handmade

DIY: Turn a blanket into a wearable sleeping bag for baby

In late September, my family decided we were going to take a camping trip. The weather forecast was predicting amazing fall weather – in the 70s – but being that we live in Wisconsin, it was still going to fall into the 50s at night. Since we were tent camping, I started thinking about how to keep the kids warm at night. This was pretty easy for the big kids – fleece jammies and sleeping bags, maybe an extra layer underneath. But the baby? That wasn’t going to work. He doesn’t use a blanket in his bed, and the sleep sack he had been using (affiliate link – seriously my favorite not handmade sleep sack ever) was definitely not warm enough. Then I remembered this blanket that we had that would be perfect to turn into a wearable sleeping bag!

Turn a blanket into a wearable sleeping bag

The blanket I used is not super fluffy. It has a layer of batting inside, so it’s warm, but doesn’t have a lot of fluff or feathers or anything that would make it too difficult to sew.

DSC_0341I also made it reversible, because I like options. ;)

It’s really simple to make your own – all you need is:

  • a blanket (fabric/batting that you quilt yourself)
  • thread/sewing machine/etc.
  • double fold bias tape
  • KAM snaps (affiliate link)

DSC_05321. Trace and cut out the shape of your sleep sack. I used the bodice piece of the Kudzu Coveralls to start, since the back straps are longer than the front ones. I traced a sleep sack I had on hand to get the approximate shape. I added a little width and length, since I want it to last all winter. If you don’t have a sleep sack on hand, use a pair of pajamas to help you determine the length. You will want the back straps to be slightly longer than the front.

sew edges together

2. Place the two pieces wrong sides together – or whichever fabric you’d like to be on the inside should be facing each other. Sew the two pieces together, starting at one armpit to the other. You can do this with a serger, zig-zag stitch or even a straight stitch, as these seams will be hidden.

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3. Now take your bias tape and pin it over the seam you just sewed. Open the bias tape and pin one side along the first fold line. Sew along that fold line.

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4. Now fold the bias tape over to the other side. Pin and sew it down. The top of your bias tape (at the armpit) will be hidden, so don’t worry about finishing it.

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5. Repeat step three along the armhole and the neckline – open the bias tape, pin, and sew down along the first fold line.

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6. I used the edge of the blanket for the top of the straps. If you didn’t, you will also need to enclose that in bias tape. Fold the end of the bias tape under.

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7. Fold over the bias tape edge over to enclose the seam (making sure the end of the bias tape is tucked under), pin, and sew it down. Remember to do this for both the armhole and the neckline.

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8. Add snaps to both sides of the straps. I added two sets of snaps on the back strap, so that if he grows I can adjust to a longer length.

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Now your baby will be warm and cozy all through the winter!

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This wearable sleeping bag worked perfectly for camping, and now that the weather has turned cold, we’re using it at home too. I don’t have to worry about having blankets in the crib, and I know that he’s super toasty warm.

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And we can flip it over when we feel the need to change it up.

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And flip it back again. Because that’s how we roll.

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Happy (warm!) sewing, friends!

Match With Me: coordinating mother-son looks!

I’ve always been one of those moms who coordinates her kids’ outfits. I love putting my boys all in plaid button downs or blazers. But I’ve never done any coordinating with them myself. Well this officially ends that! Enter Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and her super fun Match With Me series – all about making coordinating outfits for mamas and their sons!
DSC_0509I decided pretty early on that I wanted to sew outfits with a coordinating color palette. And I am in loooove with how it turned out!

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My three-year-old and I each got a cardigan, plus a shirt for him and a knit dress for me.

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I’m obsessed with this mustard color, and I adore how it looks with my little guy’s hair. He loved that we got to match with our “new clothes.” He insisted on wearing this outfit two days in a row and was pretty put off that I didn’t want to join him the second day. ;)

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Here are some outfit details for me: Cambridge Cardigan from Peek-a-boo Patterns (affiliate link) in a lacey stripe knit from JoAnn’s. I let the ends of the knit curl, rather than adding the cuffs to the sleeves and the body. With this dress, though, I wish I had made the cardigan longer. But it will be a good length for wearing with jeans.

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This dress… Sigh. Oh, THIS DRESS. I love it so, so much. It’s made out of this absolutely amazing Anna Maria Horner knit that I bought from a local shop, Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. I used the Union St. Tee pattern from Hey June and lengthened it to make a dress. I want to live in this dress.

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The details on my little guy’s look: a simple mustard knit Vintage V-Neck from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), which is always a good choice.

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This cardigan… well, I wish I had made it for me. This Robert Kauffman Laguna knit is so fantastic (also from Bungalow Quilting). The pattern is the Cool Cardigan from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), which I’ve made before and adore. The pants are these hand-me-downs that I’m so glad have lasted long enough to hand down (these knees have withstood lots of rough play!)

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Matching with mama is so fun!

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Head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and see the rest of the mama-son outfits!

Happy sewing, friends :)

Wedding pants for the baby (and my first TESTER call!)

