Results tagged “Baby” from Fabric.com Blog
I have long been in love with Heather Bailey's Marlo Bloom Bag pattern and have been itching to make it for some time. However, I really had no excuse to make it for the blog since my 'thing' is to review patterns but also to make them in a slightly different way so as to give new ideas and inspiration. The Marlo Bag did not look like it could be modified at all so that left it out of contention. However, I soon discovered these awesome Turquoise Bag Handles and the light bulb went off. Not every bag shape can accommodate this pair of U shaped handles but the Marlo's wide body and delicate gathers look great with the rigid shape of the handles. The color is slightly variegated, like real turquoise and is a very soft color. The Turquoise Handles worked really well with my dark blue canvas and turquoise/aqua quilting cotton print. Let me get off my chest now before I continue my love tirade for this bag: This project was not the piece of cake I had envisioned.
I followed Heather's instructions and read the pattern before commencing. It looked pretty easy. I had a game plan. I would alter the pattern assembly just a little by leaving a turning gap in the bottom of the lining and then assemble the top as instructed but with wrong sides out. Then I would turn the bag right side out and hand sew up the lining. Next, I would simply rip 4 small holes in the top for the handle straps. Topstitching around the top would seal these holes closed and DONE!
I don't recommend this assembly. The gathers make it difficult to press seams open, turn and press again, and topstitch over these gathers, phew! Ripping into the gathers also is not a good idea but I tried it anyway because at that point I was committed. I was able to save the gathers and keep them in place but it was all shooting from the hip and I don't think I could adequately put it into words. It just goes to show that you can read ahead, plan ahead but seeing all the contingencies ahead is another story. However, once finished the bag looked so good with the handles that I was determined to come up with a new idea. From where I sat the problems were 2: turning the gathers (it was just easier to leave the instructions as is, as though you were going to use the pattern handles) and ripping into the gathers. Bias tape is the solution. You can make it to match the exterior of your bag. Follow the pattern instructions as written but instead of sewing the pattern handles in place, sew bias tape on instead. Then you can slip the handle straps under the bias tape and DONE (but much easier).
To attach the handles I cut a 12 in. long by 3 in. wide piece from my dark blue Canvas. I then folded it in half and pressed. I opened the strap and then pressed the long sides over to meet at the center press line (this is a common Amy Butler technique). Then I folded the strap in half again and pressed a final time and stitched up the strap with 2 lines of stitching. I cut this piece into 4 pieces 3 in. long. I would recommend altering these instructions to cut a strap 16 in. long to give an extra 1 in. for each of the 4 pieces for tucking under the bias tape.
This is a great and fun modification for taking chic hand bag pattern to a stylish shoulder bag. The size of the bag lends it well to carrying knitting, crochet, embroidery, as well as a transitional diaper bag (when you don't need to haul the entire nursery just a diaper or 2).
The plan was to post on a Hot Patterns Pattern today but when I was cleaning my kitchen the other night slowly doing my mental list of where I had to go this week and what I needed to make/finish; I noticed that I was at the threshold of Baby Season. Baby Season seems to coincide closely with Awards Season, so while the stars are strutting the red carpet in their fineries, I am making and wrapping bibs, booties, baby carriers and other sundries necessary for raising wee babes. I am quite sure that Baby Season is not a southern-only epidemic so I thought I would share a few of my favorite or most popular hand-made baby gifts. These are easy to make, of course-quick, and a big hit with mothers.
A nursing cover is a simple gift that works for a multitude of tasks (a great gift even for mothers who aren't nursing). I used mine for the obvious but also as a stroller cover when my little one napped or was over stimulated. My cover served duty as a changing pad/cover so as not to expose the baby in public when a private area can't be found, a quick and light spring blanket, and a sun shade. The list goes on and on. Making one is easier than listing all its useful capacities. You will need 1 yd of 2 different prints or colors of fabric. Picking out the fabric is the most fun (I think). You can go for any of the Premiere Prints that are sale today! For the funky, trendy mom- try our new Ty Pennington Impressions (I am loving the color combos). For a first child (and you know there will be more) make a nursing cover with one side a feminine color/print and a masculine on the other. I made mine from this awesome Kwik Sew pattern which also features a swaddler and sling. All three make a super baby shower gift.
