Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby shower!

Since I have two little girls, I am getting better and better at making presents for baby girls!  My cute friend Beckee just had a shower, and I had to make her some fun little girl things!

Chi was my awesome model! =)

First up: Ballet shoes onesie!  I followed the tutorial by Make it and Love it found here.  It's super fast and easy. Once I picked out my fabric and ribbon, it took me about 1/2 hour to finish.

Next up: Little baby booties.  I bought a pattern to make these here.  The pattern is super easy to follow with tons of pictures, and patterns for sizes 0-12 months.  Even a beginner sewer could follow this pattern! If you don't want to pay for a pattern, you can find other free tutorials online like this one  or this one.  Oh, and Chi just naturally posed like this.  Future ballerina?  =)

Don't you just love chubby baby legs???

I modified to laces a little bit from the pattern I bought.  After testing out many baby shoes, I found that hardly any actually stay on those little kicking feet.  So, I added a little tab in the back and threaded the laced through to tie them up ballerina style.  They passed the test! Chi kicked and kicked and kicked, and they stayed on!  Woot!

Here you can see the tab I sewed onto the back of the shoe

The problem with making shoes, is you have to make two, so it takes a little bit longer. =)  These took me about one hour.

Lastly: A little girly headband!  These rolled felt flowers are SOOO easy to make!  See how to make them here. This probably took me about 15 minutes (not counting the half an hour it took for me to decided how to place them on the headband. =D).

Feel free to copy my placement.;)

Now go!  Make a cute little homemade gift for your next baby shower!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to make Continuous Bias Binding

Have you seen the bias tape tutorials where you have to cut out long strips of fabric and sew them together piece by piece?  Doesn't that sound tedious? This method is WAY easier and takes much less patience! =)

Materials:  I used 5/8 yard of fabric to bind my 40"x48" baby quilt
Time:         One evening (or one long nap)

Lay out your fabric and fold it into a parallelogram, finger press the folds.

It's very important that you remember which way is "up" on the fabric.  You don't want to accidently sew the wrong sides together, and end up with a binding on the straight instead of on the bias.  Before you cut the fabric, you may want to draw little arrows on the back of all three sections (the two triangles and the parallelogram), so you don't get confused later.

Trim off the two triangles along the crease.  Save these pieces!***

Or, if you know you will need all the fabric for the binding (like I did for the baby quilt), simply cut off one triangle, and sew it onto the other side, to form a larger parallelogram.

With a pencil, draw a line on both sides of your parallelogram that is the total desired width of your bias binding.  I did 3" for mine, so I would end up with a 1.25" binding (3" folded in half = 1.5", 1.5"- 0.25" seam allowance = 1.25" binding).

Now with right sides together, line up the bottom pencil line with the top corner, and pin together.  Notice that is does not lie flat when pinned.

Sew together with a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Press seam open.  You should now have a tube.

With a straight edge and rotary cutter cut your 3" binding slowly making your way around the tube.

It probably won't turn out even, so don't worry if the end looks like this:

Now you have a whole pile of biased binding! So simple.

And so cute! =)

***If you end up needing more binding, simple sew the two triangles together to form another parallelogram, and repeat the process!  Make sure the arrows you drew on the triangles are both pointed up!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jellyfish Toy/Mobile Tutorial

Chi loves ribbon.  I have a couple of tag toys for her, but she is not convinced.  She wants the loooong ribbon.  So, I came up with this little jellyfish softie!

She loves it!  She loves to munch on the long ribbon, and stare at the bright colors.  It was definitely a win.

Do you want to make one too???

Materials: Scraps from my stash
                  LOTS of ribbon
Time:        Two evenings, and one nap

I wanted the jellyfish to be a half circle, and remembered this amazing tutorial from Make it and Love it for a darling little turtle.  Feel free to make a little turtle friend for your jellyfish! =)

I used those pattern pieces (found here -- just scroll down for the turtle pattern pieces, and cut out the "shell" and "base") to make the body of my jellyfish. I scaled mine down a little bit.  My circle ended up being 6" in diameter.  It's a great size for my little 6 month old.

