Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sweet as Pie Baby Wraps

Baby wraps are super easy to make and are a great project even if you haven't had much experience sewing before.  Basically, you just need to be able to use a sewing machine and sew in a straight line!  I made these for my cousin.  (Well, actually she is my husband's cousin's wife, but that's a bit of a mouthful.)  She is lovely and is about to have a baby!  As I don't have a baby and therefore have never used baby wraps before, I called my dear Mum and she gave me some advice on how big to make them.  Thanks Mum!

You will need (to make three wraps):
 - 3 types of muslin fabrics that look pretty together. (2 of the fabrics I bought were 90cm wide and I bought 1 metre of each of them, the 3rd fabric was about 150cm wide and I bought 1.3 metres of it.  It's good to have a little extra in case they have been cut crooked, as you will need to make them square.
- Matching or contrast bias binding (enough to go all the way around each wrap)
- Thread to match you bias binding

 Give your fabric a gentle wash before you start and once it's dry, iron out any creases.

Cut your muslin into large squares.  The width of the fabric will determine how big the squares will be.  The two plain fabrics are 90cm wide, so I made 90cm squares from them.  The printed muslin is a little wider, so I made the square 120cm x 120cm.  

Depending on how wide the selvedge of the fabric is and how wide your bias binding is, you may need to trim a little of it off so the binding can cover it completely.

Round the edges by placing a glass (or other round object) in each corner of your fabric squares.  Trace around it and cut off the excess.  Having round corners will make it easier to sew on the binding.

Pin on your binding, folding it over the raw edges.  By starting about 6cm away from the corner it will be easy to finish off, while still looking neat.  Ease it gently around the corners.  If you are very confident at sewing, you might not bother pinning it, instead folding it around the raw edge as you sew.

Sew close to the edge of the binding, removing pins as you go.

When you are almost all the way around the wrap, cut off the excess binding, leaving 2-3cm overlap.  Fold over 1cm of the end of the binding and sew right up to your folded edge, overlapping the last little bit of binding.  Back tack and cut your threads.

Give your wrap an iron and it's finished. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How to make a little wrist pin cushion

I have a bad habit of absentmindedly putting pins down in random places around the house. To try to break this habit I have multiple plastic pin trays so I can keep one near my sewing machine, one near my ironing board and another on my desk. However, I am also rather clumsy and often drop the tray sending pins flying everywhere. You'd think a pincushion would be the solution, but my cat likes shiny things and I once caught her pulling pins out of a pincushion with her teeth. Thankfully she didn't try to eat them! I have heard that some crafty ladies swear by their wrist pincushions so I thought I'd make one while sitting by the heater watching NCIS. I'll always have it on my wrist while working, I can't drop pins out of it, and most importantly, it will be easy to keep out of little kitty's reach.

I've recently discovered the awesomeness that is craft blogs, so I thought I'd share with you how I made my little pincushion.
This is what you will need: scraps of pretty fabric, press studs, scissors, pins, needle, thread, stuffing or wadding, craft glue, stiff cardboard and some wide ribbon (optional).

Firstly cut a circle out of your cardboard. This will form the base of the pincushion so that any pins you stick in it won't stick into you! Fold/scrunch up your wadding so it will roughly fit on your base. Apply a little bit of craft glue on the cardboard circle and sit your wadding on top. Lay a piece of fabric over the wadding. It doesn't matter what shape your fabric is, it will be trimmed later. Poke all the stuffing in as you pull the fabric firmly over the wadding and secure it at the base of the cardboard with a rubber band.

Hand stitch in a circular fashion around the rubber band, securing all the little gathers of fabric.
Remove the rubber band and cut off all the excess fabric.
Cut two strips of fabric long enough to fit snuggly around your wrist, with a bit extra for the overlap and seam allowance (adding a total of 3cm to your wrist circumference should do nicely). Alternatively, you could use a piece of wide ribbon. If using fabric, place the two strips right sides together and sew along the two long edges. Turn through so the seam allowance is on the inside and iron it flat. Poke in 1cm of seam allowance on both of the short ends and hand stitch the ends closed. Sew two press studs near the corners so you can fasten your wrist strap. If using ribbon, you can paint a small amount of clear nail polish on the raw ends of the ribbon to stop it from fraying and then sew on the press studs. You can add some colourful embroidery thread to the pincushion if you like, just to make it look extra spesh.
Pin one end of the wrist strap to the base of the pincushion. Check to make sure your press studs still snap shut to make sure you haven't pinned it upside down to the pincushion.

Hand stitch the wrist strap to the base of the pin cushion and ta da! Your little pincushion is finished.
I also stumbled across this blog of a slightly more complicated but still very awesome pincushion. I think I want to make one of these too.