Saturday, November 5, 2011

warning: baby stuff ahead

I normally skim over (or avoid altogether) any crafts/DIY/products on the blogosphere related to babies or small children. I've only been to three or four baby showers in my life, two of which were for my baby niece (photo here). She's the only babe in my life at the moment, though, and I haven't ventured into these kind of projects for her yet. So I was sorta out of my element when I decided to make something by hand for my colleague's baby shower next week. Definitely the first time "baby shower DIY" has graced my Google search history. But hey, it wasn't too bad.

Swaddling wrap/tie blanket and matching burp cloths

My co-worker and her husband have chosen not to learn the gender of the baby before he/she is born. I'm all for this idea, because I'm not a fan of most of the gender-specific items sold in stores. Some of it can be pretty awful. Anyway, for my projects I chose flannel with a blue palette, but only because I like blue, not because I hope the baby is a boy. At least it's birds and trees, not cars and trucks or something.

I have plenty more photos of these items after the jump:

This baby wrap/swaddling blanket was inspired by a tutorial at Shannon Makes Stuff. She used two flannel receiving blankets, but I bought some flannel yardage that I cut to 30" x 30" each. I didn't take photos of the process at all because I initially cut my bird fabric with the intention of making the swaddling wrap pattern from Prudent Baby. I decided I liked Shannon's version a little better, so through trial & error I found a way to change all the shapes of my fabric to work for hers instead.

Here's how it all unfolds:

Untie the knot

Open up "wings"

Unfold left side of main blanket

Unfold right side

Unfold bottom

Place a baby down on top of the main blanket and fold it up in reverse order. Then watch 'em fall asleep, snug as a bug in a rug. The stitched rectangle you see above is how the swaddle part is attached to the main blanket. This creates a large pocket between the two layers that can carry other necessities or secure some extra padding for baby's head while they're in there.

I followed Sew She Sews' tutorial to make coordinating burp cloths. I don't know much about this baby stuff, but apparently standard burp cloths are not that absorbent. She decided that cloth diapers could do the trick, but they always fell off her shoulder-- which led to ruined clothes. With a flannel backing, though, these diapers stick better to mama's clothing and better absorb baby's messy moments.

One yard of fabric and one pack of cloth diapers

Pin diaper to right side of fabric

Stitch close to edge, leaving a gap to turn

Trim excess fabric. Don't trim diaper since the weave is loose.

Turn right side out

Press the edges. Press under the seams at the gap to be top-stitched together later.

Stitch along the two vertical seams that already exist on the diaper

Stitch close to the edge, all the way around. This will close the gap.

Ready to burp

They can fit in the blanket's pocket! How convenient.

I hope they find these useful, or at least cute.


Project linked to: