Baby Shower Gift

We are throwing a shower for a friend of ours in August.  This will be their second boy.  I have really been wanting to try my hand at doing some handmade shower gifts but I haven’t had too many pregnant friends lately.  I was excited to give the burp cloths and blanket a go.  I’d also like to make some bowtie onesies, but I’m not sure if I’ll get around to it.

The blanket was easy.  I found some adorable grey, white and teal minky fabric with a whale pattern.  A.dor.able.  I looked up online a typical measurement (36″ x 52″) and went with that.  The fabric was only 36″ on one side so it ended up slightly smaller after hem allowance.  I also lost a little more length on that side due to movement in the fabric as I sewed.  Just as the last minky blanket, it was slinky and slippery and moved around as I sewed.    This one was a little worse though, because *both* fabrics were minky.  So, I pinned to crap out of it and sewed one edge at a time, rather than doing one stitch all the way around like I wanted.  I sewed the two shorter opposite ends first.  Hoping that would help the longer ends stay in place.  I think it did help some, but the blanket did not end up completely symmetrical.  I’m not too concerned though, it’s cute and soft, and handmade. 🙂

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I also made 5 flannel burp cloths.  Super easy.  Measured the fabric based on the center strip of the cloth diaper (purchased at Wal-Mart).  Gave myself about 1 inch total for seam allowance for each the length and width (about .5″ per side).  Fold seam allowance to match measurement, pressed, pinned, then sewed.  I did not want two stitch marks on each side, so I did not make a seam first.  I sewed the fabric to the diaper and made the seam at the same time.

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All fabric was purchased at Jo-Ann’s.

Lachlan’s Quiet Book

As promised here is the full gallery of Lachlan’s Quiet Book.  One year in the making.  I had so many ideas for activities that it was hard to choose just one.  You can find tons of ideas on pinterest or even a google image search for “quiet book activities”. Since this was my first time, I wanted something a little more simple.

Some things I learned.  High quality, dense felt is a *must* for the activities.. the $1 stuff at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s won’t cut it (no pun intended).  If using printable fabric, print on paper first to check size/layout.  Invest in a high quality precision scissor.  Large fabric scissor just don’t work well for those small intricate cuts on felt.  Think about how you plan to bind it *before* starting.  This was my last thought after everything was put together and the grommets really were not my favorite option.  But I was running out of time and energy and didn’t want to try something that didn’t work and subsequently ruin all the hard work I did.

For the picture pages I used a regular color printer on printable fabric.  This was one of the most time-consuming pieces.  Most of it was because I laid out the entire book in Powerpoint, then had to transfer the pictures to word to print them on to the fabric.  When I did that I had to resize them to be big enough to make an impact.  Then I printed on to regular paper, resized if necessary, THEN printed on to the fabric.  Not to mention that I had troubles with my ink cartridges a *few* times.  Ugh.  All said and done it turned out well and now I know the best way to do it.

Grocery Bag activity my husband and I thought up.  We thought it was funny because BFF and I grew up in Texas but she now lives in Colorado… if you know anything about Texas we have an (awesome) grocery store called HEB.  She’s said to me on many occasion that HEB is one of the things she misses the most.  We were short one activity and decided to make the grocery bag so that Little Man can put his groceries in and out of the bag.

Dump Truck Wheel activity.  I got this idea from All The Quiet Things blog.  She also posted patterns (at the bottom of the post) which I used for this activity as well as the Tools activity.

Tools activity.  Again, the idea cam from All The Quiet Things.  Only difference was that after I cut the first set of tools, I decided that they were not going to be strong enough for a 2-year-old.  So, I cut a backing sewed it on, stuffed the ones I could (saw, hammer, and screw driver) then finished up the seam.  I like the 3D effect much better than the 2D flat type.  It’s also much more sturdy and “usable”.

Christmas Tree/Gift activity.  I made this one up as well.  Even though he’s a bit young for tying, I figured it was still a good activity for him some day.  I also didn’t have too many pictures to fill up the space so I had to improvise.  I wanted to do a Christmas tree with place-able ornaments, but I was worried about them getting lost or ripped.

Barn activity.  This activity idea and pattern came from Homemade By Jill.  With all the white ribbon and extra sewing, this activity definitely took the longest to sew.  The puppets were a little difficult for me as well because of their size and trying to find a good way to attach them that would last through a toddler.  I eventually went with velcro instead of a pocket, although looking back a pocket might have been a better option.  I also added a button with ribbon closure so he could open and close the door completely.

 

 

Teaser: Lachlan’s Quiet Book

I took a huge hiatus and now I’m coming back with a bang!

My best friend asked me, about a year ago, to make her son a quiet book of his first year.  A fabric scrapbook of sorts.  She hasn’t seen the whole finished product yet, so I can’t post all the pictures.  I’ll be visiting her in a week and will schedule a post for that day.  I can’t wait to see the look on her face.

Easy closet downsize

The hubs and I went through our clothes and gave away everything that either didn’t fit or wasn’t our style any more.  He gave away 1.5 giant trash bag’s worth of clothes plus 5 pairs of shoes.  I gave the other .5 and also 5 pairs of shoes.  In my defense, I had done a purge maybe 6 months ago… I’m not sure he had done one in the 5.5 years we’ve been in this house.

