Back in August last year, a very very dear friend of mine and her husband invited me to dinner at their house and then proceeded to announce they were expecting their first baby (doesn’t it seem like all my blog posts lately start like this?). Of course, I was thrilled for them, so thrilled in fact that I sprung into action immediately the next day (once I had recovered from the hangover from all the wine with which I had toasted their news). As it was going to be a peak-of-winter baby, I had no doubt as to what I wanted to make first.
The Lua Sleep Sack had been a raving success the first time I made it, and to be honest it’s so much fun that I want make it for any baby I know! (Only some of them insist on being born at times of the year where four layers of fabric and two of wool may not be totally appropriate.) In fact, the moment I finished this one, I went straight to the shop and bought a stockpile of organic wool batting for when the next opportunity to make this pattern arises.
Even though the pattern is fairly simple (only three different pattern pieces to cut out), it provided plenty of opportunity to work on honing some sewing skills, and I’m quite proud of several of the things I achieved here.
Firstly, the smooth curve of the piping (which came out much better than the first time around), and more importantly, the fabric pattern matching I managed to achieve around the piping. I don’t want to brag, but I mean, just LOOK at that elephant and that hippo! I dare say even the formidable Patrick Grant of the Great British Sewing Bee would not object to its execution. It probably took me as much time as all the other steps of the pattern together, but by gosh it was worth it.
Secondly, I managed decent buttonholes. Not the most advanced of skills, but seeing that we’re talking about 6 heavy layers needing to be fed into and pulled by the sewing machine here, and the high risk of things getting messy beyond repair at the very last step, it is one of the most stressful steps of this pattern. This time I even tried out sewing on buttons by machine, and it was so easy and quick!
Thirdly, I’m so pleased with my colour matching of the different elements. Early on I chose the elephant as the element I’d try to match to, and it was so pleasing to find the perfectly coloured piping, buttons and even a hanger (!) to bring the whole ensemble together. Not to mention the cardigan in matching yarn and a store-bought pair of tiny little coordinating pants (more on that to come in the next post).
And finally, though you cannot see it on the finished item at all, I learned how to piece together small scraps of wool batting to use them up fully rather than throwing them away. A little googling led me to some helpful tutorials, and I was wonderfully surprised by how easy it was to do. It meant that I was able to make this sleep sack with the batting leftovers from the first one, meaning I can make two sacks out of one package of batting. And from the outside you cannot see any difference whatsoever. Functional, economical and avoiding waste. Awesome.
Apart from the organic wool batting, I used organic Cloud 9 cotton for the two fabrics, and I was particularly happy to finally be able to use the gingerbread men print I’ve had my eye on since 2015! Aren’t they adorable?
All in all, an extremely pleasing project which brought me as much joy to make as it did to the now family-of-three when I finally delivered it to them last weekend. And one thing’s for certain – it won’t be my last Lua sleep sack!