Recently in Maternity Category

Nursery Bedding- Ladies first

February 5, 2014

I am in the process of redecorating my daughters' room and thought my dilemmas would make for an interesting post. Since it will house both a 1 yr. old and a 5 yr. old I wanted it to still be a nursery but able to grow as my girls grow, or out-grow the nursery. I decided to choose a neutral for the walls and let the bold colors of most of their toys and accents they already have (piggy bank collection, floating shelves, giant stuffed animals) serve as the color so when you walk in their room all you see is fun and comfort.

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    Girl Collage:

    1. Light Grey Bedroom with a bright yellow dresser. This is the foundation of my room. I love grey as a neutral and feel as my LO grows she can easily change bedding and accents without repainting. The bold yellow dresser gives a sunny look to the room.
    2. Tone on Tone Dots Yellow- This fabric will serve as drapes. The larger dots work well for such a large piece of pattern in the room, coordinates with the dresser and compliments the main accent color of coral. I will use two floor to ceiling panels on each window. It will also be used for shams and pillow cases to tie the bedding and the curtains together.
    3.  Michael Miller Stripes Chic Chevron Sun Yellow- This fabric and #4 will serve as most of the bedding for the room: sheets and duvet. The soft feel of quilting cotton makes for excellent bedding and the simple pattern makes matching easy. I love all the extra colors and tones it brings into the room which makes adding accents like lamp shades, book cases, and artwork easier.
    4. Aunt Polly's Flannel Polka Dots Peach- Great for the cold months, I love to bring in flannel for warmth but it is also nice for warmer months when used only on the top of a duvet, shams, decorative pillows and borders for sheets. I really love peach and coral together so I had to bring this fabric in.
    5. Threshold Lamp- the wooden base brings warmth and the larger shape grounds the space and tones down the juvenile theme so the room can host your child for many years and maybe even serve as a guest room in a pinch. The bird lamp shade coordinates well and brings in an animal touch that every child loves.
    6. Coral Chevron Rug- This features our signature color, coral, but has enough pattern to disguise dirt and even matches most juice colors.
    7. Ikea Tullsta Chair- I love the scale and shape of this chair. It will make a great reading chair. The shape cuddles your child so they can sit in any position and the scale is not oversized but certainly not tiny so it will grow with your child. I would recover it in our Marine Turquoise Vinyl which is very durable, wipe able and adds a complimentary accent of turquoise. I feared using too much coral and I love turquoise and coral together.


      Stay tuned for the next edition when I change out a few basic elements to turn this nursery into a boy's retreat that is anything but ordinary boys' toys. 

Easy-peasy lounge pants

January 24, 2014

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We work hard and when it's time to relax we want to do that hard as well. When we go to work we wear work clothes, when we go someplace nice we wear nice clothes and when we relax we wear relaxing clothes.

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I don't mess around with my lounge clothes. I want soft. I want comfy. I also want cute; it makes me feel good. But, and please bear with me, I don't always want yoga pants. Wait, don't stop reading. The only reason I say that is because sometimes, just sometimes, I want a slimmer fit. Some days, I am clumsy and the wider leg of my yoga pants is not condusive to walking, running after kids or even watching a good movie. So I created an alternative version for those days. You decided for yourself or better yet make both so you can have another reason to relax.

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I started with my previous yoga pants pattern that we drafted back here but from the just above the knee down I tapered the leg all the way down to the ankle taking off an 1.5'' on the inside and outside of each leg. This is not enough to give the pant a tapered look when wearing, it appears as a straight leg when worn. I cut the pattern pieces out of ITY Jersey Knit Fabric and stitched the two front pieces together at the crotch. All seams are 1/4'' unless otherwise noted. 

Next, cut 4 patch pockets from printed Jersey Knit Fabric using this pattern piece and with right sides together stitch two pieces together leaving the top open for turning. Press. You can finish the top with your serger, bias trim or fold over and top stitch. Repeat for second pocket. Pin pockets to the front of your pants 1'' from the top and 1.5'' from the center seam. Top stitch each pocket in place. 

