sewing for baby

10 Things to Sew for Baby from a Flannel Sheet

We’re in full-on baby prep mode over here, and I always have a few projects I want to sew before baby arrives. So when Dana of Sew Thrifty invited me to be a part of her Thrifty Baby Celebration, it made perfect sense to participate! I love to upcycle, and baby clothes and accessories are PERFECT for this, because they’re so small.  So I’ve collected a list of 10 things you can sew from a flannel sheet.
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Flannel is great for fall and winter babies, and flannel sheets are excellent for getting lots of yardage for little cost. Between thrift stores and clearance sales (and your linen closet!), you don’t have to spend a lot of money on flannel. Sewing for baby can be super inexpensive!

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1. Prefold diapers – this is one of my most popular tutorials and one of my most-used baby items. Because babies use a lot of diapers. ;) I’ve sewn quite a few from flannel sheets as well as flannel remnants.

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2. Bandana drool bib – some babies are super drooly or spit up all the time, and these little drool bibs are so cute and perfect to catch the mess before it gets on their clothes.

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3. Cloth wipes and burp rags – if you’re cloth diapering, cloth wipes make total sense and are super cost-effective. If you aren’t using cloth diapers, these are the perfect size for wiping little baby noses or cleaning up after a meal. And of course, burp rags are a must-have for every household with a newborn!

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4. Changing pad cover – the vinyl changing pads (affiliate link to the one I personally own!) are great places to change baby’s diaper, but they aren’t super comfy. Especially with a fall/winter baby, I hate to put baby down on a chilly surface. This same concept could also be used to make flannel crib sheets!

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5. Easy baby blanket – of course, every baby needs blankets! The yardage that you get in a flannel sheet is perfect for making extra blankets for gifts or for when your baby spits up all over his blanket and you need a clean one.

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6. Baby blanket with piping – the piping adds an adorable accent to a flannel baby blanket!

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7. Ragged baby blanket – how great would this blanket be to lay on the floor for baby to play on? Or to throw over the carseat when the weather is cold? It’s also perfect for the scraps leftover from all your flannel projects. ;)

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8. Flannel pants – While itty bitty babies probably aren’t going to use flannel pants as jammies, they’re still so cozy to wear on chilly fall and winter days. Plus, baby pants take so little time and fabric to sew!

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9. Seatbelt covers – since flannel is absorbent, these would do a great job at soaking up baby’s drool in the carseat. Not to mention how soft they are! Make sure these don’t interfere with the use of the chest clip, and use your own judgment as to whether or not adding this to your carseat is safe or not.

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10. Baby bibs – whether you’re soaking up drool or baby is venturing into the world of solid foods, bibs are a must-have. I’m pretty sure we have zero cloth bibs left in our house (because after four kids, they’ve all long since bitten the dust!), and I will be making a bunch of these from this free pattern.

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There are SEW many things you can make from a flannel sheet! Happy baby sewing. :)

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Free Newborn Baby Hat Pattern

If you’ve been around the blog lately or following me on Instagram, you know that we’re just weeks (days??) away from welcoming baby boy number five. So I’ve been cooking easy meals and making last minute baby items. Baby pants are among my absolute favorite things to sew for babies, and I decided baby also needs some matching hats! I have a free hat pattern to share with you, so all the babies in your life can be covered from head to toe. :)free-newborn-baby-hat-pattern

Baby hats are a necessity for a fall or winter baby, and knit hats are just so cute and cozy.

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This pattern is super quick and easy to sew! It takes less than 1/4 yard of knit fabric, so you can use up some scraps.

Supplies:

  • less than 1/4yd knit fabric
  • thread
  • serger or sewing machine that can zig-zag
  • scissors or rotary cutter

Download your FREE Newborn Baby Hat Pattern

1. After you’ve taped the pattern together, cut out your fabric. This is how the fabric looks opened up:

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2. Fold the fabric right sides together and sew along the long curved side, leaving about 3 inches open on each end.

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3. Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together – this will put your seam on the inside. Fold the hat as shown in the photo below, matching up the points. You will have four layers of fabric together. Sew all four layers together from one point to the side, using either a serger or a zig-zag stitch. If you are using a serger, leave the tails long. If you are using a zig-zag stitch, be sure to back-stitch at the ends.

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4. Turn the hat and sew together the next four layers of fabric. Again, leave the tails long if you’re using a serger.

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5. Continue to turn the hat, matching up the four layers of fabric, and sewing them together. All the seams should be coming together at a point at the top.

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7. When you’re finished with all the seams, it should look like the photo below. If you used a serger, tie all the tails so they don’t unravel before cutting them.

