I apologize for the picture quality. We are living in a rental townhome that has – quite literally – no natural light whatsoever. It stinks, especially in the winter. I tried taking photos without the flash, but you couldn’t see a darn detail, so flash it is, complete with nasty shadows from the mirror to my right.
I haven’t given up on sewing yet and made the skirt and the belt in this outfit. I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s good enough to wear to work, which is saying something. This skirt is made of some mystery fabric that is probably at least partially polyester and rayon. It has an elastic waist (yay comfort) and is cut on the bias and even has a lining!
The skirt was drafted following the instructions at Angry Chicken. She calls it a “5-minute Skirt,” so shhh… don’t tell her it took me about 8 hours from taking my measurements to finishing the crocheted thread chains that hold the lining in place. I drafted the back to be about a half inch longer than the front, figuring it needed extra length to go over my rear, but the hemline actually is slightly slanted when you look from the side. Guess the curves of my belly and my rear cancel each other out?
My weight is kind of a moving target these days, so the fit currently is a little large (as evidenced by the puckers in the center back). Still, I’m pleased with how it turned out.
The belt (obi, sash, whatever you want to call it) was made using Mimi G’s free pattern and tutorial. I made this from 2 layers of lycra cotton jersey, doubled so it won’t curl. Great little tutorial, very easy to follow. The sash is very flattering (even for my rectangular figure), although Matt makes pirate jokes when he sees it.
I also sewed a cowl-neck top. I am a big fan of draped necklines, they seem indescribably elegant. The pattern I used is called Day-to-Night Drape Top. (Interestingly, when I was dictating notes into my Android phone, it recorded the pattern name as “Stay Tonight Grape Top.”) To make the shirt more Minnesota friendly, I put the sleeves from her Birgitte t shirt pattern on it per the designer’s suggestion. The fabric is an ITY jersey (poly-lycra stretchy knit).
Not bad, right? I wear this to work sometimes, too.
Again, the designer says something like it’ll take you an hour from cutting fabric to a wearable shirt, and it took me… Omg, a month or more, working a couple hours a week. I made mistake after mistake – first measured myself wrong and made the wrong size, cut the front piece so that there was a flower blossoming right at the apex of my bust, misread the instructions and had to sew the back neck about 3 times before it looked right…
The whole process of sewing continues to be part satisfying, part irritating. Measuring, cutting, sewing, pressing – the whole process still seems so alien to me. Nothing turns out quite as I imagined, but I’m nevertheless putting together clothes that can be seen in public. Call it a tentative win? I don’t know. I just keep plugging away and hoping I improve.
In other random thoughts, I took about 1244 pictures (with my tripod and remote) to get 4 that I felt were OK to post. I used to never hate being photographed, but now I feel kind of weird having my picture taken. I don’t have any real “body issues” – that is to say, I know how I look, and I’m OK with it – but what is with this middle-aged awkwardness? I deleted the forced smiles, stiff expressions, jazz hands – you can thank me later.
Tuesday January 08th 2013, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Family
I made blankets! When this project idea was born, I thought I’d just serge 2 pieces of cotton jersey together and be done. (We have receiving blankets that are just like this, and the girls love ‘em.)
But we all know I can’t leave a simple project alone. This turned into an interesting undertaking (x3) because I learned a lot of stuff. But before we go into that, here’s the fabric, a cotton-lycra blend (purchased at GirlCharlee; NAYY).
I washed and dried the yardage several times and cut 3 blankets that were 38″x58-ish” (smidge over 1 yard x full width), following recommendations that I’d seen online that toddler quilts be about 36×50 inches.
Ruffles – I learned how to make a rolled edge on my serger following this tutorial. I decided to make it a lettuce edge and set my serger’s differential feed to maximal stretch and also yanked the heck out of the edge to make it super-duper wavy.
I tried the gathering foot on my sewing machine but couldn’t get it to perform consistently well. You can see that on the same strip, sometimes it would make terrific ruffles (bottom part) and then have a “dead zone” of mostly flat fabric (top part).
So I used a ruffler foot and followed this tutorial to determine my desired ruffle settings. (Excellent tutorial, btw. I intend to go back and make all the samples suggested so that I have a standard chart to refer to the next time I need to make a gazillion miles of ruffles.)