Finish assembling the pants by sewing the two back pieces together at the crotch seam (right sides together) then stitch the side seams, inseam and assemble the yoga band and stitch it to the top of the pants. (see this previous post for instructions). Finish the bottom legs with a turned hem. 

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Now cut four pieces of 1/4'' elastic to 4'' long. With pants right side out, pin one piece of elastic 1'' above bottom hem on the side seam. Using a small zig zag stitch (your machine may have a elastic zig zag stitch, see your manual) start sewing about 1/2'' from the edge of the elastic, back stitching in place. Sew for about 1/4'' then start stretching the elastic. Keep sewing and stretching until you reach the last 1/2'' of elastic then back stitch in place and clip your threads. Repeat for the remaining piece on that leg and the other 2 pieces of elastic on the other leg. This will give you a ruched effect at the bottom of each leg. 

These lounge pants are just the thing for hanging out, running errands, making sure you don't look like you just rolled out of bed to drop off your kids at school though you totally did, pajama pants, and yoga pants. Add your own style with different pocket shapes or add length to your pants and increase the length of the elastic for a greater ruching effect. The pockets are just the right size to fit an MP3 player, cell phone, lip balm or to hide chocolate candies which you can eat unseen during a movie. 

Elastic Waist Bands

October 18, 2013

Today I wanted to make a few pair of pants to show several great ways to add in your elastic waistbands until I googled it myself and saw how many well done, great tutorials were already out there. It occured to me to feature a collection of my favorite tutorials for different applications and share the sunshine with those of you who have created some outstanding tutorials. 

Leisel from Oliver + S (it's no secret that this is my favorite pattern maker) has a wonderful tutorial on how to prevent your elastic waistbands from twisting (to say I hate this is an understatement) and save you precious before school, work and relaxing minutes that would have been spent cursing and manipulating stubborn elastic. Liesl's finished product looks sharp and does its job well as would be expected. 

The Fehr Trader has a great serger tutorial that I almost flip head over heels for when I first saw it. It has really helped me create a fast and professional finish on most of my elastic waist garments. It is very durable for kids and frequent worn items. She includes some great tips for prevent gapsiois and for completeing this with a regular sewing machine as well. 

Fresh Picked has a tutorial for adding an elastic waist skirt without a casing using a wider elastic that is a bit different than the rest. She provides a nice even gather that means a nice finished skirt. There's no need to worry that you are stretching the elastic enough. You can make a skirt in about 30 min. 

Finally, the Mother Huddle shows us how to make a knit elastic waistband. She mentions that this method though similar to a gathered waist band is smoother and softer for little tummies. I say it is also great for maternity wear and for yoga/relaxing momma pants too. She uses a lot of repurposed knits to make this tutorial which is really great and you can practice on old tshirts instead of new fabric. 

Elastic Tool/Sippy Keeper

October 9, 2013

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This idea first occured to me years ago before my children were a twinkle in my eye: a way to keep tools at hand and off the floor. I hated using up precious cutting table space to layout frequently used tools and I hated moving them 30 times while I was cutting something out. So I deviced this elastic tool keeper but never made it. Then I had children and the idea flooded back. You can get so tired just bending over all day picking up toys, sippys and bottles off the floor that some amused baby had tossed just for the pleasure of watching you retrieve it. So I put the plan in action and came up with a great solution to my problems: an elastic, velcro keeper that can easily be moved and adjusted. 

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To make your own you will need:

1/4 yd of quilting cotton

12'' of 1/2'' non-roll elastic (length depends on application). Elastic should fit snuggly around your sippy or bottle plus 1'' seam allowance. (mine was 6'')

One baby plastic link (you can buy them at big box stores in packs, very handy)

One 2'' piece of 3/4'' velcro

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From the cotton cut one piece of 2 1/2'' wide by 12'' long, 4'' wide by 16" long. Fold each piece in half along the length with right sides facing. Stitch a 1/2'' seam along the length. Turn right side out. Press with the seam in the center. Repeat for second piece. Set longer piece aside. Insert elastic and pin it 1'' below the raw edge. Stitch it in place close to the end of the elastic to hold it in place. Tuck in raw ends of fabric and top stitch in place. Repeat for second end, fabric will be gathered in the middle. Starting at one end sew velcro in place carefully. Take a few stitches to hold it in place then stretch the elastic as you sew so the fabric is not gathered under the velcro. Always sew starting at the end. Repeat for second piece of velcro. 

