Handmade Sewn Easter Baskets

I found this cute little Easter basket idea from a group on Facebook and knew I wanted to make one for my grandchildren. I ended up making the girls the same size and out of the same material. However, for my grandson, I made his bigger so he could use it for carrying around his plastic animals that he loves to play with. I also made his out of material that was not Easter related so if he was still using his basket in October, it wouldn’t look out-of-place.

Basket for little man!

My big girl!

Baby girl whose only a few days old!

Group pic of all three!

I never get tired of making items for my grandbabies. I can’t wait to see what will come out of me in the months to follow for these three as I have a birthday in June and another in July. Not to mention Christmas and how many other holidays in between.

 

Sewing & Knitting for a New Grandbaby

As soon as my daughter told me she was expecting again, my mind started running as to all the things I wanted to make either by sewing, knitting or crocheting and I couldn’t wait to get started. Of course, I had to wait till I knew if it was a boy or girl before I got too far going. What did we all do back in the day when we had to actually wait for delivery to know what we were having?  

Anyway, I knew I wanted to make burp clothes as they seemed to be the one thing that you need the most and seems to be the one item my girls were lacking at their baby showers for previous births. Plus I like to make them using cloth diapers as they are much more absorbent than the store-bought type. I use flannel in different baby  patterns on one side to add a different look and if you lay the flannel side on your shoulder it helps to keep the burp cloth from falling off as easy. I usually purchase 1/2 yard of flannel, which allows me to get enough fabric to make two diapers. There easy to make and you can see below the four different patterns I ended up using.  

I pre-wash the diapers, cut the flannel the same size, put right sides together and sew around the edge leaving a hole to turn right side out. Once I turn right side out, I top-stitch all the way around the diaper which will close up the hole I left to turn. I also sew down the seams on the pre-folded portion of the diaper. This prevents the diaper from rolling up when washed.

I recently learned to embroidery so I took this time to fancy up a couple of the cloth diapers and instead of using the flannel fabric on the entire back side, I used a 6″ wide piece of cotton fabric the same length of the diaper folded in half and added to each end after I embroidered the design. You can find tutorials all over Pinterest for how to make these.

Speaking of Pinterest, I found the following idea when searching for ideas of items to make. I wondered why I had never thought to make these beautiful gowns before as this is another easy project. You can make these for little boys as well as girls. They are perfect for when you first bring a baby home and want easy access to diaper changes or just a cute outfit to cuddle that sweet little baby up in. You don’t have to worry about all the buttons or the feet coming out the bottom. I imagine she will be in these a lot those first few days. They were easy to make using a onesie, which I learned you can either cut off, which is what I done, or you can leave the snap end and still attach the fabric to make a cute skirt, which you can make in any length you want. The bottom can either be finished with elastic like these or put ribbon in it so you can tighten the bottom up more around the feet.

In between my sewing projects I’ve also been working on a knitting loom trying to complete a blanket. It didn’t turn out as big as I would have liked, but it will do for at least the first month or two.

In addition to all these items, I’m currently working on a crochet blanket and have sewn several receiving blankets as well. I just haven’t taken pics of those items. It’s a good thing we are sitting still right now, which allows me more time to get these projects done. Please share what crafts you do that keeps you busy.

Spending the Day Sewing Little Girl Dresses

I have been working on two beautiful dresses for my granddaughters birthday. Luckily for me, her momma doesn’t pay any attention to my blog so I can write about them and she’ll never see it and still be surprised come June when it’s her daughter’s birthday. I know I’m getting an early start, but I have other projects I still want to make for her as well, so I have to pace myself. Plus I still need to sew for me as well.

The first project was from a pattern, Simplicity 1453. The pattern is designed to use a contrast color, but when I bought my fabric I had a different dress in mind, so the day I started the project, I just went with it and made it all the same. If I make this again, I will use two different colors. The dress was easy to put together and the pattern simple enough to understand. I have always dreaded buttonholes, but not anymore thanks to my wonderful machine who made not one, but seven perfect buttonholes and it sewed the buttons on for me too. You would have thought I had won the lottery if you could have seen me when I finished this up. image

The pink will look beautiful on her and she loves pockets, which is why I went with this design in the first place.

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Not sure how she will react to the tie in the back, but hopefully it will not be a problem as I think the tie adds a little more dimension to the project. 

