Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chevron Baby Quilt: Week One

Today is Saturday, that means it's time for my first progress update on the chevron quilt. 
Here is all the fabric that will be turned into a beautiful baby quilt. The background fabric (pink with red riding hood) will be the back of the quilt. The blues, pinks, and grays will be the chevron stripes with the white polka dots in between. (The white polka dot fabric is not from the Moda line- I bought it from JoAnns to help lower the cost. I think it looks like it belongs!) The red polka dots will be the binding.

I modified the original pattern a little bit. Crazy Mom's directions called for 3" wide strips. Subtracting half an inch for seam allowances would mean that the final strips would be two and a half inches wide. I thought that was a little too small. So I am cutting 4" inch strips.

As you can see, I got a little anxious to see how it would look and sewed some strips together, and then cut them into 7 1/2" blocks already. ha! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Baby Boy Velcro Ties

Recently I was invited to my friend's party for her twin boys. I like to give handmade gifts, but what do you make for boys? and twin boys? After some thinking I decided on using Make it and Love it's pattern for the Little Guy Tie.
The pattern looked a little confusing, but it turned out to be easier than I thought. For the fabric I used some Amy Butler Love Spots in Olive and Tangerine. I love sewing with Amy Butler Fabric, it's a guilty pleasure. The ties didn't take very long to sew up, and I learned how to use Steam a Seam double sided fusible web. It's like Wonder-Under but sticky! which is great for holding things in place before you fuse them together. I will say though, that when I make another tie I probably won't use the Steam a Seam and will just do some hand sewing. Yes hand sewing takes a lot longer, but the Steam a Seam requires you to use an iron to fuse things together, and the iron smooshed down the knot of the tie. I liked how the knot looked better before I pulled out the iron.
Even with flat knots, don't they look adorable in their ties?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chevron Baby Quilt: The Conception

I fell in love with Aneela Hoey's fabric line "A Walk in the Woods" this spring while I was searching for some fox fabric. My sister was planning a woodlands themed baby nursery at the time and asked me where she could find some cute fabric. I did a search at all my favorite fabric spots and found this adorable fox print, and decided I NEEDED it! But I have a tendency to hoard fabric so I told myself I couldn't buy it unless I first found a project to make out of the fabric. (My sister ended up changing her nursery theme to elephants so I couldn't even buy the fox print to make something for her!)
image from Spice Berry Cottage

A few months later I saw these cute toddler bed sheets made out of the pink red riding print, and I loved the idea of using the fabric for bedding!  I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my daughter. I have wanted to make a baby quilt since I was pregnant, but I had a terrible pregnancy and was hardly able to do any sewing, let alone a  make a quilt.
image from Prudent Baby

I dug around my files of bookmarked tutorials and found this cute chevron quilt pattern that is made from pieced squares instead of triangles (much easier!)

This is a BIG project for me and I tend to get distracted on large sewing projects. So my plan is to post every Saturday an update of my quilt progress. Hopefully making myself accountable to have something to post about each week will force me to keep working on the quilt. 

This weeks progress: I bought my fabric from the Etsy shop Spice Berry Cottage.  I looked at several online shops and Spice Berry Cottage had all the prints I wanted for a good price (cheaper than bigger shops like The Fat Quarter Shop). To order the fabric I looked through the inventory to make sure they had all the prints I wanted and then sent a message to the shop (by clicking the "contact" button). I asked them for 2 1/2 yards of red riding hood in pink (for the back piece) and 1/2 yard of  the grey, pink, and blue prints (for the chevrons). They emailed me back in just half an hour telling me that they set up a custom order link for me. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Present for a baby

Ever since I saw this picture on Delia's blog of the baby circle skirt Dana gave her, I have been dying to make my own.
Luckily my cousin just had a baby girl and I thought it was the perfect chance to sew the skirt. I couldn't stop at just a skirt, so I made a pair of baby shoes and tossed in a headband.

I used Dana's tutorial and pattern for the circle skirt. To hem the skirt I used a rolled hem foot on my sewing machine (Made it on Monday has a tutorial for how to use one).

I used the Mila Baby Shoe Pattern from Fleeting Thing. I messed up on the ruffle placement (the ruffle was off by a half inch on one of the shoes- on such a small shoe it's a big deal) instead of ripping it all apart and starting over, I just made bows to place on top!
For the headband I whipped up a little bow and sewed it on to some elastic.

I hope my cousin likes the matchy-matchy look!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Variations to the Toddler Summer Top

There are sooo many ways to change up the toddler summer top.  Just a quick browse through J.Crew's online catalog gave me lots of ideas.

Halter top: Only put straps on the front, and make them longer.

 Add ruffles to the sides instead of the top.

Add a large bow to the front instead of a ruffle

Add a v-neck and make the ruffle strip wider

Crisscross the straps

With so many ways to change up the summer top, I will definitely be making several of these.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Toddler Summer Top

My daughter's shirt drawer is fairly empty. It doesn't help that half way through the day she decides that she needs an outfit change and will strip off her shirt and ask for a new shirt. I guess it's time to add some more shirts to that shirt drawer.

Last summer I bought an eyelet shirt from Old Navy that I loved. So at the end of the summer instead of packing it away with the other baby clothes I set it aside so I could copy the idea to make more. I ended up changing it up quite a bit, but the tie straps and the elastic back are design elements from the original top.

It is such a simple top and can be sewn up really quick.

Materials needed:
1/2 yard fabric (for size 12-18 months)
1/4 wide elastic (7 1/2 inches long for size 12-18 months)
Double-fold bias tape (you can make your own, or buy a package)

ONE: Cut out pieces. Cut the front from the downloadable pattern, and cut one rectangle 9 inches by 15 inches, and another rectangle 2 inches by 12 inches. Cut bias tape pieces: you will need four 12 inch long pieces for the straps and one 6 1/2 inches long to line the top.

TWO: Make a casing for the elastic on the top of the back piece.
THREE: Thread the elastic through the casing. Use a safety pin to help you push the elastic through. When you have pulled the elastic far enough for the back end of the elastic to reach the shirt (about when you have reached the middle of the back piece) stop and sew the back end of the elastic down.
With the back end of the elastic sewn down, continue pulling the elastic through to the end of the casing. Sew the front end of the elastic down. Remove safety pin.

FOUR: Make the ruffle. Begin by taking the rectangle and folding it in half. Sew a gathering stitch along to top (the longest stitch on your machine- mine is a 4). Pull the threads to gather the fabric until the ruffle is 6 1/2 inches long.

FIVE: Baste the ruffle to the top (this will make adding the bias tape much easier).

SIX: sew bias tape onto the top, sandwiching the ruffle in between.

 SEVEN: cover the armholes with bias tape, leaving the remaining 7 inches or so of bias tape hang off the top.

EIGHT: Sew front piece and back piece together along sides.

 Finish your edges so they won't fray. You can use a serger, stitch a zig zag stitch along both sides, or cut it using pinking shears.
 Because the side seam is bulky on top, I like to fold the entire seam allowance towards one side and sew it down.

NINE: Hem the bottom.

TEN: Attach back bias tape straps. 

To keep it neat, sew bias tape strip down with raw side up.

Then fold it up and sew across the bias tape to enclose the raw edge. Repeat with the other strap... and you are done!
To wear, just tie straps together at the shoulders

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trends from Skirt Week

I loved skirt week. It was so much fun to see everyone's skirt designs. Here are my favorite trends I saw in the flikr group





My favorite skirt of the entire group was this one. She used this free pattern from burdastyle. I really want to make myself this skirt, in the same aqua blue fabric too. So cute!