Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pennant Banners

This is the first event that I have made a pennant banner for and I am hooked! I remember seeing pennant banners on various blogs and wanted to make one for a baby shower so I looked around a bit and based mine off of the one on Your Homebased Mom. She had made these for all different occasions and I loved how she makes more than one for an event. I think that having one in each area really ties the look of the party together!
Here's a few of my tips for making the banners. I would love to create a whole collection of banners that can be whipped out for different occasions (how much fun for birthday mornings at home or welcome home from camp)! I wanted these banners to really hold up for a long time so I sandwiched a 9x21 inch piece of Wonder Under between the fabric so that it won't fray with repeated use.
I found it super easy to measure out right on a cutting mat- just place ruler in one corner and the other end on the 3-1/2 inch mark and cut.
Then count across seven inches on top and line up the other end on the spot where you cut the last line to create a point.
Just keep counting the seven inches across the top until you have five pennants. Here is where this project could be super ridiculously easy- if you want, these can be no sew pennants since the fabric is already fused together! You of course would still need to attach it to the bias tape but that is easy peasy!
I personally love the look of the pennants being sewn so I continued on to the rest of the regular tutorial.

You can trust that you will be seeing more of these at parties in the future! I think my next one will be for my son's birthday party in late summer- we haven't nailed down a theme yet but I'm sure that I will find cute fabric for whatever it ends up to be!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Godly Home

“I believe that a Godly home is a foretaste of heaven.
Our homes, imperfect as they are,
must be a haven from the chaos outside.
They should be a reflection of our eternal home,
where troubled souls find peace,
weary hearts find rest,
hungry bodies find refreshment,
lonely pilgrims find communion,
and wounded spirits find compassion.”
                                                       - Jani Ortlund

Those of you who follow my blog might know that I haven't done an Monday Inspiration for some time. I didn't want to force the issue and have to try to "find" something inspirational to share. I decided instead to just share when I came across something. I saw this posted on my friend's facebook page last week and it really stuck with me so I went back to her page and had to post this.
Whether it be painted or stitched or something else, I will make something with this quote to be a reminder for me every day!

I want to remember this when my children get older, when life for them gets rough, when friends disappoint and school is hard. I want to remember this every day when my husband is on his way home from a long day's work. And I want to remember this when I have visitors who may need a break from their own home.

Thank you Jackie for posting this on facebook, it made my day and I'm sure that it was meaningful for many of your friends!


Have a great and peaceful day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stroller Bag

I don't want to go overboard and really sound like I'm tooting my own horn but this project is one that I really loved how it turned out! I originally found this pattern from Simple Sewing for Babies from Lotta Jansdotter. When my kids were young enough to still sit in a stroller I often wished I had a bag that wasn't bulky and needed to be shoved under the stroller where you can never reach anything when you need it.
 This started out as a super simple knock-it-out-in-one-nap deal. I loved the simplicity of the style and it was definitely cute but flat with a solid strap and no liner. I know that it was made like this to serve the purpose of "simple sewing for babies" but I started to think that it could be improved. My sister-in-law (the recipient of this bag) and I agreed that a liner would be nice. I also thought that an adjustable strap for different strollers would be beneficial. Then in the last hour of planning, I decided to add an panel and throw in a few extra pockets.
When we discussed adding an adjustable strap, it started with talk of using velcro. Feeling that it wouldn't be as reliable or aesthetically appealing, I chose to do a slide strap. OK, now thinking about it, I actually decided to go with the slide strap when I came across THIS tutorial on Pinterest. If you aren't interested in black plastic, then you will need to search somewhere like Etsy for the slide hardware. I found some HERE on Etsy and this woman sold me two sets (just convo her if you need a different quantity than listed) for less than $2 per set plus shipping. I thought that was definitely reasonable for my project.
The original pattern called for ribbon for the bag closure. I layed out some different ribbon but chose to just make a quick, thin strap with matching fabric instead. Once the closure strap was made, I lined it up on the bag and stitched it to keep it laying flat.
Here I added a liner to the inside of the front pockets which was by far the easiest addition to the pattern!
When I was making the liner for the inside of the bag, I added a few extra pockets. For these pockets, I basically duplicated the pockets from the front of the bag. Now might be a good time to mention something that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else in the post. I kind of thought that with the pattern creating a two dimensional bag, items might get wedged into the corners. So, I added a two inch panel to both sides and the bottom and then reinforced the bottom with a strip of heavyweight interfacing. All of this definitely added a little pain-in-the-you-know-what aspect to the project but I'm happy with how it all turned out.

