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-

 

Amigurumi Fruit

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I am loving the Boston Sun chunky yarn I’m using lately however, it’s limited in colour choices.  That’s ok, how cute are these fruity buddies?

They all came from different patterns.

Watermelon:  The watermelon is loosely based on a free pattern I found on Ravelry.  You can find it here.  If you’re familiar with crochet terms, the original pattern has you do a base chain of 31 stitches (which was HUGE with the yarn I was using.)  I am not great with sizing down patterns but I made this watermelon with a base chain of 15.  As you can see, it got a little wonky towards the top!  I also added in a row of white – the original pattern doesn’t have that.  So…not exactly my best piece but probably good enough for a baby to play with!  If anyone out there has any tutorials or tips on how to adjust patterns correctly, please send them my way.

Orange/Clementine:  To make this little clementine I used the same pattern that I used for the Two Peas in a Pod that I made recently.  I did the magic ring in green and the rest in orange.  Piece of cake.

Strawberry:  I got the free strawberry pattern from a blog with the address “moist crocheted vagina.”  HAHA!  Although the blog has a little potty mouth, I find it hilarious and the patterns are great!  She has a lot of free play food patterns.  You can find the strawberry pattern here.

To finish off all my projects I learned “the ultimate finish” technique from Planet June.  She also has a great tutorial with how to embroider on faces here.

Happy Crochet’ing

-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

 

 

Amigurumi Rabbit

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These amigurumi creations take a little longer for me to complete these days with a newborn but it’s been nice to have a few quiet moments here and there to work on them.

As usual, I’ve added a little scarf to make it a “winter themed” rabbit.  My intention is to have these winter creations as Christmas ornaments when we one day have Christmas at home.  (At the moment my husband’s career moves around.)  Amigurumi has been a great hobby for me because it calms my nerves and I can take it just about anywhere.  The finished products weigh nothing which makes them easy to bring home, they’re not breakable, and when I look at them, I like to remember where I was when I made them.

This was another great pattern from Son’s Popkes.  I love her patterns.  I didn’t have a soft contrasting colour on hand to follow the pattern exactly but I like how it turned out anyway.  The pattern also had great details on how to assemble it together.

For the scarf, I did a chain of white then single crocheted green on each side.  I tied the tails in a knot at the ends.

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Lastly, as I was googling amigurumi techniques recently, I came across a great page with some really clear tutorials.  You can find it here.  There are some free patterns and PDF pages to print as well – I love it!  Thanks Kristi!

Happy crochet’ing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

…ok…one more thing…I also made a Christmas Bat…learn more about it from my previous post here.

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Easy, Adjustable Crib Skirt Tutorial

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So, as you can see, I’ve been having fun with this Studio E “Around Town” fabric!  So far I’ve made nursery art, a mobile, a window cornice box, and now a crib skirt!

There are tons of tutorials about how to make crib skirts however, I found most of them to be a one size only tutorial which didn’t make sense to me!  With a crib, as the baby grows, the mattress height changes which means the crib skirt length changes.  If you only have one length of crib skirt, then what do you do when you have to lower the mattress?  Let it drag on the floor?  With this tutorial, I’d like to show you how I made an adjustable crib skirt that can be used for all 3 mattress heights.

First, let’s take a look at a crib.  Below is a birds eye view of a crib without a mattress in it.  See the space in-between the crib bars and the base?  That’s where you’re crib skirt will hang.

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To show you the finished birds eye view, I made 3 crib skirt panels (I didn’t make one for the back of the crib because you can’t see it.)  I attached it to the base of the crib with thumb tacks.  I know…it’s not the most polished of finishes but once the mattress is on top, no one will see it!  It’s actually quite neat and tidy!

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So, to make the crib skirt, all you need to do is decide what fabric you’d like to use for your panels, measure your panels out so they fit on each side of the crib, hem them how you wish, slide them in-between the bars and the base of the crib and secure them at the desired length with pins.

If you get the idea, go ahead and make your crib skirt panels how you wish!  If you’d like to see how I did mine specifically, keep reading!

Adjustable Crib Skirt Tutorial:

This tutorial will demonstrate how the side panel was made.

If using “directional fabric,” make sure each panel has the same part of the pattern on it.  For the widest panel, you may need to join the patterned fabric together.   (To learn more about how to join patterned fabric, see a previous tutorial here.)

To make sure each panel has the same section of the pattern on it, cut each patterned strip at the same place.  With this fabric specifically, I chose to cut below the red houses as the top cut and below the red roofs as the bottom cut (as shown.) image

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The side panel needed to be 26″ wide so I cut the patterned strip to be 26″ wide.

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Then I cut a 26″ wide piece of white fabric and kept it how it comes off the bolt (folded in half.)  I wanted to have 2 layers of white fabric for weight and to make the skirt more opaque.

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Cut off the selvage edge.

