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

Quilts

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.
Front
Back
 
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
Front (close-up)
Back
 
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!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Some Pink Things


I love pink... and here are a trio of pink items for bébé.
 
1) Louise (free pattern), using Spud and Chloe Fine
2) Rhino Romper (free pattern), using Bernat Cotton
 
 3) Binic (free pattern), using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal

I'm sure I will squeeze in a few more pink items before her arrival.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

"Shoes" for Bébé


Stashbusting is a great excuse to knit baby booties!  I'm already cultivating her appreciation for shoes :)

Uggs, chunky booties, mary janes and leg warmers.

 
 
On my to-do list includes baby socks as I have tonnes of left-over sock yarn.


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Bébé Cardigans

So far, I've knit 6 bébé cardigans!  The best thing is they are quite small, and thus fast to make.  Plus, the size is more forgiving (than a traditional sweater) as I can choose to button it up or leave the cardigan/jacket open.
 
Most of the projects below offered free patterns.

1) Every Day Cardigan using Bernat Cotton (details here)

2) Trellis using Rowan All Seasons Cotton (details here)
 
3) Helena using Mirasol Hacho (details here)

4) Surprise Jacket using Patons Decor (details here)

5) Little Coffee Bean Jacket using left over scrap yarn (mystery wool + Rowan Chunky Tweed) (details here)

6) Sunnyside using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (details here)
 
I can't wait for bébé to model these cardigans/jackets!




Thursday, January 02, 2014

Bébé's First Friend

Introducing bébé's first friend!
 
I've had this Bobbi Bear pattern in my library for a while now and always wanted to make one.  I used over 2 skeins of Mission Falls 1824 (although some on Ravelry only used 2 skeins).  I used A LOT of stuffing!!

There is a free pattern for a sweater for him... I might make one as he seems a little bit bare.  Will be a good project for stash-busting!
 
There is also a pattern for a giant Bobbi Bear but rather than buying another pattern, I'm wondering whether I can just size up the current pattern?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year and Some News

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014!

And now, some news...the Dude and I are expecting our first baby!

Here's a sneak peak of some of the bébé knitted goodies that I've been working on. 

 
 
 
More updates soon!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Something for the Home

Here are a few projects for the "home" that were finished in 2013.
 
1) Crocheted Cushions
 
I made a total of 4 cushion covers for my mom. 

The pink/burgundy yarn was from 10 years ago and the neutrals were newly purchased. They are all “Patons Canadiana” but I can feel the difference between the yarns. Old yarn feels more rough and thicker, creating a more sturdy fabric while the new yarn is very soft!

It's a variation on a theme:
  • All the fronts = 9 clock granny square
  • Backs of 2 cushions = crocheted a giant granny square with rounds of alternating pinks.
  • Backs of 2 cushions = granny stripes in alternating pinks and camel.
 I only have pics of the front for now. 
More details here.
 
2) Crocheted Laundry Bag 
 
The pattern was free from Purl Soho. 
 
I had 2 HUGE skeins of Bernat Cotton so I made a HUGE bag.  There is still over 600 yards of yarn left!!  The yarn has flecks of color in it, but I noticed that most flecks disappeared after a good wash.
More details here.
 
3) Chair Pad

I started this back in 2005 but never got around to finishing until now.  It's from a Patons pattern (?). I wish I still had the pattern - it would have been nice to make 2 of these...
More details here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keeping Cozy

Having a lot of chunky yarn in the stash takes up a LOT of space, so I decided to knit some of it. 
 
1) Best Friend Cardigan from Twinkle
 
You may or may not remember, but I've knit up this pattern before using some Tahki Baby yarn.  However, I found the fabric to be a little bit too stiff (warm but too thick) and added too much extra weight on my frame.
 
Since looking at other raveler’s versions using Lion Thick & Quick, it seems that this yarn, although cheaper, produces a lighter version of this cardigan. I happen to have some in my stash, so I gave it a try.
More details here.
 
2) New Wyoming
 
 ... And with the Tahki Baby yarn, I knit this. 

Previously, the yarn was frogged various times (in addition to the Best Friend Cardigan).  It used to be a scarf and a hat.

I thought this yarn was the same weight as Rowan Big Wool but it is much heavier, making it hard to select patterns. Alas, I found a pattern where I got gauge and appreciates a fabric that’s on the heavy/stiff side.

I got gauge but I think the sizing is on the small side. I do not want to frog this but I wish I knit a size or two larger. Will try blocking it to make it bigger.

More details here.