Knitting & Sewing
One of the small highlights for a Neonatal Unit parent is choosing their baby's outfit for the day from the Neonatal Unit pool of clothing. This is only possible thanks to the kind donations of hand made items including hats and gowns from fabulous volunteers. Not only are the babies in Neonatal Unit often too small for regular baby clothes they have medical requirements which means that their clothing needs to be very particular. Only garments made from approved patterns can be used in Neonatal Units.
Thanks to our Neonatal Unit Care Package programme, parents also have the opportunity to receive an outfit which does not need to go back in to the communal pool of clothing and is theirs to keep. Additional details of the Neonatal Unit Care Package program can be found here.
Sewing and Knitting Patterns for NICU Care Packages
At the request of hospitals, we are currently reviewing our neonate gown pattern. Please note that we will be preparing instructions and photos for the new pattern in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are still happy to accept our original pattern.
Knitted beanies (pattern within blog, here)
Completed outfits (with or without press studs) can be posted to: Tiny Sparks WA, PO Box 1114, West Leederville WA 6901. Otherwise, keep your eye open for our busy bees which we hold periodically throughout the year.
Register as a Sewing and/or Knitting Volunteer with Tiny Sparks WA
Please complete the form to the right to register your interest as a knitting or sewing volunteer with Tiny Sparks WA.
Registering with us will ensure you are informed of new patterns when released, current stock levels and any change in our needs.
FAQs: Answers to Knitting and Sewing Frequently Asked Questions
1. I have my own pattern for a gown for premature babies, can I use this instead?
We are not able to utilise gowns from other patterns within our Neonatal Care Packages.
2. How do I know if I have printed the patterns at the correct size? It looks very small!
These outfits are very small! Patterns should be printed at a scale of 100% on A4 paper (do not select 'fit to page').. To check the printed pattern's size there is a reference square on each pattern which should measure 10 x 10mm (1x1cm) when printed correctly. If your square measures less than 9.5mm or more than 10.5mm this may significantly affect the size of the completed product.
3. What material is suitable for sewing the outfits?
Soft and lightweight cotton fabrics in fun patterns or colours are the preferred choice for outer fabric and soft, lightweight plain cotton fabrics for linings.
We cannot use poly-cottons (due to increased static and clinging) or satins, thick flannelette, jersey or fleece.
4. I don't have the equipment required to add the snaps, can I send my completed outfit without these?
Yes, absolutely! You are more than welcome to send sewn outfits completed up to the stage where snaps would be added and our sewing coordinator will arrange for this step to be completed.
5. Do I have to send an outfit with a matching beanie? Or can I provided the individual items?
We will gratefully accept any combination of only outfits, only beanies or outfits and beanies. We understand that not all sewers are knitters and vice versa!
6. Can I add other embellishments, embroidery or decorations to the outfits?
Minimal embellishments may be added to the front of the outfits that do not interfere with functionality nor contact babies skin directly.
7. What yarn is suitable for knitting the beanies?
Acrylic-wool blend or 100% acrylic yarns are suitable; we are not able to utilise 100% wool fabric due to hospital requirements. The pictured beanies were knitted with 4ply wool. Variances in wool and needles may result in slightly different overall sizing, however please use the measurements within the linked instructions for overall sizing guides.
8. I can't knit but I love to crochet! Can I still help?
Unfortunately crochet beanies don't stretch as well as knitted beanies so are not suitable, but if you wish to crochet a baby blanket that would be most appreciated.
9. Do the babies in the Neonatal Unit need winter clothes? Can I help with some of these?
The Neonatal Units are kept very warm! The babies in humidicribs may have additional warming within the crib and therefore lightweight clothes (such as our provided patterns) are all that these babies need and therefore winter clothing is not required in these sizes.
10. I've sent some items but have not received any feedback and don't know if you need any more?
We are very sorry if you have not received any communication from Tiny Sparks WA in regards to your generous donations, they are all very much appreciated and your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Since the current Board was established at our last AGM, we have acknowledged all volunteers who send packages of clothing to us, however occasionally due to lack of details we are unable to contact you.
If you are looking for specific feedback on your items prior to making more, please email email@example.com. Alternatively, you can also email us pictures of your items prior to sending them to us and we will have our sewing coordinator take a look at them for you! Please note as we are an entirely volunteer run organisation, it may take some time to provide any feedback, or respond to emails or phone messages in relation to knitting and sewing enquiries.
11. Can I drop my item in to your office rather than posting them?
To keep our overheads low, we have chosen not to set up an office. However, keep your eye open for our busy bees which we hold periodically throughout the year..