… and because I am a bit antsy, I made a diaper pouch for Jonathan’s diaper bag yesterday.  There just happened to be enough scraps left over from the original project, so I had everything on hand that I needed except for the webbing to close up the top.

I used a tutorial from Noodlehead that I happened across as I was browsing my bookmarks.  I got the proportions a bit wrong, so the liner is a bit too small, but until we are using bigger diapers, it won’t matter.  Overall, I think it is pretty cute and it will keep the diapers from getting all smushed up.

Now, I officially take a little break from crafting again. In less than 24 hours, I will be holding a new baby in my arms, after all!

There is something to be said for perseverance and determination.  I had to have a lot of it while working on this project, that is for sure.  The idea is simple enough and the tutorial was clear and simple to follow.  The problem is me.  I cannot sew in a straight line.  When taking on a task which requires one to sew about 100 consecutive straight lines, this is an issue.  I also cannot cut in a straight line.  More of the same problem.

On with my story.

I saw this tutorial on Made for a faux chenille blanket and liked it, but had no real reason to make it.  Enter about-to-be-baby-boy.  Then I was so sure I *had* to make one for him.  I didn’t start sewing until after the other two kids were born, so I was really excited to pick a project for this one.

Ella helped me to choose the fabric.  It is not something I would normally choose, but the main print with lime and white on the cobalt background caught my eye (how could it not?).  I gathered my supplies and started to sew… and sew… and sew.  The monotony was actually kind of soothing.  I sewed as I looked out over the lake this summer.  The lines are a bit wonky, but the overall effect is pretty nifty.  Then I started to cut and before I knew what happened, I had cut a HUGE hole in the fabric.  Well, Dana had a hole, too, and fixed it, so I pressed on… and cut about 10 more of various sizes.  But I was determined to finish the doggone thing.

Finally, today, after much heartache, I finished it.

I made some makeshift patches for the larger holes and will patch the smaller ones as they become problematic.  I just couldn’t leave it unfinished.  The “back”, which is the side with the elephants, is not the prettiest thing ever, but the front is pretty nifty looking.

I am not a fan of the white bias tape, but this was no time to learn a new skill and make my own.  Not great, not the worst thing ever.  I conquered.

Here is one of the big projects that I have been working on. It is pretty much finished now, save one minor maintenance issue.  You may remember a diaper bag set that I made for a dear friend about a year ago that I posted about here.  It was one of my first sewing projects ever and I am happy (for me… sad for her, really) to say that my sewing skills have improved quite a bit since then.  Still rough, but better.

I was very happy to be able to make a diaper bag for my own baby.  The ones we have used in the past are either dirty and worn out or just the bags that are supplied from the formula companies.  Yes, they work fine, but have little in the way of personal style.  The good thing is that after using all of them, I had some clear ideas as to what I wanted.

This time around, I really wanted a simple messenger bag design with few bells and whistles.  The pockets always look like a good idea, but I find that they get in the way and collect junk more than anything.  I toyed with making the lining waterproof, but really, that just makes it harder for me to clean.  I constructed this bag and know I can just throw it in the wash without it falling apart (I hope), and I would rather do that than just wipe part of it down.

I also knew I wanted quiet but not “blah” colors.  I have never been a frou-frou baby bag person.  The baby is not carrying the bag, so let’s keep away from embroidered blocks that spell “BABY” and pictures of Pooh.  I looked and looked in JoAnn fabrics and found most of the material to be the opposite of what I was looking for.  Then, hidden underneath other quilting cottons, I saw this alphabet print and let out a little “whoop!”.  Just what I was looking for.

The next challenge was finding the contrasting print… also hidden.  The plaid is perfect and was the only fabric I found that had just the right tones of green and blue.  For the outer fabric, I used gabardine, I think.  I don’t remember for sure what I ended up grabbing.

The strap is fixed, but if it ends up being too long, I can shorten it permanently.  I just really dislike bags that hang on one arm.   The inside has 2 small pockets, one for my keys and one for my phone.  Anything else will pack in nicely and stay put well enough.  (Those size “N” diapers get me every time… they are SO teensy!)

And, of course, any respectable diaper bag also has a changing pad (based on this tutorial).

I may have put the strap on backwards.  Oh well.  It does not matter to me enough to tear the whole thing apart.  The inside is the alphabet print.

