Button-spiration

I’m eyeing this project to hang on our front door for this spring/summer. Or more realistically, next year. But whatever the case, it’s a lovely button project and it seems like just the cheerful thing to have on the front door. The wreath uses a foam base wrapped in fabric. The circles are made from chuncks of canvas that were painted and then cut into the circle shapes, then stacked and stitched, with buttons added on top. The full tutorial can be found on Alisa Burke’s blog. Wishing you a crafty Wednesday!

Today is brought to you…

… by the letter “S” and all things cute & circular. Here they are, finally, the bit of crafting I managed to do (as mentioned before). I had these all prepped & ready to go before Sam was even born. Bit by bit, stitch by stitch they came together. Then they sat for a couple weeks waiting to be hung in the nursery and then its taken me a couple more weeks to remember to photograph them. Le sigh. Oh well. You know how things go sometime.

Nursery embroidery hoop decor

Snail embroidery hoop

The inspiration for these came from various examples on Pinterest on ways to decorate baby nurseries. I took my own spin on the embroidery hoop decor, adding the little felt critters. The snail design and the small birdies were just free PDF downloads. The letter “S” was made with buttons (of course!). That was actually the project I worked on at the last Pinterest party (I promised pics of it, didn’t I?). Most of the fabric is 1930’s reproduction prints, except for the one used for the “S”.

Sparrow embroidery hoop

Letter 'S' Embroidery Hoop

I’d love to make up some more to hang with these. The cluster of them on the wall is so pleasing to my crafty eyes. And I think Sam likes them too (or at least we’ll let this mama go on believing that for now). Yay for no more bare walls in the nursery!

Button-spiration

I really do need to wear more buttons these days. I mean, seriously, I used to accessorize with buttons back in high school (necklaces & bracelets, even button friendship bracelets for my gal pals). Guess I was ahead of my time because lately I’ve been seeing more and more button jewelry for sale on Etsy, which leads to lots of tutorials floating around out there. The button bracelet below is a perfectly simple project from lillyella. Just stitch some buttons onto woven elastic. The fun part would be determining the colour palette. Think of all the options! And you could quickly have a whole rainbow of bracelets!

Button-spiration

I have had a printout of this button embroidery project sitting in my sewing room for quite some time now. I keep eying it, wondering just when I’ll have a chance to stitch it up. It will continue to remain in the “one day” pile of projects, but here’s hoping that “one day” will come soon.

This particular pattern was done by doe-c-doe and is available for free download.

Happy stitching!

Raining rainbows

Many months before Sam was born, I purchased several solid colored baby onesies with the intention of decorating them. Unfortunately they ended up on this list of items that I didn’t get done beforehand. So I’ve been trying to squeeze them into my brief moments in the evenings when I have two hands free. Here is the first completed onesie:

Rain cloud onesie

Rain cloud onesie detail

I used a reverse appliqué technique (my first time at attempting it). There were two different tutorials I read on this, one from that*darn*kat blog and the other from Sew, Mama, Sew! In the end what I ended up doing was much closer to the second tutorial, simply because I was sewing by hand not machine. It was really simple to do and I have plans to try it with another onesie, perhaps a dinosaur this time around or even a Day of the Dead sugar skull. There are a bunch of other ideas for decorating & personalizing onesies floating around in my head and on my Pinterst board. And I better get moving on the onesies I’ve already purchased because the time for them to be worn by little Sam will quickly come and go before I know it!

Happy Friday! Wishing you all a little crafty time this weekend!

Big burps for little boys

In anticipation of baby’s arrival, there was lots of crafting going. One of the most useful projects that I completed was burp cloths. Yep, burp cloths. Not very glamorous or challenging, but they are so indispensable. If I could recommend a single DIY baby sewing project, it would be burp cloths. All you need is a bunch of flannelette (it goes on sale quite regularly, so wait to get it at 40-50% off) and a serger. The best part, you can cut them any size you’d like. Or maybe the best part is that they will cost you a fraction of what stores sell them for. Or that you can pick out a whole pile of fun prints. No matter how you look at it, making your own burp cloths is pretty fantastic!

Now for most of them, I simple cut the flannelette out to the desired size (I made mine big enough to fold in half for extra protection) and then serged around all the edges. After all, burp cloths are fairly utilitarian. They don’t need to be perfect, just useful. However, I did take the time to make some slightly more “fancy”, aka double sided. I used the flannelette on one side and a solid cotton on the other, sewed them with the right sides facing each other (leaving a small opening), turned them right side out, stitched the hole closed and then quilted them together a bit. The burp cloths in the
second photo were made this way.

Looking for tutorials so you can make your own? Here’s a few:

Made by Rae (using old t-shirts for one side, cotton for the other)
Sew She Sews (thicker cloths for super pukers)
Prudent Baby (backed with terry cloth)
Simply Modern Mom (lovely blanket stitched cloths)
Nature’s Heirloom (shaped burp cloths with ric-rac edges)

I did something!

Button embroidery hoop
Craft inspired from Pinterest

Yep, I actually did some crafting this week. AND not only did I do some crafting, I completed a little project! Here’s my first Button-spiration completed craft project. I posted about it on Wednesday. I quickly discovered that it was a perfect thing to work on in the evenings while Sam dozed between feedings. It whipped together nicely and it was so enjoyable to spend some time with my beloved buttons! This rainbow hoop of buttons is destined to be hung in the nursery. Now Sam has something colorful to look at in there (or maybe it’s more that mama has something to look at…). Either way it felt wonderful to get back to some crafting, no matter how simple.

