New Inspiration!

At Christmas, while my family was  spoiled with  toys, video games and other gifts under the  tree, I was spoiled with gift cards from my wonderful husband. The second I opened them I  knew what I was going to use them for.

Ever since a friend of mine showed me how to use  my sewing machine I have been making trips to the library quite often.  I  have  taken out every sewing book that I can get my hands on.  For the most  part I don’t  get to read  very much of them  before I have to head back  but I still enjoy the tiny bits I get through.

There are a few that I have taken out more than a couple of times so I figured it was time to add them to my library.  The  first is Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

There are so many great projects in this book that I have been wanting to try.  Tunics, bags, a play tent and little girl dresses too.  I used the  pajama bottom pattern from the book to make these:

And these:

And four  other pairs of PJ bottoms  that my family wore on Christmas morning.

Growing Up  Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee is another favorite of mine that I knew I  had to have.  

My plan for  Christmas 2012 is  to have a  75% Handmade Christmas (yes I know it’s only January but if I start planning now  perhaps it will happen).  This  book has a variety of  patterns;  a teepee,  toy bins, dolls, papooses, capes, art satchels and more. I  think I will be able to  finish almost all our  gifts for my four girls from this  book alone as well as some of the other little ones in my life.  If you are looking for some great  gift ideas for some  special little people in your life this would be a perfect  place to start.

Oliver +S, Little Things to Sew  is a book  that I was drawn to immediately because of the adorable paper doll clothing images on the cover. I mean seriously,  how cute are they?  So yes, I  judged this book by its cover and was not disappointed. Super cute  projects like art smocks, backpacks, hats, messenger bags and a fantastic pattern for a  Bento Box carrier that I will definitely be making.  There is also a  quilt in there  that I will be trying to  make despite the fact that my previous attempts have been less than successful. Practice makes perfect right?

Now  there is still one book that I haven’t added to  my  collection but I will one of these days.  Wee Wonderfuls by Hilary Lang.  This  book is packed with beautiful dolls.  B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L dolls.  Couple of my favorites are the Ellie backpack, the Tag along doll (which has an accompanying pattern for an apron that she  can be carried around in) which my girls have been begging me to make for them and  a few little critters  that would be a welcome addition to any child’s room.  If  you have some time you should check out her site http://www.weewonderfuls.com/ it is totally worth a visit and  I am  sure you will love her work as much as I do.

I  figured that  buying these books would  be a good financial move especially considering the amount of fines I racked up from the library.

So  now that  I am  dripping with inspiration, I  just  need  to find a bit of time to  get it all done.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Right?

What  projects do you have  planned for yourself this year? Where does your inspiration come from?

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A Baby Gift

With the arrival of summer (finally!) many of my friends are also expecting the arrival of their new babies. And the arrival of new babies means Baby showers!

I love these celebrations of new lives and new families.  Every time I attend one I am always reminded of how wonderful the baby days are. *Sigh*

Thinking back to all of the gifts I received at my baby showers, I have a special place in my heart for the ones that were homemade. I loved the idea that someone took the time to make something special and unique for my baby. Now that I can do a  bit of sewing  I am quite excited that I can make something special for friends and family when their little ones come along.

A co-worker of  mine is due any day  with her baby boy.  Being the proud mom of  4 girls I  love getting  the opportunity to make boy things (even if it means just using a non pink fabric).  I decided I wanted to make  something useful for the new Mom and her new little man and after much thought I  decided on this:

Car Seat Cover

I saw something similar to this  when I was at the park  a few weeks ago.   They looked  fairly easy to make so I  thought I would give it a try.  They are super useful too.  They block the sun in the summer,  keep the cold  and wind out in the winter,  and if you  don’t like people touching your  new baby when you are out and about, they are wonderful shields too!

You will need:

2 pieces of  fabric 29″ x 39″ ( one printed cotton and one for the back,  I used minkee for this one)

4 pieces of 4″ x 8″ fabric ( 2 from the printed cotton and 2 from whatever you are using for the back)

2 pieces of 3″ x 1″ velcro

Matching thread

Here’s how you make it:

1. Take your two 29″ x 39″ pieces of fabric and place them with the right sides facing

and pin the outside edges  together.  (Don’t you just love the monkeys?)

2. beginning around the halfway point on one of the sides begin  sewing the edges together leaving an opening  of about 6 inches to  turn the blanket right side out.

3. Using a knitting needle, or  whatever long stick like item you may have on hand (I used a  wooden chopstick) push the  edge seams  and corners out.  Topstitch around the outside of the whole rectangle including the unsewn opening (be sure to fold the edges in  before you topstitch it.

4.  Take one of the printed cotton 4″ x8″ rectangles and  sew the hook side of one of the velcro strips  about 1 1/3″ from the top of the right side.  Sew the  fuzzy piece of the velcro to the top of the right side of the minkee piece, about 1 1/3″ from the top.

5. Take the  pieces  of fabric with the velcro and place them together like they are in the picture (It might seem like it’s wrong but it’s right, trust me!)

6. beginning  on  one of the sides  stitch the edges  leaving an opening to turn the tab right side out.  Using your knitting needle push the edges and corners out.  Topstitch the edges all the way around, being sure to close up the opening as you go.  Repeat steps 5 and 6 to make the second tab.

7. About 13″ from the  top of the main piece place the tabs and pin them in place.

Sew them on to the main piece, through both pieces of fabric ( This will prevent the  layers from separating when it is attached to the handle of the car seat) by sewing a rectangle shape in the center of the tabs.  I drew the rectangles on the picture to make the directions a little clearer.

That’s it!  If you need clarification on any of the directions just leave a comment and let me know.  Thanks for stopping by.