Diaper Bag Pattern Review

Long time no see/write?!?  I’m still sailing along in this pregnancy with our BABY GIRL!  I am seven and a half months pregnant today and I cannot believe how fast it is now going by.

Adding a baby girl to our mix means that I finally get to make bows, pants with ruffles, and all sorts of things I never had the chance to do with two boys.  First on my list was a diaper bag I actually liked.  I have had the same plain black Jeep diaper bag since my oldest was born four and a half years ago.  While I don’t currently carry a diaper bag, I will need one when our sweet baby Rowyn Scarlett gets here.

I’ve had this pattern in my drawer for FAR longer than I should admit.  I kept meaning to use it and just never got around to it.  After finally making my nursing cover, I decided it might be fun to finally dive into this pattern.  The pattern is very detailed and easy to follow, I love Fishsticks Designs patterns for this reason.  I would NOT say this is a pattern for beginners.  You need to be highly organized and label all your pieces because there are A LOT to keep up with.  You also need to have a couple days or afternoons set aside to work on it.  Between cutting out all the pieces and sewing, I spent about ten hours on this bag.  I’m not really a fast or slow sewer, just kind of average I’d say.  I can make a pair of baby/toddler pants or a diaper cover in half an hour.  Or a pair of kid pants in half an hour to an hour depending on detail.  The bag is MUCH more involved than those, but I do LOVE this bag and pattern.

All in all, I think this bag is going to be GREAT for cloth diapers. It is super roomy and I truly cannot wait to pack it in a few weeks after my baby shower.  The fabrics I ended up choosing were gifted to me and they suit my personality and taste SO well!  They also match the nursing cover I made which is just fun for me.  The bag is super roomy, has TONS of pockets from standard to elasticized, even a zippered pocket.  I’m definitely far more in love with this bag than I ever was with the Jeep one!

*Click on a picture to view it larger and read the description.

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Sewing Inspiration: Teacher Gifts

While I’d love to tell you guys that I’ve been busy sewing and have tons of new projects lined up for the blog, I sat down at my sewing machine for the first time in several weeks today.  Instead of sewing or writing, I’ve soaked up this final pregnancy and have been basking in all the glory that is non-stop morning sickness for three months.  Baby Boo is sixteen weeks old (gestational age) today and the morning sickness is improving ever so slowly.  Which means that hopefully sewing will be back in full swing soon with new projects for you!

Today’s sewing adventure was a gift for my son’s speech pathologist.  I haven’t talked about my son’s speech apraxia on the blog before, but he started speech therapy at the beginning of this year and we’ve seen him blossom and improve his speech SO much.  He’ll get a new pathologist when he starts school in the fall, but we wanted to show our appreciation for all that our current pathologist has done for him.

My son loves superheroes and his teacher has been kind enough to include them in his therapy.  He can say almost all their names clearly now which is huge!  I of course included him in the gift for his pathologist and he went the superhero route!  He picked out the super cool Avenger’s cup and we used my sewing machine to make a cozy (complete with superhero cape!) for the cup.

I hope you enjoy our fun little project, what gifts have you given your children’s teachers?

Sewing Inspiration: Fat Quarter Shorts

My absolute favorite thing to sew is children’s clothing.  It’s small, it begs to be cute, and it’s fun!

I make my children a lot of light weight pants from cotton fat quarters.  The elastic waist is potty training and cloth diaper friendly and they’re super comfortable for all the moving around and playing kids love to do.

Here’s a little sewing inspiration from my Sunday sewing…

FQPants2

FQShorts

Sewing Tutorial: Personalized Cup Cozy

Personalized Cup CozyLast week we created our own reversible cup cozy.  This week, we’ll learn how to embellish that same cup cozy to make even more personalized.  The embellishment will be done with removable discs so that you can change the look of your cozy to suite your mood.

To embellish your cozy you will need:

  • Fabric.  You can use a fabric that coordinates with the fabric we used for the cozy body or the same fabric.
  • Sewable, fusible stabilizer. I use Heat N Bond Lite sewable.
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Snaps – I use KAM snaps
  • Iron
  • The illustrated and detailed Personalized Cup Cozy PDF:  Personalized Cup Cozy.Embellished Cup Cozy

Sewing Tutorial: Cup Cozy

DIY Cup CozyOne of the best things about being able to sew is that you can add a bit of you to almost everything in your life, beverages included.  If you drink a lot of coffee like me, you know that the cardboard cup cozies don’t do much to protect your hands from the warmth of the beverage.  Luckily, making your own fabric cup cozy is very easy and highly customizable.

Materials

  • Cotton Fabric – don’t need much so raid your scrap bin
  • Felt Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Tape Measure
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety Pin
  • The detailed and illustrated Cup Cozy Tutorial PDF:  Cup Cozy Tutorial.

*Join us next week and we’ll show you a way to customize your cup cozy!