Hope you can find a few spare moments in your day to create, whether it’s cast on some stitches, doodle in your sketchbook or cut out a few pieces of fabric.

Tagging along

Baby tag blanket
Made by Joanna Bytnar

We received many thoughtful baby gifts, but one that stands out is this tag blanket designed by my friend (sewn by her mom). I’d seen similar blankets around at craft shows and filed it away as a project to do “some day”. Of course, there are a ton of “some day” projects that I will never get around to, so I was tickled to see that my friend had made me one!

These tag blankets just seem like the perfect thing to give baby in the car to suck on and (quietly) entertain themselves with. And in talking with another friend who is trying to start doing some sewing, it seems like an awesome beginner sewing project. There are lots of variations of them out there, different sizes, slightly different fabrics (all of them good for sucking or cuddling with) and some with crinkly bits inside for added entertainment.

So for those interested in giving it a try, here are some tutorials that I managed to round up:

Thanks again for the blanket, Joanna! Can’t wait to give it to baby to play with!

Pretty in purple

Just wanted to share my new fav accessory these days. It’s been getting worn a lot! An empire cinch/belt. I have seriously had this project in mind to make for almost a year now (well before I got pregnant). Discovered this pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby, which is just such a lovely book! I’m sure I’ve mentioned it on here before. And of course, I’ve always pictured it in yummy purples and plums, so when I bought my one (and only) maternity dress, it was just serendipity that it too was purple.

When I realized that the first occasion I was going to wear my pretty purple dress was to my brother’s memorial service, for some reason I became determined to sit down and sew the empire belt. Maybe I just needed a soothing sewing project to work on that week, but whatever the case, I whipped this belt up. And I truly mean whipped it up! It was sooo easy! I had all the fabrics on hand. I combined scraps of silk brocade fabric with some printed cottons and solid silks on one side (the fancy side) and then used a printed cotton for the back (or rather the “everyday” side). Reversible items are just so awesome! I simplified this simple pattern even more by buying a package of double fold extra wide bias tape and 1″ wide satin ribbon instead of making my own edge binding and ties. Easy-peasy! I absolutely love the end result! Makes my baby belly look like a wonderful gift waiting to be opened! (Oh dear, did I just make some of you gag a little? Getting in touch with my inner sappiness lately, you know).

I’m sure loads of mommas-to-be have made this project, but here are a couple that I quite like:

A Look Back

My First Sewing Project
One of the oldest sewing projects made by little 'ol me (with lots of mom's help too, I'm sure)

Wayyyyy back to the beginning. Well not THE beginning, but my beginning. At some very young age I discovered sewing. Of course, I’d probably been watching my mom sew since the day I was born, propped up in a little seat while my mom sat at the kitchen table with her sewing machine. The kitchen was the first sewing “space” that my mom had in the house. She found a more permanent home for her sewing space in the downstairs hallway, once my dad developed the basement more fully. Many years later, my mom was finally able to take over one of the bedrooms and convert it into her sewing room, once my oldest brother left the nest. That room was still in the basement though, so it wasn’t until the day that my brother Aaron and I moved out together (eeek, the last two children leaving in one go) that my mom finally claimed a sunny room upstairs to sit and surround herself with her ever growing fabric stash. And there she sits today, in front of the sewing machine, creating the most lovely things.

It’s simply no wonder at all, that I too have the sewing bug. Not as some fleeting hobby that will eventually be replaced by another, but as a way of life. That seems like a rather serious statement, but it’s true. Sure there have been periods of my life where the sewing machine was left untouched for a time, but I always came back to it and generally with a renewed love for sewing.

My first sewing projectI recently asked my mom what she thought one of my earliest sewing projects were and wondered if they were still lingering around. We both thought of a small wall hanging quilt that remains hanging in that basement hallway where my mom’s sewing room used to be. It’s probably one of the earliest examples of my own sewing and quilting. A project where my mom helped a great deal, but I was at least able to use the sewing machine on my own (sorry I don’t have a photo of it to share here).

However, the other day, my mom pulled out what is undeniably one of my earliest sewing projects. A rather ugly square of scrap fabrics sewn randomly. I admit, it has some charm, knowing that it’s so very old and I was so very young. My mom said that she used to sit me on her lap and let me choose bits of fabrics from the pile of scraps. Then I would plop them down on the square she had prepared and she would control the sewing machine pedal. Some moms might be cringing at the thought of having small hands near that sewing machine needle, but all ten of my digits survived just fine, thank you very much.

Early sewing project
Another early example (looks like mom helped a bit more with the layout)

Last weekend my mom and I were at a friend’s baby shower. Our gift was a gorgeous baby quilt that my mom and I collaborated on. I picked the colours and fabrics and she did all the beautiful piecing. Doesn’t that sound familiar? I also gave my friend some baby bibs that I had recently sewn and seeing the quilt and bibs, someone at the shower said, “I see where you get your sewing talent from.” And I couldn’t agree more.

In light of some recent news, it seems very important to acknowledge just how much my mom has influenced my life. I’m so grateful for all that she has taught me and continues to teach me. I still know where to go when I need help and not just sewing help. I can’t imagine our lives without the bond of sewing between us and that is a gift we can both give thanks for. I can only hope and pray that one day my mom will have the opportunity to teach all these many things to her grandchildren. It would bring nothing but joy to see her with a little one in her lap again in front of the sewing machine.

So thank you mom, for teaching me how to put all one’s love into bits of sewn fabric, how to hold my life together with colourful threads, and adorn the best days with buttons.