I hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas! We certainly did…we had all the family here and had a wonderful couple of days of food, presents, and time spent with families. And only one trip to the emergency room (Esther got her eye stabbed by her sister’s fondue fork…just a scratch and she is totally fine…could have been so much worse).
I did hardly any sewing for Christmas this year. The one thing that I completed was a stocking for little Miriam.
I didn’t even make Christmas pajamas this year. I had the fabric all purchased was totally going to do it, but then the weather changed to be way colder and the short sleeve shirts and pants were no longer going to be acceptable. So, off to the mall we went to purchase matching fleece jammies…2 days before Christmas. It was a miracle we found some, but we did!
So, now that it is the new year folks are doing round up posts or posting lists what their plans for the next year are. I thought I would take this opportunity to do a round up of several little things I sewed last year, but never actually posted about.
I had several friends welcome new babies last year so I whipped up some cute little baby gifts.
The first was for my fellow Doctor Who watching friend. She recently moved away, but she would come over and watch new episodes with me while Christian was working. So, a gift for her newest little boy was a no brainer. I made a couple Doctor Who themed shirts. For one I bought a TARDIS embroidery design and stitched it onto a onesie with my favorite Doctor’s (Ten) favorite saying…Allons-y! And then I used a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint to make another shirt declaring that “Bowties are cool” as per Eleven.
The other two ladies that I made something for were both having their first little girls after each having two boys, so I felt something cute and girly was definitely in order. My favorite simple dress to make right now is the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. It has the cutest silhouette and is very simple to whip up quickly. I made one alteration that made the sewing time even quicker. I used the pleated skirt pattern piece, but instead of pleating I simply gathered where the pleats would be. So, I still get the streamlined sides of the dress, but it still has the cute girly-ness of the gathers. I have to say, this is probably my favorite way to make this dress.
For the yellow one I also used some piping along the bottom of the bodice just to give it a touch more visual interest. I also used a snap for the closure instead of buttons because this dress was for a smaller baby and I just hate having to fasten real buttons on the backs of tiny babies. It is just so difficult until they can sit up better on their own.
For the pink one, I decided to make a tunic and include some bloomer shorts. I actually made the tunic out of two fat quarters. I had *just* enough to squeeze out a 12-18 month size. For the shorts I just used one of my self drafted baby bloomer/shorts patterns. This friend also uses cloth diapers and I knew she would need the extra room for all the fluff. 🙂
I, of course, also had a baby this year and I wanted to make the girls something special for their big sister presents. They love being mamas to their dolls and animals and as Miriam’s arrival was approaching they were ramping up their pretend play in this area. So, it seemed like a good time to make them their own little carriers. Dinah refused to be photographed this day, so I just have Esther here. But Dinah’s is identical, except hers has a D on the pocket. I used the pattern from Oliver + S’s Little Things to Sew and they really came together so nicely. I always love their patterns, they are so well written and I usually learn a new trick or two. This book is so great and has lots of sweet projects to try. The one change I made to their carriers is that instead of fitting the carrier on them and then placing the velcro, I simply placed a very long strip of velcro on the straps so the carrier can be adjustable. Now they can wear their babies for way longer!
Later on I sewed up one more quick Geranium…this time for my own Miriam. She was “black and white Dorothy” riding on her tornado (stroller) for Halloween. I used a simple black and white gingham and left it unadorned for Halloween. After the trick-or-treating I spiced it up a bit by adding lime green buttons on the back and a cute little lime green and white striped bow on the front. Too cute!
The final project I’m sharing today was I think one of my very few pieces of “selfish sewing” from last year. With the baby and diaper carrying days approaching I knew I wanted to have a larger wallet instead of a purse. Basically something that could hold everything of importance, including my phone, and would become a clutch when I didn’t have cause to carry the larger diaper bag. I scoured the interwebs looking for just the right thing and found the Necessary Clutch Wallet Pattern at Emmaline. It is such a great pattern and for as fussy as it looks, really didn’t take that long to make. For this I followed the pattern straight up, but I think for future wallets I would add a panel of the stiff interfacing to the front and the back of the wallet as well, just to help it be a bit more rigid. I did make this with Joann’s home dec weight fabric and I know that helped with stiffness as well. I just love this wallet. It is light weight, but has slots for all my cards and several sections. There is a zippered center pocket as well as two flat pockets behind each card holder.
Okay, I think that is everything. The only thing remaining is the baby wrap that I made out of gauze and a square of quilting cotton the day before the baby came because I needed something to do. 🙂 However, it is really hard to get a picture of oneself wearing a baby in a wrap, so you will have to content yourself with this picture of Dinah trying it out for me.
