Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nursery Bedding Project [Links to Free Tutorials]

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A friend asked me to make some custom nursery bedding for her firstborn.
She picked out all of the fabrics to match the nursery,
and I've been chipping away at making the different pieces for the past few months between other orders.

Nursery bedding, I have found, can be frustrating to purchase because the affordable sets are all pretty ugly, and the pretty stuff is expensive! I was lucky enough to have my mom make a whole set of crib and cradle  bedding with extra sheets and matching blankets to my exact taste. I know. She's the best.

So I totally understood the request for something custom made with her choice of fabrics.
Everything came out so well,
and, even better, I was able to use some free online tutorials for everything.
So I thought I would share the wealth and pass the tutorials along to you all.
Altogether, I made three fitted sheets, a set of bumper pads, a window valance, and an adjustable crib skirt. So here we go!

Bumper Pads
Had to start with these because they were the most fun to work on.

You can find the free tutorial here.

They were actually easier than I anticipated, and if you're a newbie to piping, this would be a great project for you to try it out, in my opinion, because you work with the piping in small sections instead of one long continuous strip. Also, if you want to make the piping super simple, you can use pre-made bias tape.

I also liked that you can utilize two different prints for the bumpers and a third fabric for the piping and straps.
Because the pads are separate, they are easier to fit in the washer, and if you're tired of one print on the inside, you can switch them around, alternate them, and whathaveyou. I know, I'm wild.

Fitted Sheets
These were pretty straightforward.
You can find the directions here.
The one thing I will say about these is that you want to double check that your fabric of choice is at least 45" wide, because you'll need all of it including the selvage.
Standard width fabrics won't cut it... Actually, you will have to cut it and piece it together and it's a pain... trust me. I did it.

Sorry... the only pic I have of this is with my iPhone camera.
I have to say, while this one wasn't very complicated, it was pretty tedious... especially for the impatient sewist of quick projects (me).
The bright side, though, is that it is a genuine "real" window treatment, and you'll appreciate the quality the design even after all the extra steps and hand sewing.
Click here for the tutorial.

Adjustable Crib Skirt

This was SUPER simple. And great considering that more cribs nowadays have all different heights and stuff.
Essentially, you just make fabric panels for each side of the crib (be sure to get accurate measurements), and then you clip them or pin them to your mattress spring or board. Adjust as you go. Awesome.

How to measure for you fabric cuts: for the long sides of the crib, measure from one side of your mattress spring or board to the other. Add 2 inches. For the short side, do the same. These will be your cut lengths.
For the height, you'll want to measure from the floor to the highest setting of your mattress. Add 6 inches. This allows for your hemming and an additional 4 inches so you have something to clip underneath the mattress. The height will be the same for all four sides, obviously.
Cut your pieces, then finish each side by ironing over 1 inch (twice) and top stitching for each side. You should have four simple rectangles that fit nicely on the bottom of your crib. :)
So there you have it!
I'm happy with all of these tutorials, and I'm happy to pass them along to you!
Sewing for babes is fun, yes?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Milestone: Sewing Garments

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Was anyone else out there totally inspired and motivated by Kids' Clothes Week

a few weeks ago?

I certainly was, and if you follow me on Pinterest or Instagram,
you've probably noticed that I've been somewhat addicted to finding some simple garments to sew
in order to boost my confidence in the pattern department.
For some reason kids' clothes seem so much less intimidating.

Luckily, I found these bubble shorts by Elegance and Elephants.
Not much needs to be said.
They are beyond cute and also beyond easy.
Which means they were perfect for my first try at sewing a real garment.

The pattern also comes with a variation for sailor style button front, which is so incredibly adorable, I can hardly stand it. That may be next on my list.

I don't have any female offspring, so I've been churning these shorts out for my nieces and Ben's little lady friend, Lucy.

I also found a free pattern for this toddler swing tank.
I added the peter pan collar with some extra fabric I had left over from the shorts.

For the shorts, I opted for a linen blend which gave me the look of linen, but more ease of care,
and the shirt is a quilting weight cotton print (both from Joann).

Super cute, right?
This endeavor went so well, I'm actually considering sewing something boy-friendly for my own child! haha.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Embroidered Sampler- It's Finished!

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and FRAMED no less!

I can hardly believe it myself.
It only took me... ahem... a year...

anywho, it's complete, and I love it, and that's what matters.

I found this pattern when I was visiting my mom.
I had decided before the trip that I wasn't going to take any projects...
and after 2 days of that, I ventured over to Barnes and Noble and found this sampler in a magazine of all places.

I'm not a huge fan of most cross stitch patterns.
They're either too granny or too bizarre.... BTW have you seen some of the super geek patterns on Etsy? Ain't no body got time for that.
Actually, a lot of people obviously do if the abundance of star trek cross stitch patterns is any indication... but I digress...

This one is from a magazine called "Just Cross Stitch". I know, I'm chuckling to myself as I type this...

Anyway, it's the May/June 2012 Issue,
and yes, the back issues are available if you love this sampler.
Be forewarned, however, this magazine has it's fair share of kitsch (sorry "Just Cross Stitch" lovers!)
Details: "Peace Sampler"
designed by Carol Emmer
using 6 stranded embroidery floss
I used a 28 count dark linen (a little darker than what is called for, but I love. See note below).

So, things I loved:
The look of an older sampler mixed with some modern touches.
The color combination. You could, of course, pick your own colors, but I loved the selection that was provided.
The bees. I freaking love bees.
The variety of stitches. Some diversity but still doable for a beginner (in addition to a traditional cross stitch, it uses a Algerian Eye, Rhodes stitch, four-sided stitch, and a rice stitch).
The Scripture verse (Numbers 6:24-26) which is also often used as a Catholic blessing.

Things I didn't like:
The pattern calls for 32 count linen which is just a tad small for me, so I subbed a 28 count which made it larger overall, but I'm happy with it.
The pattern also called for some beading. I'm not a bead person, so I subbed french knots (I am definitely a french knot person) and I think it came out even better. Not to mention, I didn't have to buy beads.

So overall, I really enjoyed this long-term project.

As the linen settles, I'll keep stretching it out a bit to get rid of the rest of those wrinkles,
but I have to say, it already looks pretty handsome in my dining room.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Handmade Spring Cards

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I love having a creative mom.
Not only is she is the one who taught me most of my skills,
she also sends me great stuff all the time including her fabulous handmade cards and photo albums.

March and April are big months for our family.
My Birthday.
Our wedding anniversary.
Chris' birthday.
also a little holiday known as Easter.

So I thought I would share some of the gems my mom sent for said occasions.

Surprise Birthday Card

This one my mom made in mass for a friend's surprise party.
The couple really like suns, apparently, so she came up with this.
So cute.

Monogrammed Birthday Card

This one was for my birthday, and the photo doesn't really do it justice.
That doily looking medallion is about 3 layers thick with an intricately cut pattern.
My mom's style usually involves a lot of layering.

Tagged Birthday Card

This one is for Chris, and once again, the photo just doesn't give you an adequate visual of the details.
My favorite detail is the bicycle tag which is actually an envelope to house his gift.
Once again, there are about twenty million layers involved.
Love it because it's cute but still masculine enough.

Kid's Easter Card

This was obviously for Ben.

And I mean, come on... so cute.
Little fuzzy bunny tail and hand cut grass. Need I say more?

To see more of my mom's creations, click here

and here.

Thanks, mom!