Category Archives: Sewing FYI

Baby diaper cover

I admit the diaper cover came out cute. I found a free pattern here, which was very easy to follow. However, this was my least favorite baby project.

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It was the elastic that turned me off on these. The pattern was well done, and construction was easy enough. I am just not an elastic person. It doesn’t look like a clean finish to me.  I know you’re thinking, well a zipper just won’t work here. I agree, so I tried it. They did turn out very cute, but I am only making this one pair.

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The pattern was two pieces and used very little fabric. I love that. Also, the pattern came in four sizes ranging from 0 – 24 months. I made the 0-3 month size.

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Here they are just sewn together before the elastic went in. All raw edges were serged, but there is an option to finish them with bias tape on the tutorial that goes with the pattern.

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Here is the admittedly cute rear end with the elastic inserted. I recommend this project, but with the elastic insertion it just was not for me!

Baby Burp Cloths

I was at a friend’s house recently and she had some really cute burp clothes someone had given her. Her cloths were a cloth diaper on one side and a piece of fabric on the other. In the past I have just used pieces of fabric on the end or as accents when making a burp cloth. I thought hers looked great and would be even easier to make! Here is what I did:

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I placed a cloth diaper right sides together with a piece of my flannel. I did embroider my fabric first on this one, so I made sure that was centered. I made my pink fabric larger all around because the diaper is such a loose weave it is hard to keep it straight. The extra room gave me room to maneuver a bit.

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Top stitch around the edge of the diaper, trying your best to keep the diaper from shifting much.

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Leave an opening along one side a few inches wide to pull the burp cloth right side out.

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Trim your excess from around the edge leaving a good half an inch outside the opening you left. Pull your burp cloth right side out.

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Press your cloth. If you embroidered yours be mindful not to press your threads. Press the extra fabric you left for your opening into the diaper and make sure it is even with the sides of your cloth.

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Top stitch around the edges of the diaper. The middle can be thick, so I slowed down on the ends when sewing through there. I chose to stitch in the ditch along the lines on either side of the middle portion of the diaper. My friend had hers stitched across the diaper so it folded in thirds. I think as long as you stitch it to keep it from shifting it is fine.

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I made three cloths, one out of each of my three coordinating fabrics. I only embroidered the solid pink one.

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 Here is how the baby gifts look all together. So cute!

Note 2 our Readers:  Find even more adventures from Stacie at her personal Sewing Blog

Baby Bibs

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In continuing my baby gift mission, I decided to make a couple of boutique style bibs. One of the great things about baby gifts is there are so many free tutorials out there! I followed this tutorial from Craft Gossip. Again, I wanted to embroider the bibs as well, so I varied just a bit from the instructions.

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The first one I did I placed just the bottom of the front (the pink part) in the embroider machine. While that was going I put together both pieces of the front of the other and embroidered them after they were connected.

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The important thing is to embroider the bib front before you attach it to the bib back. Once the bib front is complete, just sew following the instructions provided on the tutorial.

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I lined the backs of the bibs in coordinating fabrics.

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I decided against Velcro as my closure. I plan on adding snaps. I don’t like how Velcro snags things in the washer, and all I had was this weird flesh color anyway. Where did that even come from?

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We’ve got some great goodies going in the gift basket! I still have a couple more up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Jelly Roll Quilt Idea!

Are you looking for a fun, easy, fast quilting project? Are you a beginning quilter? Do you want to make a throw quilt top in just a few hours? If so, this is for you.

Start with a Jelly Roll.  A Jelly Roll is a collection of 40 strips of fabric that are 2 1/2″ wide. There are usually about 40 strips in each Jelly Roll. Similar to a Jelly Roll is the Bali Pop which is packaged differently than the Jelly Roll. Jelly Rolls are usually available for each new fabric collection designed for Quilting. The Jelly Roll shown is Primitive Little Gatherings by Moda. The sample quilt that Annette made for the store is from the Cherish Nature collection by Moda.

Here is how Annette made the quilt top.

  1. Take your strips from a Jelly Roll or Bali Pop or any other set of 40 ea. 2 1/2″ width of fabric strips, remove the selvedges.
  2. Sew the stops together short end to short end, forming a 1600 inch strip (REALLY LONG!)
  3. Cut about 18″ from one end of long stip. This will randomize the seams on the long stip.
  4. Fold this long strip in half with right sides together and stitch the long sides together
  5. When you get near the end cut across the strip and finish sewing.
  6. Now you have an 800″ X 4 1/2″ strip. Fold again, cut the fold and sew long sides together.
  7. Now it is 400″ X 8 1/2″. Fold again, cut and stitch so the quilt is now 200 X 16 1/2.
  8. Fold and cut again and stitch so the piece is 100″ X 32 1/2″.
  9. And one last time. Fold, cut and stitch so you have a quick quilt top that is about 50″ X 64″, a great lap quilt size. Or add borders to make a larger quilt.

You can use 3 Jelly Rolls to make a king size quilt. Complete steps 1-8 for each of the 3 Jelly Rolls. Then sew the 3 sections together on the long side. You now have a 96″ x 96″ quilt. Add  borders to the top and sides to make the quilt 108″ x 108″.

Have fun.

Happy Quilting,

Marje

Baby Gifts: Changing Pad and Diaper Wipe Pouch

One of my very favorite projects is baby related gifts. When you make a gift for a baby shower or new child, I feel like it is really appreciated and means a lot to the parents. I just found out I have a new baby celebration coming up in June, and I thought it would be fun to share my projects with you.