The pattern lived up to the Kwik Sew name and was equally easy to read and assemble. This was just the ticket as the time I set aside to work on it was naptime and this day was particularly trying as naptime was out of favor. The project put me at ease and the satisfaction I received from the completed nursing cover was great enough to leave me ready for the end of naptime. I would recommend cutting and assembling several at one time, since they are so quick, in case you are invited to a party and difficulties leave you without time to make anything. I used 2 pieces of quilting cotton from my stash (working from my stash is my new years resolution) but I think in the future I will choose at least one side to be Home Dec fabric for better sun protection in the hot summers. Psst: You will need some boning.
I feel especially good giving hand-made gifts to my mom friends because I know they are well made, infinitely useful, will match the baby theme and will be well loved. I know that I am showing my friend how happy I am for her and hope much I love her little one by carefully picking out fabric, putting thought into a pattern and making something special for the new family.
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Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones
I bought Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones as soon as it hit the stands, long before I was expecting my own little one, because I loved InStitches so much. The projects are ADORABLE and rated for difficulty (which is a blessing when pregnant with limited energy). Amy puts her signature style on baby items to help modern moms feel stylish, cool and totally unmom-like. I have completed a few projects from this book and so has my mom. The patterns are typical AB patterns, easy to follow, clearly written and sometimes a few surprise finishes that are fantastic. My two favorite projects have to be the Cute Baby Booties and the Modern Diaper bag.
I made the Modern Diaper bag when I was about 8 mos pregnant and was nearing the end and was nesting. I knew what I wanted in a bag and what I didn't. I supposed it would have to be big. I did not want black plastic that screamed diaper bag. I wanted a modern shape, lots of pockets (I have an affinity for pockets and drawers). After the cursory Google search for patterns, I went through my book stash. It had been a while since I purchased the book and had forgotten about it. As soon as I be held this bag, I KNEW it was the one. Maybe a half a day of cutting and sewing later and it was complete. I was even more in love it with than the pictures led me to believe. I immediately began packing it with wee baby clothes and sundries. (I ended up over packing as I later discovered) This bag made the trip with me to the hospital and has faithfully followed me ever since. We have successfully transitioned from tiny baby, to crawling and now walking/running toddler. This bag has carried everything and then some.
My second and perhaps most favorite are the Cute Booties. These were made around 7 mo of age, just as she started crawling. My little one didn't care to get past the army crawl for sometime because once you can go why learn a new way. This mode of propulsion was the demise of many a good pair of socks. She wore the toes out in less than a week. That coupled with the fact that she often crawled right out of her socks, I knew I needed something more. Once again I turned to my library and found the perfect solution in Amy's book. I cut 2 pair right away. The fluffy cushioning is just right to keep tiny feet padded and warm. The shoes are easy on and easy off and virtually unshakeable. The compliments these shoes garnered were also amazing. I had request from many non-parents for these booties in their size and many parents offered me great sums to make some for their kids. I have since retired the first pair but I have made several in graduated sizes since. The girl is too big for the given pattern sizes but thanks to my copier, I have managed to enlarge my pattern pieces and create more. They are really great for shoe-less homes, cold mornings and chilly nights when the footed Pjs are in the wash.
This book is a must for parents and non-parents alike. The patterns are easily adapted to adults, childless homes and when you are in need of a great shower, niece/nephew, or godchild gift.
When I was pregnant and registering, I listed MANY books but the one I wanted the very most was Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby. Yes, the cover looks antiquated, the overall style screams earlier decades and the book looks like it was put together, illustrated and planned for the 1970/80's but you must look past that to find the best sewing book for babies. I mean no disrespect to all the other baby books out there. They are great and I love sewing from them but this is the Bible/ Farmer's Almanac of sewing for baby books out there. Let's face it baby fashion hasn't really changed that much from when this book was conceived. Onesies, jumpers, dresses, & footed PJs are still the staples of baby closets from coast to coast. The only difference is from year to year the details change. What this book is prepared to offer you are the patterns and simple directions to create your baby wardrobe with customizations that are popular now. Each section shows you some customizations and points out where in the instructions and on the pattern you can make your own. Couple these customizations with choosing your own fabric and you can couture your little bundle to the sky and it will cost you a fraction and because our Wee Ones are so wee, it will take a fraction of your day.