I hope your New Year is starting out bright! I am looking forward to what is in store for us too! Coming up…Project Run & Play starts in two weeks! Eek! Get sewing!
Last year three of my very good friends from college had babies. Since I began sewing I have tried to make a quilt for each new baby added to our group. So, I had a busy quilting year!
The fun part of making baby quilts for my friends is hunting down the perfect fabric for them. I like to use pre-cut charm packs (5 inch squares) for my quilts. They are an inexpensive way to get a sampling of designer fabrics. It is perfect for me because the fabrics are already coordinating and they are already cut into quilt sized squares. I also usually make sure the quilt is small enough that I only need purchase one yard of backing fabric and then I choose one of the prints in the charm pack.
I have used quilt patterns/tutorials before…notably the Charm Squares Baby Quilt from Oh, Fransson! But recently I have just been browsing the internet for quilt looks that I like and designing my own. That process is more time consuming, but worth it.
Alright, I don’t pretend to be a great quilter. I have gotten better with each quilt and I have learned a few tricks that make my life easier. Also, I get really bored with quilting…so I don’t do anything bigger than these baby quilts.
Okay, so here are the quilts I made last year…
First up is Waverly’s…
It is made with a random charm pack of Amy Butler fabrics. Waverly’s mom has a taste for bold colors and prints so I knew Amy Butler would be a great choice for her little girl.
I always hand embroidery the baby’s name (if known) onto the quilt. It is part of what makes each quilt unique and something special for each baby.
Up next is Ella Katherine’s…
Ella Katherine already has a big brother and their mom was planning on a shared room. She picked out the Fly A Kite line from Riley Blake for me to make some Pennant Banners with their names for their room. I just loved this sweet fabric so much that I went ahead and used it for her quilt too.
One of the tricks I’ve picked up is a cheater binding method. I use this tutorial from Made by Rae and it has revolutionalized quilting for me. Typically, the part of quilting I hate the most is the binding part, but this cheater method looks great and I get perfect corners every time with no fighting.
Because I did a square quilt I needed to piece the back. In order to “hide” the seam I chose to add a little surprise of a few blocks on the back of the quilt too.
And finally, Emily’s…
For Emily’s quilt I used Willow also by Riley Blake (I have found I am just really drawn to Riley Blake fabrics, especially for these quilts…Dinah’s and my nephew’s will both be made with Riley Blake fabrics.)
I really loved how muted and sweet these colors are and I have been digging gray with yellow and pink lately. As Mugatu would say, “Gray is so hot right now.” (Also, ignore that random, giant blade of grass in the following picture…I don’t know how that guy snuck in there…but he will not be tamed!
I do have more quilts out there…older ones (pre-blog) that don’t have very good pictures. I will try to dig out the photos and see if I can clean them up and make them more presentable. Those older quilts/blankets are cute, but you will definitely see how I’ve gotten better over time. I’ll share those soon.
But next time I will be telling you all about Esther’s birthday party we had over the weekend. It was so fun and I can’t wait to
show off share all the details! 🙂
This week is Boys’ Week over at Project Run & Play. The last time I participated in the sew-along there wasn’t a boy-specific week. Since I didn’t have a boy to sew for, I counted myself lucky. This time when the challenges were announced, I was actually excited about this week. Since my little nephew (the “Bug”) was born I wanted to make him a real outfit and this was the perfect opportunity!
Now, I’ve sewn clothing pieces for boys here and there, but never a whole outfit. For this challenge I knew I wanted to do something more than just a little shirt and maybe some pants. I wanted the whole shebang! Hat, shoes, appliqued onesie…the works. I did some reconnaissance work on Pinterest for some cute boy patterns and/or tutorials. I stumbled across this shop and her adorable patterns for little boys. That hat! I knew this was the way to go.
So…I made a little baby suit! Here are the details:
The vest is made of fine-wale chocolate brown corduroy and I used pale blue to accent it. I even had these shiny pale blue buttons in my stash. How fortuitous!
The back is the blue accent with a cute chocolate stripe. I used this to also accent the hat and make his tie. (See below.)
Under the vest I just put a simple white onesie that I appliqued with a tie made from my accent fabric. I didn’t realize how high the vest front came up, so you can’t really see his tie…maybe he will get a bow tie for Easter.
For the pants I used this pattern for baby skinny pants. I kept the width the same, but shortened both the top and the bottom…he is a short Bug. It was the perfect look I wanted. Many times pants patterns for babies are too wide at the ankle to accommodate for their diapered tushies and chunky thighs. These have a nice tapered leg that looks great on. But they aren’t too tight either. Perfect.
And my crowning achievement…the hat!
