Many, many hours of planning were spent over the kitchen design of Our DIY House. I even Photoshopped various light fixtures into my Ikea kitchen layout to make sure I was happy with the result. I spent days deciding between an island and a peninsula (I chose an island), and I stared endlessly at kitchen design photos in magazines and on Pinterest.Continue reading
Some of my most sacred childhood possessions were the handmade doll accessories and clothing my mom (who’s taught me everything I know about sewing) made for me.
I wanted to make something hopefully as special for my little 3 year old (soon to be 4 on January 1st!) daughter. She has a little Baby Alive doll she’s named Ariel, and Ariel has no diapers. My Little C specifically requested them (along with some doll clothes, which I hope to tackle before Christmas too), and I thought they’d be so much fun to sew. I also found an adorable dolly diaper bag pattern that I thought my girl would love, and then I thought: “What the heck! I’ll sew up a wipes case, changemat and bib too and make it a sweet little set!”
This deluxe dolly diaper bag and accessories set would work for any doll that’s around 12-15″ tall (like Baby Alive, Melissa & Doug 12″ Dolls, Waldorf Dolls, American Girl Bitty Baby) and it’s a great way to use up scraps of fabric (from my ever-growing collection of fabric goodness from my favourite place to get it – Fabric.com). You could give the set as-is, or add more things to the bag like a doll’s bottle, pretend food jars, spoons… and really anything that you think the wee recipient would love!
scraps of cotton fabric (you’ll need a yard for the bag and then just little bits for the rest)
scraps of minkee or fleece fabric (for the “wipes”, the bib lining, the diaper lining and the changemat lining)
three squares of crafter’s felt coordinating colours (for heart appliques and wipes case)
1″ wide velcro
Doll Diaper Bag with Heart Applique
I sewed the dolly diaper bag first. I basically followed this wonderful doll diaper bag tutorial by Mommy By Day Crafter By Night to a tee. The only changes I made were omitting the cardboard base (I wanted the bag to be washable) and I sewed a heart applique from two layers of felt on the front piece of fabric before sewing it to the rest of the pieces (I eyeballed the heart, but you could also print a heart out from an image on the computer and use that as a pattern). The tutorial was so easy to follow, and the size and shape of the bag will be perfect for my little Miss!
I cut a piece each out of cotton fabric and minkee fabric, pinned them right sides together, sewed around leaving a 2″ hole, flipped them right side out, and then top stitched around the perimeter (closing the hole). I added a pink felt heart to the back of each diaper (I eyeballed the heart shape again and simply sewed it on).
Doll Felt Wipes Case with Wipes
The miniature wipes case and wipes were next. I also got this idea from Craftaholics Anonymous and thought it was so very cute and clever! I made the case out of squares of felt as per the tutorial, cut out an oval, sewed on a flap, and finished the flap with another heart applique. For the “wipes”, I cut out squares of white minkee fabric and stuffed them in. My daughter is going to go crazy over this!
Doll Folding Changemat
To make the changemat, I cut out a rectangle of cotton fabric and one of minkee fabric that were each 8″ wide by 15″ long. I rounded the top corners of the fabrics using a round cup as a guide. Then, I pinned them right sides together, sewed around the perimeter with a 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving a 2″ hole, turned it right side out, and top-stitched around the perimeter (and closed the hole this way). I finished with two lines of stitching that went horizontally across the pad to divide the mat in thirds vertically, a velcro piece at the inside top and the opposite side of the velcro in the middle of the bottom panel (as shown in the pictures above) and a heart applique.
This wee DIY bib was the final piece to this dolly set. I couldn’t find a pattern online that I liked for a dolly bib, so I measured my girlie’s doll and made a printable doll bib pattern up – feel free to use it if you need it! Simply click the image below to make it full size before you print it out and use it as a pattern.
I cut out a piece of cotton fabric and a piece of minkee fabric using this pattern and then pinned them right sides together. I sewed them together leaving a 2″ opening, turned the bib right side out, top-stitched it, and then stitched on some tiny pieces of velcro to the neck openings.
I’m going to fill the dolly diaper bag with all of the tiny accessories, and then I’ll probably add some more things that a “little mommy” might need for her “baby” (spoons, “food”, bottles, a blanket). I may add a few handmade dolly clothes, but we’ll see how far I get before Christmas!
I truly hope my spunky little girl will love this handmade dolly diaper bag set as much as I think she will – it will make sewing these crazy-small little diapers all worthwhile!
Quilts are so beautiful. I’ve always admired people that can make gorgeous quilts with intricate piecing and meticulous machine-work.
For my handmade Christmas this year, I decided to make a quilt for my one year old daughter. I’m a super-newbie quilter, so I thought it would be wise to start with something very simple and beginner-ish for my first “real” quilt. I found an absolutely adorable fabric panel that I instantly fell in love with and new it would be the perfect thing to make my beginner’s baby quilt with. The colours are some of my favourites (turquoise, yellow, orange, green and pink) and they’re just the scheme I’m dreaming of using when our new house is built and my littlest has her very own room (we’re both really excited about the prospect, I’m sure)!
Here’s what I did and what you can do too if you’re just starting the journey into Quilting World like I am. I found this quilt mostly quite easy (with only a little seam ripping – I’ll explain) and the end product is beautiful. I hope my Baby A loves her Christmas gift!
baby quilt sized piece of cotton/polyester quilt batting
fabric adhesive spray
Wash & dry all of your fabrics before beginning. Cut a piece of the reverse fabric to match the size of the front panel. Cut your binding fabric into 2 1/4″ wide strips that are as long as the fabric is wide (44″). You’ll need 3 of these strips if using the same panel I used. Otherwise, measure the perimeter of your fabric panel to see how many strips you need for the binding.
Someone on my Facebook page suggested that I use spray adhesive instead of pins to secure my quilt layers together and I thought that was a fabulous idea. Here’s how I did it…
I started with the reverse side. I laid my piece of quilt batting on the floor, and then laid my reverse piece of fabric over it (right side up) and smoothed it out. I folded the bottom half up (as shown in the picture above) and sprayed the fabric adhesive spray as per it’s directions on to the quilt batting. Then, I unfolded the half of the reverse fabric and smoothed it back over the batting, patting it gently down. I repeated this process with the other half.
When the adhesive is dry, flip the quilt over and repeat this method with the front panel side (spraying the adhesive onto the batting layer). When the glue is dry you’re ready to start quilting!
The awesome thing about making a quilt with a fabric panel is that you don’t have to piece anything together – the work is done for you! Simply stitch through all of the layers where you think makes the most sense. Another bonus about this quilt? A baby size is a great size to start with on a standard machine – less fabric bulk to move around.
With this panel, I stitched around the large circles and the middle diamond shapes, and then on both sides of the outer border.
I found it helped to go slowly and keep my stitches on the smaller side. I held the fabric taught with my hands, but didn’t pull it too hard so that it wouldn’t stretch.
The hardest part for me was quilting the vertical sides. By the time I’d get 2/3 of the way down, my fabric had pulled a little and the square was skewed (fabric stretches more along this grain line). I ended up having to seam rip the two bottom sides and stitch them both again, going very slowly and carefully. I even had to make very miniscule tucks to make the piece square again because the fabric had stretched. I don’t notice them now that the quilt is done, but if anyone has any tips on how to prevent this happening I’d love to hear them in the comments! My only thought is that next time I’ll make sure there is more glue on the sides and I stitch at a slower pace.
After you’re done quilting to your liking, Trim the sides of the quilt. I left a scant 1/8″ – 1/4″ of the orange border on this panel because I knew I wanted my pink binding to cover it completely.
To make the binding, sew all of the binding strips together (wrong sides together with a 1/4″ seam). Fold the binding in half lengthwise and press.
Start sewing the binding to the quilt in the middle of a side. Line up the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt, leave a couple of inches (you’ll use this to join the binding together at the end) and stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
When you approach a corner, sew until you are 1/4″ from the edge. Backstitch and remove the needle. Fold the binding as shown above (there will be a triangle of folded binding underneath this fold) and then begin stitching again on the new side (as shown above). iCandy Handmade explains how to bind a quilt in wonderful detail if you need more help.
When you get to the end, stop sewing about an inch from where you began. Trim the binding so that it overlaps a couple of inches. Fold on end inward about 1/2″, and tuck the other end inside. Pin and sew to the quilt.
Now you’re almost done – there’s just some relaxing hand-stitching to go! This was honestly my favourite part because I could relax and watch TV at night while I stitched with my feet up. Ahhhh!
Turn the binding around the edge of the quilt to the back, and hand stitch it as above (it should cover the machine stitches you’ve made). Miter the corners as you go to make them nice and crisp (I hand stitched the mitered corners shut and also stitched the join of the binding shut).
After you’re done, you can wash the entire quilt as I did to give it that gorgeous handmade, puckery, quilty look.
Isn’t it so very sweet? I just love the finished quilt!
It’s a simple little quilt, but it’s pretty and fresh and it only took me a day to sew.
I’m going to wrap it up and put it under our Christmas tree for my precious Baby A. She can play on it and cuddle with it as we wait for her new nursery to be finished (along with our new home)! I think it will be a great starting piece to work off of for her nursery decor.
Do you have any excellent quilting tips? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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Wow, it’s been one of “those” weeks. Er, couple of weeks. I have a baby that is an angel-girl by day and Frankenbaby by night. There have been some things that have happened to close friends and family recently that have been very heartbreaking to see.
Sometimes a mommy has to slip into “survival mode” and do the best she can amidst lack of sleep and difficult circumstances.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I rely on three things when I have days like these: God’s grace, love for my family, and coffee. Good, strong coffee. If you’re like me, you might enjoy this free printable artwork that I am going to hang in my kitchen.
This dress was beautiful, but it needed a lining badly! (Oh-so-see-through!) I whipped up a little vintage-inspired half slip for it the first time I wore it using a scrap of lining fabric and cotton lace. Here’s how I did it:
Cut a piece of fabric that is approximately 1 1/2 times the width of your waist and the length you want your slip to be + 2″ (for the elastic casing and bottom hem). Fold it in half right sides together, and sew the center back seam. I used a serger, but you could use a regular machine and zigzag the raw edges.
Finish the top and bottom raw edges with either a serger or a zigzag. Hem the lower edge by folding it up 1/2″ and sewing. Fold the upper edge over 1 1/4″ and sew close to the finished edge to make a casing for the elastic. Leave a 1 1/2″ opening, thread elastic through, then sew the opening shut.
If desired, sew a strip of lace over the bottom hem as shown. It’s a pretty detail that could peek out from beneath a skirt! Finally, I like to sew a line in the middle of my elastic casing to ensure the elastic doesn’t roll and flip (as shown above). That’s it! It’s a pretty little slip for beneath those sheer skirts and dresses that’s easy to make and so sweet and feminine!
Summer has come to a close and as of yesterday I am now 30 years old. I’ve been considering doing posts on my style for a little while now, and with your email & comment encouragement and with my “I’m 30 now, so what do I need to feel self conscious for” attitude as of late, I present to you my very first one!
I am rather short at 5’3″ and I wear about a size 10 to 12 in clothing at the moment (that number has been anywhere from size 6 to size 16 since marriage and two pregnancies). I’m not euphorically happy with the shape of my body at present, but I remind myself that it has carried two babes and that my goal is to be healthy rather than some shape that is unrealistic in the near future.
I really enjoy fashion and fashion blogs. I see a lot of images of tall, willowy and gorgeous women in the latest trends and I thought it would be fun (and hopefully helpful to some other women with a body shape like mine) to show you how I put together some of my favourite outfits and what I do to highlight my favourite and not-so-favourite features of my petite and curvy mommy self.
I also love to DIY (of course) and find things on a tight budget, so I’ll incorporate those things into my style posts which for now I’m going to commit to once monthly. It’s darn hard to take pictures of oneself while one’s baby is sitting on the lawn and there’s a toddler that may (or may not!) be napping in the house!
Here, I’m wearing a turquoise boho dress in a gorgeous silk/cotton with pretty lace detailing. I’ve cinched it at the waist with a belt to define one of my smaller parts, added chocolate brown tights for a more fall-ish look, and I’m wearing boots with a hidden 1″ heel to add a little lift to my short self. It’s a simple outfit, but I really love it and it’s comfy enough for doing errands with a baby and a toddler in tow. There actually is a DIY element to this outfit – underneath the dress is a simple slip that I made lat minute because of the sheerness of the dress. I’ll post a tutorial on that soon!
Seriously – I would post a picture of my house right now to show you that I’m qualified to hang up this quote on my wall, but I’d rather not.
I find that between kids, a hubby, crafting, and all of the other things this DIY Mommy loves to do that I have very little time for housework… and I really don’t mind. As long as there aren’t dust bunnies in every corner, I’m content.
