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!
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.
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)
1. 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.
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.
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.
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.
5. Repeat step three along the armhole and the neckline – open the bias tape, pin, and sew down along the first fold line.
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.
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.
Now your baby will be warm and cozy all through the winter!
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.
And we can flip it over when we feel the need to change it up.
And flip it back again. Because that’s how we roll.
- outer fabric
- lining fabric
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.
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.
3. Flip the fabrics back, press carefully (without melting your zipper!) and topstitch.
4. Now repeat with the other set of fabric.
5. Open the zipper (don’t skip this step!)
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.
7. Flatten the bottom of the lining and the outer fabrics. Sew across the corners and cut off the leftover triangle.
The bottom should look like this when you’re done.
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.
Then rejoice in your beautiful standing zipper pouch!
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.
Happy sewing, friends!
When you head to the beach (okay, when you head anywhere) with kids, you end up bringing a lot of stuff for all the inevitable messes and disasters. Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, snacks, extra clothes, sunglasses, water bottles, towels, toys… basically everything you own. I knew I wanted to make an extra large beach tote for these occasions – one that you can stuff to the brim with all the necessities – and bonus points if the necessities look super cute, like these ridiculously stylish baby wipes from Huggies. Because just like I can’t pass up fabulous fabric, I love when the things I have to carry with me look adorable.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies. I received compensation for this post and these products. All opinions are my own.
Making a tote bag is super easy – it’s similar to my simple tote bag tutorial, but I’ve added a lining and an extra long strap. And pockets. But you can make this in any size, for whatever toting needs you have… farmer’s market, weekend trips, anything!
I have yet to meet a mama of little ones who doesn’t use baby wipes on a daily basis. I take these everywhere – I even find myself using them when I don’t have my kids with me. But the regular crinkly plastic that wipes come in is not my fave. So when I first picked up this new Clutch ‘n Clean from Huggies, I was super impressed with the durable non-crinkly material. Hello, who hasn’t cringed as they’ve pulled out the noisy wipes in church?? It’s reusable, so you can leave the not-so-stylish containers under your changing table and refill this one when it’s empty.
There are several designs to choose from, and I actually stood in the aisle for a full five minutes trying to decide which one was cuter. But in the end, I’m always drawn to the stripes! I also really love that the colors are bright, so I can easily spot them in my bag for those wiping emergencies. We have a lot of them, friends. And then when you need to run to the restroom, they have a super convenient strap, so you don’t have to bring your entire tote with you.
Now grab some sturdy fabric from your stash so you can make an extra large beach tote too. :)
1. Cut your outer and lining fabrics (two of each). My approximate dimensions are in the photo above. You can make it any size you want, really, just be sure to make the lining an eensy bit smaller than your outer fabric. I suggest using a more durable fabric.
2. Cut out your straps – again, the length is up to you. I made mine extra long to accommodate my tall husband, in case he needs to carry the bag also. Cut a strip of fabric that is double the width you want. (Mine was about 70in. long and 6in. wide, before it was folded.) Then sew the long end, with the right sides together. Then turn it right side out, press, and pin it to the outer fabric as seen in the picture above. Repeat for the second strap and second outer fabric piece. (you can see detailed pictures on how to make a strap in this tutorial)
3. Stitch down the sides of the straps (you are only sewing through one layer of outer fabric at this point). Stop sewing about an inch from the top. Repeat for the second strap.
4. Pin the two outer layers together – right sides together. Sew all around the three edges (not the side where the straps stick out).
5. If you want to make pockets, now is the time to do it. Whatever size you want your pockets to be, cut your fabric twice the size of the pocket. Then fold it in half (right sides together), and stitch around the edges, leaving a small opening to turn the pocket right side out.
6. Turn the pocket right side out, press (folding under the little section that you didn’t sew), and stitch down the three sides onto the right side of the lining fabric. Repeat this for any more pockets you want.
7. If you want to divide a pocket into two, simply stitch down the center, making sure to back stitch at the top and the bottom.
