Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm sick, you're sick, we're all sick

So I've had many plans for sewing projects, but with everyone in our house being sick, the sewing machine has been a bit ignored lately.  Other than going to work and coming home to relax, I haven't had much time to feel like doing anything with my new machine (that I heart, mind you). 

But this is a message, no, I haven't forgotten you, I swear I'll start sewing again whenever I start feeling better (and get my house back in order, thats another thing that's been ignored lately, cleaning)  but I promise, soon I will be getting some more projects done, and posting more tutorials (i actually have an adorable diaperbag  and kindle book cover tutorials on the way!). Until then, here are a few sneak peaks of whats has come of the machine lately curses to you cold season, you're really messing our lives up!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Project Eleven: Cloth Blocks

So after thinking long and hard about what to get my cousin’s son for his 1st birthday, I was completely stumped. After much thought I decided to make him a few things, a pair of slippers, a pair of PJ pants, a taggy ball, and these blocks. I had a bunch of left over blue squares in several different patters from a quilt I started (and haven’t finished yet) back a few years ago. I thought this project would be perfect to use up the rest of these squares.

 My squares were 4inches, but in essence you could make them any size you wanted. I tried the blocks un-interfaced, and then decided they definitely turned out better interfaced.

I started by stitching them together so that when all six squares were put together it looked like this.

I completed the block leaving one side open. I stuffed it though this side making sure it was neither to firm nor too soft.

Then I hand-stitched up the last edge and gave it to the baby for a quick test, it passed with flying colors and I will definitely end up making her some in the future.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Project Ten: Cross Front Romper

So, While we were playing on Saturday morning, Baby M was having soooo much fun that she tired herself out.

Yes, she IS sleeping in the Jumperoo, one second she was yelling, giggling and carrying on, no more than 30 (quiet) seconds later, I peaked around the corner from the kitchen and this is what I see. (And what kind of parent would I have been if I didn’t grab the camera!) I obviously snapped a shot (or five) and took her out.

But now she was napping and daddy was out at work, what should mommy do?? SEWING OF COURSE!! I decided to pull out a romper pattern that I’ve wanted to do and I had the perfect fabric to do it in. So I pulled out the pattern and after looking it over decided I wanted too change up a little bit of it. I added a lined bodice (I hate when they tell you just one layer of bodice, its so much nicer looking lined) then I started assembling it. I really don’t know why I buy patterns anymore; I end up putting them together how ever I want anyway. But my bodice turned out this way:

I used a coordinating fabric for the bias tape to add a little interest (and because I like the finished look of it). Again, like all my other projects I used French seams. This time, I did not use snap tape though, its crazy expensive (like 6 dollars for a projects worth of snap tape!)
After I finished constructing it, I brought it over to my handy-dandy work bench, otherwise known as my coffee table, to apply snaps to the leg holes.

Here’s what the finished product turned out like:

I think its adorable, it will look awesome with either a short sleeve or long sleeve onesie underneath. (I don’t have an action shot yet, she’s not quite big enough for this outfit yet)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project Nine: Baby Slippers

In my house this happens a lot:

Yes, I mean losing one (or both) socks. The only way to ensure they stay on is shoes. But when we’re at home, its probably a bit uncomfortable to wear those shoes all the time (I know I lose my shoes at the door). So in order to keep those cute baby toes warm and comfy, I’m going to attempt baby booties for this kid. (This could turn out badly I warn, the last pair I attempted ended up with me in a mood and a pair 1/2 finished baby shoes in the trash).
I started by cutting out all my pieces, one inner and outer per piece, per shoe and while daddy had baby bonding time, I had mommy/sewing machine bonding time.

I started assembling the slipper by preparing all my pieces, attaching each pieces out and lining so we could attach them all together. I was thankful the directions were really clear and there were pictures. (Though, I still made mistakes).
After attaching the two pieces and cutting out the elastic slots, I attached the backs using the same method of starting in the middle and working my way out each way. I made the mistake of placing the sole pieces together wrong, but you live, you learn, and she isn’t complaining (yet).
After measuring my elastic I attached it together using a zig-zag stitch then flipped them right sides out. They came out A LOT better than my last attempt at baby shoes with no swear words uttered, no tears cried.
I used the tutorial from the Michael miller fabrics blog to do these cute shoes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Project Eight: Sewing fail, Boppy Pillow Cover

On Monday when I had just gotten home from work, after making dinner, all were fed and happy. So while my vampire baby attempted to eat my husband’s face, I decided to make a new Boppy cover so we could easily switch out the covers for washing purposes.

I really liked the look of this pattern because it had an over lap type closure instead of the zipper on the one I bought.

I started by cutting my fabric pieces out, (PS: I kind of hate how these pillows are shaped, lots of wasted fabric with 45” wide fabric, I wish I would have known and gone with the 60” wide fabric instead)

After lining everything up, I basted around the edge of the fabric to hold everything together.
Disclaimer: I have a love/hate relationship with bias tape, I love the look of it, but on weird curves I find it difficult to keep form bunching up. We had a very much hate/hate relationship this project. I had to make 3 different lengths of the tape then attach it together; it didn’t turn out as good as planned.

