Friday, December 30, 2011

Pinspiring Me to Preserve: Baby's Clothes

This project has been a long time coming.  Back in the summer of 2009, my sister Allison (of the amazing FabRehab Creations) asked me if I could do anything with a few personalized Onesies/t-shirts that her middle son had grown out of.  I was so flattered that she thought highly enough of my sewing skills to trust me with transforming her cherished pieces into a keepsake for my nephew!  I gladly accepted the challenge. 

And then I didn't do anything about it. 


I think I was waiting for Pinterest to be invented so I could find inspiration on what I could do with these three pieces, which were all very different in style (sporty, whimsical, preppy).  Again, thank heavens for Pinterest!  I had heard of T-shirt quilts before, but I was pretty sure that 3 baby shirts would look a little dwarfed on a quilt.  But then it dawned on me: it didn't have to be a quilt!  It could be a pillow! 

I still took inspiration from Pinterest:

Such a sweet way to preserve those precious garments!
Of course I completely forgot to take a "before" shot of the onesies/t-shirts still intact.  This is what you get:

My first task was to cut the patches to be close in size.  Clearly, each shirt design had different dimensions.  As I learned from my stocking project, it pays to measure and re-measure, rinse and repeat, to make sure I am on track.  Voila!  I made three patches that were all very very close in size!

Next I had to determine how to lay these bad boys out.  Again, all different style, and an odd number to boot (I have issues with symmetry).  I knew that my nephew is now in a "big boy bed" which is twin size.  To minimize any awkward negative space, I decided on a long, narrow pillow, with the white background design in the middle.  Things started to come together.

Notice the strips of fabric between the patches?  Symmetry.  It's a problem.

Once the pillowcase was assembled, it was smooth sailing.  I am rather thrilled with the final product!

And I was thrilled to recieve a photo of the happy little dude after he opened it on Christmas Day!

#1 Auntie!  Heart melting!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinspiring Me to Stencil: A Cute Holiday Onesie!

My baby shower, hosted by my lovely girlfriends, included a Onesie decorating project.  I went home with about 15 adorable, one-of-a-kind bodysuits made with love by my nearest and dearest.  The only problem -- my little man grew fast and furious, and grew out of those Onesies too quick!  Lucky for me, I found this pin of some charming and simple stenciled Onesies: 

So so sweet and simple!

Pinspired once again (and armed with my 50% off coupon), I headed out to my local Michaels to scoop up some fabric paint, tools and check out the stencil options.  I'm crafty, but not quite artistic, so I decided to grab an Alphabet stencil, and a few fun Martha Stewart designs.  Maybe one day, I'll tackle creating my own stencil, but for now, I'll let the pros handle that.

My son's name is a homophone for an iconic phrase in Christmas folktales, and I always thought it would be cute to put a cute, positive spin on it for him. 

My stencil skills were a little rusty.  Actually my stenciling skills were fine, it was the centering, layout and spacing that I struggled with.  Even so, I think it turned out pretty cute.

Homophone. Cole =/= Coal.

I think I will have to dress him in this Onesie when he meets Santa for the first time! 

Pretty stinkin cute!

I promise, I've been a good boy this year, Santa!

Party All The Time:

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pinspiring Me to Sew - Christmas Stocking!

Since this is going to be my baby's first Christmas, I felt it my duty to make him his own Stocking.    I'm a sucker for free patterns (who isn't??), and I had recently pinned this gorgeous, free pattern which had been re-posted by Fabricworm (whom I've personally purchased fabric from in the past -- amazing vendor with an amazing selection of fabric at amazing prices). 

So cute!
Last weekend, I took my awesome Living Social $50 coupon to my favorite local fabric store and used it all up on various fabrics, including some holiday themed fabrics. 

Ready to Sew!
You may be thinking to yourself, "That's more fabric selections that were called for in the original pattern."  How observant of you to notice!  This is because I felt strongly about making a semi-patchwork/quilted stocking, like my mom made me when I was a baby (and I still have today):

Made by my Mama, circa 1978
So, I set to work, arranging my fabrics, and making sure it would be enough for the pattern:

Pleased with my arrangement, I sewed them all together, not even realizing that by using a 1/2" seam allowance would shorten this all by 3" in total. 

Ever heard of "measure twice, cut once"?  D'oh!

Back on track, I got down to business.  The directions in the Fabricworm tutorial was super easy to follow.  But, being the woman I am, I had to give myself a challenge.  I wanted to applique my son's first initial on the stocking, so he felt special and knew that it was his stocking.

Cutting out the 'C' was not hard work, nor was zigzag stitching it to the cuff fabric.  The hard part came when I had to draw on my engineering/architecture skills, which are basically non-existent, to understand how my 'C' was going to present itself right side up, facing the correct way.  The cuff had to be sewn to the stocking on the inside, then flipped out and folded over.

Essentially, I did it wrong...a few times.  I was this close to giving up on the personalized aspect of the stocking.  Seriously, what kid needs his first initial appliqued on to his stocking?  Surely if Santa knows when he's been sleeping, and knows when he's awake, he will know which stocking belongs to him as well, right? 

Then, the unforgettable words of Tim Gunn echoed in my ears, "Make it work!"

I appliqued a patch of the appliqued initial on to a newly crafted stocking cuff.  Yes, an applique of an applique.  Winning!

The stocking took most of the afternoon from start to finish.  However, had it not been for AppliqueGate, it probably would have been completed in less than 2 hours.  Although he's not yet 1 year old, I think he will be thrilled with the final product.


And although we don't have a chimney from which to hang it with care, I'm sure we will find a place that is just as easy for Santa to locate on Christmas Eve.

Inspiring Links:

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