With your long piece of fabric, tuck in the raw edges and topstitch in place. Then fold each end in half across the width and pin it. On one end fold down the end 1'' and stitch it in place. This creates a loop for the plastic link. For the other end, pin it to the center of the fabric covered elastic and stitch in place twice for security (this will be a stress point). 

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You are done. This is a great gift to give to new moms, been-there-done-that moms and grands as well. It is awesome in the sewing room. I can hook my scissors to my pants or from a bar at the end of my cutting table. It saves precious space while still keep my tools within reach. I can't believe I went this long without it. 

Back Seat Car Organizer

August 24, 2012

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This is the best picture I can offer in the car because of my seat configuration. I spared you the goldfish and pretzels scattered all over the floor though.

I run a mobile library out of the back of my car. The book list is ever revolving and there always seems to be at least 10 books back there at a given time. My little one loves books and if I need to run errands, I need to have a constant supply. I designed this Back Seat Car Organizer to fit her mobile library but it can easily be used for art supplies, toys, diapering needs (for the babies) or whatever your child needs to get through a trip out and about. My organizer slips onto the back of a car seat and features 3 pockets, 2 big and 1 small. While looking for a great place to take pictures I discovered that this organizer is perfect for other locations in the house that need a space to store kid supplies. You can hang it on your stairs for the "you need to take this stuff upstairs" stuff, hang it from a coat hook for school supplies in the mud room or mount it by bunk beds for books or in a closet for hair and toiletries. The ideas are endless as long as you have a need. The finished Back Seat Car Organizer is 21'' h by 13.5'' w.

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To make your own you will need:

1 yd of heavy canvas fabric for lining

1 yd of quilting cotton if making all pockets the same or

                ¼ yd for small pocket

                ¼ yd for medium pocket

                ½ yd for large pocket

Plus approx. 2 yd of 2.5'' bias trim for edging and strap

2 snaps

 

Instructions (all seams are ½'' unless stated otherwise):

From canvas cut:

                Two 21''x13.5'' pieces for body

                One 17''x13.5'' for large pocket

                One 12''x13.5'' for medium pocket

                One 6''x'13.5'' for small pocket

From Quilting Cotton cut (sub in various prints if you want a different print for each pocket)

One 17''x13.5'' for large pocket

                One 12''x13.5'' for medium pocket

                One 6''x'13.5'' for small pocket

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The "take this mess upstairs" organizer

With RS together, pin all pocket pieces together and stitch across the top (one of the 13.5'' sides). Press seam open then press WS together and pin 3 open sides together for all pockets.  Topstitch across the top, finished edge.

Baste 2 body canvas pieces together. Pin Large Pocket in place, lining up bottom and side raw edges. On each side, mark 10'' down from top.  Starting at top finished edge, stitch down one side, pivoting at the 10'' mark, stitching across to 2nd 10'' mark and back up to the top, back stitch at both ends. This shortens the pocket so it isn't a deep cavern that will eat your books.

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Pin medium and small pockets in place, matching bottom and sides and baste in place. Square up everything with a ruler and a rotary cutter now if you want.

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Apply bias trim, starting at the center bottom and working your way around the entire edge of the organizer.

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To make your snap straps, you can either serge your straps like me or stitch up 15'' of your remaining double folded bias trim. Cut your strap into 2 pieces, one 7'' and one 8''. Double fold ½'' at one end of the 8'' strap and apply the female snap according to your package instructions (check out my post on snaps here for extra help). The snap will hold the double fold in place so you don't need to sew it first. Repeat for second strap with male snap and place a second male snap 1'' down from the first. Pin your snap straps 2.5'' in from each side on top of the organizer and stitch in place twice for extra durability.

Enjoy your new Back Seat Car Organizer. I have another on my cutting table already for baby #2. It will initially be used for wipes, pacifiers, bibs, diapers and burp cloths and hopefully evolve to books as well from there!