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Now turn your hat right side out and cuff!

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Since I don’t have a baby to model this hat yet, this old baby doll of mine will have to do. ;)

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It’s obviously a little big for the doll, but will be perfect for baby!

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This baby hat pattern goes perfectly with my free newborn baby pants pattern!

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I mean seriously… how cute is this??!! I think baby might be coming in home in one of these outfits!

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The brown striped pants were upcycled (which is also why they’re longer… since my babies tend to grow longer instead of chubbier, I didn’t bother to cut the pattern shorter to account for re-using the hem). The arrows came from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and the plaid from Girl Charlee.dsc_8291-copy

Don’t forget to download your FREE Newborn Baby Hat Pattern!

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Happy baby sewing!

Free Newborn Baby Pants Pattern

My absolute favorite thing to make for new babies is a pair of baby pants. Or three. I make my pants using this tutorial of mine, and now I’ve added a free newborn sized pattern to make it even easier for you!
Free Baby Pants Pattern

Supplies:

  • 1/4 yard of knit fabric
  • 15 inches of 3/4in. non-roll elastic (you may need to adjust this length based on the size of your baby)

For the time being, the pattern will be available for download only in the If Only Designs Facebook Group. Click over and join the group to download!
1. Cut two of the newborn baby pants pattern – make sure to reverse one (hint: fold your fabric wrong sides together, put the pattern piece on top, and cut two pieces)

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2. Fold the leg piece right sides together and sew down the inseam. Repeat with the second leg.

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3. Put one leg inside the other, right sides together. Pin together and sew the crotch seam.

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4. Turn right side out.

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5. Sew the ends of your elastic together with a zig-zag stitch.

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6. Fold the top of the pants down 1in. over the elastic circle. Pin the fabric in place. There are several options for making your waistband casing: use a coverstitch (my preferred method), double needle, or stretch stitch. Whichever you choose, make sure you don’t sew over your elastic. If you want to insert a ribbon/tag, now is the time to do it!

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7. Turn up the bottom of the pants 1/2in. and hem using your preferred method (coverstitch, double needle, or stretch stitch).

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Then admire your itty bitty newborn baby pants!

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Seriously, what is cuter than a row of baby pants?

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Well, maybe a baby in the pants! Since I don’t have any more bitty babies in my house, I sent these pants to my lovely friend Jodi at Sew Fearless for her sweeter than sweet baby boy. She shared this picture of him in the pants on her Instagram, and I just about died from the cuteness!

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Sew all the baby pants!

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Download your free newborn baby pants pattern by joining the If Only Designs Facebook Group.

Happy sewing, friends!

Final day of the Bottoms Up Pants tour with the Shaffer Sisters

Well, I can hardly believe that it’s the last day of the Bottoms Up Pants pattern tour! The amazing bloggers who joined me the last two weeks, and shared their versions of the pattern, have been so fantastic!! And today we’re ending the tour with yet another aDORable version! I always look forward to seeing what the Shaffer Sisters sew – and I love that they are sisters who sew, maybe I can convince my sisters to sew and blog with me?? And Scary’s Bottoms Up Pants are SO stinkin’ cute!

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These sweet baby pants just might make me like chevron ;)

The Bottoms Up Pants are 25% off, only through Sunday 1/18! So if you’ve been thinking about getting the pattern, now is the time!

 Add to Cart

Thanks so, so much to all my amazing friends who were so supportive of me and this pattern! It’s been such a thrill to see so many people sewing up my design. If you sew up your copy, make sure you share it with me! Join the If Only Designs Facebook group to share, or share them on Instagram!

Jan 5th –> Sarah at The Crazy Tailor
Jan 6th –> Melissa at Sew Like My Mom
Jan 8th –> Marissa at RaeGun Ramblings
Jan 9th –> Emily at Naptime Creations
Jan 12th –> Me!
Jan 13th –> Sabra at Sew a Straight Line
Jan 14th –> RaeAnna at Sewing Mama Raeanna
Jan 15th –> Kacia at Coconut Robot
Jan 16th –> Scary at Shaffer Sisters

Bottoms Up Pants Tour with Coconut Robot

Today’s stop is the fabulous Kacia from Coconut Robot! If you’re not familiar with her blog, you need to get yourself over there and get familiar! She has some fantastic tutorials (and adorable kids!), plus she sells these amazing custom leather makes.

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I love her little baby version!! The pattern is still 25% through 1/18, discount is automatic.