One thing that I don’t think was addressed in the tutorial was that stitching speed can affect the degree of ruffling. I tend to sew very slowly at first and then speed up as I gain confidence, except – oops.
Not a camera trick
If I’m remembering right, stitching faster made the ruffles deeper and the strip shorter.
Attaching the ruffle was simple – just draw a border on the main fabric and attach the ruffle with straight stitches. I decided to curve the corners (slap a dinner plate down and draw around the curve) because I didn’t want to deal with trying to fit the ruffle around a sharp corner. When 1 ruffle strip ended and the other began, I just curved one piece down and overlapped it with another piece curving up.
Applique – I had little pieces of quilting cotton with the girls’ drawings on them that I thought to use as appliques. (I got them via a school fundraiser, the kids draw stuff, it’s digitized and printed onto mugs, t-shirts, pillowcases, etc, and I chose to get quilt squares.)
Here’s one that didn’t make it onto the blankets
Having never appliqued anything before, let alone a stiff woven onto a stretchy knit, I wanted a tutorial. I followed this one and also the instructions on the package of Steam-A-Seam Lite (SASL; like a fusible double-sided sticky sheet).
Basically, peel off 1 cover of the SASL and stick it on the back of the applique, cut the applique and SASL together, then peel off the other cover, position, fuse onto the blanket fabric, and zig-zag stitch around the edge. Before fusing the first one, I stabilized the knit on the wrong side with iron-on/tear-away paper, but it turned out that the applique fabric was so freaking stiff from the digitized image printing, further stabilization wasn’t necessary.
Quilting – When I finally put the 2 layers together, I thought the blanket felt wimpy-thin and belatedly remembered that the receiving blankets that I’d first modeled this project on always seem kind of off-grain and rumpled… so I decided to add a quilt batting. The Warm and Natural cotton batting (available at Joann’s, wait for a sale or coupon) had good reviews. I used June Tailor washable spray adhesive (OMG, stinky) to stick 1 side of the blanket to the batting. I then sewed the 2 halves right sides together, left a hole for turning, turned and closed the hole, and topstitched around the edge
I couldn’t imagine machine quilting (I have no idea how to do it, especially on unstable cotton-lycra jersey), nor could I imaging fudging my way through machine quilting 3 blankets, so I decided to sew these really crooked eyelets to pseudo-tie the quilt together.
I had to fake-hoop the fabric in my hands to make the eyelets. Essentially, I squooshed extra fabric in the general vicinity of the feed dogs so that nothing was under tension from the rest of the blanket pulling downward off the table. This theoretically allowed the feed dogs to move the heavy blanket around in the circle, but as you can see, it didn’t always work. Mmm, crookedness is part of the charm, OK?
They were washed and dried and presented to the children. They were a hit! My heart sings when I see how much they love their blankets.
Jordan, Casey, Meredith
Play dress and leggings
Meredith’s favorite clothes are still the play dress and leggings. I made an outfit for her last year and thought I’d try my hand at a different pattern this winter. These are both “wearable muslins” made with fabric that I’d originally bought with the intention of sewing cloth diapers. Now that I know the patterns work (and how I’d like to tweak the top a little), I’m ready to use up some of the more expensive fabrics that I’ve been purchasing for the girls.
Striking her pose (click here for a back view)
The dress is the Hopscotch top by oliver+s. The pattern also includes a skirt, which I did not make this time. It is very similar to a t-shirt but with an extra style boost via the crossover neckline. There’s a little bit of gathering at the front center, too. To make the dress from the top, the pattern is simply extended (A-line) to dress length, with no changes to the bodice.
Sorry about the picture quality, I have no daylight hours for photography, and the wall color is a pretty awful background for a mostly-white dress. You might be able to see the crossover detail a little better in the photo below.
The pattern directions were nicely written and well illustrated, so the construction was pretty straightforward. The pattern was drafted well, all the pieces came together and seams matched up. I used Lastin (clear swimsuit elastic) instead of the recommended interfacing or twill tape to stabilize the shoulders and front seam. I added elastic to the sleeve cuffs at the last minute, but it was probably unnecessary. I deepened the hem to 1 inch because I dislike how narrow jersey hems curl and flip upward after a few washes, and I am not about to pull out an iron every time I wash a kid’s play dress. I constructed it using a sewing machine, serger, and coverstitch machine. (Hey, if I have the machines, I want to use them!)
