Tuesday, 29 April 2014

New Mummy Gift Box

When I gave birth a couple of years ago we were inundated with beautiful and amazing gifts for our new daughter.  We were touched by people's generosity and thoughtfulness.

And then one friend in particular surprised me with a box of loveliness just for me!  I loved it, and who wouldn't...there were lotions and potions, wine, nail polish, bath bombs and other sweet little luxuries.  Since then it is something I have tried to do for friends when they've had their little ones, even if it's only been a couple of bottles of nail varnishes (and the 60 second quick dry stuff has been a revelation at this time in my life!).  

It's also a nice little reminder that just because you've had a baby doesn't mean that you shouldn't make time for yourself and the things you enjoy.  This is one that I recently gave a friend - little bits from Boots and a pretty box from Paperchase. I love a good box!

Easy Peasy Zippy Pouches

I had some left over fabric from the changing bag I made for my friend and I know she wants to use reusable nappies so using the scraps to make a waterproof pouch for transporting wet apparel seemed appropriate!  A useful idea for any of us with little ones, not just those with soggy bottoms!

We're also in the process of moving house, which reminded me that for months I've been planning on making some bags to store some of my daughter's toys.  

I found a couple of straightforward tutorials through my old friend Pinterest, such as this one on See Kate Sew.  I got a bit confused by the reference to folding the zip towards the lining when sewing the two sides of your pouch together.  It felt weird and bulky and not right.  I explored a bit further and found some instructions with pictures of what this step should look like, the most helpful of which was this one at Pink Stitches.  The pouches described on this last blog were a little more complicated on the whole (would make great gifts!), but the pictures simplified the process for me.  I also like the way she has secured and extended the zips with small pieces of fabric.  I used this idea for a couple of my pouches as the zips I had were all pretty small and I sometimes find my zip slipping when I sew it.  This is a great way of solving both problems!

Apologies for not creating any new tutorials recently, but I've mainly been using other people's so I'd rather direct you to them than try and come up with my own when I know they already exist.  

Thursday, 24 April 2014

A Much Better Changing Bag

Changing bags are expensive!  Even the plain ones seem to cost a small fortune, as well as being a bit boring.  A friend who recently came to this conclusion asked if I could make one for her.  Suddenly the changing bag world expanded!  Naturally I spent some (read "a lot of") time on Pinterest and found one that met the criteria, which were a) that my friend liked it, and b) it was within my capability!  This tutorial by the Crafty Couple was clear and easy to follow, as well as being patternless - which is ideal as I don't have a printer and could just cut the fabric straight to size.

There were a couple of websites that we looked at for oilcloth fabric (so that the bag was waterproof inside and out).  These were Only Oilcloths and Norfolk Textiles, although I'm sure there are many others.  The fabrics we went for were Stampede Pastel Gloss and Lisbon Denim Matt from Only Oilcloths.  We opted for 135cm x 100cm of each, to ensure we had enough (and the cost was the same for this size or smaller).  The total cost of the bag was just under £30, which is pretty reasonable for a one-of-a-kind totally practical bag of this kind.

Before cutting out I worked out which pieces I wanted in the patterned fabric and which pieces were going to be plain.  

I had enough fabric to make a changing mat to fit neatly in the back pocket.  I did this by cutting two oilcloth rectangles 30cm x 60cm and one 30cm x 60cm in a lightweight wadding.  I arranged the pieces as follows: wadding, piece 1 right side up, piece 2 right side down (ie right sides together).  I pinned and sewed around three edges (starting with a long edge).  I then turned the piece right sides out, folded in the remaining seam and top stitched around the whole rectangle to close up the open edge and neaten it up.  Folded in three the mat fits just right!

I had a few left over scraps of the fabric so a few days later I made a waterproof zipper pouch, which I'll tell you about properly soon!