 Add to Cart

 There’s one more day left on the pattern tour – all these amazing bloggers have done such a fantastic job!! And tomorrow is no exception, so make sure you come back tomorrow!

Jan 5th –> Sarah at The Crazy Tailor
Jan 6th –> Melissa at Sew Like My Mom
Jan 8th –> Marissa at RaeGun Ramblings
Jan 9th –> Emily at Naptime Creations
Jan 12th –> Me!
Jan 13th –> Sabra at Sew a Straight Line
Jan 14th –> RaeAnna at Sewing Mama Raeanna
Jan 15th –> Kacia at Coconut Robot
Jan 16th –> Scary at Shaffer Sisters

Prefold Cloth Diapers – a Tutorial!

We are a cloth diapering family.  There are lots of reasons for this [any of which I could happily discuss with you if you are curious!] … I love not filling landfills with poopy diapers, I love putting cloth on my baby’s bum versus a disposable, and I absolutely L.O.V.E. not having to shell out all that money each month for diapers.

And seriously, how cute is that?

But I’ll be honest, my budget doesn’t allow for me to buy lots of “fancy” cloth diapers – the kind that go on just like a disposable.  And if you haven’t guessed by now reading my blog, I am uber-cheap.  So when my second son was born (and I had two in dipes!), I made a set of prefold diapers.  If you’re not familiar with the term, these would be like the “old school” diapers that our parents or grandparents would have used.

How to make your own Prefold DiapersPrefold diapers are perfect for anyone who wants to try cloth diapering, especially if you are on a budget, because they are SO inexpensive to make yourself.

Here’s what you’ll need:

flannel (the amount you need will depend on how many diapers you want to make)
microfiber towels for absorbent insert (you could also use terry cloth)*
sewing supplies

*I use microfiber towels that I buy at Sam’s Club.  They come in a 24 pack for less than $10, I think.  You can also find these in the automotive section of many stores.

1. Prewash your fabric – this is especially important for the microfiber towels.  I’ve found that some of these towels will bleed color, so I always wash them several times on hot.

2. Cut your flannel.  These are the sizes that I found to work for me, but you can easily adjust the sizes to meet your needs.

  • Small (Infant-sized) Prefold: 12.5in. x 21in. — when folded, it should be about 12.5 x 10.5in.
  • Medium Prefold: 14.5in. x 27in. — when folded, it should be about 14.5 x 13.5in.
  • Large Prefold: 16in. x 29in. — when folded, it should be about 16 x 14.5in. [This is the perfect size for my 19 mo. old, until he grows even a little bit]

*There really isn’t a huge difference between the medium and large sizes, so it may not be that important to you to make both sizes.  If you make only the larger size, you can always fold down the front a little.  I like having them be a little more trim and not have too much bulk – especially for the newborn size.  Plus, my microfiber towels are only 16in. long, so my prefolds can’t be longer than that.

You want to make sure that when you fold your fabric, the folded edge is the longer side.

3. Cut the microfiber towels for the absorbent panel.

These inserts should be the length of the folded edge, for example:

  • Large size prefold: 16 x 4.5in. — I use three of these in the large size
  • Medium size prefold: 14 x 4.5 in. — I use three of these in the medium size
  • Small size prefold: 12 x 4in. — I use two of these in the small size

4. Fold the flannel (as shown above), with right sides together.  Sew the longer side together. (I used a serger, but you could also zig-zag with a regular machine)

 5. You will have created a tube – turn that right side out, with the seam in the center.

5. Stack the microfiber pieces together and place them inside the flannel – centered in the middle 

6. Zig-zag stitch along either side of the microfiber.

It will look like this:

7. Serge or zig-zag the short edges, trimming the microfiber insert if necessary.

8. Now go put your baby in your new prefold!

(This is the newborn size… obviously I don’t have a newborn yet, so this baby doll was the next best thing! :)

Note: prefold diapers need a cover. The covers that I used when E was a baby were so good that I didn’t need to use pins or anything. If your cover doesn’t seem to get your prefold tight enough, try a Snappi fastener (affiliate link)

Here’s the newborn sized prefold compared to a newborn disposable diaper, just to give you an idea of the size. [When you put it on your baby, it can be tighter and more fitted than this picture looks]

Happy cloth diapering!

If you liked this post, you might also like my tutorial on how to convert velcro diapers to snaps.

Convert Velcro Diapers to Snaps Tutorial

To cover your baby’s fluffy bum, sew up a pair of Bottoms Up Pants – an instant download PDF pattern!

 Buy Now

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*If you are looking for the different ways to fold a prefold diaper, visit this site for a good resource.*

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