Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quilted Table Settings

After a baby-induced quilting hiatus, I was really missing the humming of the sewing machine. I found a Sent with Love by Deb Strain honey bun in my stash and was brimming with ideas! I was originally drawn to the red/pink (Victoria Secret?) color combination but what to do with 40 1.5 x 44" fabric strips? 
To make my main project(s), I excluded 6 fabric strips that had green colors, leaving me with a total of 34 strips to work with.

As you may know, I like to use up all the fabric per collection (if possible) and so I made the following:  

Table Runner
I didn't really know what to do with the 1.5" strips, so I just sewed them all together. It's not that creative but looks good!
The backing is a white denim from my stash. For the binding, I bought a simple red polka dot fabric.

Placemats (X 4)
I bought half a metre of the Michael Miller pink fabric with red dots (my favorite! So very Victoria Secret), which works well with the Sent with Love collection.
These placemats also have a white denim backing and red polka dot binding,

Mug Rug/Trivets (X 2)
With some left over scraps, I was able to make 2 mug rugs/trivets. It was an opportunity for me to practice making a postage stamp quilt - and with my first attempt, the squares do not line up! I also didn't do a good job arranging the squares and had to manually pick apart some squares and re-arrange them so that the colors were spaced out "randomly".
Mini Buttons
With all the tiny left overs (1.5 inch X 1.0 inch rectangles), I made some mini fabric buttons. I bought a kit from the Japanese toonie store and it only cost $2 for 27 buttons.
I'm not sure what to use them for, but they are really cute!

Now, what to do with the 6 green strips?

Sunday, March 08, 2015


What do you do with one skein of yarn? Cowls!

Woodland Cowl

A free pattern, this used one skein of Lion wool-ease thick and quick. Because the yarn is not soft, this is not the most comfortable cowl.  I may eventually frog it (again) to make this hat. However, I do like this pattern with the buttons, so I may also eventually knit this with another yarn!
Notes from Ravelry here.

Secret Santa Cowl

Another free pattern, I used one skein of Fleece Artist Hayley and made this for secret santa. This cowl is super soft and I wish I didn't have to give it away!
Notes from Ravelry here.

I may make a few more next year as Christmas gifts (wishful thinking!).

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Tunics X 5

People always say, if you find something you like, buy it in multiples.

I stumbled upon this free Pickles baby tunic pattern and fell in love.

Creative-wise, this pattern is perfect for a new mom.  It is easy to knit, with few details to remember, is knit in the round and has unlimited options for customization.

Wearability-wise, this pattern is perfect for baby. It is easy to put on, has no sleeves that could get dirty, covers the belly and can be styled as a dress or a tunic.

I made one...
This one used up 250 meters of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.
Notes from Ravelry here.

Then I made two more (in a slightly larger size)!
Each one of these used 3 skeins of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (2 skeins main color + 1 skein contrast color).
Notes from Ravelry here and here.

Afterwards, I found another Pickles pattern that was basically the same as the tunic, but shorter and with a little pattern to spice things up. Each one of these took 2 skeins of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.
Notes from Ravelry here and here.

They are perfect layering pieces for playtime and used up all my stash of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton. Yay!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bébé Cardigans II

I love cardigans for babies. They are easy to put on, and the sizing is more flexible.

Otto Day Cardigan

This was from a free pattern and while it looked great in the pattern, the finished one was short and stout and not particularly flattering. Cassidy only wore it a couple times before it became too small.

I used 2 skeins of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in lavender.
Notes from Ravelry here.

Note: This cardigan has since been frogged and knit into something else! 

EZ February Sweater

All of Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns are part cryptic, part suspect but always brilliant. Used about 300 meters of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (this was from one of those huge balls, not the little skeins). I had fun selecting the buttons (from BabyVille).
Notes from Ravelry here.

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket

After making one of these in worsted weight yarn, for some reason I thought making one in fingering weight would be a good idea. What was I thinking?  I used Zwerger Garn Opan Regenwald sock yarn and it was WAY too small. Especially since C was born 7 lbs 11 oz, she was already too big for this sweater!
Notes from Ravelry here.