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One of the best parts about baby gifts is you can pick fun materials that you would not typically wear. I picked these three flannels for a baby girl. I got the fabric on sale for $2.49 per yard plus my 15% teacher discount. I bought two yards each of the polka dots and solid and one yard of the zebra print.

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I made The Sushi-Roll Changing Pad and Diaper & Wipes Pouch. I love Sew, Mama, Sew for great tutorials and ideas. This project can be made from fat quarters as well. Needless to say, it does not take much to create these projects. I used just under a half yard each of the polka dot and pink fabrics and a scrap of the zebra.

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I began with the wipe pouch. When I make things for babies I love to use my embroidery machine to personalize the gifts. I can’t get enough of new parents seeing their child’s name on their presents. I used the Curlz Three Applique Alphabet to add the first initial of their little girl. I used the Lacy Edge P from the applique file. It turned out very cute and the detail is fantastic.

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To add the ‘P’ I embroidered it onto the bottom center of the outside fabric I chose for the pouch. After the ‘P’ was on, I followed the directions from the tutorial as written.

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I lined the pouch with the polka dot material. It turned out very nicely and went together quickly.

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I made the changing pad to match. I did not embroider on the changing pad because I could not decide where to place the embroidery. I did choose to use twill ribbon instead of the elastic. I had twill on hand. I was also able to use a scrap of batting for the changing pad. I love being able to use up scraps.

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I had to show the set again. I just think they are so cute together, and the cost for these was just over a dollar each for fabric.

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I also managed to use all three machines today! I used the sewing machine for the most part. I used my serger to finish the inside of the changing pad to reinforce it before turning it right side out. Finally, I used my embroidery machine to make the ‘P’. I always feel so accomplished when I get to run them all in one day. Stay tuned for more baby gifts!

World Autism Awareness Day: Weighted Bag tutorial

April 2, 2012 is World Autism Awareness Day.  Now I do not claim to be an expert, but I would like to share something I made for a student I have now with autism. He has been stemming (that could be rocking, biting, hair twisting, etc.) more recently. I spoke with his mom about a few students I have had in the past that responded to pressure or weight. An Occupational Therapist (OT, for you in the know) explained that some children with autism respond well to pressure. It calms them somehow. There are many types of chairs and clothing and wraps, etc. on the market. Many parents of children with autism will try anything to help their child. It gets expensive, and not every treatment works for every child. To help those parents out there paying for therapies, programs and various gadgets to help their children, I thought I would share a project that is cheap that I have had success with for some of my students over the years: a weighted bag.

The weighted bag is long and flexible. Some children like it on their laps or shoulders, some like it on their feet. Some don’t like it at all, but it is worth a try. I filled mine with dry rice, but beans would work as well. I chose to use a zipper, so the family I am sharing it with can add or subtract weight as desired. I also know this particular student won’t dig the rice out and play with it. Otherwise I would close it permanently.

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So to begin. I used two 12 inch by 36 inch pieces of fabric.

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I started with inserting a zipper. I placed the zipper face down on the short side of the fabric with the fabric facing right side up.

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I used my zipper foot to sew it down.

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Then I turned the zipper up and top stitched the right side of the fabric to the zipper tape.

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Next you will do the same with the other piece of fabric. The fabrics will be facing right sides together and the zipper will be face down.

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I used the zipper foot to sew the fabric to the zipper, and again I opened the fabric pieces up and top stitched the right side of the fabric to the zipper tape.

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Go ahead and check that your zipper looks correct.

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I sewed around the bag from the end of the zipper with the stopper, down the side, across the bottom, then half way up the other side. WAIT! Open that zipper up, I did about half way, other wise you will sew your bag shut. Now continue and sew up the rest of the last side. Go ahead and finish your edges. Remember when it comes to finishing the edges on this project, they will be bearing some weight.

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I used my serger on my edges. At this point you can turn the bag right sides out and check your zipper again.

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I filled mine with some rice. I hope this project helps my student, and maybe a few more people with autism out there.

Note 2 our Readers:  Find even more adventures from Stacie at her personal Sewing Blog

Turning a Sweatshirt into a Cardigan

It is already hot in Texas. Yesterday my thermometer read 86 degrees! I work in a school where when the temperature goes up outside, the air conditioner gets turned way down. It is summer outside and winter inside. One of my favorite people at work gave me an old school sweatshirt and asked me if I could make it into something that was open she could slip on when the temperature drops in her office. Challenge accepted!

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I started by drawing a line down the center front of the sweatshirt and cutting it straight down the front.

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Scary! I told her to give me an old sweatshirt in case I messed it up, but I had to cut sometime.

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Next I cut the neck band, waistband and sleeve cuffs off just below their stitching line.

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I stay stitched the neckline to keep it from stretching while I was working with it.

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I turned the sweatshirt inside out and pinned the fabric in place. I serged my sleeve and side seams, so I pinned well inside my seam allowance. I measured in from the arm pit two inches and tapered that mark into the bottom of the shirt as well as the end of the sleeve. Repeat this on both sides. I did this because I find most sweatshirts are baggy in the arm which is very comfortable, but not flattering as a cardigan feature.

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Here are my new serged side seams.

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Finally, I used Jenny’s great binding tutorial to finish all of the raw seams. Yes, hers is on a place mat, but it is the same general idea. Our school colors are maroon and blue. Now I have a cute and boutique style cardigan from an old sweatshirt! I used my curvy decorative stitch, but I would recommend one with a bit more substance if you are going to try this project. What a great present for teachers or cute project for students! You could also add a button or hook and eye at the neckline to keep it closed if you wanted to.

Note 2 our Readers:  Find even more adventures from Stacie at her personal Sewing Blog