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Beyond the Onesie!

July 11, 2012

A baby comes standard with a pack (or 3 dozen) Onesies. If you are lucky some of those rompers will be decorated in a style that you like, with a cute appliqué or design. However, most will not be lucky because the thing about baby presents is that not everyone has the same style. Luckily, revamping your onesie collection is pretty easy and fun. You can use these techniques and tips for your little one's wardrobe or as a great gift for another special babe in your life; you can even use them on older children's clothing as well.

Here's what your might need:

Heat transfer paper

Circle cutter

Embroidery supplies

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First up are the plain white Onesies. These are great because you can purchase them in packs of 5-8 and really go to town which is what I did on a pack I was recently gifted. I was jonesing for some embroidery so I had an idea for a reverse appliqué with "Love" embroidered in the center. To make this reverse appliqué I used my Circle cutter to cut a 5'' circle from my heat transfer paper and then cut another 4'' hole from the center of the first to make a ring of heat transfer paper. Then I placed the ring on the RS of my quilting cotton (I made sure to get some dogs inside the ring to show up) and ironed it in place. Next cut out your circle and place it on the WS of the front of your onesie and iron in place. Stitch the ring in place with coordinating thread and turn your onesie RS out. Cut out the center of your circle from just the onesie, using your stitch line as a guide. Finally, hoop your onesie and embroider your special saying. I wrote "Love" with a water soluble marker.

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Next, I found a great apple that I wanted to turn into an appliqué so I used the same technique as for my deer head appliqué and stitched around the apple with a straight stitch. For the letters, I didn't want to machine stitch for fear of sloppiness so I choose to just use a running stitch and go over the letters with embroidery floss to hold them in place and give some definition.

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My third onesie I wanted to add some more texture so I decided on a gentle ruffle that was more texture than ruffle so it wouldn't bug the baby. To do this I cut a 4'' strip twice as long as the front of the onesie and with RS together I folded the strip in half lengthwise and stitched ½'' from the edge. I pressed the seam open and turned the tube RS out and pressed again with the seam down the center (this becomes the WS of the ruffle). Next I ran a gathering stitch down each side of the strip ¼'' from the edge. Pull the threads to gather the strip as much as you like and knot the thread when finished. Pin strip in place and stitch to your onesie over the gather stitches, folding under the short raw edges to prevent fraying. Done!

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My last romper was a bit of a departure because this one is a hand-me down from my first little girl. It was packed away but when I pulled it out I discovered some staining that nothing could defeat. So again, I leaned on my trusty circle cutter and cut out several circles from some red micro dot, linen and a little heart from a Heather Bailey Nicey Jane Print. I ironed on freezer paper to cut the circles and then used heat transfer paper to adhere them to the romper. Then I stitched in zig zag around all with a contrasting thread. You can't even tell there was ever a stain and the giant polka dots make the romper look better than ever.

You can use all these tips and techniques to add some wow to your rompers or your own wardrobe. Pairing short cuts, like heat transfer paper, with embroidery can make your projects not only time savers but also unbelievably cute. These ideas can be used on any age to brighten up any top or to cover just about any Oops that comes your way.

Check out my circle cutter series here: Part 1 & Part 2

Maternity Tankini

July 6, 2012

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I have been looking for a maternity swimsuit for a few months now without luck. Either the one I loved is out of stock or all available are all in black. So when I found this tutorial for a maternity tankini I was excited! I have been squeezing myself into my pre-pregnancy swimsuit since the weather turned warm and it is NOT working out. I needed something with room to grow and a sure fire way to make sure the swimsuit fits and that it will accommodate me as I grow is to make it myself. I have made 2 of these tankinis, one according to the tutorial as written and a second with modifications I thought would make it easier to make and to fit me better. You can choose which you prefer and make your own. It only takes a few hours and about 1/2 yd of swim knit and about ½ yd of lining (or you can self line like me and order 1 yd of swim knit). I only made the top from the tutorial opting to make my bottom from Kwik Sew Swimsuit I made last year only one size larger with the skirt. I liked the fit and the look plus I wasn't sure how well the bottom from the tutorial would work without elastic and since I needed one size bigger than my existing suit I didn't have one to trace as per the tutorial.