Definitely to be frogged, I might make this into a dress tunic or something...Hmmm... the possibilities!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Noro Aya

Some time ago, I bought a bag of Noro Aya from Elann.  Note: Elann has since changed their business model and appears to no longer carry discounted yarn from designer brands. They focus on their own branded yarn and now shipping exclusively via ebay. Booo, but that's another story.

The colorway of the yarn was very bright (magenta, teal, emerald, orange, lilac...) but hey, at less than $6 per skein for Noro, I grabbed all I could, all 13 skeins of it.

I don't like wastage and made not one, but three FOs with the yarn!

As the colorway was quite strange, with a smorgasbord of beautiful bright colors and dark autumn browns/blacks/greens/orange, I separated the dark colors from the bright ones.

The bright colors were used to make a BB blanket for C and a skinny scarf.

Bébé Circle Blanket (brights)

Inspired by the knitted pop blanket, I searched for a crochet version and settled with this free pattern from Lion Brand.

This blanket used less than 5 skeins of Noro Aya and 4 skeins of Lion Brand Recycled Cotton (cream parts).  There are a total of 16 squares and each square consists of 6 rounds for the circle.
Notes from Ravelry here.

Skinny Scarf (brights)

With less than 3 skeins of leftover brights, I made a happy skinny scarf. Just casted on about 250 stitches and double crocheted rows until yarn ran out.
Notes from Ravelry here.

Missoni Chevron Scarf/Wrap (darks)

The autumn colors were used to make a chevron shawl. Found a chevron pattern and just ran with it. Used over 5 skeins and it measures 13 X 72 inches.
Notes from Ravelry here.

All three projects were crocheted! I guess I am officially a "hooker"!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Summer Dresses

I made a few dresses before C was born. I love dresses as they tend to last longer on growing babies. When it grows too short, just add leggings and voila, a tunic!

Summer Lin

Previously made similar ones for my nieces but wanted to try a different pattern. I like this one, it uses less yarn and feels more structured! This pattern is free and I used some leftover Mission Falls 1824 Cotton.
See Ravelry notes here.

Striped Dress

Pattern is from the Debbie Bliss Spring/Summer 2009 magazine.  I used Knit Picks Comfy Sport (about 1.5 skeins or ivory and 1.5 skeins of lilac mist) and a little bit of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4 Ply in dark purple for the edges.
See Ravelry notes here.

Amazing Dress

Free pattern from Lion Brand and I used 2 skeins of Lion Amazing (I found 1 skein for 2 in the clearance bin!)
I made several modifications to the pattern, such as knitting in the round, adding length to the skirt and some other minor finishing details.

See Ravelry notes here.

Striped Dress with Bow

Another pattern from Debbie Bliss, this time from the Spring Summer 2011 magazine and I used Knit Picks Comfy Sport (2 skeins parchment and 1.5 skeins fairy tale). In the original, there was a bow but I replaced it with 2 buttons that I happened to have in my stash.

See Ravelry notes here.

Lotta Dresses (from Lotta Jansdotter Simple Sewing for Baby)

As mentioned in the previous post, I love this book.  And I loved the pattern so much, I made 2 of these. Super easy to make, and super easy to dress the baby (with 2 buttons on the shoulders).

The green fabric was upcycled from a failed top I sewed for myself and the black and white fabric was left over from C's nursing cover.  (I don't think I documented the nursing cover, which is basically a large rectangle with some boning, based on this free tutorial.) I lined the two dresses with some old tee shirts.
Since all the materials were from my stash/unwanted clothes, the cost for these two dresses was $0!


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sewing Bébé Accessories

Here are a few more fabric goodies made before C was born.  

