Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Busy Sewing Bee

I swear I am doing other things than JUST sewing... We did take a nice 45 minute walk today to smell the lilac scented breeze and touch some plants in the lovely sunshine. After I stopped and turned Silas' stroller seat to face forward, he discovered the joy of staring at dogs and cats and squealing at them... too bad I can only understand when the German's say how sweet he is... and nothing else, it would be a great way to have conversation with my neighbors.

Anyway... I WAS making things for the Art& Espresso (it's not longer happening) so when Silas took three naps today, I was a busy bee. Nap #1... I did the dishes AND recreated another headband style from one I bought at H&M:
...and for nap 2, I decided to try a 2 sided headband... it's kinda bulky, I probably won't make another one, but I wear mine scrunched up, it would be fine if it's worn open. I like the green stitching =]
And during nap 3 I started these, then finished them after he nodded off... my first girl style. I can't help but make mostly boy styles, I haven't really bought a ton of girly fabrics with a small enough print for shoes... but I had this on hand and got the peachy pink lining for it the other day.
These have fleece on the inside of the sole again, and the no-slip bottoms. I perfected one aspect of the design on this pair, but still want to fiddle with one part, although they are great as is, I'm a total nut about design, so if something can be better, I am determined to make it better... yeah, in short I'm a perfectionist. When I'm really happy with them, I'll probably give up my tutorial... but I will definitely sell these at the shop. I have the 6-12 month size, about a size 3... just under 5" long, down pat... next I'll figure out the 12-18, or size 4.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Slippers + A Hooded Towel Tutorial

OK, so I've been saving a bunch of baby shoe/slipper tutorials and finally got the inspiration to make them when I realized we had the no-slip-grip-fabric at the shop. Silas is pulling himself up on everything like a champ, but sliding around like crazy in his socks, even ones with grips, they just don't stay put... so, onto the tutorials...
This was my first pair from the left over Monkey fabric I used for Silas' room/bedding. I can't find where I got the tutorial from, but it's almost identical to the tutorial from Stardust Shoes except the size of the shoe sole. This one was labeled for 12-18 months. Lo and behold, it's too tight for Silas' foot. So... I altered the sizes and shapes a bit to fit more like his Robeez, which as far as I'm concerned, are THE best infant shoes. Then I got the idea to turn the folds to the outside to add a little detail.
I also did a zigzag stitch around the inside before tuning them, but I thought they looked cute even like this... I may have to come up with a way to make slippers like this now...

So, this is the pair Silas is currently wearing, I mean as we speak... They have flannel on the inside and a thin fusible lining, and even without socks, his feet stay warm and NO MORE SLIPPING! But I did mess up, I put the monkeys on the wrong toes... woops, I wanted them facing inwards like on the first pair, but I forgot to look before I sewed them on... dang. I will be making more of these for sure, they take about an hour or so.

And I also found a tutorial for double sided baby shoes... two looks in one! The tutorial is from here and the pieces are pretty much the same shape as the ones used in the other tutorials, but hers are for a tiny newborn. I attempted to increase the size... I ended up pulling out stitches at least four times and one shoe took me 2 hours last night! I made the other one this morning after adding a lining to the flannel, and it went together MUCH easier, but it's still a tricky pattern and took an hour and a half for the second one...
So this one has the blossoms on one side and soft pink flannel on the inside. No need for sticky bottoms because it's about a 6 month size and it's nice to have no seams on the inside of the shoe, but I don't know about making more of these, it's time consuming.

Honestly, I wasn't pleased with the shapes of the pieces of either shoe, so I'm making a new pattern based solely off of the Robeez and should have something this week to show for my efforts... and now that Zac is gone for the next 2 months, I'll have even more time to spend obsessing over sewing. Boo and yay at the same time.


And here's to you... a little Mother's Day gift.

A Hooded Towel Tutorial!
I wanted to do the nursing cover tutorial for today, but that darn shoe took me so long I didn't get to it... this one is something my mother taught me how to make and I've already gifted one to Adrienne, and so far I think they are worth their weight in gold. I love our hooded towel!

Medium or Large towel, softest you can find. I used the Martha Stuart Line they sell at the PX
1 hand towel, same color or coordinating (both towels washed and dried once)
1/2 yard coordinating ribbon

1 - Cut hand towel to 9" x 18", keeping one side of the original side hem. Pin Ribbon 1" from original hem
2 - Sew both sides of the ribbon down as close to the edge as possible.
3 - Fold with ribbon facing, sew the back at 1/2" seam and give your top a nice angle (it's makes the next step easier.

4 - Open your hood and sew the seam flat open on the inside, back stitch a little when you reach your angle at the top.
5 - Turn your hood right side out. What the back will look like.
6 - What the side will look like. Now set that aside.

With your big towel, fold it in half with the tag on the inside, we're going to make a big pleat.

7 - First pin your center fold. Now fold the top side back 5 or 6". Pin your new folded edge.
8 - Flip your towel over and fold the current top side back to match the other side. Pin this corner as well. You should have a pinned flap at the left side.
9 - Open that flap and lay the towel with the flat side of the pleat upwards. I like to keep this side towards the baby so there's a flat surface to lay him or her on, but you can do it with the flat side on the outside if you prefer. Now re-pin this edge so you have all three layers of the towel stabilized so you can take it to the sewing machine.
10 - Sew the pleat in place about 1/4" in. You may have to help it through the machine.

11 - Pin your hood in place, over lapping the towels about 1/2". Here it is pinned on the outside. I ended up sewing mine on the inside, but I think it would look better of the outside as it is here.
12 - Bulky, yes, but sew your hood on. I used that stitch I highlighted, I don't know what to call it, but it worked really well to cover the edge of the towel. Then I went up the side of the hood front a little to secure it in place.
13 - I had a little extra white towel on hand so I drew out the same cloud design from the ribbon using a water soluable pen and pinned it to the outside of the towel. Then I used a zigzag stitch around it. Bam, done! Now wash and dry it one more time and cut out any loose threads, there will be quite a few.

Now you have a towel to replace the tiny square ones that they grow out of after the first few months. This one will grow with your kiddo for years!

Happy bathing!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

M is for May!

... and for Mother... and Made by hand! My motivation for making tutorials at the moment is stemming from my procrastination on a project that's been in the works for over a month, but I'm so fed up with it, I needed a break! So, with no further rambling... lets make some Mother's Day cards!

This project is perfect for small scraps of fabric or printed paper (the striped one is scrap booking paper from Cosmo Cricket)

OK, materials:

- Your card, printed and folded in half.
(I used Myriad Pro in bold because it's so blocky, or you can use the image below I uploaded. It's 5.35" x 4", so your card will have to be twice that size in width or length to print it)
- A piece of card stock slightly smaller than the cover of your card.*
- Fabric of choice, cut large enough to cover the entire "M" area.
- Glue, tacky glue warps less than Elmer's
- X-acto knife (I'm not crazy about this new one, I lost my old one and may have to replace this one)
- * Option: Instead of fabric, if you use printed paper you won't need this.

1- Using a small metal ruler (best if it has cork on the back to keep it in place) cut just outside the black lines of your M.
2- Remove the M, toss it.

3- Glue the back of the fabric, just a small amount.
4- Place your fabric in the center of the card stock. Glue around the back of the M and the edge of the front side of your fabric covered card stock.

Place the card stock, centered on the back side of the front of your card. Re-fold, and viola... your personalized card! Place it under a heavy book or other very flat surface for 30 minutes or so.