Baby products · Clothing · Sewing Projects

Maternity top to comfy baby trousers!

I blew the dust off the sewing machine and made something today. Wooo! well, I did the sewing today, the cutting out and hard thinking I did a good few weeks ago. But never mind that, I made a thing! With the sewing machine!

Aaaaanyhoo. The idea came about from me sorting out my maternity clothes. I don’t need them so decided it was time to try and sell them on (if anyone wants to buy them, that is). While sorting them out I realised that my favourite top had seen much better days. I loved this top, and wore it LOADS and somehow ended up staining it when doing some cleaning, so it wasn’t fit for passing on. And I was Really sorry to see it go. So I decided to try and make something with it.  After a bit of hard thinking, I hit upon the idea of using it to make some comfy trousers for the baby.  this website Make it love it baby boho leggings gave me the inspiration and how-to. Have a look! The hem of the top would make the trouser hems, so it was a matter of cutting out and doing a bit of stitching. Easy, yeah?

surprisingly… It was! I know, I’m as gobsmacked as you.

Now for the pictures:

favourite top. It was so, so cosy and comfy.

imagePattern for the trousers came from me just drawing round a pair of trousers already bought for the baby in the next size up. (Confession – he is now in this size, that’s how long it took to actually sew it all together!) i tried to place the pattern on the top so as to minimise how much of the bleach staining came through on the trousers. I think I managed to avoid it all.

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I cut both sides of the trousers at the same time. Slightly wonky crotch area but…I’m not bothered!
imageI double stitched each stitch line as I was a bit concerned it might need the extra reinforcement, and the waistband is just the unfinished top folded over once, leaving a channel to thread a lace through

imageI used a lace as I had one handy but also so that I could bring the trousers in depending on whether I’ve got him in a disposable nappy or a cloth nappy. Some days are more Eco friendly than others…

imageDone! New pair of trousers for the baby.

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Travel changing mat

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)

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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…

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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!).

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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!

Baby products · Clothing · Sewing Projects

Let’s Address The Dress…

It is so very nearly finished…The Pink Dress for t’Baybeh.  But as I am ridiculously bad at blogging, i thought i would take the opportunity to update right now.

After the fabric cutting debacle, it took A LOT of courage to actually sew the pieces together.  I had a few hours last Wednesday at home on my own and i actually sat encased in my sewing nook swithering over whether or not i should just…you know…not sew the dress together.  i think i was there for about 15 minutes before i flicked the switch on The Machine and just let rip.  I was so, so careful about matching hems and edges bla bla bla but even still, it’s far from perfect.  the back is a little skewiff, most notably at the top where it is meant to fasten but i’ll figure out how to hide it.  plus the hem is a bit wonky, not helped by some problem with thread tension that appeared as soon as i started on the tricky bits.  no idea what’s happened there, i’ll figure it out later.  anyway, i decided to get around that problem with using navy thread and a zig zag stitch. 

anyway, here is the final product.

I took the photo on the dining table – as an aside i love our table cloth material.  i have the cushions on the chair in matching fabric.  vay cute.  how lovely.

 I did a close up of the hem in the hope that it would look a bit better in close up.

It doesn’t look too bad (my slightly squint line aside), i like the way the navy thread shows up against the pink as if it was a detail i intended.  it sort of was, only because i realised in the 15 minute swithering time that i didn’t have any pink thread so the hem stitching was going to stand out.  I found the ends of a reel of navy thread last used in 19-canteen and thought that if the hem was going to stand out, i may as well make a bit of a feature of it.  so there we go.  i think the zig zagging sort of makes it work.

 

And here is the neck with one of the buttons i’m going to add as a bit of detail.  i decided a while ago that the dress on its own may be a bit too pink, so needed something to just break it up a little.  i found the buttons in a lovely wee shop in Hebden Bridge (name sadly forgotten) and i think they match up perfectly.

i’ll use the navy thread to fasten the buttons to the shoulders, again as i may as well make a feature of the thread.

the neckline looks pretty good to me as well, i have to admit that i didn’t quite follow all of the instructions as required.  there was no pressing and folding.  i did nip the shape of the neck so that the curve of the neck actually curved, and i did trim the extra long bits.  i just couldn’t be bothered pressing and folding to be honest.

 

And here’s both of the buttons.  lovely.  if you look carefully (ahem ahem) you can see the wonky bit where the hook-and-eye fastener is going to be attached.  i’ve pinned it just now and there is a bit of excess fabric but i’m sure i can sort it out.

 

 

 

Anyway.  Done!  (apart from the fastening and buttons.  but that’s pretty close to finish i think!)

Pattern was from: Pip Lincolne http://meetmeatmikes.com/

book here:http://www.amazon.com/Sew-La-Tea-Do-Favourite/dp/174066860X

I am pretty chuffed with the way it looks – i think the neck and armholes are pretty neat and aside from the weird fastening issue at the back, it hangs quite well.  hurrah!  hoorah! huzzah!

i’m still working up to making some clothes for me.  at least with the baybeh’s clothes they are little and wonky/quirky can be…fun.

onwards and upwards!

 

 

 

Baby products · Sewing Projects

Bunting Breakthrough! (ie – it’s finished)

Finally, finally, I’ve finished the bunting.  I have still to hang it up in the appropriate location in the house but I have finally finished it.

The Gigantic Sewing Cupboard has been relocated to a wee space at the top of our stairs, right underneath a rooflight with fantastic light and fantastic views (for when i need a bit more distraction from a job in hand…)

Here it is! (scuse the sandals. I was getting ready to wedge myself into the only-just-big-enough gap between the sewing Cupboard and the wall)

I love this space – somewhere just to sew and a great use of a pretty unused space too. 

