Daughter’s First Birthday Outfit!

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Has it really been 3 months since my last post?  CRAZY!  A lot has happened in 3 months!  I won’t bore you with all the details however, one very special event for our family was my daughter’s first birthday.  I had a lot of fun sewing up a few outfits and decorations for a little photoshoot and for her small party with family.  I also made a coordinating outfit for her bunny!  Since having our baby girl, sewing has been such a great way to relax after she goes to bed…or after she’s awake from 2am to 3am and I’m wide awake and need something to do.

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For the bunting, I used a FREE bunting pattern here.  I wanted to make it as quick as possible so I just cut out the triangles (for the pink one I used the 6″ triangle and for the purple I used the 4″ triangle) and kept the edges raw.  On the back of each triangle I put a 1/2″ strip of fusible interfacing along the top edge to decrease any puckering in the fabric.  After that, I wedged the triangles in-between a long piece of bias tape and sewed a straight line all the way across the tape.  Done.  Super easy!

For the diaper cover I used an awesome free pattern from MADE Everyday.  You can find the video tutorial here.

I purchased the plain white bib from Carter’s (it came in a pack of 5) and then I appliquéd it!  I applied “heat n’ bond” to the wrong side of the fabric and cut out my desired shapes.  After fusing the shapes to the bib, I sewed around the edges of the fabric to secure them in place.  You can find a tutorial that explains this process in detail here.

For the skirt I used another fabulous MADE Everyday tutorial which you can find here.  I did a rolled hem on each layer of the skirt with my serger.

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The plain white onesies were purchased at Wal-Mart (they came in packages of 2).  I used Premie Size for the bunny and size 3-6 months for my teeny tiny daughter!  I appliquéd the cupcakes to the onesies.

I used a simple yet cute headband tutorial from Create Kids Couture.  You can find it here.

I LOVED how it all turned out however, the appliqué only lasted for the day!  The edges of the fabric frayed!  Luckily, I only really needed the outfit for one day so it didn’t really matter.  Next time, I’ll need to use a zig zag/satin stitch instead of a straight stitch to secure the appliquéd pieces to the bib and onesies.

Until next time,

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

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Upcycled Baby Romper and Headband

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I bought this sweatshirt off a clearance rack without trying it on first and it was too big!  I loved the floral print on it so I thought, why not try making it into something new?

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Since it was stretchy fabric, I also got to practice using my serger!

I purchased the PDF pattern on Etsy from “Brindle & Twig patterns” .  You can purchase the pattern here.  The pattern was really nice to read.  It was really clear with detailed photos of every step.  It had nice big font and it even came with photos and terms to help beginners cut out the pieces correctly.

Instead of making fabric straps and snaps like the pattern suggests, I used soft, fold over elastic.

To complete the outfit, I created a matching headband which was really easy to make. Seriously easy.  Like, you can make it in 5 minutes easy.  Here’s how:

  1.  Choose a part of the fabric you’d like to use (in this case, a rose.)IMG_0865
  2. Cut out a piece of heat n’ bond lite approximately the size of the rose and iron on to the wrong side of the fabric with the paper side up.IMG_0868
  3. Cut out the rose with the paper still on the back.IMG_0869
  4. Peel off the paper on the back and place on your backing fabric (in this case, some felt) and iron on using a pressing cloth to prevent the synthetic felt fibres from melting!  I used felt because it gives the rose some added stiffness and texture.

    5. Cut it out and stitch around the rose to secure it to the felt.  If you use Heat n’ Bond Ultra hold however, it can stay in place without stitching.IMG_0876

    6. Tack it to the elastic with a few stitches and sew your elastic to size.  FullSizeRender-1

Voila!

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Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

DIY Teepee

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Alas, the teepee is finally finished!

This.Sewing.Pattern.Was.Fabulous!  Seriously.  Very clear instructions which I followed step by step and it turned out perfect.  You can find the pattern at TipTopTeepeeShop on Etsy.  If you’re not comfortable with a drill you will need someone to help you drill the holes into the poles.

I used outdoor fabric which I purchased on sale at Fabricland.  It’s sturdy, water resistant and a B*&%h to work with!  haha!  I’m used to sewing with quilting cottons and lightweight fabrics but because of the size and weight of the fabric pieces I needed a little extra help from sewing notions.  Here are some helpful tools I use all the time but definitely couldn’t do without for this project:

Wonder Clips!  I was a little skeptical when a sewing instructor recommended these a few years ago because they were pricey and didn’t seem like much.  I think I paid $30 something but now it looks like you can get them cheaper on Amazon!  I LOVE THEM.  They are so much easier to use than pins and they always hold the fabric right where you want it.  There is no way this thick and heavy outdoor fabric would’ve held a hem with traditional sewing pins.