Back to the top: The first time I made it the measuring instructions were not clear but I waded through any way. I also could not tell where to start sew the tube to the skirt and where to stop for the peek-a-boo back so I just sewed the tube all the way around to the skirt without the peek-a-boo look. Also, I could not get the gathering to work when sewing through 2 layers of knit; my thread kept breaking. I also tried elastic thread and stretched elastic; neither gave me enough gathering to give me the look of the original. Plus once I tried on my top it was way too tight around the belly and a smidge too loose on the bandeau top. The instructions on gathering the sides were not clear enough for me and I could not get it to work out.  I realized I needed to tweak the tutorial to get the fit and look I wanted and needed.

First, I put on a tank top that fit well. When I say well I mean it is form fitting and hugs my curves. I bought mine from Old Navy and they are not maternity just one size larger than my regular tank tops. The extra long length enables me to fit them over my belly while still leaving me covered if my pants slip down (which often happens with maternity pants). This tank allowed me to take accurate measurements because I had a seam that went up both sides so I used that to start and stop my measurements. First I measured from one seam to the other around my back at the smallest area (Measurement A). Next measure from one seam to the other around the front at the biggest part of your belly (B). Then, measure from your bra band down the middle of your belly to where you want your top to end (this is the length of your tankini skirt) (C). Next, measure around your bra band all the way around, not from seam to seam (D). Then measure from your bra band up over the biggest part of you breast to where you want the bandeau top to sit (mine was 7'') (E)

Now follow this formula to get your cut measurements:

A - 2'' + 1''= Cut width F

B  - 2'' +1''= Cut Width G

C + 4'' = Cut length H (mine was 16'')

D - 5'' + 1'' = Cut width I (mine was 29''-I wanted this part tight since I have a bigger chest and want the support)

E + 3''= Cut length J (I cut mine at 10'' but in hindsight I should have cut it to 9'')

Cut one skirt front F by H, cut one skirt back G by H. Cut two bandeau tops (either one from knit and one from lining or both from knit) I by J.

Instructions:

With RS together, pin short sides of bandeau top together and stitch using zig zag to create circle. Repeat for lining. Fold bandeau in half and measure and mark opposite from seam. Sew basting stitch at this mark and also on the seam and pull thread to gather (gathers with be at center back and center front). Repeat for lining. With RS facing, pin lining and exterior together along top and stitch using zig zag. Turn RS out and pin bottom edge together, set aside.

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Pin skirt front to skirt back along sides and sew using zig zag. With RS facing pin skirt to bandeau top with the bandeau seam at the back and stitch using zig zag. Stretch the bandeau to fit the skirt. Stitch in the ditch a basting stitch* on the RS from right below the bandeau top down the side seams of the skirt to the bottom edge and pull to gather as much as you need (it helps to try the top on to see how much gathering you want). Stitch over to secure. Hem bottom as needed.

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*It helped me to stitch right next to the ditch on the opposite side of the seam allowance (i.e.: seam allowance was tucked to the right while stitching on the left, see above). The less fabric you have to baste through the easier it is to pull the thread to gather. You can stitch in the ditch to secure the gathers.

Check out our swimsuit knit fabrics here

Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com

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Knitting for baby

June 27, 2012

Its baby season and I don't just mean for me. This week alone I know of 2 couples that have welcomed new babies into their lives and I know of several more to come. Chances are you, too, know of friends or family happily awaiting new arrivals in the weeks or months to come. I am eagerly passing the time, waiting for my own new bundle to arrive by knitting baby goods that will last a lifetime and will be the highlight of every outfit. One of the joys of knitting for a new baby is that it doesn't take long and you are entitled to work with super soft yarn. I have selected some of my favorite patterns to help you find something fun and fast to knit for the special little one soon to come or freshly arrived in your life.