I love it so much…so cute! It was actually pretty easy to put together. Just a bit fiddly since there are a lot of pieces and steps. But nothing was really hard to do. The idea behind this hat is that it should be reversible. But the way the elastic is sewn in the back make it look kind of rough on the inside, even though the outside looks really nice.
Here is a picture of the inside of the hat so you can see the accent colors. (I angled it so you can’t see the ugly part.)
So, by now you are all saying, “Where are the pictures of the cute baby????”
Don’t worry, they are coming. He is precious. So precious, in fact, that I got distracted from taking pictures of the clothes the precious baby was wearing! So, I’ve got many pictures of the Bug looking cute in his suit, but it is hard to see the shape, etc. of the clothes in the pics. Hence the boring shots above.
Okay, without further ado…here is our Buster Brown Bug…
He was not in a very smiley mood this afternoon. He was perfectly amiable, just not smiling.
Mostly he looked at his mother like she was nutso.
Or at me like the camera was going to steal his soul.
Luckily he is still cute, smile or no smile.
Eventually his mama was able to wrangle a little smile out of him.
And then shortly thereafter he decided his hands were super tasty.
Nothing we could do would convince him to put his hands down…so, that was kind of the end of our photo shoot.
His little suit was so cute on him and actually seemed to be comfortable. At least he didn’t scream at us the whole time he had it on. He even tolerated/liked his hat!
I also had forgotten how quick (and small) baby clothes are! From un-ironed fabric to finished garment I probably spent only 5 hours cutting/sewing/working on his outfit. Not too shabby!
This was a fun project to work on and I foresee some more sewing for the Bug in the future. And who knows, maybe this baby I’m cooking is a boy and I’ll need to expand my repertoire even more!
Headed to Disney for the weekend! See you next week with a couple Disney related projects and an early Valentine’s Day Project Run & Play challenge.
Last weekend I had to the pleasure of hosting a Onesie Making Party for my little sister and her soon-to-arrive baby boy. One of the things Amber was excited about from even before getting pregnant was this idea. She had pinned a few ideas from other parties and because of my crafty proclivities it was a natural fit for me to put it together. Amber really preferred the idea of appliqued designs on the onesies instead of painted designs so we focused more on that. Lucky for her, she has a sister, mother, mother-in-law and several friends who sew. 🙂
But, first things first…I wanted to put together some cute, printed invites for Amber to put in baby Benjamin’s baby book. I loved the idea of a onesie shaped invite, so I designed my own. Here is a quick overview/tutorial? of what I did. It was very easy, but I had to cut it all by hand. (One day I will own a Sillhouette Cameo!)
First I designed my invites using Microsoft Visio, Photoshop and InDesign. I already had 5 x 7 envelopes left over from Esther’s birthday invites so I designed the base piece to fit inside those.
The little green onesie was designed to fit exactly over the words on the invite.
And then the little tie had flaps that I would stick through both pieces and would hold everything together. I printed them all out onto cardstock and cut everything out.
Next, I measured the placement of the tie flaps, marked them and used an exacto knife to cut slits in the all the onesies.
Once they all had slits I would paperclip each onesie in place on the base card.
Using the onesie slits as a guide, I made slits in the base cards as well.
The final steps were to insert the tie flaps into the slits, fold and tape them down.
And finito! I really love how they turned out. They were a lot of work, with all the fiddly cutting, but I think they were worth it. Now Amber has cute, one-of-a-kind invites to put in Benjamin’s book.
So, for the party…Amber and I had both been pinning applique onesie ideas, so I made sure to send all the invitees links to our Pinterest boards for ideas. I also printed out a few of the best ones for reference during the party, as well some templates for some simple designs.
I set everything out, along with several plain white or striped onesies that I had acquired over the last few months. I also pulled out all the boyish scraps I had. And the party began!
We had a great time deciding who would do what, choosing fabrics, and cutting and ironing.
My mom was on a tear…her motto was “No naked onesies!” and she created several.
Amber’s mother-in-law, Kathy, helped Amber create all the numbers for her month-by-month onesies.
And my poor friend Anna was stuck at the sewing machine all night (she was the best at actually sewing on the appliques). She is awesome…you should check out her shop. A Good Home.
We eventually let her go and my mom and I finished up. 🙂
Benjamin got a lot of really cute onesies…I think 18 total (not counting the month-by-months). Benjamin will be well outfited from 0-12 months!
(The picture above isn’t even all of them…you can see several in the “queue” for the sewing machine on the table.)
After the party and all through this week I used my embroidery machine to add the initials of each onesie’s creator. That way Amber would have a prompt to remember who made each cute little onesie.
Have you ever done a onesie party? Have you ever embroidered or appliqued a onesie? Man, was it hard…especially the newborn size…those are SO tiny. Does anyone have some tips for future onesie decorating ideas?