We are headed to my lovely sister-in-law’s wedding this weekend. As I was gathering clothing for the boys and putting together outfits, I quickly realized that the baby had NO pants that didn’t have holes in the knees (hello, fourth child) or that were wedding appropriate. Bonus: it’s Kids Clothes Week and I actually sewed something!
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So I whipped up a quick pair of pants out of some grey twill I had in my stash. These pants are (eeek!) my first pattern that I’m in the process of working on releasing!

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They are flat front, elastic back and designed to fit over the fluffy cloth diaper booty. If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you’ve seen me sew them many, many times for my boys. (You can see my most recent ones here)

DSC_0441I had originally added pockets, but as cute as I thought they were when I sewed them up, they were a little low. Plus, the blazer I had planned for him to wear with the pants was a bit too short, making the pockets look even lower. Then I decided the pockets didn’t match the sweater as nicely. So I ripped them off… they’re a work in progress, these pockets. ;)

DSC_0546If you’d like to be picked (heh… see what I did there) for testing this unisex pattern, apply to be a tester by entering your information here. The pattern won’t be ready for testing for a couple more weeks, and since it’s my first pattern, I expect my timeline to go a little slower than designers who’ve done this before. But the pattern is coming!!

Happy sewing, friends!

P.S. This pattern has no name yet… any ideas??

Fall Favorites Giveaway!

Today I’m joining up with my friend Alyson and bringing you an awesome fall giveaway. Fall is definitely my favorite season. Between my birthday and boot-scarf-cardigan-wearing weather and the changing of the leaves, I’m one happy girl. Just don’t ask me how I feel about winter, okay? ;)

Take a look at all the amazing prizes –  a $55 Gift Card for Starbucks (um, y’all know I’m a coffee girl!), a scarf, a zipper pouch & key fob, a fall print, an arrow clutch, and a fall sign! I love teaming up with and supporting handmade shops, so hopefully you’ll meet a few new makers that you can check out for some of your holiday shopping. These lovelies are super talented.

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Happy Fall Y’all, print from This Girls Doodles

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Arrow Clutch from The Barefoot Seamstress

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Navy Blue Infinity Scarf from Forgotten Cotton

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Fall Sign from Prim & Proper Signs

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Fun Zipper Pouch & Key Fob from Little Ms Fancy Pants

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I really wish I could win, because, wow! Lots of really great stuff. And, $55 to Starbucks?! That’s a LOT of coffee & tea, or some super cute mugs. A total value of over $150. 

Good luck!!

click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Striped Neptune Tee

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know my love of all things Pattern Anthology. Four of my favorite designers put out a collection of patterns together for a limited time discount, then the patterns go to their individual shops at regular retail price. Every single time a new Pattern Anthology collection comes out, I’m so impressed. There’s usually some squealing involved. (You can see a few of the things I’ve sewn from previous collections here) The ladies have just come out with another fabulous women’s collection, 8 Days a Week, and I sewed up the Neptune Tee.

Neptune Tee

I sewed the simple version, but the pattern comes with these amazing triangle cutouts.

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A T-shirt and jeans is pretty much my mom uniform, and I love the fit of this tee. I brought mine in around the hips a little bit, but made no other alterations and it fits perfectly.

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The pattern comes together super quickly – a naptime sew (yay!) So basically it’s quicker to make myself a new shirt than to wash one that’s dirty. Hmmm….

DSC_0102I especially like the armbands. … and this fabulous GLITTER striped fabric that I’ve been hoarding (from either JoAnn’s or Hancock Fabrics a couple years ago) Since my life is all superheroes and Thomas trains, a boy mama needs a little glitter fabric in her life, am I right?

DSC_0027While you’re looking at this gorgeous tee, you can also notice that I have to remove my stove knobs … life with a toddler, my friends.

DSC_0054I was given the Neptune Tee pattern in exchange for testing, but I always stand by my reviews – and I super love this shirt. You can get yours along with the rest of the 8 Days a Week collection until October 6th, or from See Kate Sew after that date.

Happy sewing, friends!

Kudzu Coveralls Dress

Last weekend, I went to my cousin’s baby shower and she’s having a GIRL! Since my world is all boy sewing, I was a little giddy with excitement at the idea of sewing a dress – the Kudzu Coveralls Dress from Sew Like My Mom!

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Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking these links, I receive a small percentage at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting this site!

I picked up this butterfly corduroy at JoAnn’s in the remnant section awhile back. Since I don’t have a big need for girly fabrics, I like to scour the remnants and find smaller pieces that hide out in my stash for just these situations.

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The sweet little gathers in corduroy! Is there anything cuter?

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I lined the bodice with a vintage floral and used Kam Snaps. Just like the overalls, the dress version of the Kudzu is super easy to follow and comes together so quickly. And the itty bitty dress that comes out is freaking adorable.

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I also made a little headband, using some fold over elastic and this super easy flower tutorial.

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I can’t wait to see this little cousin wearing this sweet little dress! (wait, if she’s my cousin’s daughter, what does that make her to me… once removed? second cousin? I truly have no idea..)

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This, my friends, is more pink than my sewing machine usually sees.

Happy sewing!

