Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finished: Car Seat Canopy

(this post contains affiliate links, which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links)

I have been seeing car seat canopys everywhere. Pretty basic ones, I think off that website where you can get them for free, just pay shipping? I decided I wanted to make my own and went on Pinterest looking for ideas and patterns. I finally decided on the Zipitt Car Seat Canopy {for sale on Craftsy here}.

The pattern gives instructions on making either piping or ruffles for the top band, neither of which I like so I decided to change that and make pleats instead, which I love!

Here is the canopy when the front zipper is open.

There are even tabs inside for hanging toys {one tab on each side}. There is also a bustle tab on the back so you can fold up the back portion and snap it up to allow for airflow, which is a great idea but doesn't work well if you have the visor on the car seat that came with the car seat.

A little bit about the pattern. First, it is more like a pattern you would buy in a store than a pattern you buy from independent designers online. It is in PDF format though. A majority of the directions are easy to follow and understand. The only part I had trouble with {and I am a pretty experienced sewer} was the way the pattern explained attaching the back portion to the front portion. I tried about six times pinning, unpinning, re-reading, pinning, unpinning, re-reading, and for the life of me I could not understand how to do it as explained. So I went ahead and did it the way that made sense to me. That was my only problem with the pattern.

Would I recommend this pattern? Yes, but only to experienced sewers. Again, the pattern can be purchased on Craftsy right here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DIY Fast, Easy, & Inexpensive Baby Changing Pad

To make your own super simple, fast and easy baby changing pad all you  need is a hand towel (I bought one that was 21" x 16") and cotton fabric. 

First measure the seams that are already on the towel to determine how big your fabric needs to be. For example... the width of the towel is 16" and along those edges the towel seam is 1/4". 

Do the math: 1/4" (seam size) times 4 plus 16" (towel width) equals 17". Then add an extra 1/4" to allow for the bulk of the towel. So your fabric width in my example for a 16" wide towel would be 17 1/4"

Do the same for the length of the seams. The end seams on towel short ends are always wider than the side seams. On mine they were half an inch. Just adjust your math for the seam. 1/2" (seam size) times 4 plus 21" (towel length) equals 23" plus 1/4" to allow for bulk equals 23 1/4".

Now smooth out your fabric and place it WRONG side up. Place the towel centered on top of it so that your fabric is overhanging.

Now fold the raw edge of your fabric to the edge of the towel and iron. This will hide your raw edges. Fold over the towel edge covering the seam and pin in place.

I found the easiest way to do this was to iron, fold over and pin along the length. Then take those to your machine and top stitch. Then go back and iron, fold over and pin along the last two ends and top stitch those ends in place.

There are several options for keeping the changing pad closed. I choose to fold my towel in half lengthwise, then roll it up and stitched a length of elastic so when it's rolled I can just flip the elastic over it. You can choose to add velcro, or elastic and a button. Or choose nothing at all and fold it up and throw it in the diaper bag.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Diaper Clutch with a Clear Zip Pocket

I am trying to make as much as I can to save some money on baby items. Yesterday I saw this diaper clutch on Pinterest and I thought how awesome is that, have to have one, but since the point is to save money I knew I didn't want to spend $10 on a pattern.

So I sat down and drew out some plans and made my own diaper clutch which I think is pretty close to the one I saw on Pinterest. Trying to work with what I had, the zipper is shorter than the one pictured but all I had on hand was a 7" zip. Still works...

I also used the snaps again, instead of a magnetic snap, because I already had them.

The fabric, which I had gotten on sale (the yellow, red, and blue) only cost me about $15 for 4 yards. And with it I have made the diaper bag, the bottle leash and pacifier pouch, plus this diaper clutch. I'm almost out of red and yellow but I still have a bit of blue left and thinking maybe I'll make a couple bibs or burp cloths with it.

Not a bad price for all the things I've made, everything else I used I already had on hand (stabilizer, zippers, snaps, plastic, thread).

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pacifier Pouch & Bottle Leash

I have some fabric left over from the diaper bag I made, so I decided to make a few small things I've had on my "things to make for baby" list.

I started with this pacifier pouch from Sew4Home (pattern and tutorial can be found here).

Then I moved on to making a bottle leash. I had a found a tutorial but decided to make one using my own method. Mini tutorial below (no pics, just a quick explanation.)

What I did was take two 3" x 25" strips, sewed those right sides together, turned them right side out, ironed, folded the raw edges of one short end into the tube hiding raw edges.

Then I folded the front (red) fabric toward the back (along both long edges) about 1/4" and stitched in place.

Folded the other short end over twice to hide the raw edges and stitched that in place.

Then I made my own matching drawstring using a long strip of fabric about 1 1/8" wide (with wrong sides of each long end folded toward the center, then folded that in half and stitched, just like making binding). Decided how big I wanted my loop, trimmed the ends, stuck the raw ends into the open end of my leash and stitched in place.

Then I folded over the edges and stitched again (making it smaller on the drawstring end).

And then I added snaps to the other end (told you I loved the snaps).

Friday, April 4, 2014

Multi-tasking Tote aka: my new diaper bag

I had bought a diaper bag a while back because it had monkeys on it. It was an impulse purchase... I didn't know what I was having and I love monkeys. The diaper bag is more geared toward a boy though, and the more I look at it the more I realize it's kind of small. So I decided to make a new one.

I made the multi-tasking tote from Lisa Lam's book "The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags". It's cute right? And looks like the perfect diaper bag.

Even though the pattern says to use two fabrics on the exterior and a third fabric as the lining, I used all three throughout my bag.

I added a zipper pocket to the inside (not part of the pattern but there is a section in the book dedicated to different zipper pockets)... and I added a keyring tab.

(excuse my chalk lines... haha)

Instead of eyelets for the front tie, I made button holes (thought I had big enough eyelets but I didn't). I also omitted the tie from the back pocket and added velcro instead. You will notice I lined the side pockets too even though the pattern said not to in order to reduce seam bulk.

This was my first time using SNAPS. So easy!!!! I love them, I feel like I'm going to put them on everything now.


I am wishing I had added velcro to the side pockets because they are pretty large... or maybe wishing I had made them smaller?

The pattern is well-written and pretty easy to follow. The only problem I really noticed is that step 2 tells you to add the ties to the pocket binding but you don't actually make the ties until step 3.

I love it! I think it is the perfect size for me. And I am totally in love with the fabric too!