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GrabARoo Gloves (or any free motion quilting gloves.)  The fabric pieces were not only large but slippery too.  Using these gloves made controlling the fabric a breeze.  They have little sticky pads on the fingers that allow you to grip the slippery fabric easily.  I’ve heard you can also use gardening gloves to help you get a grip!

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I would love to try this teepee again except make an indoor one using cotton!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

2nd Year As A Blogger!

 

Wow – it’s amazing that 2 years have gone by already.  I’ve really enjoyed working on this blog.  Last year, in particular, flew by.  It was a great year of continuing to try new things and I think I really upped my sewing game!  It’s been a pleasure interacting with so many crafters out there through this blog and through Instagram.

If you’re following my blog – thanks so much for your support.

Find me on instagram: @afriendlikeben

Looking forward to a creative 2016.

-AFriendLikeBen-

I’m sure they’d think again if they had a friend like Ben. – Michael Jackson

 

 

“Whatcha Got?” pouches

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Alas, a  moment to blog again!  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind having a baby and moving to a new country – but we’re settled in, the baby is napping and I feel like I’m back!

I made these little pouches during my last week of pregnancy.  I was 40 weeks pregnant and reallllllly antsy!  I needed something quick and easy to make to keep my mind off the upcoming labour but also something I could realistically finish in time.

I LOVE these pouches and use them every day.  The small size is great for travel diaper items.  The larger size is great for packing an extra onsie or hat, etc.

I purchased the pattern from my local quilt shop.  It’s by “This and That.” The pattern was really easy to follow and it was fun to learn how to sew with clear vinyl.  It actually wasn’t too hard!  My only advice is to use a larger stitch length when sewing through the vinyl.  I’ve heard that if it’s humid in the room, the vinyl can stick to the sewing machine and make things difficult but I didn’t run into any problems.

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For the smaller pouch, I altered the instructions slightly and didn’t sew together small squares for the front of the pouch.  By doing it this way I could make it even faster!

Let me know if you give it a try,

Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Easy Owl Pillow Tutorial

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Our good friends from out of town were coming over for a visit and they have an adorable little girl!  I wanted to give her little something so I whipped up this cute owl pillow in no time.  I used fabric I already had and used this great FREE pattern from “We All Sew.”  (Thankyou!)

As per usual, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly!  I didn’t include a centre strip (because I didn’t have much time!) and I dislike “raw edges” in appliqué, so I used an “appliqué without raw edges” technique that involves sewing two appliqué pieces right sides together and turning them right side out.  If you’d like to learn more, keep scrolling!

First, download and cut out the pattern pieces.  You can find the pattern pieces here.

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Pin the pieces to your chosen fabrics and cut out.

With my “appliqué without raw edges” technique, I had to cut out double of the eye, beak and wing pieces with an extra 1/4″ seam allowance.   So in total…I have 2 main body pieces, 1 bodice piece, 4 feet pieces, 4 wing pieces, 4 large eye circles, 4 small circles and 2 beak pieces.

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Using one of the large eye circles as an example, I have demonstrated the “appliqué without raw edges” technique I used below!

Sew 2 large circles, right sides together all the way around.  Do not leave an opening.

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Trim the seam allowance to be a scant 1/4″ and cut little slits around the edge being careful not to cut through the stitches.  (This helps the fabric lay flat when turning the piece right side out.)

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Choose which side of the piece will be the back and cut a slit in the centre (again, being careful not to cut too close to the stitching.)

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Turn the piece right side out through the slit you just cut and press with a hot iron.  Although not a perfect circle, the edges are nice and clean and it’s ready to be sewn to the owl!

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Continue this technique with the other eye circles, beak and wings.  (*note: for the wings, I only sewed the inside edge, right sides together.)

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When all the pieces are prepped, you’re ready to assemble the owl.

Start by folding under the top edge of the bodice piece and sew into place.

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Place the wings on top.  Pin in place and sew the inside edge of the wing with 1/4″ seam allowance. (I like using my 1/4″ seam foot for a clean line.)

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Now, add on the face.

First, place the beak on the owl face.  Because the piece is small, I used a tiny dab of school glue to hold it instead of pins.

So….Dab the glue…

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press in place with a hot iron…

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Sew it to the owl with a 1/4″ seam.

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The white part of the eye was big enough to use a pin for placement.  For the black part, I used the glue technique again.

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Once the face is applied, add the feet!