Meredith prefers her tops and dresses to be very loose fitting, with the sleeves extra long (covering her wrists). Even though her measurements indicated she should be a size 5, I cut a size 7 to give her the extra ease. What’s a bit weird is that the neck opening is still somewhat tight and we have to force a little to pop her head through it every time (crowning, ha ha). I did double-check to make sure I had traced the right size. She may have her mama’s giant noggin. Next time I sew this, I will lengthen the upper bodice piece to give her more head room.
All in all, I’m not sure that I really like this as a dress – the crossover is very near the top, and the rest of the dress just hangs from that seam (sort of boring and reminds me of a nightgown). I guess that’s why the pattern is pictured as a shirt and separate skirt with an interesting pocket detail and a row of buttons!
The leggings are made using Jalie 2920. This is a very simple pattern – 1 piece. No side seams, just the inseam and center seam, and a foldover waistband. I had a sizing problem with this pattern, too. By her measurements, Meredith should be a size I, and that’s the size I dutifully traced out. It seemed short, but that was consistent with this review, so I just lengthened the legs substantially. I sewed the 2 seams and had her try it on. Uh oh, it was skin-tight (no pictures, it was positively indecent).
Attempt #2, I measured some of her favorite Hanna Andersson leggings at the high thigh (just under the crotch seam) and the inseam, and I picked a corresponding pattern size (now size M). I made the new pair with no changes, and these leggings were comfortable and the proper length. Go figure.
I do like this simple pattern, and given that it has a range that that goes from toddler to plus-size adults, I can see myself in a pair of these leggings someday, too. Just have to remember to measure the pattern and compare it against something that fits (not just blindly follow the size chart).
The fabric for the dress is a medium-weight cotton jersey without much stretch (which might explain why the neck seems small). The leggings are a thinner cotton-lycra jersey. Both are from Fresh Produce (but purchased via Girl Charlee). If you’re interested in technical details, the review of the dress is here and the review of the leggings is here.
Meredith’s “Wedding” Dress
Tuesday September 11th 2012, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Family
I managed to complete only 1 major project this summer, what with the house selling and not-buying, moving, etc. It was a dress for Meredith, actually finished toward the end of July, just in time for the wedding of a dear friend. Speaking of wedding, here’s the happy couple – I’ve known the groom since my first year of college.
Ben and Sudipta
Meredith and I traveled to Seattle together for the wedding. We took a long weekend, leaving Matt at home with the youngers. My core group of college “besties” were all there for the wedding – one had just started a new job and had moved his family to Seattle only weeks before, the others are related by blood or by marriage to the groom (so convenient when your friends marry each other, LOL), and so we all crammed together into a single house with all our kids and had a crazy awesome time. (Adult conversation!) There is nothing quite like chillaxin’ with friends you’ve known for 20 years, who know how weird and antisocial you are and don’t judge, still think you’re OK.
Anyway, here’s the dress in all its glory. Pattern is Little Vicki, by a company called Izzy and Ivy. The pattern and fabric were purchased at a quilting shop in a neighboring town. They had a sample made up, which was totally adorable and sold me on the dress.
Forgive the odd picture, but this is the only one in which the pleated front shows well.
Altogether, the project probably cost me about $40 in supplies, which was actually a lot to spend on a single dress for a kid, but I like supporting independent shops and designers, and this came out really special. (OK, run-on sentence much?)
I am super-pleased with it, and so is Meredith. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever sew for her again after an incident last winter. In the midst of a tantrum-fit (oh c’mon, your kid never does this?), she’d hurled another dress that I’d sewn, hurled it at my face while screeching, MAMA, I HATE THIS DRESS!!! I mean, I know, 3 years old at the time, but ouch. It took a few months, but I got over myself, sewed her this one, and she totally, totally loves it. Does my hurt heart a lot of good, I confess.
It’s roomy and has plenty of ease for running, jumping, and dancing. She does wear bike shorts underneath for modesty. She calls it her “wedding dress” and tells everyone (day care teachers, random strangers at Sam’s Club, etc) that her mommy made the dress and if they like it, they should ask their mommies to make them one, too.
What else can I say? It’s the only creative thing I got done this summer, but it’s a winner!