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The idea for the second dress came from something I saw on Pinterest. They had cut off a t-shirt about an inch below the underarm and attached a skirt bottom to it making it a maxi skirt. 

I changed it up a little in order to suit the personality of my granddaughter. Her parents are the beachy, boater, fishing type so I went with a blue fabric with white anchors. In order to accent the anchor on the shirt portion, I embroidered a blue anchor to match the blue fabric.

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In order to attach the skirt portion, I cut a strip about 12″ long and roughly three times the width of the shirt. I sewed one seam, which I placed in the back when attaching it to the shirt. I added a small hem so I could hem on the machine, gathered around the top and attached to the t-shirt. This was probably the easiest outfit I have ever made.

View from the front.

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View from the back

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Both of these dresses were a joy to make and I can’t wait to see Madison model them. Looking forward to starting my next project. What about you? What are you sewing right now? Favorite project?

How to Make Fabric Bins

I’ve been wanting to make some bins to store items in my kitchen for quiet some time. I had the perfect spot where I could put four bins-5 1/2 inch square, finished size. I found the perfect fabric at Joann’s, where I purchased one yard of my chosen fabric and one yard of lining fabric in a contrast color. Since I was using these bins in the kitchen, I chose a pattern that would compliment the location. With a yard of each fabric, I would be able to make four.

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My chosen fabric

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My lining fabric

Part of making these bins included embroidering one side, so I could use my new birthday present, a Brother SE400 model Embroidery & Sewing machine. 

To get started, for each bin I wanted to make, I cut a 15 inch square from my chosen fabric, the lining and fabric stabilizer. I had previously bought some stabilizer to use on another project that never got made, so I used the stabilizer I had for this project. 

Once I had all the 15 inch squares cut out, which I done using a quilt cutting mat and rotary blade, I cut a 4 1/2 inch square out from each corner. Once done, the fabric looked like a big plus sign.

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4 1/2 inch square used to cut out corners

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Fabric after each corner is cut out

If you plan on monogramming your bins, you should do that before assembling. I attached my fabric to my hoop and monogrammed each piece of fabric with the desired wording.

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Monogrammed piece

Once I had my fabric cut, it was time to assemble them. This is done by sewing the sides together where you cut the 4 1/2 inch square out. You will do this for both the fabric and lining pieces. Make sure you add the stabilizer to the lining before you sew the sides together.

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Sewing sides together

Once the sides are done for both the fabric and the lining, you are ready to put the two pieces together. Place one piece inside the other, right sides together and sew around the top leaving a space open to turn right side out. Press. Top stitch all the way around the top closing up the space you left open to turn.

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Top stitch around top of each bin

That’s all there is to it. Here are my finished bins. I done one for coffee, cocoa, meds and misc. They fit perfectly on my counter top in the bread box area, which I never use for bread.

Coffe and Cocoa

Coffee and Cocoa

Meds and Misc.

Meds and Misc. 

I’m beyond pleased with how these turned out. Total time to make was roughly two hours for all four. Once I got the first one done, the rest were a breeze to do. I can’t wait to make more for other areas of the house.

How to Sew a Simple Skirt

My new favorite skirt pattern is from Simplicity, pattern number W6762.

This is one of those patterns I bought forever ago, but never got around to making anything out of it. I had bought a gorgeous piece of material with the intentions of making a dress, but after much debate as to which pattern to use, I decided to do a skirt and blouse instead.

The skirt portion of the pattern turned out great, but the top not so much. I didn’t realize until I started to put the band around the neck of the blouse that my material really didn’t have enough stretch to it to make this type of top. So I’ll go back to the drawing board on making a blouse in the future, but for now I’ll pair it with a white top.

To begin with I had to cut the pattern pieces out, which for this was cutting two sides for the front and back on the fold. IMG_20160214_181051164

Then it was just a matter of sewing up the side seams, leaving a slit on the left side about half way up.

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This was the first time I have installed elastic by attaching it to the fabric as opposed to making a casing and inserting elastic. By attaching the elastic to the fabric and then stitching around the skirt I have avoided having my elastic roll up, which is an amazing discovery.  I used this same technique in a pair of lounge pants last week, which is why I used it on this skirt. This will be my go to technique for elastic from here on out.   

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 The finished product.

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