I’m really loving my pregnancy and am reveling in getting to sew all the things for my newest little man. I’ve probably already sewn more newborn clothes than he’ll ever need right now so recently I’ve started to turn my attention to other baby accessories and nursery furnishings, which is why I was so very excited when I saw the preview posts of Peekaboo Patterns latest PDF sewing pattern; the Lullaby Line Baby Nest.
The nest is the perfect accessory for babies and toddlers (and preschoolers!). It allows you to create a safe, clean and enclosed play space for your infant at home and away; I plan on taking mine with me when we go to visit family and on our vacations to give me somewhere to place my newborn in places not necessarily ‘baby friendly’. For older children, it provides a floor cushion for rest and relaxation. I feel I should mention here the nest is not designed to be used unsupervised or for babies to sleep in – should the baby roll against the raised bumper whilst he or she is sleeping they could suffocate. Below is the safety guidance offered in the pattern.
Even if you are not expecting a baby, or have young children, the pattern is an excellent investment for gifts. It would make an excellent baby shower gift or birthday gift for a toddler or preschooler as there’s no need to worry about sizing. Alternatively, it would make an excellent gift for an older child as included in the pattern is a doll (or bear, or stuffy) sized nest. It could also be made as a pet bed. The pattern includes sizes doll to preschool (aged 4-5). The fact that the nest goes to preschool size was another reason I was attracted to the pattern; I knew my own preschooler would love a nest for resting and reading – he’s always lying on the floor- so the first nest I made was for my preschooler.
The pattern is a straightforward sew and I completed all of it on the sewing machine. I found a zipper foot useful for creating the cord casing in the trim. With it’s standard seam allowance you could use a regular foot, but I find, as I do when creating piping, the zipper foot offers a better guide for your stitching.
Another tip for dealing with the cord and trim is to use crocodile clips or wonder clips. The preschool size used over 3 metres of cording and trim, because of this I felt it necessary to periodically clip the cord to the trim in order to stop them twisting whilst sewing.
The pattern includes an optional padded liner which can be used in the nest. I choose to make the liner to add additional padding but the nest could be used without. I can see the liner being particularly useful for babies – made out of a waterproof/splashproof material like PUL it will enable the nest to be used, and work well, for nappy changes or nappy free times. The liner piece being removable would also be easier to wash/put in the washing machine than the nest as a whole.
My son was thrilled with his nest. It was a good length for him (he measures 105cm) and he could lie flat if he wanted too – he actually preferred to curl up and the nest provided him with the perfect cocoon for that.
I made my nest using a quilting cotton, ‘Space Explorers’ by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman, available from You, Me and Mabel. I think the nest would be great for outdoor play or on the beach if you used PUL, ripstop or softshell. A brushed cotton or flannel would be great for a nest that would be used indoors and provide an additional soft and warm surface, particularly good in the winter months or for children who are more sensitive to textures. I’m also contemplating a patchwork effect for my newborn’s nest – combining a range of textures and colours to provide him with a more sensory experience.
I used the scraps left over from cutting out the nests ‘legs’ to create a coordinating pillow which my preschooler loved as an additional prop/bolster cushion and which would be great for babies to use as a prop or support during tummy time.
All I did was the sew the two scrap pieces right side together leaving a 2 inch turning and stuffing gap.
Clip the corners and curves before turning out.
Stuff and sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch.
(As with the nest, tummy time supports or tummy time pillows should never be used unsupervised as pillows provide a risk of suffocation).
I really enjoyed sewing the nest and was very pleased with the finished product, as was my son. The pattern is available from Peekaboo Pattern shop, it has an introductory discount of 15% automatically applied to it through to the end of Thursday 1st February.