This last pocket was a little more tricky. Not to bore you with all the details but it took two separate pieces of fabric (and extra added inside top flap for extra sturdiness), reinforcement of the liner behind the flap and a small amount of wavering from standard sewing procedure (as you can see on the inside of the flap) to accomplish. I really wanted to add this pocket because I pictured all the times I was at the fair or zoo and wished I had a quick, safe place to stash my ID and money. 

In the end, I had already put a considerable amount of time into the bag, liner and strap and was so afraid that the final assembly would not turn out as I was hoping that I actually stopped and prayed before each part was finished. You can judge for yourself how it was answered but I am certain that I had some help:) 

For all those avid sewers out there I'm sure that my little project would be nothing to write home about but if I had to choose one word from my children's favorite books about feelings, I would have to say that this project really made me feel proud (here's where my daughter would add "like me when I go poopy!") Maybe an odd note to end on but hey, that's life as a mommy!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dinosaur Tails

I originally posted these dinosaur tails last summer shortly after I started blogging. I just decided to go back and spruce up the picture and holy cow, I really didn't know a thing about writing a post (maybe I'm only slightly better now but it was bad!) So I decided to redo some of it and repost.

One day I stumbled across this tutorial from Running with Scissors (which has become one of my favorite blogs to follow) for these adorable and fun dinosaur tails! I knew that I just had to make some! I started with one for my friend's son's first birthday (I knew he would have to grow into it but couldn't help making him one.) Then I went on to make one for my son's birthday, then one for my daughter who just LOVED his, then for my nephew's birthday. This goes on and on as I have now made quite a few for gifts. I even keep a small stash of fabric for when I need to whip one up!

The first time I made one of these I was a little intimidated by the circle on the back of the tail but once I made a couple of these, it became a breeze. Despite my intimidation, even the first tail turned out great, it just took a wee bit longer than once I really had it down.
I also added a liner of batting to the inside of the green tail since it was made out of a little thinner fabric and that helped the stuffing to not look "bumpy". From my experience making these tails, I recommend using bottomweight fabric. It isn't too heavy nor is it too thin where you have to even worry about a bumpy finish.

Gettin' sassy with the tail!

This is the blog that I stumbled across that day. I thought that she had some cute things so I kept my eye on it. Since then she has blown me away by her talent and not to sound sappy but she really has inspired me in my own blogging and definitely in life to try new things. With as much as she gets accomplished (with children younger than mine!) I would love to see a picture of her kitchen to confirm whether she really is secretly wonder woman or if it's just as messy as mine:)
Happy Sewing (and dino roaring!)


Nursing Cover

This is the nursing cover that I made for the upcoming baby shower. I first created this when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had seen some "high end" nursing covers when I had my first child but they were so expensive that I lived without. As I prepared for the arrival of my second, I knew I would have one of these and my need to be frugal led me to create my own pattern. I looked at all the features that I liked from the expensive covers and put them into my creation.

My nursing covers are two sided (I personally don't like seeing the backside of the fabric), have nice wide straps with D rings for adjusting, flat boning to keep the top propped open for Mommy-baby contact and air flow (unfortunately this can not be purchased for personal use in stores anymore but let me know if you really want to get your hands on some) and extra wide coverage (36"!!) for more privacy.
It's a little hard to tell from this picture but this is the inside of the nursing cover. Isn't it nice for Mommy to see the same pretty pattern? AND it creates  very nice, clean seams!
Here you can see how nicely the strap tucks into the top seam and you don't end up with a layered "box" stitched on top of the cover!

Up until now I have made probably  60 some of these! I do sell them on in a number of retail locations and on my business blog Chic Threads by Amy so unfortunately I am not going to do a tutorial for these but feel free to contact me with any questions if you are trying to recreate!

Happy Sewing (and nursing!)


