Category Archives: baby gifts

For Mom and Baby

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folklore-bagI made this bag earlier in the summer but never posted about it. Now, as I was putting it away in favor of a bigger bag that is more fall-colored and has room for diaper change stuff, I thought to photograph it.  I used the Folklore Bag pattern from the book One-Yard Wonders. I’ve made this pattern a couple times before and have probably blogged about it. It’s a great pattern–the bag is a very nice size and shape. I used indoor/outdoor fabric left over from another project.

baby-in-redThis project is for the new little one. I was looking through the baby clothes a couple weeks ago, wondering what I would pack to bring her home from the hospital. I chose an adorable little turquoise and red one-piece outfit I’d bought from Sweet Peanut early in my pregnancy. Then I realized that in early October it might be chilly, and–oh no!!–the baby had no hats or booties to precisely match this particular outfit. I could hardly sleep that night, because, you know, when something like that gets into a pregnant woman’s mind there is only one way to get it out. I became completely convinced that she has to wear that outfit home from the hospital, and I had to make a hat and booties to match, immediately. Fortunately I had this revelation on a Friday night, so I had a nice free day the next day to knit (knook) a red baby hat and crochet some red booties to match before I had to try and sleep again. It was also fortunate that I had some red wool on hand. It was only a part-skein, but I finished the job with a few feet left over (close!) and it was just the shade of bright red I needed. I even found a velvet-covered button in my button jar to finish off the flower. Serendipity! I didn’t use any particular pattern, just a basic baby-sized beanie, a crocheted flower I eyeballed, and booties based around the free pattern from Lion Brand I use frequently. These ended up a wee bit itchy for a newborn, so I put a little hair conditioner in with my wool wash when I blocked these. Now they are soft and ready to go. 26 more days, but 3rd babies sometimes let their mamas off the hook a wee bit early, don’t they? I can dream…

Baby bibs

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bibs1A friend of mine recently asked if I’d like to contribute baby bibs to a fundraiser she was hosting for a charity in Africa. I was glad to, especially since bibs are easy to do assembly-line style and I could use the opportunity to get all the baby bibs done I had in mind for my new one at the same time. I chose some global-looking batiks (all are reversible) for her fundraiser bibs and embroidered the cheeky message “Give peas a chance” on the top one. I hope they sell well!

For my own girl, I made a set of five bibs in the bright little birdie fabrics I have used for her crib bedding and quilt, then I made five more in novelty prints (ok, mostly travel trailers!) to round out her collection. These are all just basic cotton bibs that fasten at the top with snaps. I don’t remember exactly where I got the pattern, but you could cut around your own favorite baby bibs just as easily as using a pattern. The only trick to them is to clip the seam inside in plenty of places so it presses out smooth around all the curves. These are all similar to the bibs I made for Worth a few years back, but are cut a tad longer to catch more spills. These are so much softer than plastic bibs, and they hold up well to normal messes. If they get super gross  I just give them a quick rinse and hang them to dry over our kitchen laundry bin before tossing them in. Otherwise I just add them in with our rags and towels as-is. They also fold up small so it’s easy to keep one in my purse once the baby’s big enough to be eating meals out and about. I won’t use any of these until she starts solid foods, but I’m glad to have them done and ready now.

bibs3 bibs2bib8 bib7 bib6 bib5 bib4

A sling, and a baby sweater, and funny-looking knooking stitches explained

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baby-cardiThis is a knitted sweater for Miss Baby. I used a baby kimono pattern from the Lion Brand website for the body, but didn’t want to fuss with the sleeves their way (they did them separate and then seamed them on) so I just added mine directly to the seamed up sweater then embellished them with a crocheted border. I used Knitpicks’ Gloss DK Yarn in the color peapod. I think it’ll look very cute over the dresses I’ve made recently, and would look cute over a plain red creeper at Christmas. My only irritation with this project is that sometimes my knooking* seems to look different on the sections I’ve done by knitting/purling opposite rows than it does on sections where I knit in stockinette stitch in the round. I finally figured out why that is when I stumbled on this YouTube video recently. You can see what she’s talking about on this project; the stitches on the body make little X shapes, and the stitches in the arm make little Vs. It doesn’t bother me enough to redo the project, but now that I’ve figured it out I’m going to start purl stitches from the left of the stitch instead of from the right. I just implemented this on another project and I’m so pleased to see all the neat little rows of Vs. It’s kind of a simple thing; I’m surprised it wasn’t addressed in any of the knooking stuff I’ve seen before. I think purling from the right, which is the same direction I do the knit stitches, is a bit easier, and if I’m just doing ribbing on a hat when the rest of the project will be knitted in the round I think I’ll continue purling from the right, but for things like this I’ll purl from the left for the neater V look. I feel happy to have that knooking mystery solved.

