Friday, October 15, 2010

Baby Blu's

I'd like to post a little about the Blu pattern by Cristina Bernardi Shiffman and Kay Gardiner.  It was published in Knitty in Winter 2005 and is available free here.

I have to disclose that I didn't use the recommended yarn, which is Rowan Denim [100% cotton].  I did this for a few reasons - I didn't have any, knitting with 100% cotton hurts my hands and, I thought these would make super cute (100% wool) longies to be worn over cloth diapers.

The pattern knit up really quickly and I was happy with it until I got to putting everything together.  I'm not sure why, but this process didn't really go very smoothly for me.  The pieces didn't seem to fit together as they should have.  The pattern is supposed to mimic jeans in every way, including the seaming.  While I appreciate the effort to copy something that is clearly great (who doesn't love jeans right?), in knitting, I felt the seaming was awkward, difficult to do well and ended up overly bulky.

I used DMC embroidary floss for my jean details.  I think it was colour 840, I liked it alot, but ended up running out before I could seam the legs.  Oh well, I just sewed them up and it worked okay. I do love the pocket details and the jean look, but next time, I would personally just make a pair of basic seamless longies and embroider those details on afterwards.  I just don't think it is worth all the extra bulk for a baby item.

I did love the method used for encasing elastic.  I've never really liked the look of a drawstring on soaker and longie patterns (from what I've read they are also impractical because the baby can't lie on it's stomach / back, depending on the placement of the drawstring, AND once the baby gets older, it is likely to pull and play with the drawstring).  I do love including totally encased elastic for the ease of getting the longies on and off.  I used what I had on hand, which was 1 inch elastic, it fit easily in the encasing, but I feel it might be too heavy duty for a tiny tummy, next time I'll likely use 1/2 in elastic instead.

There is some concern that the elastic will get gross and smelly because the soakers aren't actually washed that much, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.  I did use yarn in a constrasting colour so that I could easily see the seam and undo it if I need to replace the elastic at some point.

I hope someone out there finds this ramble of a review somewhat helpful.  Here is a quick summary:

Babies in knit jeans are really cute and the idea makes cute longies.  Skip the overly complicated construction method though and just do the jean details for the same effect.

Check out my project page here.


  1. Your comments about this pattern are certainly helpful! :) Especially considering the bulk. One of the things about baby jeans is they can be SO MUCH for little legs, they're overwhelming. :) The idea of just adding the details to plain longies later is smart. :)

  2. They look great and you finished them so quickly! I love them!

    I hate seaming, so I always knit my longies in the round.

    I have to say that I made a pair of longies before Little D was born that had an encased elastic. I followed the pattern measurements exactly and the elastic was just too tight for my big bellied baby. The elastic made the longies useless. :( I know that some people have great success with it.

    I have started making a casing and threading the drawstring through it. I have not had any problems with drawstrings and laying on bellies, ect. He does play with it, but it's a toy and he loves it. His playing with the drawstring has not even been a problem in any way.

    I just thought I would share what has worked for us. Again, I love the little jeans!

  3. Thanks for the great feedback Janelle. I obviously have no experience with cloth diapering or soakers / longies, so it's great to hear from someone who does! Overall, these longies turned out smaller than I thought they would and will definitely only fit a small baby for a short period of time! The thick elastic definitely amplified the small problem, I wouldn't want to have tight elastic on a baby belly at all! Ah well, live and learn, I can always rip that elastic out later if necessary.

  4. I bet the small pants will work perfectly for your baby for a while. Some babies grow faster than others and who knows what your baby will do. I really really love the blu's, I think they are adorable. And like I said before, the elastic works for many people. It just didn't work for my baby, but he's a chunker, lol.

    So I took your adivice and am putting some colorwork on the cuff of the skull longies. It's not skulls, but it went with the pattern I'm using the color charts from.

    I hope you are doing well, have a good week!


  5. Thanks for your comments they are really useful. I have only completed the knitting and it did knit up fast. I will start the sewing today and keep in mind your experience. Lets hope it works out well. I really did like doing the phony seam having never done or heard of it before. I think I like the idea of using it in future pants, jumpsuits and rompers.