I will though introduce you to one of most favorite tools

The manual bias tape maker, it makes doing this tape sooooo much easier than manually folding and ironing it myself but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like the automatic bias tape machine. And best part, you can use whatever fabric you want and it doesn’t cost 1.99 for 2.5 yards of it! It’s almost free!
Anyways, I chose a kinda matching fabric that I thought would stand out a bit. Well after the debacle of attaching the bias tape around the entire thing, I inserted the pillow and guess what… didn’t fit!!!!

I don’t have a picture of the back, but the opening seriously wouldn’t come together. It’s still sitting in my rework pile so that I can hopefully make it work, but this goes to show, all crafty mommas have sewing fails sometimes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pot Holder Party: Tutorial

Prudent Baby was holding a contest recently to enter to win sewing machines, and it just so happens that my (not so) trusty sewing machine recently broke on me, I could REALLY use a new one and even though the hubby said I could get ANY ONE I WANTED (dangerous statement from him!) it would be amazing if I could win one myself! So I went at it, making as many as I could in the short time frame I had, I had way more ideas, but I only got 5 made during the time I knew of the contest. Here they are.

I’ll do a quick tutorial for my favorites:
Quilted Pot Holder

I started with 9 3in square pieces of fabric and laid them out in the pattern I wanted.

Next I attached each row together

Then attached the rows together to make a bigger block

When done with the quilted top, I stacked the quilted top, the muslin backing, and then 2 layers of cotton batting and sewed them around the edges, leaving area open in order to flip it. Clip the corners.

After flipping it, I ironed it flat, then sewed it around the edge at a 1/4 inch seam allowance to closes it up, I then did decorative top-stitching in a star pattern as shown.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tutorial Week: Easy-Peasy Burp Cloth Pattern

Easy Peasy Burp Cloth Pattern

Like most moms of newborns, it became necessary to protect my clothes from constant burp-ups (kinda like spit-up, but its that gorge of milk that comes back up when burping, usually followed by a giggle and a smile from baby, but a grrrrr from mommy).  I found myself just grabbing anything I could: receiving blankets, towels, or random clothing pieces.  I soon realized I didn’t have any true burp cloths, so I when to making one.  When, in the design phase, I decided I’d like a shoulder contour for maximum protection, this I what design surfaced.  And this is crazy simple.

What you’ll need:
            The basics
            The Pattern
            1/2 yard of terry cloth (or fleece)
            1/2 yard of cotton or flannel of your choice

I started by cutting one of the pattern (one the fold) of each fabric.

Stitch all the way around leaving a 4-5 inch hole on the one side (long straight side)

Notch the curves

Flip and iron

Top-stitch around the edge at 1/2 inch seam allowance

Easy-peasy-done.   I used matching thread to my flannel fabric for the whole thing, it gave the white terry side a pop of color.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: A Picture of Your Day.

This is a picture of my office, where I spend 8 hours (or more) a day, five days a week.  I love my job, but there are definitely times where I wish I could afford to stay home with my baby all day, but until that time, (or they move my office again...) this will be where I spend my week days between the hours of 7am and 4pm.

Tutorial Week: Taggy Ball

The other day I came home from work to see this cute sight on my couch.

And being that I had one more gift to make for a certain nephew’s 1st birthday, I left them sleeping and got straight to work.

For this project you’ll need:
            Sewing basics
            Ribbon (several kinds if possible)
            2 coordinating fat quarters

I started by cutting my patter out. (Email me at sewbynightdesigns (at) yahoo (dot) com if you want mine, or print the picture of it at full paper size) or you can make your own using my formula. 

Therefore if your height is 9 inches, you width at the fattest point will be 3 (6 inches high, 2 inches wide, and so on)  make sure your top and bottom is about 1 inch wide (2 half inch seam allowances) 

After you get your pattern right cut out 3 pieces of each fabric, you’ll have 6 pieces total.

Using one of the fabrics, attach a few taggies to each side.  This is where you can get creative (I made loops of ribbon, cutting each ribbon piece 2.5 inches long and folding in half.)    Pin each tag with the cut edges against the outer edge of the fabric, loops towards the middle. 

Start by taking one of each fabric and running a line of stitches along one side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance (I double stitched this to give the seams strength so he couldn’t put out the tags).

This is what it looks like when you open the seams

Continue to add panels alternating fabrics like this

Until you’ve attached all the panels together in a line (don’t finish the circle though).

Editor’s note:  make sure your seams meet on the top and bottom so there won’t be a hole in the ball.  If you don’t, (and make the same mistake I made) just gather all the pieces and run a seam across here:

Flip the ball right sides:

and stuff it (I like poly-fill.  Since it will probably go in the mouth and get wet, the polyester stuffing dries quicker) then hand stitch the final edge closed. 

And there you go! A Fun toy for baby in less than half an hour.