ring-slingThis weekend I sewed a ring sling to use with the new baby. The fabric is a lightweight but sturdy seersucker. It’s more or less modeled after the Maya Wrap ring sling. My daughter lived in slings like this until she was a year old; my son really only liked being in one for the first few weeks. I figured it would be nice to have a new one whatever this kid’s preferences, and I can always gift it or sell it if it doesn’t get used. My son felt like he needed to tell me, as I was taking this photo, that the IKEA dog modeling the project “isn’t a weal baby. If it was the weal baby we’d have to put clothes on it.” Um, yes, kid. And we’d be a little worried because it looks like a plush dog from IKEA, but whatever!

first-day-of-school-dorothyAnd we’re back into homeschool around here! This is our third year and we’re off to a good start. With a couple years experience under my belt it was nothing but fun to buy our new books and supplies this year. People keep asking me what I’m going to do about school when the baby comes, but it seems like a funny question to me. We’re managing our calendar such that we’ll have a week’s fall break when she comes, but after that I feel like it’ll be much easier to homeschool with a baby than to schlep my kids to different schools across town with a baby. I sit on the sofa and knit while I homeschool now–after the baby comes I’ll just sit there and nurse instead. Actually sounds like a pretty good life to me. 🙂

*What’s she talking about, knooking? It’s real knitting with a crochet hook. Nice for people like me who love yarn crafts but are afraid of pointy sticks. Click here to see other knooking projects I’ve blogged about, or google it to learn how!

Gardening at Night

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dress-frontI made this dress from the “Pretty as a Picture” pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. I made the 6-9 month size. I used an old blue sheet to provide the fabric for the “picture” panel, then embroidered flowers and the REM song reference, because of course my baby will be such an REM fan, right?

dress-backThis is the dress from the back; I left the panel empty. I liked this pattern; it was simple to follow and the front panel idea is fun and holds lots of possibilities. I was thinking it would be a cute way to showcase older sibling art made for the baby, either scanned in and printed on printable fabric, or done in permanent marker on a light fabric. I didn’t do the French seams called for inside the skirt because I was serging the skirt seams anyway, but otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully. I’m not sure what season it will be when my little one wears this size, but I felt like this dress could be worn as a layer in chilly weather or on it’s own in spring or summer.

tote-bagThis project was the only one I managed to photograph of a whole stack of tote bags I made a couple months ago. I bought several yards of a lightweight canvas and used the dimensions of a purchased tote bag that was hanging around here to guide me. I made totes for all the employees who work for my husband at his law firm, embroidering the firm logo on one side (thank you to Hanni at the Sweet as Lemon and Honey shop on Etsy for making the embroidery file!) and the employee’s name on the other. Then I made a couple child birthday gifts, one of which is shown, by doing the same tote bag but adding a child-appropriate embroidery bit and the birthday girl’s name. These were such nice, quick thank-you and birthday gifts that I’m sure I’m going to be reusing this idea again. The totes go together quickly and are always useful, no matter the recipient’s age.

