"Dutchmaid" Baby Sleeper

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Years ago, the Dutchmaid company (in-home party plan clothing retailers - Like Tupperware, but clothing)sold an infant/toddler sleeper/playsuit with a unique design. This sleeper had multiple pleats sewn into the sleeves and the hem of the garment. This enabled one to enlarge it as needed by snipping a few threads and letting out a pleat. Because of this design, the garment was usable for a child for several years. The one that my daughter used has long since been passed on and cannot be located. Does anyone have one of these sleepers or a pattern for them? I would like to make them for my grandchildren.

-- Penelope Deotte (penny2001@earthlink.net), July 07, 2000


Penelope, I've never seen a sleeper such as you describe. Have you checked the various pattern books for a sleeper something like the one you're looking for, even if it doesn't have the pleats? Since the little critters tend to lenghten rather than widthen for a few years at least, why couldn't you just cut the arms and legs longer and pleat them up? You could even try snaps instead of thread for the pleats. I think it would be worth using some scraps or some cheap remnants from the store and trying it.

Otherwise, have you checked a sewing magazine such as Sew News? There are lots of small pattern companies running ads in the classified. At least some of them have email addresses and/or urls. You might also try sending a letter to Sew Beautiful. They do so much with infant and toddler clothing that they might either know of a pattern supplier or have some ideas for you. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (ima_gerbil@hotmail.com), July 09, 2000.

I'm with Gerbil - cut them long just pleat. The only "hard" part is getting the pleats out with a few snips but not having them come apart while little Sue/Johny is crawling around. If you have a machine that chain stitches, you could use that (that's the stitch where if you snip the right thread, the whole thing unravels - like store bought clothes). Personally I'd sew it with a long stitch (6-8) and a slightly looser tension (like a gathering stitch). That should be sturdy enough, but easy to rip out. I'd use 1/2" pleats (adds 1" length each time it's let out) - probably 3 pleats, 1/4" to 1/2" apart. I'd start them 1/2" to 1" above the cuffs - avoids elbows and knees, plus the worn elbows and knees should travel up the arm/leg as the baby grows. Good luck - sounds like a fun project.

-- Deborah (ActuaryMom@hotmail.com), July 11, 2000.

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