Velcro Booties (from Amy Butler Little Stitches for Little Ones)

The pattern took some time to figure out (and I kept sewing the velco on the wrong piece of fabric!) but after the first one, they were relatively fast and easy to make. They are great, because they do stay put and are perfect for babies who tend to lose their shoes. However, we found that they were not that useful once C started to stand and furniture surf as the bottom was too slippery. It needs some sort of plastic grip to prevent slips.
Bloomers (from Lotta Jansdotter Simple Sewing for Baby)

I got the most mileage from this baby sewing book and made several items from it (bloomers, snuggler below, wet bags, dresses) and strongly recommend this book! The instructions were very easy to follow and the templates were "hand drawn" so I did not have to feel OCD and cut too perfectly. The finished projects still turned out well! In comparison, the projects from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones were beautiful, but were much more advanced and sometimes I was turned off by their complexity.

We ended up not using these (yet, not sure if they still fit), as I seldom dressed C in bloomers. She wore onesies in the summer and leggings/jeggings under her dresses in the winter. I did enjoy making these and will see if they still fit her when the weather warms up.
Snuggler (from Lotta Jansdotter Simple Sewing for Baby, with free pattern here)

Again, I made this before C was born and it was such a great idea. However, the nurses at the hospital recommended against swaddling in the first few weeks (something about swaddling hiding the baby's nursing signs) and by the time I found this in her drawer, C was already too big (she was a big baby!)
More baby projects to follow!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sewing Bébé Toys

Never posted these but here are some fabric toys I made for C before she was born.  It's been a year of hibernation... starting to catch up!

Puzzle Ball (from Last Minute Quilted Gifts)

I've always been intrigued and wanted to make one of these but never got around to it... until now!  The book calls for 5.5' circles but I only have 5" and 6" templates so I made mine with 6" circles.  The pattern is actually quite easy although there are many little pieces to fiddle with.  I will certainly make more!  Maybe a mini one with these same fabrics and another 6" one.

There are several tutorials on making these on the Internet and unfortunately, I forgot which link I used. It could be this, this or this. The fabrics are from left-over charm squares from baby C's baby blanket and on the back I used the polka dot fabric that was used to bind the blanket. Batting is sandwiched in between and I used pinking shears to cut out the letters.
Cubes and Tag Toy/Blanket

Using other fabric scraps, I made some cubes (from Amy Butler Little Stitches for Little Ones, pattern here) and improvised the tag toy after seeing some on pinterest. 
When I made these (in 2013/2014), I was hoping my baby would like playing with them. Now she is almost a toddler, I am happy to report that she does play with these and particularly likes to knock over the cubes when I stack them up. However, she is not too enthusiastic about the tag blanket! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014 MIA Fly By Recap

Wow. It has almost been 1 full year since my last post. I guess that's what happens when baby happens.

During this year, I have been making things... and I actually have a bunch of posts that are waiting to be posted (completely forgot about them!).

In the meantime, here's a quick recap on some FOs from 2014.
Wish everyone a happy 2015!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sewing with PUL

I've recently been working a lot with PUL fabric to make baby things.  I'm primarily using BabyVille  Boutique PUL fabric as it's available a my local fabric store and the prints are super cute.

What is PUL?

Polyurethane laminate.  It is similar to laminated cotton or oil cloth in terms of being water proof but the fabric is stretchy, breathable and soft.  It is traditionally used for making diapers but I found other uses for this waterproof fabric! 

BabyVille Boutique also offers matching fold over elastic (FOE) and snap buttons, which were on clearance (99 cents per package!) so I bought a bunch as well. Again, although traditionally used for diapers, I found FOE to be a useful alternative to bias tape and the snap buttons an alternative to zippers/button  and button holes.

So far, I've made the following with PUL:

1) Diaper Change Station (using the free pattern here)
I have made 2 - one following the exact pattern for a baby shower and now one for myself (shown above).  For mine, I made the following modifications:
  • Avoided all ribbons and replaced with snap buttons
  • Omitted the handle and replaced with snap-on elastic handle
I love the end product!

2) Bibs

There are so many free bib patterns online! 
Some of my favourites include

3) Burp Cloth (using free pattern from Smalldreamfactory)

4) Wet Bags (from Lotta Jansdotter's book)

This is a great project to use up random rectangular leftover pieces of PUL and the velcro provides easy access.

