Thursday, August 26, 2010

Burp Cloths

You'll never guess what I just did! I sewed!! The little lady has been napping for a bit so I took advantage of some things I had cut out and went to town :) This gives me hope. For now we are just taking each day as it comes, but if I can do this one or two days a week I'll be happy and I'm sure eventually there will be more routine to it.

Anyway, clearly, this post is not about that; it is about burp cloths. Do you believe that not one person gave me any burp cloths before the baby was born? I thought it was odd, but I was okay with it because, let's face it, I wanted to make some of my own. Which turned out to be a good decision since, and I don't know if you know this or not, most of the ones in the store suck and liquid goes right through. Um, worthless. I also think that a burp cloth should have a groove for the neck and many of them don't. So, what did I do? I looked some up online to figure out dimensions, got a layer of flannel, a layer of cotton batting, and a layer of white muslin and cut it to a 10" x 18" rectangle, and got a CD out to round the corners and put a neck space in. Oddly enough, perfect neck size (it also fits nicely around baby's neck in a pinch)! I sewed them right sides together, flipped them, topstitched around and added some lines to divide it in thirds-- good for folding and to keep the batting from going crazy in the wash. They work beautifully, and the husband loves them too! I made 6, and while the flimsy carter's burp cloths are good for wiping faces (we've since gotten a pack as a gift), these are much more absorbent for the actual burping and consequent spit up.

So there you have it. Simple. Functional. Cute. And now I think I hear naptime ending....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Knit Hat

Here I am, back after a journey to New Jersey for some family time. And, although I don't have anything made recently to share yet, I actually sat down at my sewing machine yesterday for a bit and worked on a few things so there is hope that I will really start working on some things occasionally sometime soon. Right now we are working out the little lady's naps, so once we get that down things should get easier.

Anyway, the other knit project that I made before the little one was born was a hat! I had wanted to make it so she could hopefully wear it in newborn pictures because let's be honest, not much is cuter than a newborn in a handmade hat and a diaper :) Alas, it was not meant to be. The hat was finished, but you bet your butt it didn't fit on her head. It's alright, at least it was on the big side so there is hope for the future...speaking of which I should probably try it on her again so as not to miss my small window of opportunity. Back to the topic at hand. I made it a combination of the two hat patterns in the Easy Baby Knits book since I was using cotton fabric but wanted stripes. Actually I used Cotlin, a cotton/linen blend once again from the knitpicks site, and I love it. I have some left that I can't wait to turn into washcloths or something. I figured a cotton blend was a much better choice for a summer baby. Going with my gender neutral thing I made it green and ivory striped and then decided to knit a flower (from this site) that I could put on it if it ended up being a girl. The perfect finishing touch really, and I took pictures both with and without the flower. It is a really nice hat even if she doesn't end up really wearing it. My favorite part was that the pattern was on straight needles so I didn't have to worry about circular or double pointed needles, which I probably wouldn't have bothered with.

So that is that. I have already overwhelmed myself with projects so one of these days I will organize all that and get to work. I am hoping I can at least find a couple of hours every week to work on things, so I suppose we'll see how that goes in the upcoming weeks. But, I do still have a few more finished projects to post :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Knit Blanket

I think it's time to switch gears for a bit and talk about some of the knitting I did while waiting on this little one. I didn't do much sewing during the time I was actually working, in fact most of the projects got done between April 15 and her arrival. Because I saw this coming, I decided to knit a few things for her since that is easy to do a bit at a time after work, although to be honest most of that got done after I was done working too haha. Anyway, it all started with a book. Easy Baby Knits to be exact. I was shopping around AC Moore one day and saw it and fell in love. I love almost every pattern in it and if I had the time I would try to make them all. Who knows, maybe at some point I will. But anyway, I bought the book and gave it to my dad because he knits quite a bit more than I do and then decided that I loved it so much that I went back and bought myself a copy. I picked two projects that I wanted to have done for baby and went over to to find some yarn (they have some great natural fibers that don't cost an arm and a leg). I wanted cotton blends and found the perfect ones.

