With a baby due in the next year, I decided the thing I had to do in order to be really, truly, 100% prepared would be to make a travel changing mat. All the other stuff, that can wait, I’ve AGES to go. Next year!
Anyway, fully commited to being in denial, I headed to Dunelm Mill to buy some oilskin-like material. Most of the material is to be used to make an armchair organiser, but knew there would be plenty for the change mat. I chose a lovely pattern – white background with giant green apple print. Unisex print but nice and bright.
First things first – how to make the mat? I took a guess on width and height to be honest. I cut the length I wanted but then added an extra half so that I could make a pouch pocket for wipes, and double the width, then folded it with the right sides facing and stitched all the way round apart from one corner so I could turn it right side out. I used a leather needle and strong white thread for all of this, not sure if necessary but it made me feel like a proper seamstress buying different machine needles.
once I had the right side out, (which was a bit of a struggle to be honest – I had completely underestimated how tough it would be to pull oilskin-like fabric through a little gap. I know. It’s obvious. But took me by surprise and I had to wrestle with it a wee bit) I tucked the open section in neatly, pinned it and then stitched it shut and, thinking why not, carried on all the way round the mat to give it a finished look. This done, remember the extra half in length I added?, I then folded over one end by a quarter so as to make the pouch, pinned and stitched it.
Final thing to do was to add some bias binding. I have never used this before and only had a vague idea as to what to do. I underestimated how much I would need and only had enough to bind the two long edges. I know I should learn from this and actually measure things. But I probably won’t. Worse things happen at sea and all that… Anyway, I bought red bias binding as a contrast (which reminds me – a friend suggested I could make my own stuff. Reader, my immediate response was to laugh long and heartily. Make my own? Bwahahahahaha! The very idea… It’ll probably become my next obsession…) and set off trying to sew it on to the fabric. This was tricky – the oilskin-like material was pretty slippy and I struggled a bit to control it. This resulted in a pretty wobbly stitch line on the top bit of binding. But I finished it. Hooray.
pictures: folded mat – I added no padding to the mat as I wanted to make sure that I could fold it very small and shove it in a small handbag (ie giant MUM BAG)
You can see the binding here too, and the lovely print.
Next: unfolded, the full length. Look at that print! Love it. You can see where the pocket pouch is – I matched up the shape of the apples but not the pattern as it was important to me at the time to have an obvious head and foot section. I forget why it was so important…
finally: the pouch. It’s not deep, it will be big enough for a nappy or two and a pack of wipes if necessary. Because I folded over once I’d made the mat, it is all wipe clean (now this IS important!).
So there we go – one baby changing mat made. Using my own design and guessing a lot of the way, it took me maybe one afternoon to make, including watching The Family Stone on breaks…
D’you like it? Hope so!