Posts Tagged 'handmade'

One pretty dress


Bubble Bird dress
made for Chloe by Liza

We recently received another huge influx of hand-me-downs for Chloe. Combined with all that we were given previously, we are now close to being set for the entire year.

One would think organizing baby clothes would be an easy task. We picked up several more Ikea bins to help us sort sizes, but it isn’t a perfect system. One shirt might say size 9 months, for example, but actually be more like 6 months. And then there is the shifting of summer clothes into the 6-9 month bin, even if they say 12 months, because what good would tank tops be in winter? Now the nursery is filled with bins, and there is hardly room to stand. That is a whole other challenge.

I was reminded of a few really great pieces during the sorting, like the sweet handmade Bubble Bird dress above, made by Chloe’s Aunt Liza. I’ve thought several times about sewing Chloe some simple summer outfits, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. Then I saw a post about another Etsy shop called Little Fish Big Pond, where you can purchase DIY dress kits. All the materials and instructions are included. I really love that idea. I think I might have to try it. Here are two I’m considering…

via Cool Mom Picks

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My First Softie

Here is the softie for the swap I mentioned earlier. The pattern is from the book Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle. It turned out pretty good for a first attempt. Sewing such small, rounded corners was quite a challenge. The fabric is the same dot print used on the art cards that are also part of the swap package, and I used non-toxic fabric paint for the eyes and nose. The set is going to my partner’s new nephew, whose room is done in baby blue and brown, and she is a big fan of polka dots. Hope they like it!

Baby Craft Tutorial Roundup

A while back I started a page devoted completely to cool baby craft tutorials. There is a tab below the blog header that links to it. It contains a mix of my own tutorials and other people’s projects. So far there are tutorials for baby hair clips, appliqued onesies, felt baby shoes, burp cloths, kimono wrap, diaper and wipes pouch (poopy clutch), knit hat with earflaps, LED baby booties, diaper cake and embellishing baby tees. I hope to add more as I come across them on the net, so check back if you’re interested, or let me know what some of your favorite ones are and I’ll add them to the list.

Handmade Baby Boy Booties


My first attempt at baby boy booties

Introducing little Lorenzo. Isn’t he a cutie!?

I finally got around to making these felt little boy booties for Marcy & Alex’s adorable son Lorenzo. I’ve posted about handmade baby girl shoes before here and here (with tutorial links), but mary jane’s just don’t work for little boys. The template for the pair above are based on one from B is for Baby: 26 Projects from A to Z by Suzonne Stirling. A really nice book with lots of fun projects. Also, did you know that Joann’s now carries ecospun felt, made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles? Nice.

Making Totes

David and I have been making totes lately. That’s right, David is sewing now, too! We were at New Seasons and saw a batch of simple, unlined totes for sale made from Ikea fabric and David asked me to teach him how to make them.

For his first two totes, he decided to recycle an old Pottery Barn curtain panel from our fabric stash. I walked him through cutting for size and inseam, and a few other basics like threading the bobbin, back-stitching, squaring the bottom and making french seams to keep the inside neat-looking and strong. Actually, David kind of knew how to sew long before me, because I remember him making large curtains for one of our first apartments back in the mid 1990s. However, this was a machine he hadn’t used before. He was a fast learner, and doesn’t get hung up and fussy about details like I do.

After making the bags, he then screen-printed one with an image of a bird. Didn’t it turn out great? I’m so proud!

And not to be completely outdone by my talented husband, here is a tote that I finished as well. I kind of made it up as I went along, which was not a good thing, in this case, because I think I would have made a couple different choices had I thought it through from the beginning. The outside is Ikea fabric (from the frederika collection) and the inside is Essex white linen cotton blend from Sew Mama Sew.

Hobo Slouch Bag

This is the bag that I mentioned was giving me such trouble. I call it my hobo slouch bag, modeled after one I saw at Target recently. It kills me to think that this bag was selling for only $9.99, and that it cost me more to make (not to mention the time!), except that I didn’t like any of the prints it came in. What I did like was it’s size and super long strap that could be worn across the body or tied in a knot to shorten. My version is very soft and lightweight, almost like a pillowcase, but sturdier. There is a lined magazine size pocket on the outside and smaller pockets inside for my phone and camera.

Besides drafting the pattern and the actual sewing, the hardest part was finding the solid grey fabric to match the side print I wanted to use. Greys are so tricky! They tend to be either too blue or too brown. In the end, the fabric for this bag came from 3 different fabric stores. Not very fuel efficient, I admit, but hopefully useful and re-usable in the long run.

Sister-in-law Love

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but one of the most crafty/creative people I know is my sister-in-law Liza. She always seems to be painting, cooking, knitting or sewing something really cool, and because of this her gifts are always unique. This past Christmas, one of the handmade gifts she gave me was a pair of grey cashmere arm-warmers (re-purposed from a thrift store sweater) hand-stitched with a lovely little flower design. Oh boy. Its hard not to feel like a million bucks wearing them.

Recently, she sent me this snowflake obsidian and labradorite pendant as a belated birthday gift. Believe it or not, but dark grey is one of my favorite colors to wear. Of course, I love it. It reminds me of living in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California, where huge blocks of black obsidian could be found right along the highway. A quick web search says that snowflake obsidian can clear away negative energy and bring balance and harmony to the wearer, which I’m all for (if you believe in that sort of thing).

A few of Liza’s other handmade items can be seen here.