Tag Archive | baby

Making a baby sleep sack

Ever since I found Pinterest  I have been saving a ton of baby items….especially since Christmas was coming. I wanted to make the sleep sack I found on this site a few weeks ago, but it seemed kind of complicated. Also I first had to buy zippers (found a great set on Amazon, then print the pattern and then actually make the sack!

2014-11-14 16.05.10While I was debating on making the sleep sack, my grandmother showed me how to sew a zipper (fold a small hem against the zipper teeth, pin and then use your zipper foot to sew a straight line) and thankfully it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

 

 

I wasn’t going to use cuddle fabric (I wanted to use some lightweight cottony flannel material already on hand), so I wanted to check out a few more tutorials to see what other options were out there. I found this page had a great idea – attach an extra piece of fabric to the back of the zipper so that the teeth never touch the baby. It also has clear pictures that I found made it easier to confirm I was doing the right thing along the way.

I had to make a small hem on the extra zipper piece. I faced the hem outward towards the zipper so that the flat part will touch the baby

I had to make a small hem on the extra zipper piece. I faced the hem outward towards the zipper so that the flat part will touch the baby

I finally decided to go ahead and try to make one and it was so easy. I think the one change that I would make to the instructions in the tutorials is to pin the behind the zipper piece to one side of the zipper at the same time you sew that side of the zipper to the main fabric. This way you save a step and you end up with only one stitch line down the front. I don’t like the way the two stitch lines look running down the front of the side of the zipper.

Other than that, I think it came out pretty nice, if I do say so myself!

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Adventures in Sewing – Make your own playmat

Recently, I have taken up sewing. I bought myself a snazzy new Brother XL2600i sewing machine for a whopping $80 (okay, I talked my sister into buying it for me as an early Christmas present, but I digress). I bought a ton of fabric remnants from Joann’s (mega sale AND 50% off!) and I found some old spools of thread I had laying around from God knows where.

Terrible shot since Mimi never stays still, but you get the gist

Terrible shot since Mimi never stays still, but you get the gist

The next project was deciding on what to make. I tried to make a dog outfit – it came out okay but it definitely needed work. I also started making little items that I hope to give away as Christmas gifts. I did these things to practice my foot pedal control, keeping a stitch straight, not having the bobbin thread bunch up, etc.  For a while I was a complete failure. So what did I decide to do? Do a big project! Yes, yes, I don’t make sense sometimes, but alas, that is me!

I Googled ideas for easy baby items as my sister is about to give birth any day now and came across this tutorial on how to make a playmat.

I thought how hard could it be? Thankfully it was not difficult at all.  Of course, I didn’t follow the directions as well as I should have and I kind of ghetto rigged it which means it is not perfect at all, but it’s cute and decent and I won’t be embarrassed when people see it and know I made it.

Had I measured better and actually cut the fabric and batting correctly on the first try (or second try), everything would have been much easier. Instead, some of the batting doesn’t actually go all the way to the edges of the blanket and one corner is kind of wonky. But hey! it’s for a kid to lay on, and puke on, and poop on…………I think it’s good enough! And good enough is always good enough 🙂

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It will be washed and ironed or at least steamed before being presented as a gift. 🙂

Diaper cakes – not as expensive or difficult as you’d think.

Babies babies everywhere! Thankfully not mine, but I guess I’m at that age where everyone decides to spit out a baby. For one of these babies, I have been given the task of planning a baby shower. We are having it at a restaurant in a corner of the main room, so I didn’t want to go crazy with big decorations. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decorations that would be used once and then thrown away. So what’s a girl to do? Yup, that’s right! Diaper cakes!

I have always wanted to make a diaper cake but thought it would be a lot of work and a lot of money. Well, yes, making a diaper cake is not cheap. For each cake, I bought the jumbo packs of diapers (with two $2 coupons and a $5 Target gift card when you buy 2 packs). I bought two different sizes (size 1 and 2 – not newborn) so I could make two different sized cakes. Then I realized I needed decorations for the cakes…..there came another $30 for those. Lastly, you need ribbon – turns out it’s not as cheap as I thought it would be – at least $5 per roll (but you can save money by buying it at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon!). Oh, also if you don’t work in an office where you can borrow rubber bands (your recipient will have no use for almost hundred rubber bands once she uses the diapers!), you will have to purchase really large and small rubber bands as well.

By the time you turn around you have spent around $45 on each cake. Fortunately, all of the stuff you purchased can be used again. So, when I say diaper cakes are not expensive as you think, I mean buying one. The ones you buy aren’t that much more in cost and are beautifully wrapped in cellophane AND delivered right to your door!

That being said, making a diaper cake is actually super easy. For this shower, I made two different types of cakes – the first one used a fanned out method and the second one used the more common rolled type method.

I used this tutorial for the fanned out method.

2014-10-14 09.30.09I bought a set of 4 round cake pans from Bed Bath & Beyond thinking I could return them afterwards, but I decided they might be useful in the future so I kept them. I followed the directions in the tutorial and was done with the diaper formation in under 20 minutes. I needed 4 yards of ribbon. I wanted the ribbon tight so I sewed it closed, so I could ensure it wouldn’t slip like tape.  Because I found that cute Octopus to top the cake and it was kind of large, I decided to not insert extra toys into the rest of the cake.

The cake was a bit boring with just the octopus and ribbon, so I went online and found some sea themed characters which I printed and glued to manila folders. I then cut out the shapes and used Elmer’s glue to attach them to the cake. I used paper clips to hold them on while the glue dried. Sizing and cutting out the attachments took much longer than any other part. I spaced it out over a few days so I would get frustrated and rush through.

The only real problem I had with this cake was that the diapers had decorations on them (I never bought diapers before, so I didn’t realize that the cartoon character on the box meant that it would be on the diaper as well.) Fortunately the diapers had blue on them so I was able to incorporate that theme into the design of the cake.

 

For the common rolled diaper cake, I used this tutorial 
2014-10-11 22.30.45This method was much more time consuming. I did it while watching television so it wasn’t too annoying, but it definitely took more time. I decided to make this cake only three tiers because I hid a bottle of wine in the middle of the cake. The diapers I used for this cake were the smaller diapers and had a green design on them. This worked well with the jungle theme I had chosen, but it was pure luck that I didn’t get pink or purple diapers which would have ruined the theme of either cake.

This cake was more difficult to keep together, but it wasn’t hard….just a little clumsy. Basically wrap the large rubber band around a few diapers and the bottle and insert the rest one at a time…..don’t try to form them all and then wrap the rubber band around – you’ll just have diapers fall over everywhere.

I thought this cake looked a little plain with just the ribbon and toys, so I stuck in a few woodland creatures as well.

 

Overall, I think the cake pan fanning method is much easier and more pleasing to the eye. Oh another tip – be sure to get ribbon that is not see through. I first bought really pretty blue ribbon, not realizing it was sheer and when I tried to use it, you could see the rubber band – not attractive at all! Also, for large diapers, you’ll want a 2.5 inch ribbon; for the smaller diapers, you can get away with a 1.5 inch ribbon.

Happy crafting!