5) Boppy Pillow Cover

There are several tutorials and patterns online on how to make a cover (or even the entire nursing pillow!) but I already had a pillow and a store-bought cover.  The only problem with the existing pillow cover was that it was made out of thin cotton.  Since nursing seems to be quite messy, I wanted to make a waterproof cover and used the existing cover as a template.  I did make some changes, such as replacing the zipper with snap buttons.   I also used fold over elastic to finish the snap button opening. 

I love it!  And the owls make me happy. 

Next on my to-do list is to use PUL for:
  • car seat/stroller protector pad
  • potty training underwear
  • more wet bags
  • more bibs
  • nursing pads (to use up scraps)
Pros about PUL

As mentioned above, PUL is breathable, stretchy, soft and comes in many cute prints. 

Cons about PUL

The only complaint I have is that the fabric has a plastic coating, which is great for water resistance but makes it difficult to sew as it sticks to the needle/presser foot.  I've googled around and found the following tips :
1) Use ballpoint needle
2) For zig zag stitch, use the one that looks like a dotted zig zag stitch (three-step zig zag stitch)
3) For straight stitch, if sewing 2 fabrics together, make sure PUL is on the bottom (near feed dogs).  If sewing 2 pieces of PUL together, adding a layer of tissue or tissue paper helps prevent sticking!

The final thing is that I don't know how stable the plastic coating is with supreme heat.  Thus, I have limited my projects to baby items and AVOIDED traditional oil cloth projects such as lunch bag, placemats, and table cloths.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Quilts for Bébé

As a hoarder of many things, yarn being one of them, and fabric being another, I was excited to be using some of my cherished fabrics for something special for bébé. 

I started with an adult-sized lap quilt (roughly 45" X 70") but after it was finished, my husband said "OMG, that is HUGE!".    So, I thought I'd make something smaller (roughly 35" X 45").

For the larger quilt, I used "Love U" by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics (now discontinued). 
  • The front used 1 layer cake (40 X 10" squares)
  • The back used roughly 1.5 charm packs (42 X 5" squares) and lots of ivory for the stacked coin design
  • The binding was a multi-color dot fabric.
For the smaller quilt,
  • The front used 2 charm packs from "It's a Hoot" by Momo for Moda Fabrics (now discontinued)
  • The back used a large dot fabric from Michael Miller, plus some leftover fabrics for the monogram (yes, we know the name will start with the letter "C")
  • The binding is a pink plaid leftover from another project.
  • I just love all the colours!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Here are a few quilts made in 2013 (or earlier) but were not blogged yet:

1) Vonn
I made this quilt LONG time ago, but felt it was missing something.  When my friend had a baby called Vonn, I thought adding his name to the blanket would be the thing to spice it up.

2) Time for Teddy (for boy)
I completely forgot to take photos before giving this to the recipient.  Ooops.  But I managed to get ahold of some pics.  The front consists of 5" squares and the backing is all one print.
3) Time for Teddy (for girl)
Using pretty much the same fabrics as the previous quilt, I made a more girly version.
The front uses disappearing 9-patches (a great tutorial here), and the backing is all one print.  There is one boo boo on the front, but I don't think anyone notices it!
Front (close-up)
4) Moda picnic
I love Moda charm packs. They are easy to use and you get to sample all the print designs in a fabric line.  For the front, I used one charm pack and the border is a Michael Miller argyle.
For the back, I used a sampler fabric (from the same Moda line), but it was a couple inches too short, so I attached some red/white white fabric (at the top).

Sometimes I try saving money by buying various cuts of sale fabric, but since I often default to making 5" square blankets, I find I end up with A LOT of random fabric left over and that annoys me (I like to maximize every inch).  Charm packs, on the other hand, are usually all used up and often yield a more colorful/energetic/aesthetically pleasing quilt.  Moving forward, I will stick to charm packs!