Sew the feet, right sides together, turn and pin the raw edge of the feet to the raw edge of the owl’s body.  (I was running out of time so I didn’t stuff the feet but they’d look cute stuffed too!)

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Place the back piece of the owl body over top and pin the layers together.  (I used “wonder clips” – they are so great to use when you’re trying to pin layers of fabric together quickly.)  Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance leaving a 3″ opening for turning.

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Turn project right side out and press.  Stuff owl to desired puffiness through the opening you left.

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Hand stitch the opening closed using a ladder stitch and you’re done!

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Voila!  A quick and easy, one-of-a-kind owl!  Let me know if you give it a try or have any tips or tricks.

Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Cloud and Heart Nursery Mobile

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Continuing on with the nursery decor, I thought I’d make a little cloud and heart mobile!  I didn’t follow a pattern in particular but used a heart template and a cloud template that I found online.  If you’d like to make your own, here is what I did!

For the hearts, you can find the template I used here.  (I used the smallest heart on the template for the mobile and shrunk that heart 50% with a photocopier for the appliquéd heart on the cloud.)

For the cloud, you can find the template I used here.

To make the mobile, I started with making the hearts.  I wanted 2 blue, 2 yellow and 2 pink so I cut 4 rectangles that would fit the heart template in each colour.

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Now, I know most people cut out the shape first and then sew.  Since these hearts were pretty small, I decided to trace the shape onto the fabric first, sew on the line leaving a small opening and then I cut it out with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

IMG_0089 (I left a little extra seam allowance at the opening so it would be easier to close after it was turned.  I also made little snips around the top of the heart so it would turn right side out nicely.)

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Now, for the exciting part…turning the hearts!  I used to dread this part but with the “Dritz Quick Turn” tool, it was so easy!  I love this tool and feel it was the best $8 I’ve spent on sewing notions – it comes with 3 tubes in different sizes.

To get started, first you stick the tube inside the opening.

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Then from the opposite end, insert the “chopstick” into the opening of the tube.

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Then push the fabric over the chopstick.

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Set the tube aside and use the chopstick to push out the seams of the heart.  The whole process takes about 30 seconds!

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After I sewed 6 hearts, I pressed them and stuffed them with polyfill.

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Now, if this was a toy, I would hand stitch each heart closed BUT since it’s a mobile that won’t really be handled, I closed each heart up with a dollop of hot glue.  (It saves time and no one will notice!)

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See?  How cute!  🙂

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Okay, now on to the cloud. I used the same technique as I did for the hearts.  First I traced the cloud onto the wrong side of my white fabric using a disappearing ink marker .

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Before sewing with right sides together, I added a mini appliqué heart to each side of the cloud.

To appliqué, first, trace 2 tiny hearts onto the wrong side fabric and cut them out.  Trace 2 tiny hearts onto the paper side of “Heat N Bond” and cut them out too.  The “Heat N Bond” is great for appliqué projects because it holds little shapes in place without pins.  (Make sure you use Heat N Bond that is meant to be sewn through on a sewing machine.)

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To apply the heart to the cloud, iron the rough side of the Heat N Bond heart to the wrong side of fabric heart.  (Please excuse the busy ironing board cover!)

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After, peel off the paper backing, apply the heart where you want it on the cloud and secure into place by pressing over it again with an iron.

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Once the heart is in place, stitch around the perimeter with a small, zig-zag stitch.

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To sew the cloud together, I used the very same technique as the hearts.

First, stitch on the line of the cloud the was drawn leaving a small opening.  Cut out the cloud with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Turn right side out using the tube turner tool and press the seams.  Stuff with poly-fil.  Instead of gluing this seam closed, I hand stitched the cloud closed using a ladder stitch.

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Finally, I sewed the hearts to the cloud with some white thread and a long embroidery needle.

To sew on the hearts, mark where each string of hearts should be on the cloud with a pin.

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Tie a knot in the end of long piece of doubled thread, and insert the needle into the top of the cloud and out the bottom where you marked your first pin.

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Gently pull the thread until the knot is pulled inside of the cloud.  Draw the needle through the first heart until you have it at the desired length and tie a knot at the bottom of the heart.  Draw the needle through the second heart until you have it at the desired length and tie a knot at the bottom again.    (If you look at the picture carefully you can see the knot I had started to tie at the bottom of the second heart.)

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Before you cut the end of the thread, pull the needle back through the heart and out the top, pull tight and snip the end.    By doing it this way, there are no loose ends of thread sticking out.

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I repeated this process with the yellow and blue hearts…

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Before long, I was done!

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I loved this project because it was fairly quick and easy and a super cute addition to the nursery.  Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-