Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a bright and hopeful new year. A great way to start off the new year is thinking about others. This past Tuesday I spent the day with my sewing sisters at a Wee Care workshop putting together Wee Care kits for our chapter to work on through out the year. Wee Care is the charitable project of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA). Gowns, vests, diaper covers and blankets are sewn for premature babies. You can read more about the program in this post I wrote last year and on the SAGA website. I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of Wee Care patterns. All of these can be downloaded free of charge. For more information on donating your creations, contact the Wee Care Chair of SAGA. It doesn't take much time or fabric to make these gowns or vests, they are so appreciated by the parents, and it is fun to embellish them and practice your smocking or embroidery along the way!
Update: I have designed a Free Wee Care Smocking Pattern, a blog post on Sewing for Charity, and have a Sewing for Charity Pinterest Board that you can follow. I also have two additional Wee Care patterns for Newsletter Subscribers that will be delivered directly to your inbox.
On the SAGA website, you will find the patterns for 4 different gowns - three are smocked, and this tucked pattern is especially appropriate for boys.
The gown with the smocked doggie was part of a smock-along that was taught last year on the SAGA facebook group page. The files are available on the SAGA website as well as the facebook group page and if you scroll down to the posts, you will find all your questions answered as well as inspiration in seeing the many ways members used the pattern. While you are on the facebook group page, under the files tab, click on the "Preemie Smocked Bonnet." The file contains the long time SAGA favorite pattern of the "Tiny Preemie Gown" and Smocked Bonnet pattern.
The gown made up in the star fabric is the Tiny Preemie Gown. The Tiny Preemie Gown uses next to no fabric, so you can use the leftover pieces of fabric from another project to make a beautiful gown. Maggie B also has a smocked bonnet pattern and info on the sizing of preemies if you would like a bonnet pattern and are not a member of Facebook.
7 Pine Design offers a free Angel Sleeve Pattern gown. The pattern is similar to the Tiny Preemie Gown but uses two layers of fabric so there are no edges to finish.
Many parents would prefer their boys not be in gowns and so this NICU vest pattern from Reece Dixon is perfect. These are terrific made up in a soft knit or brushed flannel. Eymm Modern Designs offers a NICU T-shirt pattern that is great for boys.
My chapter includes a matching hat and diaper with the vests we make
The diaper pattern is available from Teeny Tears.
A wonderful hat pattern is available from Extraordinary Ordinary Life.
Coral and Co. also offers a preemie hat pattern.
Laurie Anderson of Southern Stitches offers a number of free patterns for preemies. To obtain them, you must contact her and provide the name of the charity for which you sew. While technically not free, SAGANews, the quarterly magazine of SAGA, has a Wee Care issue each year, and almost all of those issues contain at least one pattern. Issues from the past 11 years are posted in the members section of the website, and can be downloaded by members, so there is inspiration galore, and definitely worth the $35 yearly membership fee! Information about joining SAGA can be found here. I hope you can set aside some time to sew for these babies and their parents - it is a great way to start 2017!