Last October, my little guy had just turned one and had just learned to walk. He was toddling all over the place and reminded me of Frankenstein or a mummy. I had planned on him wearing a cute little dalmatian costume for Halloween, but after realizing that he had the perfect walk for one of these other little monsters, I had to come up with something that was a better fit.
I started searching for a Frankenstein costume online. They were popular at the time, but not made small enough for a one-year-old. So, I decided that I had to make him a costume. I decided that a mummy would be easier than Frankenstein, so I went ahead with it.
I took some muslin and ripped up a bunch of one inch strips. Silly me, I thought I could just sew these onto a shirt and a pair of pants.
When I had my first child, my most favorite gift that I received at the baby shower was children's books. It is never too early to start reading to babies and infants. Now whenever I give a gift to a new mother, I always include at least one book for her new baby. Researchers have found that babies and infants prefer:
Books with high contrast illustrations or simple photos
To look at people and familiar things
When my first daughter was a baby, I made these cloth baby shoes following Stardust Shoes Tutorial and pattern, found here. My fabric choice was kinda plain jane. I wanted something that would go with anything. I intended on making more, but it just never happened - she was walking before I knew it.
Three years later, when my second daughter was about 6 months old, I purchased this pattern by Ashley Johnson of Make it and Love it. Unfortunately for my daughter, I didn't get an opportunity to make the shoes until she was close to walking (my excuse? three kids under the age of three!).
_I finally made three pairs of these and gave them away as baby shower gifts. Sadly, I only got photo's of this pair (kicks self). Hopefully soon the other two little ladies will be wearing their shoes and I can get pictures.
These were fun to make and are a great nap-time project. The hardest part was being patient as I cut out all the little pieces of fabric.
Always fun to try something new!
psst... hey, wanna know a secret? I discovered something that makes sewing with minky / minkee SO easy!
You know minky right? It is that amazingly soft, luxurious fabric that is so popular right now, especially among baby items. Well, if you google sewing with minky, you will find a lot of comments about how it is a nightmare to sew. It stretches, the thickness of it creates a lot of drag, there is tons of lint and sometimes the stitches bunch up the fabric.
I did find good advice that said to use LOTS of pins - like every 1-2 inches. But my piece of advice..... Spray Adhesive! Made it so (sew!) easy to sew with! There are lots of brands out there - Sulky, Taylors, 505, Dritz.... just make sure it is re positionable and temporary and it should do the trick. It will save you so much time and make the sewing job a breeze!
In fact, let me show you just how easy it was. I made two baby blankets, both with 100% cotton on top and minky on back.
Of course, you will want to read the instructions on the spray adhesive and protect your work surface from the glue that might get sprayed onto it - a large piece of paper (not newspaper however!), old sheet or towel, cardboard...
I laid out my minky on bottom and positioned the cotton on top (wrong sides together). I folded back half of the cotton and sprayed the adhesive on the wrong side of the minky, folded the cotton back into place and gently smoothed out any wrinkles or air bubbles. Then repeated the same thing for the other half. If you are doing something larger than a baby blanket, you may want to do this with smaller sections of your quilt. If you want a little more security, place a few pins to hold the two pieces together. (sorry I don't have a picture for this step!)
Then I machine quilted wavy lines through my blocks on both diagonals. I highly recommend using a walking foot on your machine. You don't have to, but it makes it a lot easier. Use a larger stitch length (3-4mm) when sewing with minky.
For the binding... I wanted the look of a self binding quilt, where the soft minky wrapped around the edge of the top of the blanket. I had less than 2 inches of minky to work with. Here is where the adhesive comes in to make your work a breeze!
Do a light spray of adhesive along the wrong side of the minky. It is a good idea to cover your quilt top with something to keep the glue off of it - mine got a little on and all the minky lint stuck to it.
Fold over 1/4 inch of the minky (wrong sides together). Go around and do this on all sides of the quilt. See how it stays put!
Cut a small triangle off the corners to reduce the bulk.
Go around the quilt again, folding up the minky to over the edge of your cotton top by 1/4 inch - 1/2 inch. You will be amazed at how well the spray adhesive works. It is just like the glue on a sticky post-it note. Pin if you would like. I put in pins about every 8 inches.
For the corners: gently tuck one side in and make a nice neat mitered corner. Tuck the top piece in 1/4 inch so the raw edge is not exposed.
Pin this for sure.
Now, go sew! use your walking foot and stitch 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the minky. It never hurts to go around twice, either on top of the first stitch or 1/8th of an inch away from the first one.
p.s. I didn't wash my 100% cotton fabric before hand. I purchased 1/4 yard pieces, which was just larger than my 9 inch blocks. I laundered the quilts after they were complete and there was very little, if any change to the quilts. So if you forgot to preshrink your fabric beforehand - no worries, it will still turn out fine.
p.s.s. these quilts are for my two new nieces, each being born into a family of college football fanatics. The BYU quilt was requested and the U of U quilt will be a surprise. It was a challenge to make them cute and girly. Also the other major challenge was finding navy blue fabric. Obviously not a popular color currently.