Copyright GrueneTree

1)      Shrek Hat: My daughter is IN LOVE with Shrek so much that I knit her a hat for her 3rd birthday and she has rarely taken it off since. She has nicknamed her soon to be sibling, Shrek. So the new baby must have a Shrek hat to come home in at the very least so my oldest will know her at once to be a kindred spirit and welcome her right away (I hope!). This hat is knit with a combination of wool and cotton to make it a 3 season hat but it can easily be knit in just cotton for a spring/summer baby or merino or cashmere for a fall winter baby. Just make sure you get just the right shade of Ogre green!

Copyright Pruline

2)      Baby slippers: of the 2 must haves for baby on my list slippers make the cut. Hats and slippers were something I used for my #1 everyday no matter what else she wore. Socks slip off so easily but slippers were worth their weight in gold. I love the styling of Chaussons Mignons slippers and also how simply they slip on. I don't want to have to deal with fangles (buttons, ties, or buckles) on  newborn so I am glad to have found a slipper pattern that is both cute for boys and girls and slips right on. I am going to work these up in a merino blend for softness but make sure they are washable because you never know where that spit up will land.

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3)      Toys: it is never too early to play with your babe even if it is just you acting silly with a knit toy. I love all patterns by Rebecca Danger (see Albert and my Murphy Dog) and Basil the Dino are perfect for boys and girls and will last into the preschool age while snazzing up the nursery. You can easily adjust the size by using a larger or smaller gauge of yarn and needle. Plus should your little lock onto this animal as their favorite, can't go anywhere without it, "oh no we left it at the restaurant which is now closed what are going to do now" you can knit another just like it. No need to scour store shelves to find its twin. Just make sure you choose a washable yarn of this on since it is sure to go places you wish it hadn't.


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4)      Hats: I love a good hat for babies when they are first born till about 3-4 months (when they can hold up their head and start to lose the monk hair). It not only keeps the babes warm but also adds some style to what can be a boring onesie streak. The Poppy hat could work for boys or girls depending on the yarn color and texture. For boys, I would go for a dark yarn or a denim textured yarn and something chunky. For girls, I would go for a finer gauge and I love the variegated look of the cover picture or a tweedy yarn. If this hat is destined for a newborn or less than 2-3 yr old, omit the button and add some style with a duplicate stitch instead. This hat is so amazing it could work well alone.

Copyright Pjusken

5)      Pants or diaper covers: whether you are cloth diapering or not, you will want to show off those little legs in something super cute and more than a little fun. Das Monster leggings are both. With fun stripes that can be sized to your liking or omitted for a solid look; these leggings are sure to bring a smile to everyone's face. They fit right over an onesie or under a t-shirt or dress for easy dressing. The fun monster face on the bum will be as much fun to knit as it will to see in action for tummy time, first crawling or walking. Plus you know the old sibling will just giggle uncontrollably when they see their new baby with a smile on its bottom. Be sure to knit these leggings in a washable cotton blend for durability and to prevent pilling. 


Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com

What not to make for baby

June 25, 2012

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Don't be fooled by this attractive nursery picture: the crib quilt and bumpers are considered unsafe. Check out my safe recommendations below. 

For first time moms it can often be overwhelming and excited to decorate a nursery for your first little one. However, many stores, magazines and merchants can lead you astray with adorable pictures and over-the-top nursery decorating ideas. Here are some new regulations and recommendations on what not to make (or use) for your nursery and some helpful tips on what to make instead.


1)      Crib Bumpers: This cute, decorative, soft boundary tie to your crib and run the perimeter of the inside of your crib and were designed to keep your babe from bumping his/her head on the side. While crib bumpers have not been declared against the law, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics, who in my book makes baby law) have officially come out against crib bumpers. The AAP takes the stand that bumpers do not really protect against injury and can increase the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment and strangulation. While these decorative beauties do add a wow factor to you crib, the effect is not worth the risk. (Read more here)
Instead of creating a crib bumper, make a fitted sheet and crib skirt combo to really show off your nursery colors and beautiful prints. These items are must haves for baby and the crib skirt can hide all your clutter or abundant baby toys once your little one has gone to sleep.


