I had a second super cute daughter and as a result I currently need a lot more clothes than I used to. My baby spits so often that I can rarely wear something twice and sometimes even have to change outfits during the day. Add a nursing friendly requirement and a severe lack of time and it may not come as a surprise that I resorted to buying some clothes online to fill my wardrobe needs.
But, as it turns out, even with RTW clothes you sometimes can’t avoid picking up a sewing needle.
I bought this top that has 4 snaps down the front for easy nursing access and after a while (ridiculously fast actually) 3 of the snaps started to come loose on both sides to the point that I was starting to worry that I would lose one or more if I didn’t do a quick intervention.
As I was doing the repairs I was thinking that I was making this top as good as new, but then I realised that no, I was actually making it better than new because I am quite certain that my stitches will hold and won’t require another mending job 2 months from now. And that thought made me feel pretty good.
Recently one of my daughter’s daycare teachers went on maternity leave. The daycare asked all parents if they wanted to give her a small gift so they could surprise her on her last day. My husband immediately suggested washing detergent to get rid of those inevitable yellow poop stains. I thought that as a day care teacher she is already well aware of this less pleasant part of parenthood and something a bit cuter would probably be more appreciated.
My sewing time is limited at the moment and I have a lot of larger projects going on so progress feels really slow. Sometimes it is nice to make something that only takes a small amount of time to create to experience that “I made something!” rush. I decided to combine the urge to finish something with the need for a small gift and made a bib to catch that endless stream of drool a young baby is bound to produce at some point.
The pattern is the Bandana Bib pattern from simplysmallwonders.com (the account now appears to have been suspended, so I seem to have downloaded the pattern just in time…). It can be made from woven and knit fabrics, I chose knits because I think knits probably feel nicer against baby’s skin. The tutorial suggested adding an extra layer of woven fabric in between the two knit layers and I think this worked out really well. To make the bib somewhat adjustable I added two snaps on one side and one on the other.
I made size 0-6 months, but when I compared it to some bibs I used for my own daughter I think they’ll fit for longer. Or the printer didn’t print it exactly to size which I can’t check because the pattern didn’t come with a box to check the pattern printed correctly. For an item like this I don’t think it’s much of an issue though if it turns out slightly larger than intended.
I am very pleased with how this bib turned out and will probably use this pattern more often for quick baby gifts.
It’s a fairly simple design using squares cut from two ombre fabrics by V&Co and the Cookie cutters cinnamon Cotton + Steel print from Kim Kight’s Cookie book collection. I chose the ombre fabrics because I thought they were a nice match for the colours the parents used for their wedding and the baby’s birth announcement.
For the quilting I chose a much denser pattern than I usually do. My new sewing machine makes quilting so much more pleasurable that I didn’t mind sewing this many lines. The downside was that I ran out of thread halfway through and had to buy more which caused further delays. As I was doing the quilting I worried that it would be too much but now that it’s finished I am pleased with the result.
For the back I used the leftovers from the front and the child’s initial was made from the fabric that was also used for the binding.
I prefer to bind by hand as I find it a relaxing activity and love the look when it is finished. I must be getting quicker as I reached the end much sooner than anticipated! Which was probably the only thing that went fast in the creation of this quilt…
Now, onto the next one!
Yes, you read that correctly, I made a cover for a cover. Which may perhaps at first seem like an odd thing to do but to me it made perfect sense.
Sometimes I want to take something with me that I can use to easily make notes on and send e-mails. A phone is a bit too small and while a laptop would work, it is also a bit heavy and large, so I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. When I bought it I could also get the keyboard cover for free which sounded like a useful addition for what I want to use a tablet for. I also liked that this tablet comes with a stylus that you can use to simply write on the screen.
However, I wasn’t entirely sold on the design of the keyboard cover when I received it. My main objections:
- It looks yawn-inducing boring, I am not sure I could make it look even more boring if I tried.
- I am not so sure that the keys won’t scratch the screen of the tablet when it is closed.
- There is no real closure, it just folds over and that’s it, nothing is holding it in the folded position which seems like a bit of a risk if you throw it in a bag with other stuff.
If you would want to use the tablet for taking pictures there is also no hole in the cover for the camera. Since I think it is a bit ridiculous to use a tablet for taking pictures I don’t really find this an issue but I suppose other people might.
Ever since laying eyes on this cover I have been thinking on how to improve and prettify it. One option I even considered was making a completely separate cover and only using the keyboard cover when I want to use the keyboard, but that would mean lugging two things with me which is also a bit stupid and would probably result in me leaving the keyboard at home.
As I was playing with fabric and the cover I realised I could also simply cover it up and add the features I was missing. I sort of made this project up as I went along and while it certainly didn’t turn out perfect I think it will do the job just fine.
The outside of the cover contains a very thin layer of polyester batting and is quilted but without a backing. The flap that folds to the inside to cover the keyboard has a single layer of iron on fabric interfacing. To the outside I also sewed a very subtly stretched piece of soft elastic that is used to keep the cover closed. It also contains two tubes of elastic that are used to hold the stylus in place when it is not in use. The keyboard cover came with a thingy to hold the stylus that can be glued to the cover but this sewn solution seemed more practical to me.
The cover lining has a pocket on one side that the keyboard covers slips into to hold it in place. The tablet attaches to the keyboard cover via magnets and this still seemed to work just fine when there was one layer of fabric in between the tablet and the cover. I used the selvedge of the fabric so I didn’t have to do a hem or double layer to have a finished edge. On the other side the keyboard is held in place via two pieces of elastic. At the centre there is also a piece of ribbon for extra security, this was attached after partially sewing the outside and lining pieces together so I could determine where exactly to put it. The lining part of the flap has no interfacing to keep the flap thin.
I am happy with my no longer boring cover. Do you still think it is crazy to make a cover for a cover?
After finding a storage solution for my works in progress and frequently used tools it was time to tackle the next problem.
My sewing room has build in cabinets on one side and these offer ample storage space. In theory enough space to store everything that I have. However, the cabinets are very deep which works great for storing large things like quilt battings, but not so great for small items like spools of overlocker thread and fat quarters.
I often find myself looking for something that I know I have but I just can’t find it because there are so many other things stuffed around it. This is a waste of time and since I don’t have that much time for sewing these days I don’t want to spend it searching for that roll of wonder tape or that specific type of interfacing.
By rearranging my sewing and cutting tables I freed up the opposite side of the room for some chests of drawers. Somehow, when my husband and I are looking for something with drawers we always end up buying an Ikea Malm. I did consider getting the Nordli, because it is a bit more modular, but I realized that for the same amount of storage space I would be paying nearly twice as much. Besides, I knew I’d like the Malm since we already had six of them spread throughout the house.
Besides offering probably more space than I need for supplies, the two lower cabinets will also be used to store my overlocker and coverstitch machine when they are not in use. This will create even more workspace on my sewing table.
We still need to attach the cabinets to the wall and then I can start sorting through all the stuff that is currently stored in the other cabinets to decide what to put where. I’ll probably find a thing or two that I had completely forgotten I had. I am already looking forward to an even more organized sewing experience!
I’ve finally started quilting the quilt for which I made this backing. Originally I had planned some simple lines, spaced quite far apart. I changed my mind though after buying a new sewing machine! Several weeks ago, I brought my sewing machine in for a repair job and since I was already in the shop I took the opportunity to test some fancy sewing machines as well. I decided to buy the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400. It offers a lot more harp space, 28 versus 16.5 cm on my Janome 3160. It also has the walking foot option included and this works soooooo much better than the walking foot on the 3160. The stitches are much more even, things move much smoother (possibly also because of the extra harp space). Anyway, this much more enjoyable walking foot quilting experience made me decide to try a much denser quilting pattern for a change. The lines so far are only ½ and 1 inch apart.
I do wonder whether it would have been better to use a more neutral thread for this denser quilting pattern. I picked the thread when I still had a lot less lines planned and perhaps I should have reconsidered this choice as well because it does stand out quite a bit.