Here is a cute little thing! I made this quilt as gift for my sweet nephew – who is about to turn 1!
I am entering it into The Sewing Loft Blogs September Sewing Month Gift Category. This challenge has been a fun motivation for me to finish up a bunch of projects that have been lingering – I’ve been sick for the last few months, and I really miss sewing! Now that I’m feeling better I am ready to get some quilts out the door!
I have been making some little party dresses for my animal loving toddler.
First up, the Fox dress! The pattern is the Playgroup Dress by Fresh Stitch Patterns. I like this simple pattern, which uses woven fabrics (like quilting cottons) with a fully lined bodice and an option for a cute decorative panel. My only complaint is it doesn’t come with a print guide (that I saw – I have been known to miss things) so I had to manually go through the pattern pages to see which I needed to print. Either that or print out the larger sizes which go all the way up to 10 years – and that’s not really necessary for a size 18 month!
It is a little tricky (as a total beginner to garment sewing) to figure out the lined bodice, but the directions are great – once you do it once, it’s super easy!
I finished this baby quilt shortly after the baby was born, but never got pictures of it. I used it as a play gym for her until recently, since she is now too grown up for play gyms! I wrote about the play gym process here – it was easy to pull off the arches and transition it into a play mat – perfect for sitting on the front porch and watching the cats.
More baby quilts! When I was a kid, I had a baby quilt with my name on it, and I LOVED THAT QUILT. So I try to always add a name onto quilts I make for kids. In this case, I was making two matching quilts for some little brothers. I struggled with the placement of the names. I had it set in my head that I had to use these dots. Now I regret the dots.
First I had just one dot, I loved the one dot, I made the quilt and it was finished. But then I thought it looked like Trumano. Not what I was going for. In retrospect, I should have, at this point, removed the dot. But it would have been a mess, as then the name would have been off center, and everything was already appliqued down with fusible webbing.
Then I thought I would add a dot on each side. but it was off center. I hated it. Two dots was worse than one!
When my Rainbow Derecho quilt got bleached, a quilting friend taught me the phrase “Applique makes it all go away” which was true in that case! I decided to try the wisdom on this little quilt. Here is a before picture, from 2011:
So, I started this quilt a month ago and then the internet erased my post. Dangit, internet. This is a new thing for wordpress to do to me, and I hope it never happens again! Ok, fingers crossed this blog doesn’t disappear on me too!
I finished hand-sewing this quilt. I previously posted about this quilt here and reviewed the Auriful Aurifloss I used to embroider it here.
My husband saw me printing out the pattern for this Tiny Tank Dress and said, “Oh, tanks, perfect for Josie. Is it for when she’s driving her tank?” I have been joking that she looks like a cross between Charlize Theron in Mad Max and post-Soviet bloc dictator, so it’s natural his mind went to the war machine type of tank vs. the summer shirt.
Here we are in our matching tank driving shirts. Except I guess you can’t hardly tell they’re matching…
Anyway, suitable for tank driving or chewing on, I made her a little tank dress with the last of my Charley Harper Knit from the awesome Knit Challenge sponsored by Fabricworm and organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color.
I cobbled it together out of the scraps from my previous projects with this fabric. I split the dress back into two panels — one of them had to be cut upside down. Waste not, want not. I am a scrap quilter at heart so I hate having any leftover fabric.
The straps are just bias tape which also finishes the arm holes. I used a stretch triple straight stitch on the arms and on the hem. Probably not the best choice for a hem, as it is so slow even on this little dress I was falling asleep at the wheel. By far the biggest barrier I still feel when approaching sewing stretchy fabrics is my sewing machine set up.
I have a serger and a straight stitch Brother 1500 neither of which you can do finishing with for knits (that I can figure out!). I also have an old Pfaff with an injured bobbin case (due to a bent needle disaster) that causes it to stitch weird a lot – including when I tried to use a twin needle – lots of skipped stitches and puckering. It seems to be able to manage the triple straight stitch so that worked for this project. Maybe I’ll try a blind hem to finish my next skirt?
My verdict: Ugh, not happy with how it looks up close!
Baby’s verdict: It’s delicious, thank you.
Before baby, I made a handful of cute pouches, and then waited for them to become useful.I’m sharing how we used them for our new baby, in case that is useful for any other new parents thinking about using up their fabric stash for baby storage purposes!