So, once I managed to get the machine installed (thanks muchly to the Husband for doing the heavy lifting!) and wedged into position, I got cracking on piecing together the bunting.  I had ironed the pieces again to make sure they were flat and looked as neat as possible.  I put wrong side to wrong side before stitching

 

 I had to pin them together as I really wasn’t sure i could trust my ability to sew straight.  I also had to get the instructions out yet again as I had forgotten how to insert the bobbin.  As I have said, I’m an amateur…

Once pinned together, I bit my lip, crossed my fingers and started to sew.  It went fairly well.  I sewed all of the bunting triangles together, then managed to turn them inside out and admired my handiwork.  Hurrah.  Next step was adding the ribbon.  Up until this point, I could back out at any point – i could decide that i was just making a series of flags and then leave them alone.  But stitching them to the ribbon meant that I was actually making bunting. 

But I got over myself and pinned the fabric to the ribbon

The next step was to make free and liberal use of the zig-zag stitch

With varying degrees of success.

And then, before I knew it, I was done.  I had sewn all the pieces to the ribbon, managed not to get any the wrong way round and it looks pretty good. 

 

When I’ve put it up on the wall, I’ll take another picture.  But for now, I have quite a feeling of pride.  I sewed something! it looks pretty nice!

I showed the bunting to my Gran yesterday.  She told me “I didn’t think YOU could do something nice like this” which, from her, is high praise indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby products · Sewing Projects · Uncategorized

Baby Bunting – the beginnings

Gosh, I have been busy.

Part of my original mission statement (eurgh, I’m going to have to find some better way of referring to this.  List-o-stuff sounds too nautical to me but it’s all my brain is flinging up) was that I wanted to make some bunting for the Baby’s room.  It has only taken me a few months to sort out the fabric, find a bit of cardboard, cut it into a template, cut the fabric very roughly and spray it with spray starch.  When I write it like that, it does sound like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it?  It does, doesn’t it.  Yes, glad you agree.

When I was in Dublin last year with husband and baby, we walked past a lovely fabric shop and I popped in to find a really cute roll of fabric with a Japanese doll pattern on it.  I bought a couple of metres and decided that I would make some canvases for the wall (done! hooray!) and also some bunting too.  Well, it’s only 8 months since then, you can forgive me for being a little slow.  But ignore all that now!  I cut out a couple of the dolls to use in the bunting – i’ll hopefully do some more, but these are the starting points, can’t rush things now:

 Here she is – the Little Green Lady.  How cute is she?  Look at her little heart shaped mouth and wee rosy cheeks. And her matching bobbles in her bunches!  ah, lovely.

Anyway, I cut around her on the fabric, making a rectangular piece of.. um… fabric.  It’s pretty tightly cropped as this was a left over piece from making the canvases but I’ve figured that it means I haven’t wasted it so it is worth a go.

Look at the bamboo print! SO CUTE.

Can you tell i’m trying to fill in the space? I’m new to this blogging, what can i say.  I’m trying to fill in the gaps as i go.

 

 

Tum te tum… Space! hooray.

After I cut out the first doll, I decided to go for broke and cut out the second doll.  And here she is!

And isn’t she cute too?  Heart shaped mouth? Check. Rosy cheeks? Double check.  And cute bamboo printed brightly coloured kimono?  Ah, definitely check.

The colours in these two dolls, and the others on the roll of fabric that I haven’t yet cut out (due to slight nerves withThe Scissors of Doom and fear of ruining the lovely fabric), gave me a bit of inspiration with the bunting.  Why would i stick with boring old gingham or flowers when instead I could buy random bits of fabric that were brightly coloured?  Then I could jazz up the baby’s room, and have a bit of fun while I was at it.

So on I searched for some lovely bright bits of fabric to use.

 

Oooh, here they are – all cut into triangles and arranged in an arrangement in an attempt to make them look arty:

 

The purple gingham, light blue disc fabric and purple mottled fabric are fat quarters, bought from The Peacock and The Tortoise in Perth which has a fantastic range of fabric.  Really beautiful collection, everything from gingham fat quarters to big chunky bolts of The Hungry Caterpillar fabric.  Beautiful.

The other two pieces I bought from The Blue Magpie in Dunkeld.  I don’t think there is a website, but it is a lovely Nice Things Shop.  I bought a card and notebook for my cousin there as well as the fabric, and believe me when I say I could happily have spent a fortune in there.  The only thing that stopped me was my father looking on incredulously as I picked up various nicknacks and bits of fabric and this that and the other.

The red fabric caught my eye first of all:

I have (really roughly) cut it into a triangle here, but you can see the repeating flower pattern.  So bright, so geometric, so flowery.

It’s slightly retro too, I think. 

Anyway, I like the way the flowers face both up and down, as that means that there is no right or wrong way.  That’s what I tell myself anyway, hoping fervently that it’s not going to look wonky on the bunting.

Anyway, the next piece of fabric I found in The Blue Magpie was this lovely yellow:

I’ve taken a close up here so that you can see the pattern on the fabric and not look at the badly cut edges.  I love the pattern and detail in the birds and dragonflies. 

The colour is closer to mustard than bright yellow.  Hopefully this isn’t going to be too dowdy in the bunting when it is finished. 

Actually, the plan is to not really care if it’s dowdy or not because the riot of colours from the other triangles and the colours from the Japanese dolls will hopefully make this sing a bit more. Ah, it’s all in the finger crossing and hope.

So that is the progress to date.  You’ve seen the fabric, you’ve seen the machine.  All I need to do is attach the coloured fabric to the backing fabric (a hastily hacked up sheet that doesn’t fit any of our beds) and then attach the pieces together.

Easy!