Baby Bibs

I stopped by a friend’s house last week with some baby-warming goodies… some post-natal comfort food for her and her family, and some homemade bibs for her new boy, Cole.  These bibs are a cinch to make and are actually the very first things I learned to sew… (the pattern is from Amy Karol’s book, Bend-the-Rules Sewing).  The back of the bib is made with soft cotton flannel.

I wanted to use fabric suitable for a boy of course, but that didn’t look babyish.  The owl fabric is one of my favorites.  I got it from an upholstry fabric store (U-fab here in C’ville) and I’ve used it to make Grant a pair of overalls, a pillow for our living room, and a tote (you’ll see another version of the owl in the last picture).  You can’t really see it here, but once I appliquéd the owl, I used gold thread and stitched all around the square- it really made it look cool. 

These cute bugs have crazy bugged-out eyes!  Love them!  The fabric was a great clearance buy from Fabric.com.   It’s by Jay McCarroll for Free Spirit.  I love his designs, and have used his garden bunnies for Ellery and my niece Avery’s Easter Dresses.  His kooky alien-bird is on the appliqué below:

For the appliqué, I cut a rough shape with my desired image in the center.  I then ironed on some lightweight interfacing to the back of the image.  Then, I cut my shape out into a clean square (or oval) and placed it on the bib.  I ironed it again and then pinned it in the center.  Stitched around the border with a straight stitch, and then using my gold thread, zig-zagged all around it to add some bling. 

So, if you’re like me and have lots of friends makin’ babies these days, give these a shot.  They are quick and unique and stay nice through many washes- my kids have been wearing the same ones for a year and a half and they still look pretty darn cute (the bibs too!).  :) 

-Erin 

Thrifted

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted.  We got wrapped up in August with a weekend trip to NC, a visit from my sister and her new baby, some super-cool houseguests, and other Summer fun.  Oh, but mostly I got wrapped up in morning sickness… yup, baby #3 is on board and has officially knocked me on my arse!  (That said, we couldn’t be more excited to add another babe to the mix, and I am inspired to do some more baby sewing once these icky feelings pass!) 

Besides 3 straight weeks of nausea, the fatigue hit me right away… By 3 o’clock most days I’m a pile of yawns, doing all I can to keep my kids entertained as I rest on the couch.  I didn’t touch my sewing machine for a month.  Literally.  And as much as I wanted to make things (especially a new wardrobe for my preschool bound girl), I had zero energy!  The past couple of weeks have been better, so I will share a few recent projects in the coming days, but for now I will share some things I didn’t make.  A good day at the thrift store makes me happy- it brings me back to the time I got my prom dress (AND my date’s 3-piece suit) at Goodwill… for like $16.  And yup, they were actually cute!  Anyway, here’s what I acquired on my most recent trip….

A sweet hand-smocked dress (maybe for baby # 3?) in excellent condition…the color of orange sherbert.  yum. 

Another adorable smocked dress, in even more excellent condition.  Lemon curd, anyone?  (Yea, I’ve got me some cravings!)

This little number was actually a freebie from a yard sale, but I had to throw it in… it’s really old, and really short, and super cute on my 3 year old.  But, I probably need to soak it in a little oxy clean to brighten it up!

A cute corduroy dress that I have grand plans to dye deep red (and to snip off the shoulder bows too, I think).  A good Fall dress for Ellery.

A vintage sheet that I have already hacked up for pajama pants… and maybe a matching pillowcase for E.

My most expensive item at a whopping $3 was this fluted tart pan.  But really, what is a (temporarily retired) pastry chef without one? 

…and a couple of hand-painted Made-in-Japan plates.  Perfect for a slice of lemon tart!

My total for my thrifted purchase was $11 and some change.  Dang good if I do say so myself!  Any other savvy thrifters out there?? 

-Erin

Baby Bjorn Cozy

Hello friends. This is a project that I have wanted to get back to for some time now. It all began with an outward facing, slobbering baby in a baby bjorn, my first-born, Jet.  Day after day my baby boy would suck and gum the life out of this thing that he so loved to hang out in. I would wash it fairly frequently, but still, I couldn’t help thinking how unsanitary it was that he was re-wetting the same spot over and over.  Kinda gross.  And then I saw it, at the park, a mom with a slip-cover for her bjorn!  Brilliant!  I ventured over to her, still kind of shy as a new mama, and asked her where in the world did she get that bjorn cover?  “Etsy”, she replied.  What was that?  I had never heard of Etsy (4 years ago!). 

Well, since I am one of the “I-can-do-that” types, I decided to figure out my own bjorn-cozy.  My first attempt (two years after the incident at the park, and now with a second slobbering baby) turned out pretty good:

This is the only photo documentation I have of it; we weren’t blogging quite yet! Say hi to my husband, Pei!  Though I was proud of this construction, and my first self-designed pattern, I knew it could be improved.   My chance to try it again came recently, as our big sister Erika had her first baby boy in May.  Baby Sean is just now facing out in his bjorn and so I set to work:

I was dying to use this fabric that I purchased a couple of years ago from our local fabric boutique Les Fabriques, but I could not find any fabric to match it!  I brought it back to Les Fabriques and the sales woman remembered the fabric, though we both cannot recall the designer, and we scoured the place for something that could work.  Only in the fat quarter section did we spot something that came remotely close…

Halleluja! My “inside” pattern fit the size of the fat quarter!  This is great news for me because I tend to be something of a fat quarter hoarder.  Okay, that’s gotta be the name of someone’s blog somewhere- Fat Quarter Hoarder! 

I created a little pocket with the inside fabric, if you can see it.  It will capture the tail of the bjorn, but still leaves room for the snap connections to be made.   Now, the tricky part…

stuffing it in.  I think I should probably expand the pattern another quarter of an inch around.  A bit snug.

Hey wait, how’d that get in there?  Okay, let’s be honest, when Mommy gets wrapped up in a photo shoot for the blog,  neglected children get wrapped up in other things!  AVERY!  Eh hem, where was I?

Ah yes, snug as a bug in a rug.  Ready to be gifted to the ridiculously adorable, super slobbery Baby Sean!

Is he cute or what?  I am looking forward to making many more of these fun cozies (I’ve got the fat-quarters to use up!).  Considering my own little Etsy shop full of them.  What do you think?

~Caroline