I made these last fall before the birth of my twins. I am really pleased with the way they turned out. There are literally hundreds of tutorials for the car seat covers or canopy's on the internet. So, I won't bore you with the details of those, other than I will say that they are a fast, easy project and a must have for newborns. Not only do they protect from the elements, but they keep strangers away and make it easier for a sleeping baby to stay sleeping.
I also made these great blanket wraps for inside the car seats. I live in a very cold climate and wanted to keep my babies warm during the winter months. I wanted a blanket that could easily be put into the car seat and easily removed for washing (without re-threading the straps). I searched the internet and couldn't really find anything that did this. So, I came up with my own.
I wish I would have taken more photo's so I could share this idea better by writing a tutorial for you. But I was 8 months pregnant with twins, so uncomfortable and I just wanted to get these finished before the babies were born. Plus, different brands of car seats have different placement of the straps inside.
I based the blankets off of a stroller blanket pattern that I purchased from MyTaylorMade on Etsy. The pattern can be found here. The pattern has a "boot" for the babies legs and feet and the two sides fold in and cover the baby.
The stroller blanket pattern has guides and instructions for sewing holes for the stroller straps. At that point, I got out the car seats and spent a lot of time measuring the straps and studying exactly where they go. I measured them a couple times, until I felt confident that I had the placement figured out. I marked the blanket and sewed around the holes that I would be cutting into the blanket. Once sewed (to keep the fabric together) I cut out the holes and used bias tape on the edges.
(Don't look too closely at the bias tape sewing job - it is far from perfect. But I have a good excuse. My pregnant belly was so huge I could hardly reach my sewing machine!)
To keep the blankets from sliding around too much, with those large holes, I put in some Velcro to secure them. They don't move around too much anymore and I am glad I put the Velcro in.
The outside is cotton fabric and the inside is minky. I am glad I chose minky, it is just so soft. I know that the babies love to be snuggled down in their seats and I believe that the minky fabric is the reason why. It covers all the rough and scratchy car seat fabric and gives it a nice luxurious feel.
I would love to hear what you think and see pictures if you make some!
I love this idea. A portable, take it with you, keep it forever growth chart for children. They grow up so fast. And kids enjoy seeing how much they grow.
In preparation for the birth of my twins, I made up some boyish burp cloths. I have plenty of girly ones from from first pregnancy, but needed some to use on my little boy that weren't too frilly. We love Winnie the Pooh at our house, and I had some scraps of cute Pooh bear material that I made these up with.
There are hundreds of cloth diaper burp cloth tutorials out there on the web, so I won't be making this a tutorial. But I did customize them and do them differently than anything that I saw out there, so I will share with you how I did them.
I picked up a package of Gerber cloth diapers. I thought the center was too thick, especially if you were to add a strip of fabric on top of that (which I think is the most popular way to do these "Boutique burp cloths").
After the fold
I folded the two sides of the cloth diaper in to each stitch down the sides of the center. Then sewed along both the old edge of the diaper and the new folded edge. This makes the diapers a little more uniform in thickness and also an nicer size to rest upon your shoulder. Originally the diapers were 12 inches wide (after a pre-wash to reduce the chance of shrinkage), after the two folds, they were about 8 inches wide.
Next, I added the fabric decorations (or you could use ribbons or any kind of embellishment that you like) to the top and bottom. This hides the uneven seams of the cloth diaper while leaving the bulk of the cloth available to catch all those little (or major) spit-ups. I did them double sided, so they look nice from both sides, rather than just one.
On this one, I included some little ribbon loops to one corner (like all those ribbon or "tag" blankies). I thought it might come in handy as something for the baby to play with or, for clipping onto the carseat or stroller so that it is always within reach.
For the applique, I used the starch method, following this tutorial from Natalia at Piece N Quilt. It was my first attempt at applique and I found it to be easier than I expected (thanks for the great tutorial Natalia!). I put the applique on the background cloth before adding to the diaper.
So, there you have it. I'd love to hear what you think or see pics if you make any like this!
In March I received the biggest shock of my life. I found out that I was expecting not just one baby, but TWO! There is no history of twins on my side or my husbands side of the family, so it was quite the surprise. After dealing with the shock and stress of it all I have the sewing bug. I want to make quilts, a diaper bag, car-seat canopies and stroller blankets and get the nursery ready. As always, I want to do way more than I can (and I've got less energy than normal to do it all)!
Here is a list of things I've found that I really like, with links to the tutorials.
Hushabye Tote Bag by Pleasant Home. The tutorial is found here.
I love to be organized - or, I love the idea of organization (I just can't keep up with it!). So, I also love these little "Ouch Pouches" by PillowSewCute on Etsy. Such a great idea, and such fun fabric at a great price! What a great gift for a baby shower - cute and practical!