Recent projects: Pear bib

My son needed a new bib. Why? He only had one! It’s a blue and yellow cloth bib that says “Li’l Swede” on it and I wore it when I was a baby. He did have another bib, a plastic camouflage one that a relative gave us, but the plastic/velcro was irritating the back of Jonathan’s neck so we’re trying to use that bib only when traveling (it’s much easier to clean than the cloth bibs). Just like when I made my own makeup bag, I decided that instead of buying something, it would be much more fun to make something myself. An embroidery book I have, Embroidery Companion by Alicia Paulson, had a pattern and design.

I bought just a little blue gingham, which I tried to buy it at the local quilt store, but apparently most places don’t carry gingham anymore. Too old-fashioned. So I had to go to the dreaded Joann’s instead. I avoid Joann’s as much as I can because the fabric that store carries is low quality and because there are never enough people working there so if you need any assistance at all, such as having fabric cut, it takes forever to track some harried employee down. Anyway, I bought blue and red gingham and some pre-quilted cotton fabric for backing. I feel more confident about the gingham from Joann’s because gingham by its definition is woven instead of printed, making it hold up better.

I’m planning to embroider an ear of corn on the red gingham (for our little Cornhusker fan! Go Big Red!), which I’ll be making up myself. But to get started I used the pattern in the book for a pear.

It was a quick cross stitch project. It only took me three days of working on it here and there. Putting the bib together was a cinch and took about 45 minutes. I simply sewed the embroidered gingham square to the pre-quilted cotton, cut out the bib shape, then sewed bias tape around the entire thing. Easy!

And here’s my cutie boy modeling his new bib:

I had so much fun working on this bib, after I complete the ear of corn bib, I’m planning to make a few for friends who are having babies. Aren’t quick little projects like this fun? What are you working on right now?

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Recent projects: Crib bumpers

I recently completed a couple of projects I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I made bumpers for Jonathan’s crib, and also a bib (which I will share in the next post).

I decided to make the bumpers myself after reading this blog post and doing some research on what nice bumpers were likely to cost. For about a quarter of what I would pay to purchase the bumpers, I made my own. They’re not that great, but they’re better than nothing! And we needed something, because our son has a penchant for sticking his feet through the bars of his crib (and consequently his fat little legs get stuck and then he screams bloody murder), and he also scoots around in his sleep so much he kept banging his head against the bars of the crib. Waking up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby is not OK at this point.

I used some fabric I already had on hand (my fabric stockpile has gotten a bit out of hand, and I’m trying to use what I have before buying more… though I did buy gingham for the bib, but more on that in my next post), but picked up some navy blue piping for decoration, navy blue ribbon for the ties, and foam for stiff padding.

After the tedious measuring and fabric cutting stage (every project I do, I swear I hate measuring and cutting just a little bit more), I pinned together the fabric, piping and ribbon. I placed the ribbon at even intervals so there are ties on the ends and in the middle. I did, of course, run out of ribbon at the end, so I have one bumper with five ties on the top and one with four ties, but my baby sure isn’t going to notice something like that. It’s important if you’re making something like this yourself that the ribbon lays INSIDE the fabric, as shown below, as you pin, not the outside, or you’ll end up with the ribbon on the wrong side of the fabric. Though maybe I’m the only person who has to think that sort of thing through. I also use the same color pin (green in this case) to denote where the ribbon was so I sewed extra carefully in those spots. Anybody else give themselves visual clues like that?

I sewed the top (with the piping) and the two sides before inserting the foam and sewing the foam in. I probably should have used buttons instead so I could remove the foam to wash the bumper fabric, but I decided to live on the wild side (a.k.a. I didn’t want to learn how to sew buttons this time around) and sew the foam in. Down the road I’ll inevitably have to wash the bumpers and when I do I’ll plan to wash them on a cold, gentle setting. And keep my fingers crossed. I left about an inch on all sides of the fabric to account not only for seams but also for the width of the foam.