Yes. I do have a wee bit of an obsession with all things IKEA. The prices work well for my little decor budget, and I’ve been really getting into “hacking” and glamourizing items from there! A few weeks ago, I added a bit of excitement to a plan IKEA doormat with leftover paint from this project that I want to share with you today: painting a “Bekvam” kitchen cart! I’ve painted furniture before, but since then I’ve learned a few more tips on how to make painted furniture look even better. Plus, I’ve simplified the process here by using a paint+primer product.
sander (my husband was kind enough to lend me his power sander)
mini foam roller
Sand the piece well. I had used my cart for a few years prior to painting it, so I had to sand it quite a lot to get the dents and dings out.
Paint the cart with one thin coat of paint + primer. I used a foam roller on the flat parts and had to use a small foam brush on the hard-to-reach parts (in between the wooden slats on the shelves and the interior corners).
Let the paint dry for at least 2 hours.
Repeat with a second thin coat of paint + primer and let dry for at least 2 hours.
Paint the cart with a thin coat of Varathane using a foam brush. Use long, even strokes. Let the cart dry for at least 3 hours and then sand it very lightly if there are any brush strokes or bubbles.
Repeat with a final coat of Varathane. This clear top coat protects the paint and makes the cart feel smooth and finished!
Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.
I’m working on giving my master bedroom a little makeover this spring. I love the look of decorative cushions in fun colours, and they do wonders for changing the look of a room! These pillow covers were based off of a pillow cover I had purchased with a buttoned opening on the back. I loved the buttons so much that I decided that the buttons should be on the front side!
This tutorial is really simple. I found the hardest parts were ensuring the measurements were correct and sewing the button holes (I avoid any type of closure sewing – buttons, zippers, all of them). But once you make one, you’ll want to make a half dozen for your home! They are a quick little project to brighten up your living room, your baby’s room, or your bedroom.
Square pillow form
1/2 yard cotton decor fabric (or a full yard if your pillow is larger than 16 inches)
3 buttons (3/4″ to 1″ wide)
I purchased my fabric for this project from fabric.com:
Measure your pillow form from end to end. For my master bedroom project so far, I purchased and measured one 20″ pillow form and two 17″ pillow forms.
One side of the pillow is plain, so cut one square of fabric that is ONE INCH larger than your pillow form measurement (to allow for 1/2″ seam allowances). If you want to center a pattern from your fabric on the pillow, keep this in mind when cutting (above, I centered a yellow flower on the back piece).
Multiply your pillow width by 0.66 (2/3). Add 6″ to this measurement (for a seam allowance and fold + an extra 3″ to go beneath the large piece for the button placket). This is the width your large front piece, which is approximately 2/3 of the pillow width (the length is the same as your back piece/pillow form length). The button holes will go on the hemmed edge of this piece. Measure twice and cut once, keeping in mind fabric pattern placement!
Multiply your pillow width by 0.33 (1/3). Add 3″ to this measurement (for a seam allowance and fold) . This is the width your small front piece, which is approximately 1/3 of the pillow width (the length is the same as your back piece/pillow form length). The buttons will be sewn on the hemmed edge of this piece. Measure twice and cut once!
Now you will be sewing the large hems on the front pieces for the button placket. On each front piece, using the side that is the regular pillow form width, turn the raw edge over 1/2″ and press. Then, turn again 2 1/2″. Press. Sew along this hem, approximately 1/8″ from the fold.
Lay the larger piece over top of the small piece with the hems facing eachother. The large piece should then overlap the smaller piece by 2 1/2″, covering the lower piece’s hem. Pin at the ends to secure, then stay-stitch the ends 1/4″ from the raw edges.
Now, lay this front piece over the previously cut back piece, right sides together. The nice thing about this project is that if you measured the front pieces incorrectly, you can trim either side at this point to match the front piece! Pin around the perimeter, then sew the pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim the corners at an angle (this gives a nice crisp corner when turned right-side-out).
Turn the pillow right-side-out through the opening. Poke the corners out. Next, find the center of the top button placket using a measuring tape. Mark the center with a pin near the hem sewing line. Using another pin, mark your button’s width directly below that (example: if your button measures 3/4″ inch, put a pin 3/4″ below the first pin) to mark where your button hole begins and ends.
I unfortunately have a manual button holer on my machine, so I have to use this marking process. If you have an automatic button holer – bonus! Follow the directions on your machine to make the button holes.
Then, use the same pin-marking technique to place one button hole centered between this middle button hole and the edge of the pillow. Repeat for the other side.
Hand-stitch the buttons on the lower placket by measuring in the same manner and marking with pins. Center them vertically on the lower piece’s hem.
And, voila! You are finished. Press the pillow cover if you wish, and place the pillow form inside. Button it up & make a few more. So pretty!
Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.