A Little Pumpkin Magic

There is something endearing about pumpkins. A native North American squash, the name “pumpkin” was coined by early settlers to this country. I think they knew a good thing when they saw it, as the popularity of all things pumpkin continues to grow. In many ways our Fall is defined by all that this beautiful and delicious vegetable offers us. There are pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice cakes, pumpkin pasta, traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin flavored coffee, pumpkin butters, toasted pumpkin seeds – the list goes on and on. There are carving pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, gigantic pumpkins, mini pumpkins, gourds that look like pumpkins, but really aren’t! And then there are pumpkins made out of fabric.

I decided I could not let this October pass by without sewing a little pumpkin fun for my granddaughter Aida. First up would be a bib for this one-and-a-half year old.

Pumpkin magic

My study of the perfect bib for this age resulted in one which I designed to have these details: 1) large size to cover the entire front of a wiggly toddler:

pumpkin magic

2) front made out of terry cloth to quickly absorb sloshy, drippy food, 3) a pocket at the bottom which protrudes just a bit, to catch errant Cheerios and other things that may fall off of little silver spoons and forks:

pumpkin magic

4) a Velcro closure at the back neck to make it easy for MaMa and DaDa, 5) a cotton backing to make it the perfect weight:

pumpkin magic

and 6) a nice plump fabric pumpkin happily sitting in its patch, embellished with rick rack.

pumpkin magic

Next on my list was a snuggly little vest for Aida to wear with her play clothes and add warmth without too much bulk. I paired an orange-flowered fabric with a medium gray-colored calico. The shell of the vest would be out of the gray, the inside of the vest would be out of the orange fabric, and I would make two orange
“pumpkin pockets” for its front, because, well, Aida likes pockets!

The first thing I did was machine quilt the gray and orange fabrics together, using washed natural cotton quilt batting between the fabric layers.

pumpkin magic

I used an old McCalls jacket pattern left over from my own children as a guide for the vest, but I had to cut it down quite a bit.

pumpkin magic

I cut out the pattern on the seam lines, as I planned to use a self bias-binding to finish the armholes, neck, front and around the lower edge. Before assembling I finished off those interior seams with Hug Snug seam binding.

The self bias binding and the finished seams are clearly visible here.

The self bias binding and the finished seams are clearly visible here.

I literally cut the pumpkin pockets freehand out of some scraps of the quilted fabric, and bound each one with self bias binding.

pumpkin magic

pumpkin magic

Orange rick rack provided the twisted pumpkin stems, and then I decided to add it around the outer edges of the vest, too.

pumpkin magic

pumpkin magic

Instead of buttons, I applied snaps, thinking they would be easier for a toddler and her parents to fasten.

pumpkin magic I think this vest is perfect for the season, but not too Halloween-y to limit its usage during other cold months to come.

What's inside of this??

What’s inside of this??

Now, this Halloween pumpkin is the one with the real magic to it!


Filed under Sewing for children, Uncategorized

19 responses to “A Little Pumpkin Magic

  1. Aida will be thrilled! More stars in your grandmother crown!

    • Thanks, Cissie! According to my daughter, Aida likes the vest so much that she insisted on putting it on over her pajamas first – for breakfast – before getting dressed for the day!

  2. How precious and what fun you are having!

  3. So cute! Love the use of rick rack.

  4. Gorgeous. Toddler clothes are such fun.

  5. Deb

    Both the bib and vest are SO cute!

  6. Both are aqdorable! I love that she’ll be able to wear them this month as well.

    (You forgot my favorite, pumpkin beer!)

  7. jay

    Oh the pocket – touch of genius!

  8. Kim

    What a lucky little girl. I loved all the ideas. Thank you you spark my stitching fingers!

  9. Mary Lynn

    I loved these! What a lucky granddaughter. I’m expecting my first grandchild (a girl) due on Nov 9th. Nothing yet, but her sweet mama is getting tired of carrying around her own bowling ball 🙂 I want to save these cute pumpkin ideas for next year. Plus I have to head to storage and get my pleater,etc. Your elegant designs are so wonderful, but these are from the a loving heart.

    • Ah, thank you, Mary Lynn. Hopefully your baby granddaughter has arrived by now – or will very soon! I feel so lucky to have a granddaughter to spoil (yes, I admit to it!) and to sew for! I’ve been thinking, too, about going into the depths of my sewing closet and pulling out my pleater. But I’ll have to practice smocking stitches first – it’s been years since I smocked a dress.

      • Mary Lynn

        I’m now living in the Land of Smocking and Big Hairbows (SC) now and, amazingly, my daughter (who has still not had the baby) has actually said I can make some clothes for the baby! We’d lived in Pittsburgh when I was making hers and she still says the happiest day of her life was the first gym class when the girls were told to wear pants 🙂 I’ve bought a few things , but the designs really haven’t changed at all. I also think it will
        come back because it’s still just the over or under cable. I was told that some people are serging the seams now – which seems like a sacrilege not using French seams! Have fun!

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