If you’re technically inclined, details about the construction are on PatternReview (here).
I had a hat when I came in
When the sisters were born, Matt’s parents came to stay with us for 3 weeks. During that time, my FIL taught my oldest daughter a song that he learned as a boy. I think the tune will always remind me of that summer.
I had a hat when I came in
I hung it on the rack
And I’ll have a hat when I go out
Or I’ll break somebody’s back!
I’m a peaceful man, I am, I am
And I don’t like to shout
But I had a hat when I came in,
And I’ll have a hat when I go out!
(Sung in true Irish drinking song spirit here.)
I sewed myself a hat last week! I used a Betz White pattern from her “Make New or Make Do” series.
I think maybe I look a little geektastic in it, but truly, I love this hat. I like bucket hats a lot. Grey ones, especially, apparently. (OMG, 2004. I’ve been blogging for a long time.)
It is next to impossible to find a fun sun hat that fits my supersized noggin (srsly, 22.5″), so it was either go bareheaded or make a custom piece! I love how comfy it is. (Mine is a size L.)
The entire project was made, incredibly, from stashed materials. The outside is gray stretch denim, the inside is an Amy Butler quilting cotton. The felt is a wool blend. I had mostly matching thread already, plus the basement life-archive vomited up a glue gun from circa mid 1990s. I even found the pin backing for the flower in my odds-and-ends sewing bin!
Check out my badass edgestitching!
The outside layer was a little Plain Jane, and I wanted to hide a blatantly mismatched seam, LOL. I google-image searched for “felt flower tutorial” (or something like that) and used the tutorial here. The template for the flower pieces is here. These flowers are very quick to make up (10 minutes, if that). I even made a red one for Meredith and glued it to a ponytail holder. She loves it.
I like that it’s a 3-dimensional flower.
The pin backing allows it to be removed before laundering.
I did manage to match up all of the other seams in the hat. The pattern itself is pretty uncomplicated, only 3 pieces, but I was pretty psyched when it was finished.
It’s also completely reversible.
If you sew and want the gory construction details, the review is here.
Last picture is just for fun – I was messing around with my new camera remote, and I found that it would make the camera fire only if I were making faces at it. What’s up with that?
An improvised play dress
Monday January 16th 2012, 1:08 pm
Filed under: Sewing
Meredith is definitely opinionated about the clothes she wears. She has begun to eschew anything that is even remotely restricting and has recently renounced denim pants (even those with elastic waists).
I wanted to make something for her, something to continue sharpening my sewing “skills” (still in quotes, that word), that would meet our criteria of cute (me) and comfy (her). My inspiration was a dress from the Tea Collection:
I started with this downloadable .pdf pattern, which I modified to add the waistband and skirt portion. Even though this is a small pattern (kid sizes only), it involved a lot of paper cutting and taping. But when you live far away from any fabric store and the urge to sew comes over you at 8 PM on a Friday, downloadable patterns are the path to instant gratification! For this dress, I cut out a size 5.
I wish I could wholeheartedly recommend the pattern, but it seems to have a slight drafting error. I deviated from the instructions to sew the side seam and sleeve seams first and then set the sleeve in the round. In doing so, I noted that the side seams are not the same length (in a size 5, they were off by about 1 cm). Is it a big deal? No. But I spent kind of a long time scratching my head, wondering if I had assembled the pages incorrectly or made a mistake while tracing. Anyway, after trimming off the errant edge, the sleeve set in perfectly, so who knows.
I used a sewing machine, coverstitch machine, and serger to put this together. I added swimsuit elastic to the shoulders (I think the pattern recommended twill tape). I followed Sarah Veblen’s video tutorial on making a neckband. I added casings and inserted elastic in the sleeve edges, similar to some of her favorite RTW (Hanna Andersson) dresses. The skirt was gather-basted before pinning it to the waistband, and I deliberately serged off the basting when attaching the skirt because it would restrict the stretch.
Can I make goofy faces now?
Fabric is a stretch velour (probably polyester?) from the stash. This stuff is a slippery b*tch to sew. I ended up using a washaway glue stick for nearly every seam, it was the only reliable way to hold the pieces together.