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Burp Cloths

For my sister-in-law's shower I made this stack of super simple, super cute burp cloths! Everyone who is having a baby can use burp cloths and lots of them!

To begin, I purchased 1/3 yard of two coordinating flannels. I won't tell you that I made each burp cloth to be a certain dimension because I simply washed both fabrics, ironed them, layed them on top of each other and cut as large of a rectangle as I could get out of the two pieces.
I realize that this means that not all the burp cloths will be exactly the same size but my sister-in-law and I agreed that it didn't really matter since they would all be close enough and we didn't want to have to have all of them be only be as large as the smallest piece that I had (you know that they never measure each piece to be exact at the store nor do they wash up the same.)
Next, I placed an appropriate sized glass in each corner and traced a curve in each corner.
I tend to be a lazy sewer and avoid using pins whenever possible. I found that two pins on each long side and one on each end (so, six total) was sufficient to hold the two layers in place. Sew around the entire piece, leaving about 2-3 inches open on one end. Cut around each corner with pinking shears, turn right side out, iron flat and sew around the entire edge making sure to carefully sew the opening closed. Personally, I used a walking foot on this last step and I feel that it helps you get a more even, less wavy finish. Iron the finished burp cloth and that's it!

These burp cloths are a great way to use up extra flannel, they are super fast & easy and make a great go-to baby gift! Check out some other ideas for mixing different types of fabric with the same technique to create a whole variety!

Happy Sewing!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby Changing Pad Tutorial

OK- so this isn't  a baby but my daughter was kind enough to try it out for size before I give it to my sister-in-law for her baby shower!
This is a pretty simple project. Start by deciding what size you would like the changing pad to be and then add 1 1/2 inches (for the seams and you lose a little when quilting.) Cut equal size pieces fabric for the outside, inside & batting. I cut mine to 18x25.
Next, the strap:
 Cut a piece out the same fabric that you are using as the outside of the changing pad to be 4x13 inches. Fold the fabric in half and iron a stiff crease, then fold each side in half one more time and iron again. Make sure to be careful that the outside egdes match up nicely.

Fold over one of the ends about 1/4 inch and iron. Fold the strap back together & iron again.

Stitch a line along the entire edge of the strap. Next, sew on your two pieces of velcro. I sewed the "rough" side on the finished end. Then the other piece gets sewn on the OPPISITE SIDE of the strap about 1 1/2 inches from the raw end.
Then comes the quilting! I have to say that this was the most time consuming step but is super easy. First bast together the batting and the fabric you wish to be the inside of the changing pad by sewing a line around the whole edge at 1/4 inch seam. Then draw your lines with a fadeout marker on the fabric. I drew mine 2 inches apart and perpendicular to each other starting at a 45 degree angle from the corner. Sew all the lines.
Assemble the changing pad by facing the two right sides together. Insert the strap by placing between the two pieces, exactly in the middle of the long side, making sure that the raw edge lines up with the edge of the pad AND the velcro piece closest to the raw edge is FACING THE QUILTED PIECE. Sew the changing pad with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 6 inch opening on one end and being careful to never cross the stitch line from when you basted the quilted pieces together. Trim the edge to 1/4 inch EXCEPT where you left the opening. Turn right side out, pin the opening and sew a finishing line around the outer edge.

To roll up the pad, fold in thirds toward the middle and roll towards the strap!

This is what it will look like when it's all rolled up:

Matching changing pads! One for my daughter's dolly & one for my sister-in-law! One last thing is that since my daughter's doll pad is smaller, I sewed the strap so that it only fold in half rather than thirds.

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Doll Changing Pad

This is a little changing pad for my little girl to change her little baby's diapers!
It was a simple design from "Sewing For Babies" from Lotta Jansdotter. I made a few changes to the original. I simply changed the size to fit a dolly, made a strap instead of just using ribbon and changed the strap placement to have the pad fold in half instead of thirds to better fit the smaller size.
It fits so nicely ia a little bag with the diapers!
Here is what it looks like open:

Oh! Just in time! I guess baby is in need of a changing:

"Look Mommy! I can do it all my myself!"
I know that I didn't share much about the changing pad but I just finished the "real one" for my
sister-in-law's baby shower so I can show you more soon!


(As always, if you like it, pin it!)