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Pin the 26″ raw edge of the patterned fabric, right sides together, to one of the 26″ raw edges of the white fabric.  Sew with a 1/4″ seam.

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Press seam allowance towards the patterned fabric.

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With right sides together again, pin the other 26″ raw edge of the patterned fabric to the other 26″ raw edge of the white fabric and sew together with a 1/4″ seam.  Now you have a large tube of fabric.  Again, press the seam allowance towards the patterned fabric.

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Now sew up each side of the panel with a 1/4″ seam allowance leaving about a 4″ opening on one side.

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Turn right side out through the 4″ opening you left and press flat.

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Top stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance over the bottom edge of the panel.

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Top stitch over the top edge of the pattern piece…

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Finally, top stitch along each side of the panel (not shown).  Make sure you top stitch over the opening you left to turn the panel right side out.  This will neatly close the opening.

Hang your panel in-between the crib bars and the base of the crib and pin to desired height with thumb tacks.

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Repeat with the other 2 sides of the crib.

There you have it – a simple, adjustable, crib skirt.

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Let me know if you give it a try or if you have any suggestions or questions!

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

DIY Art Made With Fabric

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I’m currently working on some homemade nursery decor as we are expecting a baby girl in early September.  🙂 So far, I’ve made a window cornice box, a mobile, this nursery art and am working on reupholstering a chair using the “Around Town” fabric collection by “Small Factory.”  I found it on sale at a local quilt shop.  Although it doesn’t necessarily scream “newborn baby” I love how girly and friendly it looks!

To start, I purchased these blank canvases on sale at Michael’s.  (If you haven’t noticed, I rarely buy anything for my projects that isn’t on sale!)

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The canvas I used was 12″ x 12″ so I cut a 15″ x 15″ square of fabric to have enough to wrap the fabric around to the back. Then I followed these steps:

First, lay the fabric, right side down, on the table then place the blank canvas, right side down, on top.  It doesn’t have to be perfect but centre the canvas as best you can on the fabric. Fold up the bottom edge of fabric.  To make sure it’s straight use the pattern as a guide.  (If you look closely at the photo below, I used the windows and bricks on the fabric as a visual to make sure the fabric was straight.  The windows were just below the bottom edge of the canvas and the bricks were in a straight line below the bottom edge as well.  I glued it in place with a hot glue gun starting with a dollop in the centre and working my way outward to the corners.)

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Do the same with the opposite side using the pattern on the fabric as a guide to make it straight while pulling the fabric tight as you glue it along the edge.

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For the sides, wrap it like a present.  Fold the corners in and glue them into place first…

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…then glue the rest to the back of the canvas.  Again, starting with a dollop of glue in the centre and working outward to the edges.

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Do the same to the final side and you’re done!  I made 2 of these.

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But wait…there’s more!

To add a little contrast, I made one more fabric canvas with a complimentary fabric from the same collection.  I’m thinking I will hang it in-between the 2 house canvases above the crib.

I also appliquéd 3 white hearts to the complimentary fabric which required a few extra materials.  I used some freezer paper to cut out the pattern, some Heat N Bond for the appliqué and some fusible interfacing to prevent the background colour from showing through the white hearts.  To do the same follow these steps:

Prepare the heart pattern to be appliquéd to the background fabric.  (To find the template I used for the heart, please refer to my previous post here.)

To get the heart printed as a pattern, trace it 6 times onto a piece of paper.  (You only need 3 but trace 6 so you have more for another project!)

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Tape a piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) to a blank sheet of paper, place it in the printer and photocopy the 6 hearts you just drew to the freezer paper.

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Roughly cut them out.

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As mentioned above, also cut out the 3 white fabric pieces, 3 fusible interfacing pieces, and 3 Heat N Bond pieces.  (Cut them all the same size.)

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Layer these pieces like a sandwich!

You can’t see the layers but here’s what you do:

First, iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of fabric.

Second, iron the rough side of Heat N Bond to the fusible interfacing.

Third, Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper pattern to the right side of the white fabric.

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Once the hearts are prepared like so, cut them out.  Peel off the freezer paper and when you’re ready to apply the heart to the background fabric, peel off the paper backing of the Heat N Bond.

Here’s how to apply the hearts quickly and neatly.

To find the centre of the fabric, fold the 15″ square into fourths, unfold it, peel off the paper backing of Heat N Bond and place the centre heart where the creases meet.  Iron into place.

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Next, fold the fabric into thirds and use the creases to line up the other 2 hearts.  Iron into place.

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Stitch around the perimeter of each heart with a zig-zag stitch.

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*helpful tip.  To make sure the background fabric is centred on the canvas before gluing it on, you can use pins right through the canvas.

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Glue the fabric onto the canvas as demonstrated earlier!

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And you’re done!  🙂

Quick, easy and cute!  Let me know if you have any tips or give it a try.

Happy Decorating!

-AFriendLikeBen-