2)      Crib Quilt: these little gems are a beautiful way to show off your or a loved one's quilting skills and a great way to bring more life and color into your nursery but a baby should not be covered with a blanket or quilt until they are old enough to remove it themselves should they become overheated or trapped. Make instead a slightly bigger quilt for floor play, car travel or outdoor play instead. You can change out the quilt backing from lightweight cotton to a heavier weight cotton or home décor fabric for a floor quilt or laminated cotton for outdoor play. A floor quilt will get much more use then a crib quilt which might be too small by the time your little one it old enough to use it as intended and will provide comfort for tummy time and a great backdrop for all those pictures!


3)      Crib Pillows: Pillows have been declared dangerous for the crib for the same reason as crib bumpers but have been so for many years. Infants can easily get their face stuck under the pillow, inhale the pillow or become stuck under them so they pose a suffocation danger and increase the risk of SIDS. It will be at least 1-2 years before it is safe to leave your child unattended with a pillow in the crib so create some floor pillows instead. The floor is where most of your infant's play will take place and consequently where you will spend most of your time so make it comfy for all parties. Floor pillows make great seats for you, dad and siblings as well as an opportunity to make your nursery bright and engaging. You can appliqué animals or quotations of love and laughter while making sure you are as comfy as baby. Plus they make ideal reading areas when your infant grows into a toddler and beyond. I love Amy Butler's Gumdrop pillows because they are so fast but you can mix and match each panel to create a look for you.  


Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com

Getting Ready for Baby: Receiving Blankets

June 8, 2012

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Back in April I wrote about some really beautiful and special muslin receiving blankets I spied in a posh baby store in Charleston, SC. Well, I have seeing these blankets popping up everywhere around town but the price is still pretty steep, especially for us who can make. So I set out to recreate the look and feel of these heirloom-inspired baby blankets using similar materials; you decide which you like better.

First off, Fabric.com carries a wide variety of muslin just not the specific kind of loose, open weave heritage muslin used in the inspiration blankets. So I called upon my fabric knowledge and selected three different kinds of fabric to test and see which would give me the finished product I was aiming for. First, I wanted cottons because muslin is first and foremost cotton so to be true to the essence of the inspiration blanket I had to stick with the same fiber. I choose Hero Cotton and Ivory Gauze. Both of these are cotton, true, but I was unsure how closely the weave and texture would be to heritage muslin, so for my third fabric I choose cotton blend batiste, which is a very lightweight, woven fabric. Here is a little descriptor of each fabric:

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Hero Cotton (56 in. wide): This fabric is 100% cotton and very similar in natural to gauze in that it has a wrinkled texture but unlike gauze Hero's texture is more uniform (think herringbone) and it is less stretchy than gauze. Hero is also thicker than gauze, of the three fabrics it is the thickest and I would classify it as medium weight. This will be great for fall swaddling or winter swaddling for a hot natured baby.

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Cotton Gauze (52 in. wide): A 100% cotton fabric which random vertical wrinkles that make this lightweight fabric slightly stretchy. Of the three fabrics, gauze matches the weight of the inspiration blankets being not too light and not too thick. The ivory color is also very similar to the white muslin used in the inspiration blankets and is airy enough to make great swaddling as well as a stroller cover, burping cloth but too light for a nursing cover. This fabric will prevent overheating in the spring and summer and also make a great play mat for outdoors.

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Cotton Blend Batiste (44 in. wide): This fabric is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester and has the same even, light weave of heritage muslin but is the lightest weight of the three fabrics (think voile). It has a very smooth texture unlike the muslin. It did take the stamping the best given its smooth texture. I had thought this fabric would have been the most similar to the muslin but I found it to me the most dissimilar. It still makes a great blanket but it has the least stretch and I worry about its breathability given the 50% poly. I will still try it when baby comes and know that even if it doesn't make a great swaddle blanket then it will make a nice pillowcase, curtains or a summer dress.

All of the fabrics tested are wide enough to make a 40 x 40 in. blanket set that I found in the posh baby boutique and you can easily make 2 sets for the price of one and gift them to friends or loved ones. I will be posting next week on the fabric markers and stamping I used to recreated the stamped patterns I found on the inspiration blankets. * Hint it is a lot of fun and you will want to use fabric markers on everything!**

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