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Simplicity 2629 Review: Sew a Baby Slip

21 Sep

Such a sweet gift for a sweet little niece of mine.

For my niece Zuzu’s first birthday I knew I wanted to make something special.  I debated for a long time over what exactly to make for her.  There are SO many adorable patterns and tutorials for making things for little girls it was almost overwhelming!  When I came across Simplicity 2629 I knew right away this pattern was perfect.  It is a vintage pattern from 1948 that was re-released recently.  Pretty cool I think.  Zuzu’s mom Renee enjoys vintage things also so I thought this might be a good fit.  I’ve always wanted to sew a true vintage pattern but have always been too scared that a pattern I might pick up at the thrift store that has been cut wouldn’t include all of the pieces.

The pattern is actually a layette pattern and includes lots of sweet baby items.  I finally settled on sewing little Zuzu a slip.  I wasn’t sure if she had one or not but it seemed like such a fun little thing to make to keep her just a little bit warmer throughout the winter.  (I think she could almost sleep in the slip during the summer if the house were really warm also.)  I made a size Large for Zuzu and sewed View F but ended up not attaching the ruffle since it already seemed plenty long enough to me.

Any pattern for embroidery could easily be substituted here.

This was my first time ever combining sewing with any sort of needlework or embroidery.  I absolutely LOVE the result!  I was able to take a bunch of inexpensive materials (plain white broadcloth, 2 white buttons (I had), thread, and a bit of lace and make something so sweet.  I found that the embroidery did take quite a while but I just love how it turned out.  This pattern is included in the envelope but you could really substitute any outline.

Do note if you make this pattern that the seam allowance is 3/8″ instead of the usual 5/8″.  I was kind of surprised that the slip buttoned at the top of the shoulders.  I guess it has to button somehow since the pattern is not intended for knit fabric.  I had thought originally about not adding the lace but am so glad that I did.  🙂  It was difficult to find the 3/8″ lace so I ended up using 1/2″ lace that my mom had in her stash.

The finished product.

Overall this pattern was adorable and so much fun to work with.  I can’t see myself sewing another slip anytime soon but one day I might make the dress that is included in the pattern as a baby gift in the future.

Sew a Pair of Baby Shoes: Simplicity 2278 Review

10 Aug

My first pair of baby shoes!

This past week I made something that I never dreamed normal people (like me) could sew.  Baby shoes!  Sure sometimes you see those crazy talented sewing ladies on their blog whipping up a cute pair of ballet slippers from an old purse.  I’m just not one of those people who looks at an old leather purse and magically makes a pair of baby shoes.  I can however read a pattern pretty well if it is well written.  Simplicity 2278 was a dream to sew.  I made ViewA in a size medium.  It’s a good thing Elijah was a little boy and not a little girl or I think I would have stayed up late sewing him shoes instead of studying.  😉

I had some leftover fabric (small scraps really) from sewing a Simplicity 2295 tote bag and just used the leftover fabric.  I cut the pieces out without worrying too much about grain lines.  This seemed to work well.  I cut a size medium but really don’t know what size these would correspond to in regular shoe sizes.

So sweet. I added a simple plain 3/8″ button I had on hand. The button is just for decoration as the shoes velcro closed.

I did not use any Jiffy Grip like the pattern calls for.  I didn’t have any and I live far away from a fabric store.  The baby won’t be walking in these shoes so I don’t think it matters.  (They are not made for walking.)  Instead I just used regular fabric.  You could easily make the soles out of the same material as the rest of the shoe.  For a neat contrasting look I used a coordinating fabric instead for the bottom of the shoes.  I would recommend sewing step 10 (sewing the sole) with a seam allowance of  3/8 instead of 1/4.  It seems like the sole would fit in the shoe better this way.

I was amazed at how simple these shoes were to sew.  Really if you sew you must try to make a pair of these shoes for the next baby shower you attend.  I would recommend sewing either a size medium or large the first time around.  I haven’t sewn the small size but it just sounds difficult to make a teeny tiny shoe.  🙂

The most adorable scrap fabric busting ever!

The pattern also includes a pattern for an adult size shoe/house slipper which is kind of neat I guess.  I never thought about making myself a pair of slippers but I guess it could happen.  It would be really cute to sew a mom and baby matching slippers.  I would recommend using Jiffy Grip if you make the adult size slippers.  There are a total of 5 different baby shoes in this pattern.  I’m hoping to try to make the little boots View B for a friend’s baby sometime this fall.  They would look absolutely adorable in John Deere fabric.  This pattern contains shoes that a little boy could also wear.  I am sure that I will be making it often for baby gifts.

