There is a huge problem with clothes for preemie babies—they are EXPENSIVE! Not only do parents of preemies have the added burden of huge medical bills, but clothing your preemie can send you into bankruptcy. You also have to be careful with what you put on a preemie. They are more prone to skin irritations. So what are parents to do?
Sew your own preemie clothes or ask a friend or relative who sews to do it for you. And here’s the catch—don’t look for patterns for preemie babies. Instead, look for doll clothes patterns. In particular any clothing pattern for Cabbage Patch Preemie doll or 21 inch baby doll will fit most human preemies. You do not need a fancy sewing machine—just one that will straight stitch and maybe zigzag. In a pinch, your local county cooperative extension office may have one you can borrow.
If you do not know how to sew already, then this is the perfect time to give it a try. Most sewing patterns for dolls are easy. They do not require a lot of fabric, so you can splurge on high quality, natural fibers like cotton and silk that are less likely to cause skin issues. If you want to go all out, learn to sew a French seam so that the fabric edges will not irritate the babies skin.
Finding the right clothes patterns might be difficult if you do not know where to look. Big box fabric stores will not carry preemie size infant clothing patterns and the doll patterns they carry usually fit Barbie and American Girl dolls. These will not work for you. Check out websites like Etsy and Craftsy. This is where you will find sewing patterns that will work for you. Be sure to look for vintage patterns, like those for Betsy Wetsy or Cabbage Patch Preemies.
Syndee’s Crafts has a great pattern for preemies. This adorable dress—actually a bubble suit and a skirt—would be darling on a preemie girl. You can add snaps to the bubble suit for easy changing. The multiple size means you can make some in a couple of sizes, depending on what you need for your baby.
Once you find some patterns, you can start sewing. Need help with sewing? Check out Craftsy, there are plenty of sewing classes out there. Many are free. Do you have a great sewing or crochet pattern for preemies? Let us know by posting a comment below.