Posts Tagged 'sewing'

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!

Sewing Baby’s Blanket


Here’s a peek at our new Ikea dresser and bookcase. Holding up the lamp
and shade is Louis the lion, one of our many wonderful shower gifts.

I finally sat down to sew baby’s blanket. The print side is leftover Alexander Henry Kleo fabric from the lovely crib skirt my mother-in-law made, and the back is pink dot minky. At the baby shower, we received two pink and white minky quilts, so I was able to return one and buy a yard of plain pink minky fabric instead.

I noticed the price of minky varies widely at our local shops. I first saw it for $20/yard where we purchased the Kleo fabric. Then I bought it elsewhere for $15, and used a coupon. Later I found it at Joann’s for $12.99/yard, but their pink wasn’t the right match.

The other thing about Minky is that it is a little hard to work with, as my mother-in-law warned me. Plus I’m a newbie sewer and had never made anything with stretchy material before. Knowing this, I tried to put in a little more effort – smoothing out the material, pinning it more often to keep creeping to a minimum, using a longer stitch length to keep the edges from buckling, decreasing the tension, and sewing it with the minky side down.

I started by cutting out matching rectangles from both fabrics. With the right sides facing, I stitched the perimeter with rounded corners, leaving a small open section at one end to turn it right side out. I trimmed and graded the raw edges, turned it right side out, and then top stitched it about a half inch from the edge. The finished size is about 30″ x 40″. I think it looks pretty good, considering.

Now, onto other baby projects…

Amy Butler’s Little Stitches

I just happened to be perusing craft books on Amazon the other day and was excited to see that Amy Butler has a new book out called Little Stitches for Little Ones. Such perfect timing!

Here’s the description from her site:

In my new lavishly illustrated sewing projects book, you’ll find all new charming and contemporary projects for the nursery, baby wear, soft toys, and many more surprises! The projects are designed for babies 0-12 months and their mothers, featuring beautiful photos of the finished designs by our friend Colin McGuire. It was fun to produce these little treasures, and I think you’ll find many projects in here for all the wee ones in your world. 176 pages, 7 pattern sheets, wire binding (same format as In Stitches). Retail $24.95

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.

Crafting in Miniature


Matchbox Dresser Drawers 2.25 x 1.5 x 2 inches (shown with mini pink post-it notes)

I have been so bad lately about making things for swaps and not photographing them. I get all wrapped up in sending them out and don’t think about it until too late. This little chest of drawers is the only thing remaining from craft time this week. It’s made up of 6 matchboxes, based upon this matchbox dresser tutorial. I used paper instead of paint, brads for the drawer pulls, and felt rounds for the feet. Each drawer contains little surprises. Tomorrow it is on its way to Sweden.


Bottlecap Pincushion 1.125 x 1.75 inches

I also made two bottlecap pincushions, which I forgot to photograph. Here, however, is one that was sent to me. Isn’t it darling? There is a little yellow bird with a beaded eye on both sides, so it’s uber cute in every direction. Thanks Crystal!