Friday, October 16, 2009

Historic Baby

I wanted to record as much for myself as anyone else what garments Asa wore at what ages. Memory just doesn't serve to keep the dates straight. So I'll call this set of posts "Historic Baby" and it will be the chronicle of clothing our baby in his old fashioned garments.

First we begin with his chemise and cotton socks. Thankfully the chemises still fit him, they are one of the best things that I made, he wears them every day. He has cotton socks on today but also has wool ones if the weather worsens. He has cloth diapers but the only "period correct" wool soaker that I have doesn't fit him, he pretty much just skipped most newborn sized things. So, it's a disposable diaper for today.

We add his petticoat now, this particular one is cotton but he has a wool one for inclement weather. It should tie in the back but tying in the front goes smoother. :-)
Next we add his "daily cap", this particular one is my favorite. It's made out of a double thickness of flannel and keeps his ears so warm! The gown he's wearing no longer fits but I wanted a final picture of it; his waist is 16" and makes his gowns too tight to be comfortable.

And, the final layer for cold weather wear, his wool sacque and bonnet. These are the only garments, other than his chemises, that aren't already too small. :-/ The sleeves are long and the bonnet is plenty big even with his daily cap underneath. These layers paired with a wool shawl/blanket keep him toasty warm in any weather.

This is how he is dressed every day, we've not varied from it yet but I have to make him more gowns immediately. As it is he spends a lot of days wearing one of his nightgowns. The "A" line of them afford more tummy room than his gowns do. I wasn't sure if I would like this clothing experiment, maybe the novelty would wear off and it would become a hassle or a chore and I'd long to dress him in sleepers. But, I'm happy to say that I really enjoy dressing him this way! I don't find it to be unpleasant and it keeps him so much warmer than sleepers ever did. And, I definitely don't miss onesies, I always detested pulling them over a baby's head and with his garments now nothing has to be pulled over his head. Happy baby, happy mama!


  1. You might try making some gowns that are "chemise style" without a waistband. I saw a few on the Wisconsin Clothing Museum website. That way his waistline will be less of an issue.

    He's totally adorable! Love the outfits!

  2. He is such a doll!!! I love his outfit, so handsome.

  3. Amy, I have a pattern for that style but I think they are always short sleeved, right? That was my understanding and so they just won't work for winter. I'm stuck with this style until nicer weather. :-/ If you know different then please let me know!


  4. Ah, that makes sense. I'm not sure I've ever seen a long sleeved version, come to think of it. You must forgive me, though -- I live in a sub-tropical and balmy clime. :) Maybe you could do a draw-string waist...but then I'm not sure about accuracy there, either. If I find something, I'll be sure to pass it along.

  5. Couldn't you make a style like the nightgown, A-line and with a jewel neck and long sleeves? I haven't seen any specific infant gowns in that style but have seen a few "childs dresses" in that style.

    And is he adorable or what?! And my goodness, a 16" waist and he is what, 3 weeks old? :) It's too bad the little gowns are already outgrown, but I'm so glad you posted this so we can all see him in his darling things! I'm SO glad the sacque and bonnet fit him and will fit him a while more. They are beautiful!

    I'd like to try to dress a future baby in period clothing but I'm afraid I *would* revert back to the sleepers, just because the volume of so much skirt/petticoat overwhelms me at times!

    Oh, I just had a thought - what about a jewel necked dress with a small yoke and full skirts falling from that?

  6. He's precious!

    I like the idea of dressing Baby like this. It seems more comfy than some of the modern things -- less restrictive of kicking legs and diaper changes.

    How do others react to a little boy so beautifully dressed at places like the store -- if you've even been out with him yet? It makes perfect sense, but it is atypical.

  7. Thanks Jenny! I agree with you about the comfort and convenience factors, our foremothers really knew what they were doing!

    As for going out with him, well we don't go a lot of places but when we do he's wrapped in a blanket so people don't realize that he's wearing a gown. They notice that it's not a sleeper and that he isn't wearing "baby colors" but beyond that they can't see. I think that since we all look a little *unusual*, lol, they chalk it up to that.

  8. I love the shots of all the layers! He does look happy and so well dressed!