Here are the finished bumpers on Jonathan’s crib:

You can see the top of the crib bumper is actually a pale blue. The one on the bottom matches it. I didn’t have enough of either the pale blue or striped fabric to complete all four bumpers, but I thought the two fabrics went well together and the navy ties and piping help them match. Also, I think these bumpers are neutral enough for a baby girl’s crib in the future (no, I am not prego).

I’m happy to report our days of stuck feet and bumped heads are over. Our little peanut seems to sleeping better at night. Mission accomplished!

 

 

 

A wedding present

One of my oldest and dearest friends got married this past weekend and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding (she was a bridesmaid in mine). Elise and I have known each other since eighth grade. The first time we met was on the bus ride home from middle school. I didn’t enjoy sitting in the back of the bus with the other eighth graders because they were loud, obnoxious, and derived far too much enjoyment from shouting “PENIS” at the top of their lungs during the bus ride (most of those people are now lovely adults who I enjoy far much more than I did then). So I sat in the very front seat with the lowly sixth graders. But hey, I was always the first person off the bus. Anyway, here is the first conversation Elise and I had (keep in mind that until the very end of high school Elise weighed about 80 pounds soaking wet):

Elise: Can I sit with you?
Me: Sure, but just so you know, I’m an eighth grader. (She was so tiny I figured she was a sixth grader. Man, I was pompous back then!)
Elise (all about 4 feet 9 inches of her at that point): Me too! I’m reading “Les Miserables”!

And thus, a wonderful friendship was born. Elise and I spent many pleasant passing periods together in high school because we had many of the same classes (she always did a shuffle-dance impatiently while I took my sweet time at my locker… we were still on time to class, though!). We also got together after school and on weekends for tea and chats and filming the occasional ridiculous home movie complete with costumes (usually involving the three musketeers along with our friend Melissa). “Vive le signe de trois! Un pour tout! Tout pour un!”

Here’s a photo of said ridiculous costumes. I’m on the left, little Elise in the middle, Melissa on the right. This was taken in high school French class our senior year (those are soda bottles!). We all dressed up for, I think Mardi Gras, and throughout the day people in the halls during passing period would say: “So you’re the third musketeer!” or “Where’s the other one?”

Yes, we were THOSE people in high school. But hey, it was fun. We were well-adjusted, not-very-angsty teenagers, which apparently these days is saying a lot.

After graduation, Elise went to Minnesota for school and I to Nebraska. We started writing each other letters regularly (snail-mail letters with stamps even! 😉 ), and to this day, we continue the tradition. The contents of our letters has changed, but our friendship has only deepened over the years. It is a relationship I profoundly thankful for. It always makes my day when I find one of Elise’s letters in my mailbox.

So for Elise’s wedding, because she is the sort of person to appreciate something handmade, I embroidered a camping scene. She and her husband love to camp and hike and climb. The words on the embroidery are from the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song “Home.”

It took about a month of steadily working on it a little bit before bed every night, but I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. It was a lot of fun to make a wedding present for my dear friend.

To you, Elise! Congratulations! Lutefisk!

 

 

Newest project

Standing in my bathroom a few weeks ago, I decided that instead of constantly chasing my makeup around the countertop, I should keep my makeup in a little bag. I was adding “small makeup bag” to my shopping list when I thought to myself: “Why don’t I just make a makeup bag instead?”

So that’s what I did.

I found the template through the website How About Orange. I like bunting just as much as the next girl.

I used muslin for the bag fabric, scrap fabric I had for the bunting flags, and I picked up the zippers at Joanne’s. The zippers are a bit wonky, but it was my first time sewing zippers so I shall consider them a success! The bag with the yellow zipper is mine; the bag with the blue zipper I made for my sister.

Here’s the inside:

I used more scrap fabric for the inside. In case you’re wondering, I use OrganicWear mascara and all the other makeup is Pixi (both are found at Target).