Sew two of the triangles together along one side only. Repeat with other two triangles (as shown in the turtle tutorial). Sew the two half shells together.  When I pinned the two sides together, I also pinned in a short piece of looped ribbon where all four pieces of the shell come together.  This created a little tabby thing so I could hang the jellyfish up (like as a mobile). You can see the tab in the picture below.  It should look a little like this:

You can see in the above picture, I cut out some long strips of fabric to make the wavy things at the base of the jellyfish.  Oh, and I'm pretty sure "wavy thing" is the technical term.  Ha!

The width of the strips are 2" from the top of the wave to the straight edge.  The length of the strips will be the diameter of your circle times Pi plus 0.5" for seam allowance. So, since my diameter was 6", the length of my strips will be:
                                        6" x 3.14159  =  18.85" + 0.5" = 19.35" total length.
Does that equation sound a little familiar? The circumference of a circle = PI*diameter. See?  Math does come in handy sometimes! =) 

Cut out the two strips and sew along the waves right sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance.  You have to go kind of slow to sew all the curves on your sewing machine.  However, it went together WAY faster than I thought it would -- so try it!

Clip the hills and valleys every so often (make sure you don't clip through the seam!) to help it flip inside out more easily.

Open up the ends and pin right sides together (to form a ring).

Press the seam open, and fold right side out.

Now your seam is enclosed!

Now pin the wavy strips onto the shell, and add as much ribbon as you would like.  The longest ribbon I cut was about 9" -- I didn't want this to be a strangulation hazard!

Sew 1/4" seam allowance around the shell.  I added a zig-zag stitch for some extra reinforcement.  Then I put an elastic around all my ribbon to gather it all together.  I didn't want to accidentally sew the loose ends of the ribbon to the bottom!

Next pin on the bottom piece and sew around using a seam allowance slightly larger than a 1/4". Don't forget to leave an 1.5" gap so you can flip it right side out!

Add stuffing and sew the gap shut by hand.  Voila!  You have made a darling jellyfish!

I'm really tempted to make a few more and make a jellyfish mobile!  It's pretty mesmerizing! =)

Baby quilts!

When I was pregnant with Luz, I decided I wanted to sew a quilt for her.  I had so much fun, I decided to go quilt crazy!

Here is my baby quilt roundup!

Luz' quilt:

I saved the scraps, and when Chi was born, I made Luz a doll quilt to match her "special quilt."

Owl quilt for Baby G:

About a year later I came up with this cute little owl softie and mailed it to G for his first birthday! 

Robot quilt for Baby B!

Of course, I had to make a matching plush robot! I based the robot off a tutorial found here.

Here is my latest quilt: Chi's!  I finally decided to branch out from the four square block! Haha!

I love the fun floral back -- plus, it's minky!  So soft!

I made Chi a little matching stuffed rabbit!  I based this off the darling stuffed animals sold here.

I'm almost done with another baby quilt for my new niece due in a couple of months!  I'll post pictures soon!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter (and plush carrots)!

Happy Easter!  I love Easter.  I love the celebration of Christ and the Resurrection.  I also love the secular tradition we do around Easter.  Egg hunts are so much fun!  Luz loved looking for her eggs and her Easter basket.  Plus she LOVES all the candy she found. Haha.

I realized a few days before Easter that we had tons of stuff for Luz's basket, and NOTHING for Chi's! So, after perusing Pinterest, I whipped up a little plush carrot for her!

This is what I found:

So cute, right?  I looked in my stash and found some cute fabric, and started following her tutorial...with a few tweaks. 

Materials used:  Scraps from my stash
Time spent:       Not long! It took me one evening and part of one nap time

Instead of just two pieces, I decided to make four, so my carrot would be more stripey, and less front and back.  Sew these two pieces together along the straight sides (with a 1/4" seam allowance) to form one of her 2.5" x 6.5" pieces.

Print with no scaling on a 8.5"x11" paper

Also, when I "turned under and tacked" the top of the carrot, I tacked my leaves onto the top hem at the same time (sorry, I forgot to take a picture!).  I then simply tightened my thread to cinch everything closed.  Does that make sense?  I added some more stitches
to secure everything in place. 

Chi LOVES it!  It's the perfect size for cute little hands, and she just chews and chews and chews on it.  Definitely a winner!  I'm thinking about making some more for Luz's play kitchen, too!