How to repair a car seat cover

10 Jun

This is what the car seat cover looked like before the re-do.

While at a baby shower in April a friend asked me if I could help her fix the cover on her car seat.  I was thinking little rip or tear.  She was thinking either sew an entire new car seat cover or replace part of an existing cover.  😉  Always one for a challenge and also having a strong desire to help my friend out and save her some money I said yes.  It was a litte bit of a challenge and I would not recommend attempting something of this nature if you are a beginning sewer.  If you have been sewing for a little while then the following is a make-shift tutorial of what I did to fix the seat.  It took a little time but saved the family lots of money.  I was so thankful that my family was able to bless her family in this way!  🙂

The car seat needed to be fixed due to a small amount of mildew/mold in the bottom right corner. My friend had already killed the mold before giving me the car seat cover so I did not mess with any of that.  If you do have mold or mildew on your cover you need to kill the mold/mildew first.  It probably would have been okay if it had just been patched over since it was dead but since a newborn baby would be in close contact with the car seat I decided to rip out any portion of the old cover that contained mold and make another part to replace that area. 

 

(This is a finished image.) Using a seam ripper I patiently ripped out the seams along the bottom and along the sides of about 1/3 of the car seat along the bottom. Then I took a BIG breath and cut across the middle. (I did not cut any of the brown outer edge.)  I also removed the tab that covers the buckle (I think) and kept it for later.  (I re-attached it at the end.) 

 

After removing the bottom portion of the car seat I also ripped out the stitching in the middle so that I had two pieces: the top and the bottom.  Keep both pieces.  The top portion will be used to make a pattern for the new piece. 

 

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Make a pattern by tracing the top piece.  Then add your seam allowance.  (I used 1/2″.)   Be sure to unfold the center pieces and add 1/2″ for seam allowances there also.  I also added a 1/2″ to the top of the pattern in order to compensate for having to sew the bottom portion to the top of the cover.  You don’t want your cover to be too tight when it is finished.  Make sure to include markings for where there needs to a hole for the buckle or a buttonhole for the car seat straps.  In the picture I have my pattern piece laying on top of the blue fabric that was used as the repair piece. Make sure that you use the same material that the rest of your cover is made out of. I used a suede fabric and made sure to find one that was WASHABLE. Do not use a dry clean only fabric.

Cut out the square in the center (where the buckle will go). Then cut a small 1/2 inch slit in each of the corners. This will make it easier to sew this part.

 

I had originally planned on replacing the batting but changed my mind and used the original batting and the back piece. Place the batting and the top piece right sides together. Pin around the hole in the center. Stitch around the hole in the center.

Sew completely around the inside square. Turn inside out.

After turning inside out press lightly with an iron. (Be careful to use your irons recommended settings for your fabric.) Top stitch around the edge of the opening.

Make a large button-hole using the markings you made on your patterns.  Add fray check or fray block to keep seams from fraying.  (I don’t remember what exact settings I used on the buttonhole-something heavy-duty though.) 

 

I also removed the buckle flap from the original piece and sewed it onto the new bottom. I followed the sewing lines on the flap that were sewn on originally and used a 3/8″ seam allowance. I think the flap here added a nice touch to help incorporate the bottom portion with the rest of the cover. 🙂

 

 

Sew the bottom portion back onto the cover sewing right sides together and attaching bias tape when necessary.

The final step is by far the hardest one.  Don’t give up you are almost finished!  This was a big fight to shove all of the fabric in between the bias tape.  For parts of it I sewed the top piece to the bottom piece and THEN attached the bias tape.  (Sorry I don’t have a picture of this tricky step.)

Here is an upclose view of the car seat fix. The blue fabric is the fix fabric while everything else is the original fabric.

 

Ta-da! One fixed car seat cover.

 

Overall this was a great project and one that I can definitely say was a blessing to others.  (I hope at least.)  🙂  What a great reminder that God can use any of our skills or gifts to be a blessing to someone else.  If you have any questions about how to fix/repair your car seat cover please leave a message in the comments and I will get back with you!

Make Shift Baby Pool

22 Jun

Look at that face. He's having a blast!

 As many of you know our air conditioning broke a few weeks ago.  It was really hot!  Especially being at home all day with a little one.  I thought about buying one but was feeling lazy.  (It’s so hard to go to go to the store for just one item.)  Instead I found a storage box, emptied it out, and filled it with water.  It was perfect!  He loved it!  The first day he wouldn’t actually get in it.  Elijah prefered just splashing and playing.  The next day was a different story as the pictures will tell.  (Oh and yes that is a cloth swim diaper in the photos.) 🙂 

Oh this is cold! What a great sensory tool! 🙂

 

 

It was such a delight to watch Eli explore the water.