I was lucky enough to be gifted this book at one of my showers by a very lovely neighbor. I spent many happy nap times drawing pattern changes, rummaging through my notions and trim drawers, cutting several patterns at a time and sewing up a new outfit by the time my little bit woke up. I was so excited because my babe was gifted long legs and (because I use cloth diapers) an ample booty, so thanks to this book I was able to make most of her pants to fit her exactly. Pjs were another problem for the same reasons. Dresses were just plain fun simply because they are so lovely and much easier than I imagined. If you are expecting a child, grandchild or know someone who is, Kwik Sew's Sewing for baby is a wonderful gift. It is like teaching a man to fish.Made from quilting cotton from our Retro Mod sectionKnot dress made from modified pattern pieces from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby and quilting cotton, cotton sateen, & linen. Bodice is lined. Made from pants pattern and cotton jersey.
Type "Sew Charity" into Google and you will find over 5 million hits. Outrageously overwhelming but also heartwarming at the same time. What is a sewer to do with all the love? How do you pick just one? Well, start close to home. I am an animal lover (big time) so that is where I always choose to start. Both of my hounds were shelter dogs, as were all the animals that have ever shared my home. Working in a shelter is for braver folks than I but, then again, that is the basis of most charities. You give what you can because sometimes you don't have the strength, time or ability to give any other way. In this economy, monetary gifts may not be possible for most families but you can give your time and blessed skill by sewing for charity. Pick your favorite; I am sure it won't be hard. There is something for everyone. For you wafflers we will narrow the field to make it easier for you or to give you a starting point. The big three (As I like to refer to them) are children, military and animals (in no particular order). Let's explore shall we?
Sewing for your kids is easy but sewing for others can be just as fun and fulfilling. Project Linus specializes in blankets for ill or traumatized children. Just reading about this wonderful charity makes me think of warm, fluffy blankets entwined in a child's arms. I need a hug now. Newborns in need asks for gifts of clothing and other goods for children with illness, born premature or in need to ensure a brighter future. This charity urges me to whip out my brightest and most fun prints and patterns and start creating. Sewing for Babies will accept any small toy, quilt, quilt block or fabric which is donated to an area hospital for babies in need.
My favorite charity to sew for is Project Snuggles which encourages crafters of all kind to create blankets for shelter animals to cuddle in while they wait for new homes and so they can have something familiar when they make the transition from shelter to loving home. They have a great search feature so you can find a shelter near you to drop off your goods. I just sent an email to my nearest letting them know to expect some donations soon (See picture above of blankets waiting to go).
We covered the military in my post for Independence Day but I encourage you to sew for your troops every month of the year.
Last, giving the gift of your sewing can brighten hearts everywhere but teaching those who are willing to learn can brighten hearts that you may never reach. The old adage is: give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for life. Giving the gift of skill can only increase the circle of charity. You teach them to sew and they sew for charity. You have just given the charity world another hand to help and that is the best gift of all.
I love knitting for babies but I didn't always. Before I joined the club, I had decided that knitting for babies was foolishness. Foolishness, I say! First, babies do not care one whit what they are wearing. Second, babies outgrow everything at a rate that exceeds the amount of time it took to knit the item. Third, from the rumors I had heard floating among other non-members, babies seemed to gain a cruel, almost nefarious, pleasure from spitting up on the cutest of baby presents. "That is not for me" said I. I will stick to knitting for those who appreciate it and can keep their stomach contents where they belong. However, all those thoughts dissipated with a quickness the moment my little one was born. Everything was so cute on her wouldn't it be even cuter if I had knit it, I questioned (it was of course rhetorical). My reasons against knitting for babes were rapidly replaced with arguments in favor. First, babies are cute, so cute and the perfect models for oversized sweaters, scarves used instead of warmth but to play hide n' seek, and colorful blankets. Second, babies are so super cute because they are small and small things are knit quickly. Third, Babies like bright colors and soft yarn. What a coincidence... So Do I! It was settled. I began to knit and as I did I came up with some rules (I mean guidelines. Who likes rules any way?)