8. Now place your lining pieces together and stitch the three sides, just as you did with the outer fabric.
9. Press down the top of both the outer fabric and the lining. You can finish the edges with either a serger or pinking shears (I would actually recommend doing this earlier, but if you do it now, make sure not to cut through your straps!)
10. Pin the lining inside the outer fabric and topstitch along the top. You want to stitch over the straps, otherwise you’ll have a gap between your straps and your outer fabric.
Now pack your bags and head to the beach!
I love having everything I need all in one spot.
The one thing I can never have enough of is tote bags. Okay, and fabric…
You can find Huggies Natural Care® Wipes in stylish packaging in grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide.
Day two of Straight Lines and Angles means more geometric sewing fun!
Today I’m excited to have Lexi of Lexi Made as part of this series. Lexi is a new blogging friend of mine who is super talented, in both her sewing and photography. I love these ankle zips she made for her daughter’s skinny jeans and hello, these four dresses for herself? So fantastic! Head over to her blog and see the adorable dress she made for her daughter!
I recently came across some fabric that as soon as I saw it, I knew it needed to be in my hands. I know you’ve been there, right? :) I decided to make some really easy pillow covers with this super fab geometric print, but these covers have a cozy twist.
It’s backed with sweatshirt fleece!
- one square/rectangle of main fabric – the size will depend on the size of your pillow form
- sweatshirt fleece fabric – you will need a little bit more than your other fabric, but again, the amount will depend on your pillow form
- sewing machine/serger/sewing notions/etc.
1. Cut your fabric square to fit your pillow form, remember to account for seam allowance. Then cut two pieces of sweatshirt fleece – they should be a little more than half the size of your main fabric. (I ended up cutting my fleece a little smaller than in the picture, as you can see in a later step)
2. Press one of the long sides of the sweatshirt fleece over about 1/3in. and sew a straight stitch. Repeat this with the other piece of sweatshirt fleece. This step isn’t actually necessary with sweatshirt fleece, since it doesn’t fray, it just makes a more “finished” look for your pillow. I made this pillow using the same method and didn’t do this step. I’m pretty sure no one notices but me ;)
4. Lay one of the fleece pieces on top of the main fabric – right sides together like this.
5. Lay the other piece right side down, with the stitched seam on the opposite side.
At this point, I decided that my sweatshirt fleece pieces were too long, and I wanted the seams closer together. I moved them like you see in the above picture and just cut off the extra fabric on the ends.
6. Pin your fabric in place and sew all around. If you don’t use a serger, make sure you finish your edges if you use a woven fabric for your main fabric, because that will fray.
Then turn it right side out and enjoy your new cozy pillow!
I can’t decide… living room?
Did you enter the giveaway yet??
One of the great things about sewing your own clothes is that you can make them how YOU want them to be. Have a great shirt pattern? You can make a tunic from it really easily!
When Melissa of Blank Slates Patterns offered to send me her Shoreline Boatneck Top and Dress [affiliate link] pattern, I was super excited. I love her children’s patterns, but I have yet to sew one of her women’s patterns. This pattern has both shirt and dress options… but I’m a girl who likes to have it all ;) so I decided to make it into a tunic.
1. You’re going to cut the front and back bodice into two pieces. Firs, cut the top portion, both the front and the back bodice piece – but cut them about where you want the gathering to hit. Measure down from your armpit. The Shoreline Boatneck has a line on the pattern piece to lengthen/shorten, and I cut my bodice piece about an inch lower than that. The front and back bodice pieces should be the same length.
2. Cut the bottom of the back bodice the same width as the pattern piece, but slightly longer. Measure down from where your gathering will hit down to where you want the tunic to end. [I ended up shortening mine after trying it on.]
3. Now cut the bottom of the bodice front. You want it to be longer [the same length as you cut the back piece] and wider, to account for the gathers. I made mine about five inches wider, cut on the fold.
