Monday, January 30, 2012

Sesame Street Blanket and Pillowcase

So I found this Sesame Street flannel at Wal-Mart and I just *had* to figure out a way to use it. Even though Jonah has tons of blankets already, I knew that he was about to have one more!

But since we are growing slowly but surely out of the receiving blanket stage, I thought I might go bigger...much bigger! The finished blanket is a little over 40"x50". I used the previously linked to tutorial on making a self-binding blanket with perfectly mitered corners. This time I figured it out! I had trouble with her instructions, but finally figured out what I was doing wrong and the blanket turned out EXACTLY as I envisioned.

I chose to back it and self-bind it in a bright orange sweatshirt fleece.

Here's an up-close view of the corners. I loved how they turned out and using this technique. It was a bit time consuming, but the finished product was worth it. And I doubt it would take me as long the next time.
But then as I was cruising in Hancock Fabrics one day, I happened upon the same Sesame Street fabric in cotton weave. Yay! What could I do with it?!? I decided to make a coordinating toddler's pillow (14"x20"). I also stumbled across a great stripe fabric that just happened to have all of the same colors in it as the SS fabric and I just knew I could use it as an accent.

I also used the stripe for the applique "J". Couldn't stand not to add a little personalization and throw the accent in there one more time.
Once home, though I was shuffling through my stash and found a near-neon yellow solid that I have no clue why I ever bought it. I decided to make it the main fabric of the pillow. And ta-da:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baby Headband & Onesie

A really good friend of mine is due to have a little girl in just a little under 3 weeks - just days before Valentine's Day. So when I saw this post and tutorial on making a baby headband, I knew I was just going to *have* to make it for her.

I went about it a little bit differently than the original, based on what I had at hand and my own preferences. But credit for the original idea definitely goes to Somewhat Simple!

First, I tore my fabric, and ironed it.

But I hate hand gathering as it says to do in the original tut. So I used my handy dandy ruffler foot. This thing looks so very intimidating to me, but once I figured it out, I really love it!

Then I traced a circle on my felt for the base and cut it out, as well as free-handed a heart. I also used a white heart button I had in my stash instead of 2 felt hearts. Use what ya got!

Next came hot gluing everything down. I used Fray Check on the ends of my fabric so that they wouldn't unravel with wear and tear.

I added a small hair clip to the back of mine instead of gluing it to the headband itself as originally called for.

I bought a baby headband that the clip can be put on, but also reused with other bows.

And here is the finished bow:

And here is the coordinating onesie!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Faux Quilt

I found a fabric panel "quilt" at JoAnn's that I wanted to make into a blanket for Jonah. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and thought it would be good to try on this project. But I must have calculated wrong, because while my mitered corners turned out great the sizing and layout was all wrong. So I trimmed around the edge, used my quilter's rule and rotary cutter to even the edges and started over.

This time I just sewed a stitch 1/4" around the edge leaving a gap to turn and then turned it inside out. Used my turning tool to press out the corners, pressed and did a top-stitch 1/4" around the edge.

First, though, I embroidered Jonah's name onto one of the squares. I figure since I now have this capability, might as well use it!!

I backed the blanket in a red flannel that I pre-washed separately to lessen the chance of future bleeding. I like the contrast of the white stitch on the red back. I used the longest stitch my machine allows at 5mm, but upped the tension because I didn't want it to be

Here is the finished product. I like it even though it wasn't my original vision. Oh, well! It took me about an hour not including the start of the first "project" that I had to cut apart.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby Gift: Custom Burp Cloths

I love making baby gifts. Specifically, I love sewing up custom burp cloths. I've made Jonah at least a dozen now. I make mine using pre-fold cloth diapers with a flannel strip down the middle and ribbon trim. And now(!) I can embroider them. So very excited about that.

Here are 2 that I recently made for a friend who had a little boy just after Christmas:

And here is how I make mine. There are lots and lots of how-to's out there. I read a bunch of them and simplified my process to this:

Gerber Pre-Fold Cloth Diaper (3 or 6 ply, your preference)
1/4 yard of flannel
1 yard of coordinating 1/4" grosgrain ribbon
thread to match
(see sidebar for my tools of the trade)

1. Pre-wash both the diaper and the flannel in gentle detergent (i.e.Dreft or Tide Free & Gentle) Some people also wash their ribbon. If you choose to do this, make sure to heat seal the ends of the ribbon so that it doesn't fray.

2. Iron the diaper and flannel. Measure the diaper and cute your flannel to that length + 1". Cut the flannel's width to 6".

3. Fold in half an inch of flannel to the wrong side down the length of fabric. I use my quilter's rule and turning tool to score my fabric and then press into place. Press firmly.

4. I then turn the fabric to the right side and carefully press again.
5. Lay the flannel on the diaper so that it runs down the center. Fold under half an inch and pin on one end to secure placement.
6. Cut 2 pieces of ribbon to length of diaper + 1". Align one piece along each side of the ribbon, tucking a half inch under the fabric for a clean edge.
Hint: I use this basting glue to help in this process. Apply glue to one side of ribbon, then apply to the edge of the flannel. It eliminates the need for pinning the ribbon!

7. Sew down the length of the ribbon through all layers (ribbon, flannel, diaper). I start with the outer edge on the right side of the diaper and work my way left. Make sure to turn in the fabric and ribbon before you get to the end of the diaper. I don't pre-pin because the layers are thicker and a little shifting occurs.

8. Stitch a small hem at the top and bottom of the diaper to secure the hem of the flannel. I stitch in about 1/8 an inch.

Tada! Burp Cloth finished! This is the exact one I made while creating the how-to. My machine also embroiders, so I did that step before starting on the burp cloth itself.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas PJs

The whole idea of our matching Christmas pajamas started because I found this fabric one day and just *had* to buy a yard and do something with it. The day I bought it I had no idea what I'd make, but figured I could make *something* for Jonah out of it.

Then I saw this tutorial on Pinterest about how to make *really* easy kids' pajama pants and I decided to use the snowflake flannel to make Jonah a pair.

They turned out so cute that the "family Christmas PJs" idea was born.

I decided though that while you can sew kid's pajama's that way, adults might not turn out so flattering. I could probably have done Fred's that way and it would have been fine, but I bought a unisex pattern and went from there. I used a McCall's pattern and used the measurements given on the package to determine size. Boy were they wrong! I had to take mine in about 4" and Fred's in about 2". I added length to mine and his both because we like our pants to hit the ground. I'd pre-washed the fabric so they shouldn't shrink, but they could and still fit fine.

I made Fred's with a simple drawstring using my bias tape maker to make folding and ironing easier. I knotted the ends and sealed with a no-fray liquid.

Mine, I used ribbon as the drawstring and then used it again as a ruffle at the pant hems. I sewed a basting stitch down the edge of 40" of 2 pieces of ribbon and manually gathered it to fit the pants. I heat sealed the ends of the ribbon for easy finishing. Next time I need to gather something though I will use my serger (I found a great tutorial and it would be SO MUCH FASTER!).

Here we are on Christmas morning in our PJs: