51GnRuj1DGL. SX300  Custom Tot Tutors Book Rack I got this Tot Tutors book rack for the playroom last week. Seems like an easy way for Miss A. to take her own books out, when she feels like reading. It’s not as big as it looks, only 28×28″ (71x71cm). The colors are cute, but I knew they weren’t really going to match my ideas for the playroom, so I decided to make new ‘shelves’.

An fairly easy project, just 5 pieces of fabric, but my major problems is always that I can’t sew a straight line. They always end up wobbly or slanted. Ugh. Any tips? The problem starts with not being able to cut straight with the ruler and rotary cutter. I follow seam guide lines, but my sewing is never as straight as I’d like. Even when drawing erasable lines….Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Fabric:
– 1 yard of Bohemian Charms in Cream – Bijoux by Bari J
– the yellow is a vintage fabric I got at a recent ASG estate sale.
– white flannel (lining)

tottutors book rack1 Custom Tot Tutors Book Rack

tottutors book rack2 Custom Tot Tutors Book Rack

 

 

The first 2 months of my daughter’s life I used a zipperless tote from the hospital as a diaper bag. Needless to say that wasn’t really working and I was done with being a billboard for my L&D hospital. I refused to buy a diaper bag, most of them are ugly and if not, then they are way too expensive.

With travel plans ahead of us, I decided I needed to make the biggest possible carry-on/diaper bag for on the plane. I chose the Cargo Duffle bag by Noodlehead (free pattern) and finished it early December.

supertote6 188x188 SHB diaper supertoteThis worked well both on the plane and afterwards as a carry-everything bag. Great for all things baby, but pretty big (more on that bag in another blog). So I knew that at some point I would want to make ‘another’ diaper bag. The Super Tote pattern by Noodlehead became the one. My second and only other make for the SHB sew-along! I almost finished it on April 30th, but needed a seam roll to be able to press the exterior well before sewing the lining in).

(I must admit I recently saw the Aragon diaper bag pattern by Sew Sweetness and may have to try that one too. Bag making is addictive. Bags never were addictive to me, I’m a one bag kind of person, so the 3 bags I’ve made are basically the only bags I’ve got).

Materials I’ve used: Kaufman Essex Linen and Koi, Pennants Waving quilting cotton for the exterior, various fabrics for the lining (all fabric was stash fabric, hurray!). Various thicknesses of interfacing (SF101 and Pellon Craft Fuse 808), elastic and a key swivel.

supertote10 SHB diaper supertote

So bright and cheerful and unlike the diaper bags in the stores.

supertote2 494x329 SHB diaper supertote

I wasn’t sure how often I was gonna need this large front pocket, but today on the first day of using the bag, I already put something in it!

supertote3 494x329 SHB diaper supertote supertote4 494x329 SHB diaper supertote

supertote5 SHB diaper supertote

I added an extra pocket for a bottle or sippy cup. Why oh why is the front sagging on top (between the handles)? Is it, because I didn’t reinforce the lining? Or does the 2 layers of interfacing not do the job?

supertote7 SHB diaper supertote

I only realized while editing these pictures that I made a mistake with the gusset pleat, because it looks funny. Oh well….I’m letting go of my sewing perfection. Perfection takes away all pleasure for me, so I’d rather finish and be happy with something imperfect, than spend hours being frustrated. Perfection is an impossible goal anyways.

supertote8 329x494 SHB diaper supertote

Soon after finishing I discovered this ‘dead pixel’. Ugh. It wasn’t there while sewing…

supertote9 494x329 SHB diaper supertote

supertote 157x188 SHB diaper supertoteI love recessed zippers. I got this mint green heart fabric from my grandma’s stash. I didn’t think I would ever use it, but it’s the perfect match! The pictures don’t really show it very well, but some of the waving pennants are mint green.

This bag seems huge next to me, but we’ll have to see how it works out in person. I only want to carry one bag, so it will have to fit a few of my personal items too. So far so good!

SHBsewalongbadge11 Small Human Being sew alongWhen I read about the Small Human Being (SHB) sew-along on Polkadotoverload, a blog I’ve been somewhat silently reading the past few years, I immediately knew I wanted to take part in this sew-along in the month of April. The sew-along is also organized by Cation Designs and Clio & Phineas. Sewing together and having a deadline makes it easier for me to finish things.

Or that’s what I thought…because in reality April went by so quickly, in my head I’m still making more plans for the sew-along :). Teething and an arthritis flare-up were what April was about…together with lots of fun: jumping in the exersaucer, reading at home, singing in the library, making all sort of baby food and in all honesty, also enough challenges.

April wasn’t so much about sewing. After cooking meals, laundry and dishes, there isn’t enough energy in the day to make me sew. Somehow it was easier for me to sew when my daughter was 2 months old (still have to blog quite a couple of projects), than now that she’s 7 months old…. I also haven’t read that many blogs lately, I mostly just look at the pictures. I’m really trying to sew a little every day, even if it’s just 15 min. Something I read about on VintageModernQuilts and I quit like that idea!

kansi 143x188 Small Human Being sew alongBack to the SHB sew-along: I got really excited about this sew-along when I saw the prizes. A subscription to Ottobre magazine (a Finnish children’s pattern magazine) is just such a cool price! The Scandinavian style and versatile patterns are a welcome change from the other US children’s patterns that seem to be the standard for handmade and I see all around the web and in little boutiques. I just can’t bring myself to dress my daughter in ruffle pants and these kind of outfits: see here, here and here.

Alright here’s my first make for the SHB! At the top of the baby sewing list were bibs. We were in dire need of them for a couple of weeks, when I finally sat down on a Friday evening 3 weeks ago to make a few.

I think I could still use a few more. The pattern is copied from a bib I got from a friend and my baby well. I’ve sewn a lot of baprons in the past and have several cut, ready to be sewn, but my dislike for bias tape is growing every single sewing project….

bibs1 494x368 Small Human Being sew along

5 bib fronts

bibs2 494x368 Small Human Being sew along

and 5 bib backs (so reversible if I like)

Here are the bibs in action, we tried many new foods this month, including:

bib 330x494 Small Human Being sew along

avocado: deemed OK, right between carrots (like) and peas (dislike)

bib31 494x329 Small Human Being sew along

and pear: though she seemed very offended by the taste & texture, she really enjoys eating it now, as do mommy&daddy :), taste just like Festini pear ice, but better.

bib2 329x494 Small Human Being sew along

Gotta wear the right bib with the matching food :).

p02jb97w e1424794301931 The Great British Sewing Bee s3The Great British Sewing Bee is back! Oh, how I love this show! :)

Apparently though I seem to have missed the second season…that’s a bummer, as I can’t find it anywhere online…

(update: you can watch season 2 here!)

With a proxy you can watch the third season on the BBC website or else, here on Youtube (the top banner is annoying, but if you watch full screen it’s fine). Happy watching!

I know there is currently a Dutch version of this show on RTL4 (Door het Oog van de Naald), it’s OK (in case my proxy works), but not quite as enjoyable. Also, I’m no saint myself, but there is so much vulgar language in it, it’s quite disturbing. The Great British Sewing Bee: it’s that BBC quality that no other channel can quite deliver!

p02j8pn2 The Great British Sewing Bee s3

I would have liked adding a summary of the things I’ve made in 2014, but that doesn’t make much sense if that means an exact copy paste of my last 10 blog posts :P. I guess adding a baby and renovating a nest to that list, does make it my most productive year ever ;).

Instead of focusing on my lack of sewn items, I’ve made a summary of (more or less) everything I’ve made since 2011. Motivating myself to keep creating, as little as it might be and as slow as it might go. Hoping to one day put my sewing machine, serger, embroidery machine and all those Craftsy classes I signed up for, to good use.

Check my full list of finished projects here.

finished items neenkster Finished projects

With baby girl in my life, it’s a wonder if I have time to make something, so when I do, I don’t necessarily have time to make pictures of blog about it. Here’s a overview of things I’ve made the last couple of months.

