Baby Gifts Galore

I have quite a bit of friends and family having babies lately (plus myself!)  So, lots of handmade gifts have been in the works.  There are still 4 babies due in the next few months, so I’m not done yet.  These are what I have given so far.  Many of the embroidered onesies were done months ago, but I had to come up with something else for my cousin who is not finding out the gender.  I saw these blanket stitched onesies on Turkey Feathers Blog and I knew that would be perfect.  I coordinated the colors to her burp cloths (fabric is from Amy Butler’s Belle-Sun Glow)

I found a great way to make the fabric trimmed burp cloths.  (from this great tutorial: boutique baby burp cloths)  I have been making double sets of these-one to give and one to keep for us!  We have plenty of onesies left from our first son, but we really need some new burp cloths!  I love how they are trimmed only at the ends-lots of room in the middle for the messy stuff.  I see so many burp cloths being sold with the fabric sewn right down the middle, but I don’t think that is practical-I haven’t used any like that but my thinking is that it is just going to get yucky and the fabric would keep the birdseye cloth from absorbing.  Maybe those are just for looks, but I want something that can really be used and look pretty too! 

I have also made a nursing cover, and some sun protective blankets (like these: Secure 2 Me Eclipse, I already had some of the solarveil fabric they use). 

Amy's Gifts


Burp Cloths-Amy's

Burp Cloths-Amy's


Burp cloths-Erin's

Onesies and Burpcloths-Kim's


Recycled Sewing Projects

There has been a lot of talk everywhere about going “green”.  I have been seeing a lot of sewing projects that are using old clothing to create new things.  Some call this refashioning, but it is plain old recycling to me!!  I have a crate full of old clothes and towels just waiting to be turned into something useful again.  So here are some ideas….

T-shirt skirt (all buttoned up)

T-shirt pants (all buttoned up)

Hand Me Up shirt (betz white)

Easy kids pants (rookie moms)

Pants from a t-shirt -for adults (LJ bakedinapie)

Men’s Button Shirt to Cute Cap Sleeved Top (craftster)

Fleece or wool pants from old shirts or sweaters -flickr photoset (twelve paws)

Sweater Pants (that’s kinda cool)

Button down shirt to toddler dress (craftster)

Recycled Sweater Totes (canadian living)

Old Jeans=Toddler Dungarees (made by petchy)

Tank Top to Tote Bag (stitch lounge)

Girls Gathered Valance Top or Dress (stitch lounge)


Shirring (with elastic thread)

This is a new technique to me and I just got up the nerve to try it last week.  I used a mystery remnant from wal-mart since I didn’t want to waste any of the good fabric!  The remnant was the perfect size to make a top for a friends daughter.  It took a lot of fiddling with my machine and ripping out a few rows of stitching but I finally got the settings right.  It is really fun to do once you get it right!  I would show you a picture, but in my excitement to give it away, I forgot to take one.  I am planning some more though so I’ll get some pictures eventually….

I found that on my machine I had to turn the tension up to about 7 or 8 to get the right amount of stretch.  I started with it low and it would barely stretch and the fabric slid around on the elastic. 

Here are some helpful hints for shirring:

Shir Madness Tutorial (portabello pixie)

Sunny Day Top or Dress Tutorial (house on hill road)

Shirred Dress Tutorial (kuky ideas)

Maternity modifications/alterations

Regular jeans to maternity jeans (could also be used with any other pants or skirts that are too tight) : paisley princess

Full Tummy Adjustment: Rostitchery

Easy Pattern Adaptations for Sewing Maternity Wear: Jan Andrea-Baby Crafts

Modifying shirt/dress patterns for nursing

I tried a few nursing shirts with my first baby and they were so overwhelming that I just gave up and resorted to either pulling up or unbuttoning a shirt wearing a nursing tank underneath.  The ones I tried were full two layer in front with various openings on the under layer and none of them worked right for me.   First I am petite, so they were huge to begin with.  Second I am very small breasted so it was a challenge to find the opening and get it to stay where I needed it while nursing.   BUT I have discovered a nursing style that I am in love with-and it will be easy to convert many of my current shirt and dress patterns for.  The empire nursing opening (sometimes called crop style).  This is made basically by having two layers over the bust area.  The top layer ends under the bust where an empire style would be-but it is not connected in the middle-just at the side seams.  The top layer overlaps the bottom half of the shirt and to nurse all you do is pull up the top layer and pull down the bottom layer.  You no longer have to have the whole length of your shirt bunched up over your breast-plus you are exposing very little of the breast as you are nursing.  The first brand I saw with this style was BOOB.  Then as I have been looking around recently I have found some empire nursing styles in Japanese Weekend (during and after nursing), and Motherwear.

There are some wonderful ladies who have already figured out how to alter patterns to sew your own top with this nursing style.

Rostitchery: Overlap Nursing Top -includes line drawn pattern pictures

Rostichery: Two Piece Nursing Top

Rostitchery: Twist Top with Nursing Access -a bit more challenging than the overlap, but very trendy

Emma’s Sewing: Overlap Style Nursing Clothing -Look on the right side under categories and click on nursing or overlap and you will find the post where she alters a pattern for nursing

Purses from summer

 I made these 2 purses over the summer.  They were both made with free patterns and I think they turned out well.  I usually get compliments on them and that is always nice!  They don’t hold much, but I only use a purse when I go out on my own or I am carrying a purse with the diaper bag.

Bias Tape Purse: tutorial by belle epoque

I added the little ruffle to the front and pockets to the inside.  The fabrics are natural cotton canvas and Heather Bailey’s Freshcut (mums).  (click picture to see inside pics)

Bias Tape Purse-freshcut

Kwik Sew Clutch: free pattern from Kwik Sew 

I quilted the outside fabric, added pockets and a strap. The fabrics are Amy Butler’s Ginger Bliss (cinnamon red deco bouquet) and natural muslin lining. (click picture to see inside pics)

Kwik Sew Clutch-ginger bliss

Sew your own Reusable Grocery Bags

Craftster’s current craft challenge is Reusable shopping bags (read about it here), so here are some patterns that I am going to try out.  Sounds like fun!  Be green! 

Singlet style shopping bag(shape of plastic bag)-craftster tutorial by queen of diy

Fabric Shopping Bag-all free crafts

Morsbags-instructions (pdf) /animated how-to

Classic Open Tote-make it easy

Reusable produce bags-circle of life

Onestringbag-for produce (instructables)

Re-Use Me Produce Bags (instructables)

Curved Bag Gusset tutorial/reusable grocery bag with carry case-u-handbag

Durable, Reusable Grocery Bag

Market Tote (Jo-Ann)

Teeny tiny fold up shopping tote (stitch lounge)