After going through our clothes I put all my clothes on space saving thin hangers (hubs got to keep his regular plastic hangers).  In the end, I think I bought about 200 hangers and had maybe 15 left over.  I chose the Real Simple ones from Bed Bath & Beyond and purchased them over a few months so I could use the 20% coupons.  The hubs thought it was crazy to buy special hangers, but I really do think it saved me space.  There is actually enough room to move the clothes around and *look* at them before choosing it to wear.  I also really like that the velvet coating helps the clothes stay on the hanger.

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Bathroom organization

Every year around the holidays I get the urge to organize and purge.  Probably because I know we’re getting ready to have an influx of new stuff, but it’s also a period when I actually have *time* to do it.  I decided to re-organize and purge my bathroom cabinet and drawers.

I started by basically pulling everything out and purging first.  I think I threw away about 2 small grocery bags of stuff.  Old make up that I won’t ever use, expired make up, lotions that had started to smell funny, etc.  Then I started to replace everything and find a nice orderly way to organize it.  I also wanted to try to take some things off of my counter top (not pictured) and move it into the cabinet.  While I still have a lot of stuff (and no before picture) it is more organized.

Cabinet.

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1.  Big changes here were put my hair dryer on a hook (right side)

2.  Put brushes into a container- they were taking an entire drawer before

3.  Purge old make up and hair products.

4.  Organize- yes, you do see 3 bottles of mouthwash and 2 bottles of toothpaste.  I bought some with a groupon and then got some for Christmas.  It’s an awesome line called Therabreath, seriously helps with morning breath!

 

My two drawers.

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1.  Move make up to highest (and smallest drawer)- this drawer was used to hold my hair brushes, which rarely get used.  I moved my everyday make up and face products to this drawer.

2.  Move my basket of hair accessories and other misc. items to bottom drawer and purge.  This drawer was my most messy.  It was filled with daily use items that were never organized.  I moved my hair accessories here to open up the space in the cabinet for the brushes.  In the back of the drawer are my daily items and oft used hair products.

Re-organzing the girl’s closet and bathroom

I did a slight reorganization a few months ago, but have been slacking in putting them up.  Nothing fancy.  I just updated her closet organization system to better fit her bigger clothes.  This also allowed me to add some baskets to the center shelf for her shoes, slippers, and tights.  I also added a few plastic hooks on the wall to hang a few of her bags.

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I also did a slight organization of her bathroom cabinets.  Everything was hither tither (no before picture, unfortunately) so I separated it all into like medicines and products.  Then I put them into bins and labeled.  Sorry for the yellow picture, the lighting was horrible.

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Minky baby blanket

So, when the BFF asked me to make baby L a sleeping blanket she was gracious enough to send me some fabric.  She purchased a brown minky fabric and a white and brown cotton pattern.  While it was cute and soft, it was going to take me a few extra steps if I wanted to use it for the sleep sack.  So I asked her if I could use it for something else instead, and she asked for a blanket.

SWEET!  Something easy!

I found a few tutorials (here, here, and here) but decided to go with this one in the end.  I did change it a bit as I wanted a rounded edge instead of straight.  I’ve realized that I like to read a few different tutorials on every project that I take on.  I think it helps me solve problems that might arise.  It also seems that I can take a little of one tutorial and mix it with another to make it easier on myself.  Oh, I also have to mention that the tut I went with recommended “cutting” the cotton fabric by ripping it.  When I read that I thought “bah! heck no I’m no ripping it!”  It *totally* worked though, and much quicker and straighter than cutting it.  I’ll definitely be using that technique for now on.

Here’s the finished product…

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I did notice the minky fabric is a little more difficult than the cotton.  It’s stretchy and moved around a lot even though I pinned the crap out of it.  By the end there was a bit of extra that I had to cut off around the edge.  Other than that, took me 30 minutes to finish it up once the fabric was cut.

Sleep Sack

My BFF has an 11 month old son and asked me awhile back to make him a sleep sack (a.k.a wearable blanket).  If you’re not familiar with what a sleep sack is, check out this link.

For the sleep sack I used this tutorial.  I had found quite a few tutorials, but I kept going back to that one.  I have to admit that I was nervous about trying to make the sleep sack because until this project, I had never sewn a zipper.  I actually put it off way longer than I meant to because I was so worried about it.  It turned out to be much easier than I thought.  I just used the zipper tutorial found in the original sleep sack tut.

With her approval, I’m posting some pictures of Baby L wearing the sleep sack I made.

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Snack bag

I finally did it!  The one thing I’ve been wanting to do since I started sewing.  Reusable snack bags!  Oh boy are they E-Z!!  I’m really excited about these because once I get all the pieces cut out, I think I could punch a few of these out in an hour.  I foresee this being a great project for those fabulous coordinating fabrics I bought from fabricworm a few months ago!
The tutorial that I linked to used two cotton fabrics for both the outer and inner fabrics.  I chose to use a snag free nylon.  I just felt that it was more user-friendly because it would be wiped out easily rather than needing to be washed if it got dirty.  I think both are great and if you have a good option for the inner fabric go for it.  I however, did not.