Meredith’s red leggings are also Mama-made. I traced her favorite Hanna Andersson leggings (size 100) and improvised the cut-on waistband casing (inserting 1-inch elastic). To make the pattern, I folded the pants in half and pin-traced around the top half onto a sheet of butcher paper on top of corkboard, then flipped it over to trace the back half. (My method is very similar to this technique.) Not much to say about the pattern, other than I’m amazed that I didn’t somehow stretch the pants out while tracing them. Fabric is a cotton interlock from the stash. To make the outfit a little more matchy-matchy, I used the same fabric for the leggings as I did the contrast bands of the dress.
The coverstitch machine that I have (Janome Coverpro 1000cp) is still managing to defeat me every so often. I continue to work on finding the right machine settings to avoid the dreaded dropped stitch (like knitting, an improperly executed coverstitch will also unravel in the blink of an eye). The first 3 times this outfit was washed, it came back with an opened hem somewhere, but I’m getting there, the seams look better and fall apart less often.
ETA – I forgot to add the comments from the designer when I asked her about the apparently mismatched side seams. This is her reply:
The armscye is designed a little deeper on one side to fit the body a bit better than if they were equal. Because it is deeper, it makes the side seams appear to be different, but I believe that you will find that they match up just fine when you sew the pattern together.
Sometimes, especially when sewing with really stretchy knits, the side might stretch and end up a little longer. Since the fabric is stretchier (like a waffle knit) than usual, it usually won’t matter much and I just cut the extra bit off.
I note that I made a second dress (not shown), following her assembly instructions (ie, attach shoulders, attach open sleeve, then make 1 long side seam that closes the sleeve and the side), and I still couldn’t get the sides to match up. So I don’t know if the problem is me, the fabric, or the pattern. Re Penny’s comment below, I certainly could have sewn it front-side down, which would have “shortened” that piece even more relative to the back, so it’s all kind of a mystery now. Good thing no one is looking at Meredith’s armpits to see if the 4 corners meet up!
Walking sleep sacs
Saturday December 03rd 2011, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Sewing
I made sleep sacs for walking babes. Actually, I’ve sewn this pattern before, but now I’m modifying it to add little leg openings, similar to this.
Mis en place
We have a bunch of commercial sleep sacs (without legs) that we use and love, but Casey and Jordan walk “up” the sac, if that makes any sense. In essence, as they walk, they put their feet down on the inside of the sac and step on it repeatedly, which shortens the front until they are hunched over and shuffling (or tip over, which is endlessly amusing). Actually, they can both modify their walking to not fall over as much as they used to, but I have a mountain of fleece to use up, and this was as good a use for it as any.
I originally planned to make 4 sacs, but after 2 were complete, I told myself I was not a sweatshop employee and gave myself permission to stop. We do have about 6 commercial sacs that could be modified to add legs… Maybe I will just add legs to a few of them and declare the project done.
Casey and Jordan
Closeup of the ankle cuff
What life in my house often
sounds looks like
Leather baby shoes
Monday April 18th 2011, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Sewing
Meredith received a gift of nused Robeez shoes when she was born. They had adorable little puppies on them. Giant baby that she was, I think she outgrew them by age 4 mo. I considered buying her a new set, but I was reluctant to spend the dough ($25-ish) on such a transient item.
At the time, I was a bit obsessed with window shopping for handmade, boutique baby gear, and I immediately was all I CAN MAKE FANCY SHOES, RIGHT? and hopped on the Internet to enable myself. I bought a 3-lb box of colorful leather scraps, a fancy shoe pattern, and paid for priority shipping to get started ASAP. Ha ha ha groan. Can I chalk it up to poor judgment due to sleep deprivation?
The pattern looked so sweet, but I was intimidated after reading through the instructions and going online to read tips for sewing with leather (here’s one that sums it up well). Special needles! No pins allowed! Permanent holes! Can’t make mistakes! And then, a week later, I was shopping at Target and found/bought little leather baby shoes for about $12. I stowed the pattern and leather scraps in an opaque stash bin and went on my merry way.
Fast forward a couple years, I felt like I had to make at least 2 pairs to, I don’t know, justify the expense in my head. Bear with me, it’s guilty in here. After my most recent baby girls outgrew their last rummage-sale Robeez ($3 a pair! Gack!), it was time to bite the bullet.