Anna at Noodlehead makes amazing patterns.
Her wide open pouch is actually a free pattern – I think it’s my favorite pouch to make and use – so handy. I use this one to keep my hand-sewing kit in – thread and notions for whatever project I am working on. That may not sound like a “baby” use, but our baby likes to sleep in my lap, which means I do a fair bit of hand sewing during nap time. It’s peaceful.
The design on the outside is made from taking the cut off triangle endings from making a quilt binding – including some precious Tula Snails and roughly sewing them down. I used gold metallic thread for the quilting.
Hot tip! If you put the metallic thread in the BOBBIN and sew with your fabric UPSIDE DOWN it’s wayyyy less finicky in the bobbin than when you run metallic through the needle up top.
Because bobbin thread has so much less work to do, fussy threads, like heavier weight threads and metallics work smoothly in the bobbin. When they are threaded up top, they have so many places to get messed up tension when you run them through the needle.
ANYWAY, I also made several of her Divided baskets, which is another great pattern! I have had a lot of friends recommend these as baby shower gifts, and they are right! They are perfect for everything baby. Read on to see all my Divided baskets and how I use them!
Oh is it not Christmastime? Consider this early for next year 🙂 For Christmas I made my four toddler aged nieces and nephews shiny satin capes.
Here are some pictures of the capes in action – I couldn’t get them to slow down to pose, so that is a good sign that they liked them!
I used the Nancy’s Notions free cape pattern which was very helpful. I believe I adapted a few things, but it’s been a few months now and I can’t remember. I had their parents measure them from shoulder to knee to figure out how long to make them. I did do some creative piecing and cutting of the satin so that I was able to get 4 capes out of 4.5 yards of fabric (for just one cape according to the pattern, you need two yards of fabric).
I went to Joann’s wondering what kind of fabric to get for kid’s capes, when lo and behold, I found “Play Satin” there! Perfect kids colors. It’s like they know that people want to make costumes for kids! It was very fussy to sew with, and I do worry about it fraying, but I tried to finish the edges with extra rows of stitching and a wider seam allowance to make them a little tougher. It would have been nice to have a working serger at that point, but in December I had a brand new broken serger (turns out there was a reason it was on the sale rack. Thanks to a great Brother Warranty, now I have a working serger!
I am normally a big fan of raw edge applique, but I knew that wouldn’t work with this low quality satin – or any satin. So I did what I’ve heard called “Dryer Sheet Applique” though i would not recommend using dryer sheets for it. Because dryer sheets can have toxic chemicals in them for one reason, and I would worry how they’d hold up over time. I used a fusible interfacing for the backing of the applique.
This satin melts with the tiniest bit of heat – I am sure you couldn’t put in the dryer – so applique was a bit of a challenge. I took some photos of my applique process in case it is helpful to anyone else who knows any little heroes!
It is not the most glamorous thing in the world, but when I was expecting the baby, I made 10 flannel and fleece breast pads using this tutorial on the off chance that I liked them. I was hoping to breastfeed, but not counting on it, since I know so many awesome moms and babies who didn’t have breastfeeding work out.
The photo shows them after lots of washes – they hold up great!
Anyway, so I made the flannel breast pads, because I in general like to be eco-friendly and so reusable instead of disposable is generally my preference. But I got gifted a few hundred unused disposable breast pads from various friends who had finished nursing and had leftovers — so then I figured I wouldn’t even use my silly flannel ones.
But it turns out I love them! They are soo much softer than the scratchy disposable ones. I think I had about 4-5 different brands of disposable breast pads and I didn’t like any of them, especially those first few weeks. The flannel ones were a life saver. The ones with flannel on one side and fleece on the other did a particularly good job of protecting against leaks. You put the fleece side out, the flannel absorbs the milk pretty well. I have a mix of each kind. You can also make them with a super absorbent middle layer if you want to buy a special fabric, but I was just using up scraps from other projects to make these, so didn’t buy anything special. These just use the cheapest flannel fabric from Joann Fabric.
And now after some struggle (and them some more!) and then a few more struggles, we’ve actually got a pretty good breastfeeding relationship going. To celebrate, I made a bunch more breast pads using the same tutorial. If you have a serger (I recently got one and this was my first project on the serger!) they are a dream to sew and the only work is cutting out the circles. If you had an accuquilt or other die cutter, they would really be a dream! I made them for a baby shower gift I like them so much!