The Baby Knitting Guidelines (Should you not be a member of the club please, PLEASE, heed these rules. Mothers follow your own rules but peruse should be you curious)
1) Let it be washable. For the love of all that is small and cute, plan on it being washed again and again. Babies may smile and giggle at all you do but it is because they are plotting and all that smiling is a carefully planned ruse to make messes and get away with it. Their favorite palette, themselves. There is nothing they won't use to obtain this goal. They are cute and devious. Beware
2) Let it be soft. No mother wants to put a scratchy wool sweater on their baby as much as you do not want to spend hours working with it. Test the yarn; rub it on your skin. Knit up a swatch and rub it on the inside of your wrist, your forehead or even your belly (all sensitive places). If the baby will touch it there so should you. If you love it so will the baby. Remember, babies do not really care how beautiful it is but momma's care how it feels.
3) Let it be oversized. Anything knitted will take you so time and, granted, the baby will look so stinkin' cute in it that mom will want her to wear it forever and ever. We become dismayed when out baby outgrows a beloved item. But big garments can be tucked and rolled to fit well before the baby is actually to size.
4) Let it be appropriate. A delicate lace shrug may seem like a good idea when you see it stylized in a pattern book but once the baby gets its toe caught in a YO or snags it again and again on the cabinet pull, it will become a hazard and ruined. There are many baby proof stitch patterns out there. Stay away from anything too delicate or lacey.
5) Let there not be too many buttons. Babies wiggle. That is all I have to say on this.
Well, the hour grows late and I must get back to my baby. My knitting list for her has already outgrown that for myself. One day she will knit on her own and I might be allowed to knit for myself. Then again, I may just serve as a second set of needles set to check off her list.
Here are some link to our great Baby Yarns (Yum):
Filatura Baby Yarn (fun Pom-pons)
Keeping with yesterday's theme of handmade goods for soldiers, I wanted to write an article featuring sewing patterns but amidst my search I stumbled upon a small niche for soldiers' families. While our hearts and thoughts follow our troops into battle everyday and we watch the progress every night in this news, the soldier's families blend, often unnoticed into the crowd at home. Moms and Dads doing the work of 2, putting on a brave front while worry is a constant companion and the news a continuous reminder of the danger. Children carry on normally but knowing that half their heart is a world away and longing for the day when Mommy or Daddy will be home again. Supporting our military families rallies both at home and aboard. Seeing their child smile and know that a 'stranger' cares can ease the burden for both the soldier and their family. Below are a few projects perfect for spreading good spirits near and far. Operation Top Knot- Created by a college student who wanted to share her admiration for expectant and new mothers of military families. This operation sends care packages to new moms and soon-to-be mothers to help them care for their new family members as well as themselves. Items to sewn include but not limited to: Bibs, blankets, burp cloths, booties, hats, onesies, washcloths and diapers. Since many of these items are for new babies be sure when you prewash your fabric to do so with a gentle detergent. Choose soft fabrics that wear well. You can also nominate a family you know or donate fabrics suitable for their projects, clip coupons and contribute store bought goods.
Daddy Dolls- Giving a child a doll sewn up with Daddy or Mommy's image not only allows a kid to snug up with their loved one but also helps them remember and be proud of their soldier parent. All you need is some Muslin or Broadcloth, printable transfer paper and a sewing machine. This is probably best done for a friend of family member whom you know and have access to their pictures since I could not find any websites that organized making and sending Daddy Dolls to military families. Once you have a picture of a solider you can have it sized to whatever size you like at any photo center. Print your picture out on the photo transfer paper and follow the direction included with the package to affix it to your fabric. Cut 2 pieces approx. 2-3 in. around the picture and place right sides together sew around the edge with a ½ in. seam allowance leaving a small gap for turning. Stuff your doll and hand stitch closed. If you are not up to sewing one of these treasures or want one bigger than your transfer paper allows, you can order one from these fine folks.
Drawstring bags- Not technically for troop families, these drawstring bags can be whipped up from quilting cotton in no time and sent full of toiletries for a taste of home overseas for our troops. Hearing how good it is to have toothpaste, deodorant and gum, home front parents will love the feeling of knowing that it is not just family members who care about their spouse.
P.S. Changing pad tutorial here