 

The great thing about the make shift baby pool is that it cost nothing since we already had the storage container on hand and the fact that it has a lid.  The lid also locks.  🙂  We are really liking our make shift pool not sure if we will ever go buy that kiddie pool.

Sew a Pack-N-Play Sheet

16 Jun

Eli's new pack-n-play sheet.

 

Sewing your own pack-n-play sheets is a cinch!  They are very similar to sewing crib sheets so please check out this tutorial for detailed instructions.  I have actually made 2 sheets so far: one out of woven material and one out of knit fabric.  The knit is by far my favorite!  It stays on much better.  To make a knit sheet purchase 1 yard of 60″ wide knit fabric.  You will also need to purchase 2 yards of elastic either 3/8″ or 1/2″. 

  1. Measure your pack-n-play as they vary a little in sizing.  Mine measured 27X40.  Since the mattress is so thin (merely an inch) I disregarded it.  Then I added 7 inches to both measurements.  My cutting measurements were then: 34X47.  If using a woven fabric I would add an additional inch since your fabric has no stretch to it.  You will also need to purchase more than 1 yard of fabric-purchase your final longer measurement.  Here that would be 47″. 
  2. Lay your fabric out and at each corner cut out a 5X5 square. 
  3. To make the pockets take the sides that were just cut (the square sides) and place right sides together.  Sew them together using 1/2″ seam allowance.  Repeat for each of the 4 corners.  If this is confusing see here. 
  4. Finish the edges using a serger, pinking sheers, or simply fold the fabric over twice and sew.  (This is to prevent fraying.) 
  5. Use a zig zag stitch to sew your elastic to the edge of the sheet stretching as you go.  (This is different from the crib sheet tutorial.  For the crib sheets I only used elastic on the pockets. I found that it works better for the pack and play to have elastic around the entire thing.)  You could also make a casing and insert elastic.  I find that it is much simpler to just stretch the elastic as I sew. 

 

Put sheet on pack-n-play mattress and admire your handiwork. 🙂 Or place child inside for a nap.

 

G Diaper Review

15 Mar

My favorite part of g diapers is their utter cuteness!

As a lady who loves cloth diapers I am always intrigued when I find out about new diapers or cloth diapering systems.  A couple weeks ago I picked up a couple of G Diapers at Lexington’s Mother Nurture’s cloth diaper consignment sale.   G diapers are a hybrid cloth diaper meaning that they are kind of a mix between disposable diapers and cloth diapers.  They consist of 3 parts an outer cover (shown in orange in the photo above), a vinyl liner and an insert.  Inserts can either be disposable or cloth.  I have not used the disposable inserts. 

I have found G diapers to be the trimmest cloth diapers I have used yet.

Pros:

  • Super cute design available in a variety of colors.
  • Trim design which does not add bulk to clothing.
  • Diapers fasten in the back so little hands can’t take them off.  🙂 
  • Disposable inserts can be flushed or composted.  They wil biodegrade in less than a month rather than years! 
  • Can be used with prefolds, regular inserts (what I do) or you can purchase G Diaper Cloth inserts. 

Cons:

  • these diapers seem to leak more than my faithful Bummis or Bumgenius.  I would not recomm     end them for overnight use.
  • Disposable inserts cost about 2x as much as a disposable diaper would.

I still prefer my Bumgenius or Bummis wraps/prefolds any day over the g diapers but these work well as spare diapers.  I got an excellent deal on my little gpants and have found them to work well in my rotation.  I usually

My favorite diaper bag essential: the wet bag

4 Mar

Our favorite wet bag wasn't near as hard to sew as I thought it would be. 🙂

For years I have been scared to death of sewing anything that involved a zipper.  Last week I finally conquered that fear and made a wet bag.  With swim suit season just around the corner and the weather warming up I know we will be using these more and more.  I followed this tutorial which was okay.  (I did use PUL instead of vinyl since that’s what I had on hand.)  I”ll probably make a better tutorial in the future.  (I only had to rip out stitches twice but I did finish it.)  What do you think?  

We always keep a wet bag in our diaper bag to throw in dirty diapers, yucky bibs, or even wet swimsuits.

We went swimming today and it was great to have a wet bag with us.  I can throw in swim suits and towels zip it up and throw it into my swim bag.  No worrying about everything else in my bag getting soaked.  🙂  I also highly recommend having a couple of these if you are a cloth diapering mamma or plan to be.  It is soooooo much nicer and greener than using plastic bags.  I always have one in our diaper bag.  🙂