24 October 2013

Sewing with Lovey: Baby Stuff!

My dear friend, The Full Time Wife, gave birth last week, and I was so excited for the arrival of her baby that I went a little crazy making fun baby stuff. I pulled some tutorials (via Pinterest), made alterations as I felt like making them, and wound up with a box of stuff. Time will tell how useful it will all be, and I'm hoping she'll tell me so that if/when the time comes for me to have babies, I'll have the benefit of her experience. :)

I thought I'd share some of what I worked on. Any thoughts on the usefulness of these items, moms & dads out there? Any suggestions to make the next go-round even better?

I made her this nursing shawl:

From thecoterieblog.com via Pinterest.
It's essentially one cut and one seam. So very easy, and looks like it would be perfect. The idea of having a nursing shawl you can wear as part of an outfit, or put on just for nursing that doesn't scream to everyone in the vicinity, "HEY! MY BOOB IS OUT OVER HERE!" :) I used a light-weight black knit, extremely similar to what's pictured. I tried it on, and was even more impressed with the simplicity of it at that point.

Using this tutorial (from thecraftingchicks.com-- they also have a simplified version) for the blanket, and this tutorial (from www.coletterie.com) for the bias tape edging, I made this blanket:

I had never used minky before, had never machine-quilted before, and had never made my own bias tape, before, so lots of fun learning for me on this one! I was really pleased at how it turned out, especially considering all the technique new-ness. Besides, the imperfections prove it was home-made with love. :)

I also used this tutorial (from tutorialadventures.blogspot.com), and created my own tag, which I put on the blanket, too. Yay.

I used a combination of this tutorial (from walkingwithdancers.blogspot.com) and this tutorial (from diymaternity.com) to make washable, contoured nursing pads. I think I ended up sending her 10 pairs. I thought these were kind of fun to make. It's easy to churn out a batch of these with very little fuss. I used a variety of types of fabric including fleece, knit, cotton, and flannel for the pretty side, and a variety of thicknesses/layers on the absorbent side, cut from a 10-pack of cloth diapers I bought at Walmart. My darling husband is going to have to wait until I get another package of them to start using them as cleaning, waxing (car and boat), and outdoor sweat/work cloths. Sorry, love.

I think the fleece monkeys are my favorite. :) 
Using this tutorial (from diaryofaquilter.com), and this feedback about modified burp cloths (from thehomesihavemade.com - she said that adding a strip of fabric down the absorbent middle of the cloth diaper inhibited the absorption and made them essentially useless), I made a batch of burp cloths from another ten-pack of cloth diapers. Since the complaint about absorption made sense to me, I tried to keep the embellishments off the center section, so that they'd still be useful, but also let me play with them.

The gray & pink flower fabric on the left is what I used to
make the bias tape for the blanket.

I had come across this "Latchy Catchy," which is listed in the latchycatchy Etsy shop, and apparently has patents pending. Basically a strip that you put on the edge of a door, wrapped around both door knobs to keep the door from slamming and waking up the baby. Seems like a good idea, so I'm not really surprised about the patenting. I guessed at how to make it (since I didn't have a tutorial to go by, for this proprietary design), and wound up with this.

Definitely not perfect, but I was pleased. I did the same little bird in the center, front and back. I did check, and the encased elastic stretches far enough to go around both door knobs. I had to fiddle a bit with the inside of the middle part to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold the latch back and not just be an exercise in futility. A little iron-on fabric strengthener, and an extra layer made it work.

I thought this was a similarly excellent idea (Mammary Minders from dazzlebyd Etsy shop). Basically, a magnetic ribbon to put on your bra to remind you which side you need to nurse next.

I learned quite a bit while making these, and the third attempt (one on the right with sequins) was definitely the best. The most obvious thing that I should have figured out before I goofed up the first one I finished (on left, cream-colored) and ruined a couple other attempts is that super-strong magnets are lots of fun to try to sew around with a solid steel sewing machine. Heh heh... The 2nd and 3rd, I left the pockets unsewn on one edge of the inside and added the magnets after I was done sewing. I still think I can do better, but I'm not horrified by the finished product on these. I will definitely make another attempt on another day to perfect this. I really liked the idea.

I still have a batch of fun things I'm making or wanting to make to send her, but we will see if/when time permits.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts or insights about these. What are your favorite homemade baby/maternity items?

Much love,

P.S. All of the tutorials listed above were found via Pinterest, but as Jessica Hill said on this post, Pinterest isn't responsible for all the work that went into the tutorials-- the original creators/authors/bloggers are, and I want to give credit where credit is due. Pinterest has made them much more accessible to me, though, so yay for it, too! And yay for babies!

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