DIY Boxy Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Zipper pouches are perfect for basically everything… and a boxy pouch that can stand up? Better than perfect. It’s easily a naptime sew (you know how I love those), so let’s get making!
Make your own boxy zipper pouch

Supplies:

  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • zipper

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1. Cut two outer fabrics and two linings. I made mine 8in x 8in x 8in x 10in. to make a trapezoid – but you can adjust the size as needed.

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2. Sandwich your zipper (mine is 7in) between one of the outer and lining, right sides together, and sew using your zipper foot. The outer fabric should be on the top of the zipper.

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3. Flip the fabrics back, press carefully (without melting your zipper!) and topstitch.

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4. Now repeat with the other set of fabric.

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5. Open the zipper (don’t skip this step!)

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6. Lay the lining and outer fabrics right sides together. Carefully pin together. Sew along the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining.

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7. Flatten the bottom of the lining and the outer fabrics. Sew across the corners and cut off the leftover triangle.

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The bottom should look like this when you’re done.

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8. Turn the pouch right side out, using the hole in the bottom of the lining. Then sew the lining shut. I like to hand sew this with a blind stitch, because I think it looks cleaner, but you can also straight stitch along the entire bottom seam with your machine.

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Then rejoice in your beautiful standing zipper pouch!

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Fill it with make up or hand sewing projects or throw it in your purse to hold all that random junk that doesn’t have a place.

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Happy sewing, friends!

Oakley Shorts Pattern Review

Awhile back, my lovely and wonderful friend Melissa from Sew Like My Mom sent me her newest pattern, the Oakley Shorts and Capris. Since I loved her Kudzu Coveralls, I knew that I was going to love this pattern too.

Oakley Shorts

Being the fourth boy, this little peanut has gotten his fair share of hand-me-downs. But sometimes they don’t quite make it that far.

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Like all of Melissa’s patterns, this one comes together beautifully. It comes in sizes 12months – 8years, and has some adorable capri options for girls!

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I made the 12month size, and the fit on my little man is perfect. He’s wearing disposables here, and they are a little tight when he wears cloth. If you’re a cloth diapering family, I would size up or add a couple of inches to the rise.

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These are the absolute perfect summer shorts!

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You can find the Oakleys (and the rest of the Sew Like My Mom patterns) here. Come back tomorrow when I’m going to share some secrets about this photo shoot… including what the first one looked like, and the tips I used to improve it!

Happy sewing, friends!

Adelaide Top

I’ve kind of switched gears a little bit in my sewing and have been sewing a lot more for myself. And it is so fabulous! I had the super honor of being an early tester for one of See Kate Sew‘s new pattern – Adelaide. Friends, I’m in looooove.
The Adelaide TopThis pattern is oh so lovely. It is a really fast sew, and like every one of Kate’s patterns, it’s incredibly well put together.

adelaide3This yoke detail is so fantastic. The pattern comes with a ruffle piece for the yoke, or you can use a pre-made trim like I did. I used a vintage eyelet trim and these fabulous vintage yellow buttons. The fabric is also vintage – a linen that I found at a thrift store awhile back. I basically love everything about this top.

adelaide2The darts on this early test version are a little high, and they’ve been adjusted in the final pattern.

adeladie4I hand sewed the hem with a blind stitch … and my six-year-old photographer got this excellent shot of it. ;) I am seriously addicted to sewing for myself now. And between this one and the rest of Kate’s new Garden Party line, I could be busy for awhile.

adelaideYou will adore this pattern as much as I do. The sleeves, the yoke… sigh. Perfection.

Sew-a-bration of Women: shoreline boatneck tunic (take two)

When I’m shopping and I find something like a t-shirt or a cardigan that fits my body and I feel great in, I like to buy more than one. The same thing goes for a handmade wardrobe, which is why this is take two of this gathered tunic.

shoreline boatneck tunic

The first gathered tunic I made was a modified Shoreline Boatneck (affiliate link) from Blank Slates, and this one is too. (Though the pattern is fantastic without modification, as all Blank Slates Patterns are :)

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Today I’m posting as a part of the Sew-a-bration of Women at the Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire. It’s an awesome celebration of sewing for women – no matter your body type or age. Celebrating YOU!

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I’m still carrying a little post-baby love around my middle from my sweet baby number four, and this style of tunic is super flattering and hides that problem area better than some others. If you’re hesitant to sew for yourself because you haven’t lost the last ten pounds or are still nursing or whatever… just think of it as practice. Try out different styles to see what works for you, and the more you try, the better you’ll get.

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This tunic is long enough to wear with leggings (because leggings are not pants, my friends… cover up the booty is all I have to say), and the fabric from Girl Charlee is the perfect weight for summer, even with 3/4 sleeves. And pasty white legs, but you know, it’s spring in Wisconsin, these things happen..

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You can find the full tutorial for this tunic here and can use it to alter any shirt pattern to this style of tunic.

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You can gather it more if you like a fuller skirt, but I love just a little bit – and also, I hate gathering fabric. It’s a good thing I live in a house full of boys. ;)

Check out some more Sew-a-bration inspiration at these other blogs and get excited to sew for yourself!