Sewing Inspiration: Valentine’s Skirt

Sew Pretty Valentine SkirtI love a fun cotton print.  Pair that with a piece of clothing that is versatile and I’m sold.  I originally made this skirt last spring as a flowy skirt with an elastic waist band.  It wasn’t very fitted and was one of my first forays into sewing clothing for myself instead of children.  It was cute, but it rarely got worn  because it just wasn’t the most flattering thing in my closet.  The last couple of months I’ve taken an interest in altering and fitting clothing.  I had a closet full of items that were too big and slowly but surely I started working my way through them all.  With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this skirt kept calling to me.  I pulled it out, put it on Amelia (my dress form) and got to work.

First I took in a bit on each side and added a zipper.  Then I started draping and pinning.  I tried a few configurations but ended up with the finished skirt you see here.  It was really fun to take this skirt from shapeless to a fitted, fun piece of clothing that will get a lot of rotation in my wardrobe.  The little details like the peek-a-boo blue invisible zipper and the adorable blue heart snap made it all the more fun.  And, I think this print is perfect for Valentine’s Day, don’t you?

Love is in the details

Adorable Cotton Print

Patchwork Hem

Back view

Sewing Tutorial: Felt Valentine’s Chocolates and Cookies

Felt Chocolates and CookiesThis week’s sewing tutorial is simple and quick.  You won’t even need a pattern (although we’ve provided some for convenience)!

Play food is a great beginner’s sewing project and can be altered to make food as simple or as fancy as you’d like.  These festive Valentine’s Day chocolates and cookies are fantastic as decor, playing, and a learning tool.  You can embroider or draw (with puff paint or fabric paint) letters and numbers on them.  You can use them to teach colors, shapes, or even as coins.  You are only limited by your creativity.

This tutorial will focus on creating the chocolates and cookies with a sewing machine, but you could also hand sew the items.  If you don’t sew, you could use felt fabric glue to glue the pieces together.  When making felt foods please keep the age of the child you’re making the project for in mind.  Children who still put things in their mouth should never be given small objects as these would pose a choking hazard.  They also should not be given items with puff paint as they could pick the paint off.

When making felt food you can use whatever type of felt you desire.  Craft felt is easy to work with, cheap and easily obtainable but it will not wear as well as wool felt.  Craft felt may get pilly over time, but you can wash it with warm soapy water and use a lint shaver to get rid of pills.  If the item doesn’t contain a pipe cleaner or glue, you could even run it through the washing machine.  Wool felt will wear better and last longer.  If you’re creating something that you’d like to pass down from child to child, wool felt is best.  If you plan to use wool felt, you may want to first practice on craft felt so you don’t waste money on the more expensive stuff.  I typically use eco-fi felt which is made of recycled plastic bottles.

Let’s get started!  You will need the following to create your Felt Valentine’s Day Chocolates and Cookies:

  • Felt in whatever colors you desire
  • Scissors
  • Thread in colors of your choice
  • Sewing machine and/or hand sewing needle
  • Polyfil to stuff your pieces (optional)
  • Shapes template:  Valentine Cookie Chocolate Template

Directions

  1. Cut out shapeStart out by placing two pieces of felt wrong sides together and cutting out your desired shape.  You can freehand this or use one of the templates we’ve provided above.  You can use any size circle you like. If you’re going to sew a plain piece of chocolate or cookie and don’t want to add any other design, then you’re ready to sew, go ahead to step 3!  If you want to add a design, go on to the next step.
  2. Once your chocolate or cookie is cut out, you can add a design to the cookie.  Sometimes I like to add swirls, sprinkles, or just a whimsical design.  Take one side of the chocolate or cookie and add your design.  You can put the same Decorative stitchesdesign on the other side, or do something different so you get more ‘activities’ or designs in one cookie.You could do numbers and letters to teach the alphabet or counting.  You could do sprinkles, colors, shapes, etc.  You really are only limited to your imagination with these and kids love to get in on the design.
  3. overcast stitchOnce you’ve added a design to both sides, pin the cookie together, right sides both facing out.We’ll sew the cookie together using an overcast stitch.  If you don’t have an overcast stitch on your machine, a wide zig zag stitch works great.  Since the edges of the felt won’t fray, you could even use a straight stitch.
  4. sew around the edgeIf using an overcast stitch, make sure your right hand side stitch falls just over the edge of the cookie.  You might need to sew a stitch and then adjust your cookie’s placement under the presser foot to get it just right.  Sew all the way around the outer edge of the cookie making sure you back-stitch/reinforcement stitch at the beginning and end.  IF YOU’RE STUFFING YOUR CHOCOLATE OR COOKIE PIECES, STOP SEWING WHEN YOU HAVE ABOUT 3/4 -1″ LEFT TO GO AND STUFF A SMALL AMOUNT OF POLYFIL INTO YOUR PIECE WITH THE EDGE OF YOUR SCISSORS OR A SKEWER.  ONCE YOU HAVE IT STUFFED, CONTINUE SEWING AROUND THE OUTER EDGE UNTIL YOU’RE BACK AT THE BEGINNING.  Clip your threads when you’re done.
  5. That’s it! Easy peasy.  You can make as many of these as you can crank out.  They make lovely gifts and are great to have for any home school or home learning lesson plans.