 

Baby dresses

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green-dressThis week I’m making baby dresses. I got this book “Making Baby’s Clothes: 25 Fun and Practical Projects for 0 – 3 Year Olds” by Merrett from Amazon.com recently and was so happy when it came. The reviews had been pretty good, but I would never have purchased a sewing book without being able to see the list of patterns or at least a nice sampling of them if the book hadn’t cost less than $8.00. At that price I decided to buy it based on its 4.5 stars and hope for the best. It truly is such a great bargain; the patterns are very cute, the pattern pieces are reasonably easy to trace (they are full-sized, and although they overlap they are easier to see through the tracing paper than the patterns from other much more expensive sewing books on my shelf), and the instructions are clear. This little dress was my first project from this book. It’s 0-3 month size and it looks like it will actually fit a newborn, unlike many commercial patterns I have sewn that look like they’ll actually fit a nine-month-old. I made it for the new baby to wear with a sweet pair of blue longies knitted for newborn Worth by a friend of mine. I don’t have any problem putting girl babies in blue, but I thought that making a dress specifically to go with the longies would make them special all over again and thwart annoying people at the supermarket from calling my girl baby a “he” at the same time.

green-dress2This close-up shows how the neckline is constructed. The overlapping panels are the same on both sides, and will be cute and (I think) easy to get on and off over baby’s head. I stuck to the pattern instructions pretty faithfully, except I turned under satin ribbon to make the sleeve hem so they’d be soft on baby’s wrist and just a nice little detail.

bird-dress2This dress is from the same book. It’s intended as a summer dress, but I’m thinking my newbie will wear it over a plain white footie or maybe a long-sleeve onesie. The fabric is extras from her crib bedding, which I have yet to show-and-tell because I still need to finish the matching mobile, but it’s this along with some coordinating prints and it’s so sweet. I’m thinking this little dress will be cute around Christmastime (it’s 0-3 month also) without being overtly holiday-themed.

bird-dressHere’s a better photo of the fabric and the front placket. Can’t wait to see these in action!

A mei tai style baby carrier

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baby-carrier-1My weekend project was a whimsical new baby carrier. I don’t technically need a baby carrier this time around (ahem) but they aren’t hard to make, and I couldn’t resist a new one that was just for fun. This is a me tai-style carrier similar to the ones sold at BabyHawk.com.  They were my favorite type of carrier with each of my previous kids. I bought a neutral-colored one from that site with Dorothy, then my sister-in-law made me an extra for the car, and then when Worth was born I made a cute red one with an owl applique on the front. I still have all of them and plan on using them all one more time; I’ll keep one upstairs, one down, and one in each car. Baby carrier bliss!

baby-carrier-2This is the the reverse side of the new carrier. I used the quirky vintage dog print on one side, and this novelty “glamping” print by Moda on the other. It’ll be my “mama’s in a fun mood” carrier.

carry bagNext I made a little bag to carry the carrier when it’s not in use. This one will probably go in my car, so it’ll be my on-the-go carrier. I made the drawstring ribbon long enough to sling over my shoulder and sewed a little pocket to the front just in case my baby carrier and my keys are all I need for a little dash in somewhere. Right now, with my big old belly stuck firmly to the front of me, and approximately 68 days left to drag it around (but who’s counting?) I’m fantasizing about the sweetness of a little head poking out the top of this for me to sniff and snuggle and kiss, and then…the amazing feeling of lightness and freedom of being able to take the baby off and put her down. Wow.

Some yarn projects for Baby

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bootie-setI’ve had yarn projects laid out for this baby since spring, and enjoyed a yarn purchasing spree and pattern shopping extravaganza right after we found out the newbie would be  a girl. Then I did nothing with the yarn and patterns all summer because, you know, it was summer, and it’s not that fun to knit or crochet in the summer. I spent my down time reading novels like a proper pregnant woman in the hottest months. Things have cooled off in the last week, however, and my nesting instincts have driven me to the hook (and knook) to make some of these little projects reality. I made these wee booties from this Flower Slippers pattern, paired with a basic crocheted beanie, to complete the new baby’s hospital meet-and-greet outfit, along with her name onesie from a few posts back. It was hard for me to put aside my usual bootie pattern and try something new, but I remembered that Worth’s first day booties kind of squished up against his hospital ankle bracelet so I wanted to make a low-cut pair this time. My reward for trying a new pattern is that I loved this one, too, and I’m sure to make more in the future.

pumpkin-hatSince this little pumpkin should be born two or three weeks before Halloween, of course she needs a pumpkin hat. I used a pattern from this Baby Beanies book that is specific to knooking, which I bought because of the lovely knitting-to-knooking stitch translations in the back, not knowing if I’d ever actually use the patterns themselvest. The pattern was nice up until the decreasing started, at which point either I or it became a little off, but the hat still turned out cute. I added the little stem and leaf. Then I thought she’d need booties to go with this hat too (I never say “no” to more booties), so I used this pattern, which I bought from the Knit Picks website. They seem more like baby socks to me than proper booties, but I like the pattern.

