Preemie Patterns April 15, 2013

Posted by Sindy in Internet Resources, Journal, Patterns, WIDTW.
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What I Did This Week: Besides finally catching up with my tatting homework and learning needle tatting in my class (I’m so excited!), and not touching my book at all this week, this past Saturday was my cousin’s baby shower, so I had to make something for her. And since the little cutie is a preemie, I just had to make something extra special.

I have a soft spot for preemie babies. I was a preemie myself, born four weeks early and only 5 lbs. I wasn’t the tiniest thing, but my Mom tells stories of cutting a third off the preemie diapers the hospital gave her and tiny doll dresses that my great-grandma made for me. So when my cousin had her tiny four lb baby five weeks early I imediately thought about making a little dress that would fit her.

I had already researched making preemie clothes for a friend who started an organization called Angel Babies that helps parents who’s tiny tikes don’t live long. Many of them didn’t develop enough to survive, and many of them are tiny preemies.

Sady, my great-grandma was lucky when she made my little doll dress – most doll patterns aren’t the right proportions for a preemie, so I went on a search to find some preemie patterns online. According to some medical study (of which I can’t seem to find right now) the rate of preemie births is increasing (mostly because of the behavior of the parents, but that’s another topic), and even full-term babies tend to be skinny little mites when they’re first born, so this should be easy, right? Apparently not. According to the clothes in retail stores “preemie” size just means an inch shorter. That’s not going to do.

I did find a couple good resources though:
– For people who sew, my friend’s Angel Babies website has a few patterns
– And for people who crochet, Bev’s Country Cottage has some great patterns
– And a couple sizing charts (Note: Sizing preemies is just an “averages” game. Sizes and proportions can vary widely.)
http://www.heartfeltangels.com/Sizes.html
http://www.ebay.com/gds/Preemie-Clothing-Size-Chart/10000000005631703/g.html

Preemie’s have special requirements when it comes to clothes. Their little furnaces don’t work yet, so a warm hat is almost required. The smaller the baby the thinner their skin so they can’t wear booties or socks and you have to design clothes to be easier to get the baby in. Oh, and the fabric or yarn needs to be super soft, and no big lumps from things like buttons and bows in the back. I like to use fingering size yarn (super skinny), which I’ve only found in yarn specialty shops, and flat buttons, and it’s good to have clothes that open all the way down the back to make it easiest to put it on.

If you know of a great preemie pattern online, let me know! Also, you’re welcome to donate handmade items to Angel Babies.

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