I have made peace (for the most part) with bias tape.  Yeah!  It is kind of fun now.

Then, just for the fun of it, I also made the burp cloths (based on this tutorial).  They don’t match exactly, which is fine.  I actually chose them separately, and must have been in a blue and green mood that day.  (My camera really disagrees with the color choices, doesn’t it?  I can’t seem to edit them to the right tones.)

These are a super first sewing project.  They are easy and functional and allow for some fun decision-making.

Here is the whole set.

The final, special touch – I used the letters from the alphabet print to personalize the bag for the little guy.  Now we are ready to go!

So I finally have the itch to sew again.  I think the warm-ish weather is getting to me.  Problem is, getting to the fabric store is not that easy.  My son is loud and my daughter is talkative, interrupting my train of thought (such as it is) as I ruminate on fabric choices and pace about.  I decided to try Haberman Fabrics in nearby Royal Oak, just to see what they were all about.  Besides, I have an Abby tote waiting to be made and I wanted something special.

The fact that my 4-y-o gasped as we walked in the door should have warned me.  It is a beautiful store with amazing fabrics.  Lots of eye candy.  Not much regular cotton fabric.  I found some that was okay, then spotted a small display off to the side that looked promising.  Clearly I am new to this, because when I saw that the prints were Liberty of London, I got really excited instead of walking away.  I perused, found my soulmate, lifted the fabric to see the price and let out a gasp of my own.  $50.00 a yard was NOT what I was expecting!  I am still in shock.

Guess I am just a JoAnn Fabrics girl after all.  That is sad, because the drive, the pondering and oh.my.gosh. the wait to have my fabric cut is not something to look forward to.  But I will persevere because that bag needs to be made, my friends.  And Ella has put in a request for the baby brother who is on the way.  A “blanket with real (as opposed to panda or polar) bears and a blue background”.   Guess we will be making our way out to the store again soon.

I handmade exactly one gift for Christmas this year.  How lame am I?  Pretty stinking lame.  I did manage to bake cookies for the first time in years, though, so I will consider that a start.  And I made several other birthday and thank-you gifts over the year.  Considering I didn’t even sew prior to that, I think maybe I should give myself a break.

At any rate, one I saw this tutorial by Adrianna at Crafterhours (posted on Samster Mommy), I was in love.  My niece is obsessed with Cinderella, so she was the lucky recipient.  It turned out super cute and, of course, Ella wants one too.  The tutorial is simple to follow… finished length is about ankle-length on an average 3 1/2 year-old.

 

Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  If you are in need of a quick little project to keep the kids busy, hand out to little ones on Thanksgiving Day, or even use as table decorations, try making a little gang of felt turkey finger puppets.

 

Isn’t he cute?  I whipped up a few from scrap felt in no time (we gave a couple away and I couldn’t find the other one we have left for the picture).

The idea came from Skip to My Lou, always a great place for kids crafts.

Since I don’t have pinking shears, I used a zig-zag stitch for a hint of interest.  I also think it would be cute to embellish the feathers a bit with some stitching.  This will, however, be saved for a day when they last a little longer in our house.  We have already had a feather casualty, after which I heard my son say, “Uh-oh… turkey!” as he mourned the birds loss.    The lost feather was probably from the turkey I made with Tacky Glue.  A glue gun is much more effective.

I also didn’t have googly eyes (bummer), so I used felt for the eyes.  This is probably the only reason our turkeys still have eyes.  Googly eyes are way too fun to pick off.  “Uh-oh… turkey!” again, I am certain.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I *heart* the 80’s.  How fun it is to relive those fashion moments by dressing my daughter in things like leg warmers.  I still remember my leg warmers from second grade.  They made me feel cool and they were nice and cozy… what more could you ask for?  Of course, I want my daughter to feel the same way, so when I saw this tutorial over at From An Igloo, it moved straight to the top of my crafty to-do list.

What a great way to a survive chilly, drizzly and dreary November day in Michigan.

 

This is a “totally” easy project and Christine’s tutorials are always perfectly spelled out and user-friendly.  In fact, I have made two pair and both of them were done quickly while the kids were playing.  The first pair was made from scrap fleece, but I only had chocolate brown and while that did not deter Ella from wearing them (even to bed), she did request something  a bit more girly.  When I spied this fabric, I knew it was The One.

Go make some leg warmers.  They are inexpensive, fun and nostalgic.