Today, another project from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby— a little stuffed, easy-for-baby-to-hold toy/rattle. I think I’ll call him Gus. Hubby says he looks like a reindeer; I say he’s a giraffe. Either way, he’s cute, and Mr. S loves jamming him into his mouth.
Yet again, as the name of the book suggests, a very easy craft. If I didn’t have to fuss with the slip stitch closure, I would have been done in a half hour. Next time I’ll be sure to leave enough material at the bottom to leave a large portion folded under for easier sewing. I was actually considering sewing it closed with a zig zag stitch, and then finishing up with some embroidery to match the eyes and nose.
I put a bell in it, but because of the all the stuffing, the sound is muffled, so it actually just produces a dull plastic rattling. It needs to be a bell inside of a ball–something that would work in a dog toy. Next time I think I’ll just skip the bell altogether. This is a great way to use up scraps, which I think I will do and make a little army of giraffes for Mr. S.
On a related note, I’ve heard you can stuff toys with dryer lint. Does anyone have any experience with this? Can you wash it?
Craft Month continues with — Ribon Mobiles! You thought I forgot, didn’t you?! Nope, just a bit delayed as we had to run out and pick up a forgotten Sophie from Auntie Calla’s. Someone’s teething!
I made Mr. S two ribbon mobiles à la Martha Stewart. Super easy to make, just a bit finicky and time consuming, as projects with a glue gun often are. You need no sewing skills–just ribbon, glue and an embroidery hoop. Just take the inside ring of the hoop and glue ribbons of various colours and lengths around the perimeter. I highly recommend it as a shower gift that doesn’t take much work, but is sure to impress.
My tips: remember to slightly singe the ends of the ribbon so they don’t fray. Second, I think Martha says to use white glue, but the glue gun was just much faster, especially when you’re using satin ribbon that’s slippery. Third, because you can’t really see from Martha’s picture (I remember having a dilemma about this and asking Hubby for his opinion is never a good idea), I’d recommend folding each ribbon in half so you have an equal amount of the right side of the ribbon facing both the outside and inside of the mobile. Baby’s mostly looking at the inside, but you can keep the outside looking nice for yourself as well.
The embroidery hoops are cheap–less than 5 dollars a piece. The ribbon can run you a bit, especially if you don’t have a stash already. I bought some at Fabricland by the metre–small amounts of the thicker ones or pretty ones that I really wanted. The rest I bought on spools at Zellers (like Target) for about 20 bucks. If you make them monochromatic like I did, it’s easy to make them look more dramatic by using small amounts of the patterned or textured ribbons (more expensive) and filling the rest out with just plain, one-coloured ribbon. Experiment with the lengths and with the way you cut the ribbon. I cut some straight, some angled, and some with double points.
The first one I made is a large, red and aqua one to hang over his crib. Mr. S is a co-sleeping kind of guy, so he only started spending time in his crib recently, mostly when I’m sewing at the table next to him. Still, every once in a while we put him in the crib and he’s mesmerized it.
The second one I made as an afterthought. I was going down the checklist of things you need when you have a new baby, and one of the things the Sears‘ mentioned was a black and white mobile above the change table. Our change table is the dryer (equipped with a change pad on top), but luckily there’s a curtain rod right above it from which we could hang the mobile. I bought a slightly smaller embroidery hoop because I was sure we wouldn’t really need it, so I didn’t want to spend too much money on it. Boy, was I wrong! This is an essential for a new mom and dad! This mobile is the single most amazing thing Samson has ever seen. His eyes learned to track on it; it was the first thing he smiled at (even before his parents). When you’d take him to get changed in the night he’d take one look at it after waking up and smile the most adorable, lazy, little half-asleep smile. Seriously, nothing can calm this baby or make him as happy as this mobile–even now, at 4 months.
It’s Februrary; it’s chilly; we’re all trying to maintain a sense of organization and productivity after our initial resolution fever. I didn’t make any specific resolutions this year, but I got a new phone and a renewed appreciation for Google Tasks; I can see no better way to beat the February blues than to settle into winter with some fabric, wool, needles, and my sewing machine. I’m getting some stuff done.
From Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing for Baby, the tag blankie is an easy, quick, cute craft to make for your little one–I made mine in under an hour while Samson was in his crib, occupied with his mobile. It’s especially good for babies that are just learning to grab things–they aren’t co-ordinated enough to properly grab toys, but will quite successfuly grab at their bib, their blanket, or your hair (ouch!). Samson lights up when he sees his, and talks to it for…well not hours, we’re talking about a BABY here–but solid minutes are happily spent chatting with this thing. It’s also great to drape over the back seat so he has something to look at when he’s in his carseat, and to stuff in your purse for a distraction when you’re on the go.
I made mine out of a printed cotton that’s mostly black and white, because Samson’s most drawn to that combination, but I brightened it up with multi-coloured ribbons (rather than the monochromatic ribbon combination Lotta used). I repeated the coloured ribbons on each side in a different order, but anchored it all with a thicker ribbon in the corners in a yellow that matches the cotton. It’s washable and goes in the dryer. It’s definitely something I would include as a gift for a new mom.
People constantly ask us where we bought it. Make yourself one too, and you’ll be able to say proudly: I made it myself.
Partly as a de-stash, partly as a thing to keep myself occupied, February is Craft Month here at TinyPants. Mr. S and a startling number of wedding albums to design keep me from making a bold craft-a-day sort of claim, but rest assured, I have a plethora of fun crafts lined up to share with you. Hope you come back February 1st!