4. Gather that front lower bodice piece you just cut. There are several different ways to gather. In this picture, I stitched a basting stitch and pulled on the bobbin thread to gather it. It’s more “proper” to use two lines of stitching.. but I tend to break the rules. ;)
5. Gather your lower bodice piece to match the top of the front bodice. You want them to be the same width.
6. Sew the two front pieces together, then sew the two back pieces together.
7. Continue to follow the rest of the pattern instructions to complete your tunic!
This mint green and cream striped Ponte de Roma fabric from Girl Charlee is amazing. I may or may not have snuggled with it after it arrived, it’s that soft. Don’t judge… you’ll do it too. It drapes really well and has a great weight. It has pretty quickly become one of my favorite knits to work with, I think.
One of the things I love about Melissa’s patterns is her sleeves. They’re always perfect! I also added pockets to the tunic – because everything is better with pockets.
Now excuse me while I go fill my entire wardrobe with Ponte de Roma tunics… :)
This post is sponsored by Girl Charlee, who provided the fabric for this tutorial. [Thanks, Girl Charlee!] All opinions are my own.
Confession: I don’t listen to a lot of pop music. I get a lot of my modern day musical education from The Voice. Or random songs I hear on Pandora. Which is actually where I found this one: Counting Stars, by One Republic.
This song has a really catchy tune, and I find myself singing it throughout the day. Okay, and dancing in my kitchen with my boys. When I first heard this song, it made me think of my oldest, because he loves – I mean LOVES – anything that has to do with stars and planets.
One of my favorite lines of the song says “I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be.” And that’s one of the best things about my boy – he dreams big.
They have a slight flare to them and are flat front, with pockets in the back.
I added tuxedo stripes to the pants, which is really easy to do to any pants pattern.
1. Sew each pant leg together at the outer seam. Cut a long rectangular strip of fabric the length of your seam. How wide you cut the strip depends on the size of your pants and how wide you want the stripe to be. Remember to leave room for your seam allowance.
2. Fold over and press the long sides of the strip. I folded mine over about 3/8 in.
3. Pin the fabric along the seam and sew in place with a straight stitch on either side. So easy!
I used the Bond Top from Beatnik Kids for the shirt, modified without a collar and with an exposed zip. This is my third Bond Top now, and I really love this pattern.
An outfit perfect for dreaming about all your future could hold… like jumping on the moon.
This weekend I wore jeans and a sweater, which can only mean one thing… it’s fall! And that means that we need to start thinking of costumes! For the third year in a row, I’m participating in the Handmade Costume Series at The Train to Crazy.
Because how can Luke Skywalker not be a win?
Let’s make one for your little Star Wars lover, shall we?
- Blank Slates Cool Cardigan Pattern – affiliate link [you can certainly make this without it – if you have another cardigan pattern or if you use one of your little one’s cardigans to draft your own pattern, but you may have to alter yours slightly, since mine is based on this pattern]
- Ivory, Tan, and Brown knit fabric
- Scissors, thread, sewing machine/serger
1. Trace and cut out two sleeves – extend the sleeve about 4.5in. and cut straight from the armpit, instead of tapering at the end. *I used the size six, so if you use a smaller size, you may want to alter these numbers*
2. Trace and cut out the back of the cardigan, extending the back about 8in.
3. Cut one front piece, extending about 8in.
4. Cut the other front piece – extend the side seam (from the armpit) 8in. Then cut the bottom to the same width as the back piece. As you cut down the diagonal for the front piece, continue down toward the bottom [see step five before you cut all the way down!]
5. Cut straight up from the bottom a few inches. Your diagonal cut will meet up with this straight side.
6. Sew the shoulder seams together with right sides together [RST]
7. Cut out the “button band” in the same ivory fabric. With RST, sew the “button band” beginning at the long diagonal of the front piece, going all the way around to the short diagonal of the other front piece.
8. Fold the raw edge under 1/4in. and fold the button band over. Pin all along the button band, then topstitch it down.
9. With RST, sew the side seam front piece with the short diagonal [sewing from the armpit down to the bottom]
10. Pin the opposite side seam, tucking the “button band” in between the two pieces. Sew together. This will make that button band go diagonally across the body.
11. Sew on the sleeves.
12. Turn the shirt right side out and topstitch down the button band, attaching it to the smaller front piece behind it, where they overlap. Trim away the excess fabric underneath the button band.