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Sewing Tutorial: Valentine’s Garland

Valentine's GarlandI love the look of festive garland for all holidays, Valentine’s Day being no exception.  This colorful, fun garland is easy to create and highly customizable.

For the garland created in this tutorial, we will be using felt and/or vinyl sheets and ribbon.  You could also create the garland with card stock and twine if you’re not a sewer.

Materials Needed

  • Felt, stiffened felt, and/or glitter vinyl sheets. I like to use the 9X12 sheets you can buy at craft stores.  I’ve used four sheets for the garland featured. One piece of stiffened felt, two pieces of regular eco-fi felt, and one piece of glitter vinyl.
  • Valentine's Heart GarlandFusible/sewable stabilizer if you’re using regular felt instead of stiffened
  • Spool of ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • *Optional – Cricut or other paper cutting machine to cut out hearts. You certainly don’t have to use a Cricut, you can easily cut the hearts out by hand.
  • If cutting by hand you can use one of the heart templates provided in the tutorial.
  • The detailed and illustrated tutorial provided here:  Valentine’s Heart Garland.

Sewing Tutorial: Hanging Organizer

Hanging Organizer TutorialI’m an organized person.  I like for things to be tidy and have their place.  With two kids, and an addictive passion for sewing, I have a lot of small items in my home.  Things we use A LOT.  I like to find ways to organize all our ‘stuff’ that is still easy for us to access.  These handy little hanging organizers work nicely for that.

The organizers are very inexpensive to make (you can make one for less than $1) and super quick to sew up (twenty minutes or less).  You can easily customize the fabric print to suit any style and you can change the type of fabric to make them more or less sturdy depending on your needs.
Materials Needed

  • Two pieces of fabric in your preferred sizes. The organizers featured in this tutorial are made with two sheets of felt.  The organizer body piece is approximately 9X12 and the divider piece is approximately 4.5X12.  You can use whatever sizes suit your needs.  It’s important to select a fabric strong enough to support your needs.  For lightweight items, I like to use felt because it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t fray even when cut.  If you’re using cotton or another fabric that frays, you will need to bind the edges or you will get fraying.
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric pen or chalk to mark button holes
  • Ruler (optional)
  • The fully detailed and illustrated (FREE!) Hanging Fabric Organizer PDF available by clicking here: Hanging Fabric Organizer Tutorial

Possible UsesEasy Hanging Organizer

  • Sewing supply caddy
  • Crafts
  • Crochet hooks
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Small toys
  • Kid’s art supplies
  • Hair bows and brushes
  • Fork and spoon organizer
  • Message center
  • Etc…

**This tutorial is provided free of charge, you may do what you wish with the finished project.  We ask that you DO NOT try and sell the tutorial.

Sewing Tutorial: Felt Hot Chocolate

Felt Hot ChocolateWelcome!  Today we’re going to make a big mug of hot cocoa that even little ones can enjoy! Play food is a great beginner’s sewing project and can be altered to make food as simple or as fancy as you’d like.

This tutorial will focus on creating the set with a sewing machine, but you could also hand sew the items.  If you don’t sew, you could use felt fabric glue to glue the pieces together.  When making felt foods please keep the age of the child you’re making the project for in mind.  Children who still put things in their mouth should never be given small objects as these would pose a choking hazard.

When making felt food you can use whatever type of felt you desire.  Craft felt is easy to work with, cheap and easily obtainable but it will not wear as well as wool felt.  Craft felt may get pilly over time, but you can wash it with warm soapy water and use a lint shaver to get rid of pills.  If the item doesn’t contain a pipe cleaner or glue, you could even run it through the washing machine.

Wool felt will wear better and last longer.  If you’re creating something that you’d like to pass down from child to child, wool felt is best.  If you plan to use wool felt, you may want to first practice on craft felt so you don’t waste money on the more expensive stuff.  I typically use eco-fi felt which is made of recycled plastic bottles.

Let’s get started!  You will need the following to create your Felt Hot Chocolate:

  • Felt in red (or a color of your choosing) for the mug, brown, tan, and white.
  • Polyfil to stuff the hot chocolate mug
  • Scissors
  • Monofilament thread or coordinating thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle
  • The hot chocolate mug template and fully illustrated sewing tutorial. Do not scale the file to fit, print as actual size:  Felt Hot Chocolate.

This sewing project pairs nicely with our easy peasy felt cookies.  And it’s one set of cocoa and cookies that Santa is sure to love!