The first project was a knit blanket. We settled on our 5 gender neutral colors in a cotton/acrylic blend yarn. It is a bulky yarn and, because I knit tight, I used a size 10.75 needle (I didn't even know they made those but my dad found one on clearance and gave it to me!). It is 25 squares of garter stitch for the center,with a roughly 4 inch border, also garter stitch, so it was super simple. I could whip up a square in a half hour, which was awesome. I am terrible at the sewing together part so the finished product doesn't look quite as good as I might have hoped, but it is soft and pretty. Hopefully it will hold together through multiple washings, but only time will tell.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I often debate whether it is actually much cheaper to make sheets rather than buy them. You figure with how much fabric you have to buy to fit a bed, many times it may not be, but in this particular case it was well worth it. We were lucky enough to have my grandfather build a cradle for our little girl while I was pregnant. It was one of the most beautiful and special gifts we received. He put so much time and effort into it and it is absolutely wonderful. The only problem that we had is that it is an odd size. It is neither a traditional cradle or bassinet size so finding a mattress and sheets was a bit difficult. After some searching we found a great company that makes custom mattresses and that left us with the sheets which I knew I could make. And so I did.

I had two different fabrics that I had purchased at Joann's on clearance for $1.50/yard that I hadn't made plans for yet and this was perfect. I even already had elastic so it was pretty much a free project! I searched online for patterns but most of them had measurements for cribs which would obviously have been too big. I ended up using a combination of this to figure out the measurements and this to figure out how to sew it. I wanted to use the french seams for the corners because I figured with all the washing that will inevitably happen, it would be a lot easier to not have to worry about fraying and stray strings and that has proven to be a good decision. Because of that I had to add a bit extra to my measurements (I realized after I made the first one), but it worked well. Even though we have only been using them for about a month, they have been holding up well through the washings. It is unfortunate that it looks like she will soon outgrow the cradle, but at least there will be some sheets and a mattress already available for the next inhabitant :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baby Banner

So this is probably my favorite project for baby. We were trying to come up with a fairly simple way to brighten up the room without painting and it had to be gender neutral since we didn't know the sex of the baby until delivery. I love bright primary colors anyway and figured there had to be a way to sew something up. And there was, and I love it. I made a banner that went around the room, well around two walls of the room anyway. I bought 10 Fat Quarters of bright fabrics and figured out how to cut and sew triangles in the most economical way and get the most out of my fabric and got two packs of white double fold binding to sew them into. I didn't want any unfinished edges, mostly because I want to be able to wash it when it gets dusty or we move or we redecorate or whatever.

I decided to cut out rectangles of fabric that were roughly 18" x 7" so I could get 3 out of each FQ giving me 30 triangles. I folded the rectangles up to 9" x 7" and traced a triangle template onto them and then sewed along the lines. After that I cut away leaving a 1/4" seam allowance and clipped the point and turned them right side out. I needed a few more triangles so some of them are scraps of two colors put together. I tucked the triangles between the binding layers and sewed it all the way down. I sewed ribbons to the ends and in the middle so it could easily slip over some nails and voila! It was so simple and really only took a few hours start to finish, although my pregnant self did take it in stages and didn't try to push through it all at once. It looks just as I'd hoped and really brightens up the place :) Really, it makes me happy every time I walk past the door and every time I enter. Obviously, this is one of the projects I am most proud of; I made it up and it worked exactly as I had wanted, and there really aren't any mistakes which we all know is unusual for me! Here are some pictures, but I only have some of it already hung up (and it was hard to get those since it is such a small room and hard to photograph).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wet Bags

So these wet bags round out my diaper bag suite. I probably shouldn't admit that so far I haven't used the diaper bag I made and have instead been using the monster bag from Target that I am, well, in love with. It is just huge and fits all the things we end up carrying around right now. I am thinking once we downsize a bit, meaning once we don't need quite so many diapers because right now she pees at least 10-12 times per day, we will switch to the other bag.

What I am using, all. the. time. is the changing pad (which unfortunately leaks through the seams in the middle when she pees all over it) and these wet bags. I really hate zippers and PUL fabric so this wasn't the best project for me, but they're functional and cute and that is what matters. I actually think I need to make a slightly bigger one, but we'll see, for now these are perfect. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but we are using cloth diapers which is what made these and absolute necessity, and the larger bag I made can fit quite a few of them --at least 5 I think although I don't know if we've been out long enough to fill it up quite that much.

Anyway, they are just simple lined bags. I thought about a few different patterns, some of which I may try at some point, but ended up with the same old bag. I won't go into the, uniquenesses, but there are an unfortunate many. Like I said, zippers and I don't get along and neither do PUL and I, so odds were against me. The big one is 11.5" x 10" and the smaller one is 9" x 7.5" and I just made two rectangles of fabric twice the length, put the zipper on and went around 3 sides, leaving the short side which became the bottom of the lining open for turning. Good enough and that completes my diaper bag and accessories. I did just get a wipes case that I may decorate at some point....but it's really not a priority.