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Posts Tagged ‘sewing for baby’

Such a simple and satisfying little project.  I love soft blocks.  I get to use up lots of little odds and ends of favorite fabric and make a pretty and practical little toy at the same time.   This batch of blocks was for baby Fiona (recipient of the Sweater Slippers) but since I know first hand how awesome they are to have kickin’ around, I feel extra good about this little gift.

I made soft blocks for Soren way back when (isn’t it amazing how 18 months feels like it stretches back to forever ago?).  Full of fluff and some little jingly bells to boot, these blocks worked well for all ages of babyhood.  Now, when my active toddler wants to play catch with his bro, or you know, just chuck something across the room, it’s nice that that something doesn’t leave a dent in the wall (or someone’s head for that matter).  It’s also nice that it jingles while it pops his brother in the face.  Soft blocks span the ages, see?

I hope Fiona agrees that they’re as good for chomping on at 3 months as they are for clobbering your brother with at 18 months.  Oh Fiona, there is so much fun in store for you….

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While at 18 months old, my own baby is hardly a baby anymore, I am comforted by the fact that others keep reproducing.  There is no shortage of babies to love.  And maybe just as importantly, there is no shortage of babies to make for.

Baby Fiona is the newest and cutest little muse of mine.  As the new baby of a close friend, I have been itching to shower her with some handmade baby love.

Anna Maria Horner’s Cute-as-a-Button Booties from Handmade Beginnings seemed the best way to utilize the scraps of an accidentally, ahem, felted sweater.    My hope is that next year when she’s scooting around, this winter baby will have some warm and woolly goodness to protect those sweet little toes.

I couldn’t make sweater slippers for just anyone.  Some I know might find it a little, gross maybe?, that the fabric of these small shoes is used.  But I love the idea of upcycling.  I love that I can take something that I wore and loved and make it freshly into something that my newest little friend will wear (and hopefully love).  It’s giving something another go-around.  A sweater gets a brand new life as a pair of baby booties.  That’s reincarnation at it’s best, I think.

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There have been a lot of baby booties passing through this way.  I’ve been continually inspired by Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings book, but I think it is her Cute-as-a-Button Booties that has been the most loved pattern so far.  It’s such a thrifty thrill to be able to use up those little scraps of fabric left over from larger projects and watch them add up to a marvelous little set of baby footwear all ready for gifting.  Some have been given away and some will remain for my own little-one-to-be.  Regardless of whose tiny feet they adorn, these booties are sweet and practical and sure to be cherished long after those little toes have grown.

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It’s probably no surprise that I couldn’t stop once I got on a roll with my sister’s shower presents.  Yep, I went right on ahead and made a whole bunch of cuteness for my own little one (due in just 3 weeks!).

I’ve had this fabulous Kashmir by Amy Butler fabric kicking around for maybe 2 years.  It’s apparently out of print now, so lucky that I nabbed 3 yards of it way back when.  So much for whatever I had planned to make for myself with it.  It’s a sure bet though, that this handy little diaper bag set (again, most patterns are from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby excepting the little travel wipes container that was a mostly-successful  improvisation) will get way more use than whatever skirt or shirt this lovely fabric was originally intended for.

It isn’t super-clear in the photographs, but there is a collection of little velcro pouches to fill with whatever little baby doodads are needed at the moment and slip into the diaper bag.

When I was proudly showing off my collection of home-sewn goods to my husband, the question arose,  “Why do you need all of these little bags?”

“For putting various baby things in.”

“Isn’t that what the diaper bag is for?”

Sigh.  The concept of organization is completely lost on my husband who would gladly throw the bare baby essentials in a ziplock bag, toss it in the car and call it a day.  Regardless of the necessity of my various organizational compartments however, I’m thrilled to have my own happy little bag to tote my baby boy’s things around.

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In keeping with the woodland theme of my sister’s shower, I was delighted to find this fabulous fabric at a discount fabric store.  It happily turned into a diaper bag (à la Lotta Jansdotter in Simple Sewing for Baby– an already much-used resource around here).  A little pocket friend (pattern also from Lotta’s Simple Sewing) is snuggled into the front pocket and attached with a ribbon.  That way baby can play with little blue stuffie during a diaper change, but stuffie has less of a chance of getting left behind at the park.I always liked to have my “fancy” burp cloths handy when Eli was just a little pup (who spit up all the time…) and I was out and about.  They were a cinch to make with some scraps of fabric and a stack of diaper prefolds.  What’s better than practical and pretty?A diaper bag needs a changing pad, obviously.  To have it be a matchy one out of the same snail & mushroom fabric is a nice bonus in my opinion.Lotta’s bib pattern in Simple Sewing is for a single-sided bib made out of oil cloth.  I decided to stick with cotton fabric for these.  You can’t wipe them down in the same easy way, but you can throw them into the wash.  The bibs are reversible (bonus!) and lightly quilted.
By now it is painfully obvious what a dork I am about matching, but in my defense, it is so much fun to see how much baby gear you can make out of 2 yards of fabric.  Still going strong with the snail fabric, I used a baby pants patten from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings (love that book!).  Tiny.  Matchy.  Cute.And some appliqued onesies round out Erica’s matchy little baby collection.  I fell deeply and totally in love with the Spotted Owl fabric by Alexander Henry.   Jeff commented that my beloved owls looked a little angry for baby gear.  But honestly, I think that’s what I love so much about the fabric.  It has happy owls and studious owls and goofy owls and grumpy owls.  It’s just so refreshing to me that they’re not all just happily having tea with butterflies or something.  Or maybe it’s just that this mama has some reserved compassion for grumpy owls….

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One New Look pattern for baby plus one pocket and one pocket friend from Lotta Jansdotter’s  Simple Sewing for Baby and what do you get?  The daisy dresses!I’m calling them the daisy dresses because they are just so darn bright and cheery.  Plus daisies are my favorite, you know.I went a little fabric-happy with a combination of prints from Amy Butler, Michael Miller and Westminster Fibers.  They were all so delicious that I just had to include as many of them as I could.  Hence the contrast facings, pockets and bands.  If I could eat these dresses, I would.  So Lotta’s book, that I was lucky enough to get for my birthday, is as simple and wonderful as you would expect.  The book includes a very simple dress pattern with this little pocket and pocket friend.  The dress was a little too simple for me.  At least for these birthday present dresses.  But the pocket with pocket friend was  so unbelievably cute, I knew I had to stick them on something straight away.Pocket friend is tacked into the pocket via some 1/4 inch satin ribbon.  Lotta had suggested this as a way to always have the pocket friend close at hand.  Surely pocket friend may avoid an untimely demise this way, but I’m wondering if this may prove to be slightly irritating for the moms who will wash the daisy dresses.  I did fill the pocket friends with polyester fill so as to allow realistic washing and drying, but I think I’ll also include a little disclaimer that pocket friends can be quickly untacked from their respective pockets if that makes life easier.  Either way, they are unbelievably cute.And what’s a cute little daisy dress to do without an equally cute pair of bloomers to go with it?The bloomers also come from Simple Sewing.  I added a little contrast binding for the elastic because I just couldn’t resist more patterns.  More patterns!Cute. Cute. Cute.

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