Bumble Bee

I finished this bee 2 hours before my water broke! Great timing :).
I added a squeaker insert from this shop to the body.

The pattern is from FrugalHaus.com, but it contains many mistakes.

bee XXL pleather bumblebee

Pleather Mary Jane’s

Too bad I only realized after making these that fake leather = pleather = PVC leather or else I would have never made these. Ugh, I thought PVC wasn’t used in consumer products anymore… :-/.

Pattern drafted with help of this tutorial. Getting both to look the same was the hardest part. Also at first they reminded me of unflattering wooden shoes. They never stayed on very well, they kept slipping off, even though I think they were fitted pretty well, so she never wore them that much.

10838548 1521021641487230 1770821055 n XXL pleather bumblebee

XXL Changing Mat

Public changing tables are gross. With an transatlantic flight scheduled, I knew I had to make a real big mat so my baby wouldn’t be able to touch anything. The mat is 25×30″ (64x76cm). The back is PUL (polyurethane laminate), so waterproof. Pretty nice, if she decides to soil the mat, which happened more than a few times already.

Let’s not look too long at the crooked front. Not sure how it happened…again.

Tutorial by HowJoyful, although I made the mat bigger.

changingmat copy XXL pleather bumblebee

Fleece winterhat

A Texas baby visiting the Netherlands needs a warm hat!

Pattern from Fleecefun.com.

10661114 679748868807536 737545137 n XXL pleather bumblebee

fleecehat XXL pleather bumblebee

Crib sheets

IMG 9981 XXL pleather bumblebee

IMG 9978 125x188 XXL pleather bumblebee cribsheet lizzy house 125x188 XXL pleather bumblebee

Left: 2 yards of Annette Tatum – Suzani Flower, bought from Studio25Fabrics.

Right: 2 yards of  Lizzy House – Catnap

Heart amigurumi

Free pattern here. heart XXL pleather bumblebee

Frog teether clip

Pattern: Frog pacifier clip by Susan B. Anderson

Gift for Vera’s newborn who gifted us beautifully knit booties!

kikker2 XXL pleather bumblebee

Dachshund Sam

Pattern: Teckeltje Sam (free) by Stip & Haak

I used lovely DMC Natura 100% cotton for this toy, bought at Boekblad in Maarssen.

I need to find a better way to attach the head as it keeps being ripped off, haha. I made the toy especially to fit a larger rattle insert, only to find out…it didn’t fit. I ended up inserting 2 rattles, so it makes more noise.

teckel2 XXL pleather bumblebee

teckel1 XXL pleather bumblebee

Emergency Diaper Bag

I whipped this up right before our trip, but still need to take pictures!

I would have loved to sew my girl her first Christmas dress, but I just don’t have the time…

I then found this summer dress at a resale shop on clearance for $1.75 (!) and liked the idea of pimping instead of starting from scratch. Ripped off the ‘worn’ ladybug (I never knew these were also called lady birds!) and the sunflowers…

baby dress refashion before Refashioned baby dress

Looked in my huge ribbon&trim stash, but of course I had nothing that would work…JoAnns was there to help. After finding a pretty combination of 2 trims (for $3.18), I asked the cutting lady how would I sew it onto the dress? “Probably by hand” she said. “That makes sense” I agreed.

Then I went home and turned on my sewing machine and stitched it on! Well…in an ideal world that would have happened the same day but in a baby-world I needed to change a diaper and nurse and change the diaper again :). I have no time for hand sewing. It might be good that I have hardly any time, because it makes for much faster decisions and sewing…and blogging!

Tadaa!

baby dress refashion after Refashioned baby dress

The black sequin trim looks kind of harsh in the picture, but not in real life!

baby dress refashion after 2 Refashioned baby dress

Tiny white tights – check!
Black or white cardigan or long sleeve – keeping my eyes open for one.
Cutesie shoes – not sure yet, may have to make them, because no way that I’ll find those for a she’ll-only-wear-those-once price!

pixel Refashioned baby dress