13. Hem the sleeves and the bottom.
14. Cut the waistband piece out of brown fabric. With RST, sew the short ends together. Turn the tube right side out. Fold the long raw edges under 1/2in. and press. This waistband piece is now the belt – pull it over the shirt and topstitch it near where the button band meets the side seam [you may want to try the shirt on your child to figure out exactly where you want it].
15. Sew pants – I sewed some quick knit pants, which you could easily do following my baby pants or rockstar pants tutorials. You could also use store-bought pants and add these “boots” to the bottom.
16. Cut two “boots” – the fabric should be the width of your pant legs and go up 3/4 to the knee [mine were about 12.5in x 6.5in. when folded]. Sew up the long side. As with the belt, fold the top and bottom raw edges 1/2in. under and press. Pull them over the pant legs and topstitch down.
And once your little Jedi tries it on, he’ll immediately transform into Luke Skywalker, sound effects and all.
You can find the lightsaber tutorial here.
Oh how we love dress up at our house!
Make sure you pop over to The Train to Crazy to check out the other costume tutorials over the next few weeks. You’re sure to find lots of inspiration for your dress up box!
If you are a cloth diapering family like we are, you may be familiar with the problem with velcro [aplix] diapers. After awhile, the velcro breaks down and just stops working. Especially if your diapers are on their third or fourth kid! But instead of getting all new diapers, how about just converting your velcro to snaps?
- KAM Snaps
- snap press or pliers [I use the pliers, just because that’s what I bought… no other reason]
- seam ripper
- awl [pokey tool for piercing fabric that should come with your snap press/pliers]
I bought a set of KAM Snap Pliers Hand Press Setter Tool and KAM Snaps to get started. It had everything I needed, plus I have enough snaps to last awhile – or to snap all.the.things.
1. Using your seam ripper, carefully remove the front velcro and the velcro tabs.2. Use the awl to poke a hole of the tab, where you want your snaps to be.3. Put the prong of the cap through the hole, then place either the stud on the other side. There will be one piece on either side of the fabric.4. Firmly press the pieces of the snap together.5. It will look like this! Then repeat so you have two snaps on each tab.6. Repeat the process with the socket of the snap on the front of the diaper. You’ll have to put the awl inside the diaper to poke through the fabric. The cap of the snap will be on the inside too. But when you press it closed, your plies/snap press can be outside.7. Repeat the process with as many snap settings as you need – you can put sets of two all the way across your diapers if you want!So nice, right? And now maybe your two-year-old won’t take his diaper off at naptime and pee all over everything. That doesn’t happen at your house? Yeah, mine either…
If you cloth diaper, you may also like my tutorial on how to make your own prefolds.
This post was originally part of the K.I.D.S. series at Me Sew Crazy. I wanted to share the post and pocket tutorial here, in case you missed it the first time around!
I have to admit – I have never once asked my boys’ opinions on the clothes I make for them. Until now. Asking my five-year-old, Sam, to design his own clothing (and teaching him the word design, which he loves now) absolutely made his day. He didn’t even hesitate when I asked him; he knew exactly what he wanted:
The top is the shirt, bottom is pants, in case his drawing wasn’t *ahem* perfectly clear. He even was so kind as to label it with sticky notes – stripes and cars. And as I looked at his drawing, he told me several times, “The stripes go up and down, Mommy. Not side to side.” Well okay then.
I took a little liberty with his design, and went for a bit more subtle approach. The stripes on the tee are faint and the cars are on the side pockets.Apparently, I took a little too much liberty, because I have since been told that cars all over the pants would have been more acceptable…
Both the pants and the T-shirt were upcycled from adult-sized shirt and pants and made from self-drafted patterns. Upcycling is seriously fun – and can make for such quick sewing. Reusing hems and waistbands for the win!What I really love about the pants are these pockets – they’re different from the usual cargo pants pockets you typically find, and they’re ridiculously easy to make in any size.
Here’s how you can make your own:
3. Thread 1/4 inch elastic into the casing. Gather the fabric slightly as you can see in the above photo. You want the ends of the elastic to stick slightly out of your casing.4. Press the curved edges of the pocket in about 1/2 inch.