As it turns out, sewing with leather is not terribly difficult. I used a regular sewing machine and installed a leather needle. I had to use a hump-jumper (ETA: see this link for description of hump-jumper) and handcrank the flywheel when I was sewing over 4 layers. I used washaway seam tape (instead of a glue stick) that I cut to make it half-width, and paper clips held the layers together.
Look how cute they are!
One thing that I learned (the pattern did not discuss) was that the leather benefits from a little molding, just like lace benefits from blocking. When the shoe is freshly completed and turned right-side-out, the leather doesn’t curve easily around the seam. It is analogous to having unpressed seams in a garment. You can see here that the shoe took on almost a rectangular shape (like duck feet!), even though the sole is obviously quite rounded.
Can you tell which shoe was molded and which was not?
To remedy this shaping problem, I stuffed the shoe with a washcloth and wet the outside with my hands. I didn’t try to saturate the leather, I just got it a little wet. I used a chopstick to push the washcloth deep into the toe, stuffing firmly to help the toe keep its rounded shape. After it dried, it look much more like a human foot. The one on the left is still a little squarish, but it looks better with a foot inside.
This was fun! But hard! I don’t think I want to make any more, not right now.
Refashion a baby sleep sac from a man’s hoodie
Monday January 17th 2011, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Sewing
OK, so maybe I read too many “upcycle” refashion sites before the twins were born, but I keep having these crafty fantasies of carving up men’s shirts into little girl dresses and women’s clothes and you get the drift.
The idea of repurposing unused, unwanted, or unloved clothes is a great one, imo. I thought I’d get a big ol’ zippered sweatshirt and turn it into a wearable blanket for the baby. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything that didn’t look all worn to hell in my limited thrifting, so I picked up a new hoodie that was on sale at Target. No, it’s not a very girly color, but that’s what you get for shopping in the men’s department.
1. Cut off the sleeves and hood, leaving a 1-inch margin around the neck edge.
2. Cut armholes and then swing the seam out to the side. Don’t know how big to make the armholes? Lay the intended’s PJs on top and just guess. Fit is not crucial here.
(Disclosure: I fully intended to make this for Meredith [adding the sleeve cuffs as little walkable openings], but after I cut the arms, I realized I had veered too close. Good thing there are babies in the house!)
3. Trim and serge the neck edge to 1/2 inch.
4. Fold edge over to the wrong side and stitch in the ditch from the front to catch the edge on the back. (I know, I’m totally using the wrong presser foot here.)
This is the serged-and-stitched-down edge on the inside.
The stitched-in-the-ditch outside.
5. Pin sides together, serge.
6. Bind the armholes. I used a strip of knit fabric with a high percentage of spandex. Foldover elastic would be nice here, too.
7. Measure the circumference of the armscye, cut a binder about 80% of that length. Serge ends to form a circle. The upper wavy piece is the binding stretched out lengthwise and then pulled back by stretching widthwise. Very flexible, this fabric, and surprisingly malleable, given its age.
8. Quarter mark the binding and the armscye.
9. Match up the marks, add a few more pins to secure the binding.
10. Sew around, then pull the binding over to the wrong side. Stitch in the ditch from the right side.
11. Trim excess binding from the inside. It doesn’t fray.
Man, my stitching is lousy, but it doesn’t matter because…
12. …It still looks very nice on the outside! Repeat the steps to bind the other armscye.
Aaaaand this is when I for some unknown reason stopped taking pictures. But that’s OK, there are only a couple final steps remaining.
13. Sew the bottom shut. I made 2 separate seams to avoid stitching over the zipper.
14. Add a zipper stop at the bottom of the sleeper, just in case. I threaded a needle and handsewed a few loops over the closed teeth.
15. Add a tab made of scraps to cover the zipper tab when the blanket is closed. Add a snap closure.
Finally, insert 1 baby who is ready for her nap. Give her lots of hugs and kisses. Enjoy blissful quiet for 1 hour.
My Baby J
Friday December 10th 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Sewing
Inspired by the many DIY baby legwarmers made (refashioned) from socks, I made a whole bunch of them for Jordan and Casey following this tutorial. Socks were from Target.
I serged instead of zig-zagged, but otherwise, it was all the same.
I usually layer the legwarmers under a pair of pants (love those cotton knits!), especially because the pants legs hike up when the babies are carried.
They make fun gauntlets for toddlers, too!