Friday, October 05, 2012

creative baby projects

well, it looks like another summer has come and gone and i feel like i barely have anything to show for it (creative-wise)!  but i have been busy in the past few weeks making and embellishing baby clothes and making a quilt all in preparation for baby #3!  it's a boy (you can tell by the blue-grey-red-brown theme below) and he's due december 30.

i was bitten by the sewing bug when i realized that i really really hate boy clothes.  as soon as i found out i was having a boy, i went to the mall and started browsing the very unfamiliar territory that is BOY clothing.  walking into each store, i immediately, out of habit, would veer to the bright, pink, colorful, frilly GIRL stuff that i am used to buying for my two girls.  it was weird venturing to the boy side of each store after all these years!  and what i found is that boy clothing is dominated by trucks, airplanes, cars, zoo animals, sports and cheesy "mommy's little rock star" type sayings splayed across the chest.

so i decided to take matters into my own hands and make some things that i thought were a little bit more my style.  when he's older, of course he'll be able to choose his own clothing.  but for now he'll be sporting a mix of randomness that appeals to my creative, artist eye.  so i searched on etsy for ideas and found some very cute applique patterns.  the VW bug above comes from kip & fig and they have the most awesome PDF patterns i have ever seen.  clean and crisp designs that have a very modern feel.  i'm not all that into "cutesy"  so it was nice to find some fun designs to spice up a few plain onesies!

i also rummaged through my collection of vintage baby/toddler sewing patterns and i found one from the 50s that included a cute kimono-style top.  for the fabric, i reused an old, flannel baby blanket and bought some bias tape from the fabric store.  the blue pjs are made from a pattern and fabric i found at the thrift store for $3 (total)!

the onesies have been fun to work with, too.  i received a bunch of 0-6 month sized clothes from a friend, but they were mostly short sleeved.  my baby is due in december, so i needed warmer attire.  instead of donating them, i took some of the sleeves off of the clothes that weren't quite my style and added them to the short sleeve onesies.  and i added fabric patches from the left-over fabric i had from his quilt.

the quilt was another fun adventure in sewing.  i chose mostly fabric from joel dewberry and a little bit from amy butler to make a navy-aqua-grey-black-and-yellow creation.

my boy style is definitely all over the map!  i really do love the sweet, baby blue hues with cute and simple animals.  above was a thrifted onesie embellished with a fabric patch made from a flannel baby blanket (the kind you find in 4-packs at target or baby stores.  i think they are called receiving blankets. you can also just use flannel fabric)

and here i jump to bright, primary colors!  the red top has sleeves added to it from fabric made from my daughter's leggings that she had outrgown.  the patch and star is from fabric i had on hand.  the panda and polka dots were found in my fabric scrap pile.  this is a great way to alter shirts with stains or that have images or words that you don't like.  (for me, it was probably a fire truck and "mommy loves me." not to say i don't love my baby, but i don't need a shirt to say it for me!)

another applique from kip & fig.  they range from complicated (like the VW bug) to very simple (like the rabbit above--if you couldn't tell.  i kind of sewed the outline a bit wonky.  i'm still learning!)

and this is just an owl applique that i drew myself.  the polka dot fabric is from a thirfted flannel baby blanket and the other pieces were scraps.  to get the applique really secure, i used the sewable kind of heat-and-bond that you can get at any fabric or craft store.  so once you trace your pattern onto the heat-and-bond, you iron it sticky side down to the back side of the fabric and then cut the pieces out, peel the paper backing and iron everything in place onto the shirt.  i sew around the edges to define the image and also to secure it in place.  they also make a non-sewable heat-and-bond for thicker fabrics or for when you don't want a sewn look (like the VW bug above).

so that's that!  i still have a few things baby things that i recently bought at the thrift store that i'd like to add to.  it's been nice to have these projects to connect to the arrival of my baby.  what things did you do (creative or otherwise) to prepare for a new baby?


  1. Congratulations Nicole! I am really impressed with your upcycling for baby. One nice thing is that older textiles have been washed so they should be super soft. Babies go through sizes so quickly at that age that getting gently used clothing is just plain SMART.

    The quilt is GORGEOUS! LOVE the colours!

    Having a son will be a whole new world of experiences for you. Just be prepared for lots of trips to the ER-as a mother of an only child son, I can tell you, they get banged up alot!

    I wish you a safe arrival and a healthy little guy. So happy for you!

  2. You are so clever! I love this kind of thing too. I have had 4 baby shower to attend this year alone and am so sick of the stupid slogans they put on baby clothes. Like "Mommy's little cutie" and "Am I cute or what?" so totally UN-original! That is why I make my own gifts to give at baby showers. I love what you have done Nicole! Bravo!

    Congrat's by the way-I did not realize you were pregnant. Having a son is wonderful! You will enjoy it!



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