Aprons

Those fun floury moments when baking with a toddler can become quite frequent.  We needed aprons!  Another excuse to get the sewing machine out.

I found some cotton canvas with an adorable elephant print which would be great for the project.

Pinning pattern to fabric

Ready to sew

After cutting out the fabric I stitched all around the edges to prevent fraying.  The preparation took some time but it was worth it for peace of mind that the apron won’t all fall to pieces.  Every edge was double folded and pressed before stitching.

Zigzag stitching around edges

Additional extras were a small strip of fabric along the top edge of the apron for practical, reinforcement purposes and a little pocket, purely for keeping all kinds of treasures safe.

Reinforcement

Pocket

The neck strap was sewn in with the reinforcement strip and the ties with the sides of the apron.  The pocket was added last of all with the label being sewn in at the same time.

Label – finishing touch!

The finished apron

The trouble with this apron, as I find with all aprons, was that the neck strap was just that little bit too long, resulting in a gaping front.  I wanted to keep the longer strap though as it was comfortable to put the apron on.  No child appreciates something tight being pulled over their head and having their noses squished in the process!  What it needed was a popper, otherwise known as a snap fastener.  Then once the apron was on comfortably, the top half could be lifted to allow a better fit.

I did consider using a D-ring but although D rings are fully adjustable, in my experience they tend to slip and need constant readjustment.  Not always that practical with floury or gooey hands.  The snap fastener on the other hand takes one pop and stays firmly in place.   So I invested in a great little gadget (another one of those things that you just never knew existed until you need one) and here is the result.

I then discovered more beautiful medium weight fabrics that I just had to buy.  As a result I have plenty of aprons to sell or to give away as presents.

     

 

Tinny Tinies

Every child likes to have a tiny friend who they can put to bed at night and wake up in the morning.  I’ve seen miniatures housed in matchboxes before but wanted something a bit more long lasting than cardboard.  Everyone knows how quickly those shiny new games boxes get demolished once they’ve been opened at Christmas! I was inspired by ‘wee mouse tin house’ on mmmcrafts.blogspot.com. What better than a mint tin to start off with? Thank you mmmcrafts for that top tip!  After a little wash and plenty of airing out the tin was ready.  Now all I needed to do was make a tiny friend and turn the tin into a cosy bed.

After a lot of indecision about what type of friend to make, Billy Bear was created.  I settled on a bear because bears are always a good place to start.  Quite simply, a classic.  I used  soft 100% brushed cotton for the main body and felt for his paws and ears. I stitched around the edges of the paws and ears for definition.

Then, with right sides facing and paws and ears in place, I stitched around the whole bear making sure to leave a gap for turning and stuffing.  Once turned I stuffed the bear with toy stuffing and then whip stitched the opening closed.  I used French knots for the eyes and nose, stitching the mouth on last of all…and Billy Bear was born!

Billy Bear at his beach hut.

Time to make Billy Bear a bed!  I got a small, rectangular piece of cotton fabric and made that into a pillow by stitching around three edges with right sides together, turning and stuffing with toy stuffing. I whip stitched the opening closed.

 

For the blanket I took a small, rectangular piece of fleece and stitched a zigzag pattern around the edges, providing both decoration and protection from fraying (thanks again to mmmcrafts.blogspot.com).

 

 

Time for bed Billy Bear…

Hopefully there will be more tinny tinies to come soon.

Snuggle up Billy Bear.

 

Lights out!

 

Playmat

I had great ideas to make a road playmat for my toddler but realised this would probably take someone with a lot more experience and time than myself.

I finally settled on something less complicated when I came across this cute pirates treasure map Kokka fabric and ‘Going Places’ Michael Miller fabric.  Perfect.

One design for the front, the other for the back and some cotton batting inbetween.  Then I stitched through all three layers (making nine squares) to hold it all in place.  A length of bias binding finished it all off nicely.

Ready to play!

Quilt

Beautifully soft double gauze.  Super cute print. The decision didn’t lie in whether I bought it or not.  Of course I had to buy it.  I just had to decide what to make with it.

As my son was struggling to sleep in the muggy British summertime I thought what better than to make a cool summer quilt.  I chose 100% cotton batting and 100% cotton backing to make it as breathable as possible.

I cut the material to size and pinned all three layers together.  The new table came in very handy!

Next I stitched through the layers in vertical strips from top to bottom.  It was important to start in the middle and work outwards. The gauze in particular was very stretchy and prone to puckering.  There was admittedly some unpicking and resewing to start with but in the end a little puckering actually gave the quilt an air of tradition.

Once the vertical lines had been sewn I sewed all around the edge of the quilt using zig zag stitch.  This was both to stop the edges from fraying (I discovered that double gauze loves to fray) and also to hold it all together for the final step.

The final step of bias binding. A lot of tight pulling and slow stitching later the quilt was finally finished.

Night night!