I’ve got more projects I’m excited to share soon, as soon as I do some blocking and finishing and a little house-cleaning (yeah right!).

Summer

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Has it been a month since I’ve blogged? Summer flies! Been busy around here, but not had many completed projects to share. Here’s some of what my family has been up to.

cherry-ice-creamMade homemade cherry ice cream for a rainy but fun 4th of July. (Add 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cherries plus 1/2 tsp almond extract to your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe.)

texas 2013 (4)Drove almost 1000 miles to Fort Worth, Texas, with my mom and two kids to visit my aunt. Had a great time relaxing and listening to my son call my aunt “Nana’s sister” while she equipped them to ride horses, rope each other, and stay away from cacti. Then had to drive almost 1000 miles back–eek.

green-bedBought two unfinished bed frames, two unfinished dresses, two metal nightstands, and two tiny tables at IKEA to outfit the room that will be shared by Worth and the new baby. Put them all together, stained and sealed the dressers and beds (green!), and am still working on pulling it all together in a cute shared room.

push-popDrove out to the Kentucky Renaissance Fair, where we ate not-so-historically-accurate snacks and discovered that Renaissance=fairies, for some bewildering volume of the participants. (But it was fun anyway.)

embroidered-bibTurned some plain IKEA bibs into personalized baby gifts for some friends with my embroidery machine.

Hope your summer is fun-filled too!

Baby girl frenzy!

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name-onesieThe crafty floodgates have now opened on new girl baby things! I’ve been experimenting with making appliques using my embroidery machine. This is for Baby #3 to wear in the hospital, announcing her name. (Novema is my grandmother’s name.)

witch-onesieAnd because none of the store-bought Baby’s First Halloween stuff involves identifying the small person as a witch. 🙂

kentucky-onesieTaken from the states and capitols fabric of the bag I recently made.

glamping-onesieA store-bought skirt paired with a t-shirt made from Moda Glamping Tents And Trailers Honey Bee fabric, which will be also featured in some upcoming girly projects I’ve got in mind.

baby-dress-and-shoesAnd a little dress/jumper with matching shoes. Since she’ll be an October baby this dress will be worn in the winter over a layer of warm knits. I used McCall’s M4421 for the dress and the Cameron baby sneakers pattern from I Think Sew for the booties.

Experimenting with embroidery

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table-runnerI did some more playing around this weekend with my new embroidery machine. None of my projects are perfect yet; if you look with a practiced eye you can see that I’m still learning about which stabilizers to use in which situations, etc., but I’m still pleased with my beginner results. I made this table topper for my dining room table. It is hard to find tablecloths (or little table runners, which I prefer for everyday use since we frequently use our dining table in the evening) to match the vibrant colors in my vintage-fabric dining room curtains.  I was able to choose embroidery thread colors for this design that match my curtains very well.

table-runner-embroideryHere is a close up of one of the corner designs on the table topper. This was a design pre-loaded on my machine, though I changed around the colors. I did the embroidery on a piece cut from a white thrift-store sheet, then sewed it to the back once the design was done.

trailer-onesieAnd I finally made the first project for my new baby! A terrific Etsy seller, Sweet as Lemon and Honey, created an embroidery file for me based on my graphic and a photograph of my Yellowstone travel trailer. The file looks just beautiful, and I’ll make other projects with it to show it off better–I didn’t use the right stabilizers or maybe the best method for getting the front of the onesie situated on the hoop and it crinkled up a bit, but it’s my fault, not hers. Her file is non-crinkly and perfect. Still, I love love love this onesie! Even wrinkled up the trailer design is totally adorable, and this was such a fun first project to finish for the baby. It feels like now s/he is really ours, branded by our family trailer insignia. I’m a total hormonal fool, carrying this little shirt around with me so I can keep looking at how tiny and cute it is, trying to imagine the wee little person that will fit into it this fall!