Wednesday, April 30, 2014

handmade for baby: miniature wardrobe for...

little baby GIRL! I've been busy at my sewing machine ever since I found out that I'm having a baby girl. Which has, of course, inspired me to start sewing dresses!

I started by making an itty bitty baby dress (pattern from Made by Rae) I decided to make it out of some organic cotton jersey and I added a little placket to the front, complete with rick rack and tiny red buttons. I also made the skirt like a bubble skirt because my fabric was quite lightweight.

Next, I moved onto another Made by Rae pattern--the Geranium Dress! I also drafted a peter pan collar to add onto this soft corduroy number. Oh, and I couldn't resist adding little contrasting orange snaps to the back.

While on a roll with dressmaking, I drafted a pattern for a yellow knit dress with long sleeves. To add a little detail, I made a striped button placket in the front, also making it easier to get on/off.

All of this dressmaking made in sizes newborn-3 months, got me thinking about what to pair these outfits with. The result: Just Hatched Leggings with heart knee patches made out of a dreamy wool interlock. Then I remembered I had another pair of Monkey Leggings (from One-Yard Wonders) cut out, but not yet sewn together. I got right to stitching up them up! I stenciled the grey fabric with little white clouds, and decided on green for the bum gusset.

If all of this sewing wasn't quite enough, I moved onto two more little newborn sized projects: a sleeper with little strawberries and a polka dot dress! I found this free pattern for the sleeper and which then inspired me to draft the dress pattern. The strawberry knit fabric on the sleeper sleeves is my favorite (a Heather Ross design).

xo CBB
p.s. see more little works in progress on my instagram

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

more fun with paper

While I've had my paper crafting supplies out, I couldn't resist a few projects just for fun...

Tutorial for the bunnies here.

If only the weather would get on board with my springy crafting---it snowed here again last night. I'm so ready for it to be green!

xo CBB

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pattern Peek

I'll take a little break from sharing baby clothes to share with you my other recent creative endeavor--designing pattern envelopes for my patterns. I hope at some point to offer print and not just digital patterns. For right now I want to be sure to have some cohesive branding/packaging even if they're purely digital. As I was trying to fall asleep the other night it occurred to me that I could illustrate using paper cutouts--and that is exactly what I've been working on!

I'm so thrilled to have devised a way to spend less time staring at my computer screen. I enjoy the creative design process a lot more if it's tactile rather than purely digital. Don't get me wrong there are functions on the computer which are invaluable (the ability to undo/redo is pretty swell). I just feel like it's easier for me to design with traditional media. I'd chose a pair of scissors and paper any day over hours of using the pen tool in Illustrator, but I'm thankful to know how to do both. I'll be adding my logo and the title of the pattern in Photoshop once I scan these designs in, but for now here is a little look into my process...

xo CBB

Saturday, April 12, 2014

handmade for baby: colorblock cardi

Kids Clothes Week is keeping me super inspired! So last night/this morning I designed and stitched up this little cardigan. I loved the idea of making layers that are easy to put on/take off and so I came up with this pattern for a colorblocked snap up cardigan using a onesie to gauge the measurements.

For the most part it was an easy project---the rib knit gave me a bit of trouble but once I switched to a larger needle it was a breeze. I'm in love with the little details on this one. Plastic snaps are SO easy to put in and are so cute. I also am so glad that I used some turquoise Mettler silk finish thread (my favorite kind!) for the topstitching (even though switching back and forth between threads as I was sewing was a little bit of a pain).

I am having an ultrasound on Friday and I plan to find out if the little one is a boy or a girl. Then I'll know if I can stitch up some little dresses too! 

xo CBB

Friday, April 11, 2014

handmade for baby: scratch mitts or holy moly how tiny!

Babies require tiny things. I think nothing I've made so far has struck me quite like these for their tininess. I used this tutorial from Speckled Owl Studio and found the only change I had to make was to cut the mitt part about 1/4" smaller because my ribbing cuff just wasn't as stretchy. They were really quick to whip up and so very fun, too! I made two pairs to start but I might have to make more just for the thrill of making something so tiny (and thinking of the tiny hands I'll be slipping them on! oh my!)
xo CBB

Thursday, April 10, 2014

handmade for baby: all sorts of baby clothes

As I discover with each new clothing project---sewing with knits is not so bad (I'm starting to love them actually) I've been definitely shopping around for cotton knit fabrics to add to my previously non-existent stash. So far I've cranked out a few (okay, maybe more than a few) little shirts since they are so tiny and quick. I started by making one that had a pattern instead of having to draft my own. I discovered this treasure trove of a website that has lots of nice (free) patterns on it. I made an envelope neck long sleeve shirt in the 6 month size. It came together quite nicely and I moved onto making this size 9 month shroomy shirt that has 3/4 length sleeves (because I wanted to make the most of the 1/2 yd of cute cute fabric). I'm making clothes in a variety of sizes so that everything isn't immediately outgrown. This pattern and tutorial were well written. (I highly recommend it!)

Then I moved on to the world of drafting patterns using an existing shirt (now that I had one!) I found this adorable tutorial which produced my most favorite garment to offset raglan tee with snaps! Again, this one was incredibly thorough and I liked doing the binding around the placket. I chose jersey knit for the body and sleeves and a baby rib for the binding which worked like a dream. I chose to set in snaps even though putting in buttonholes with my Husqvarna is so easy, I don't like the idea that a button could fall off and get eaten. My downstairs neighbors did not appreciate the hammering involved with setting snaps. Oops.

With all this new confidence in my sewing with knits ability, I've started to play around with patterns a little more. I saw this pattern for a kimono shirt and knew that I wanted to make newborn sized shirts like it. So with a baby size chart with measurements in hand, I drafted pattern pieces to make tiny tees! They go very nicely with the tiny pants my mom has knit for the baby.

I've even become confident enough to start making my own original patterns! The first is a baby romper with two different neck styles and sleeve styles. I started by making the envelope neck, long sleeve version and was so pleased I started dreaming up other possibilities. Then, this raglan sleeved romper with a snap placket was created which has upstaged the offset shirt as my fave. It was my first time making a placket and certainly not my last--I have already been scheming other uses for my newly learned skill. I'm hoping to get my act together and offer the pattern in my shop (soon!!).

Oh and then one last project to share for today-- A sleeper sack made from some seriously adorable fabric that says "les amis de la foret" with lots of little woodland creatures. I found this tutorial to be quite well written and I've already cut out another one that my mom is going to sew up.

I've also shared all of these recent projects over at Kids Clothes Week--are you sewing along this week too? It's my first time participating and I love how inspiring it is to see everyone's projects!
xo CBB

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

handmade for baby: baby pants or how I overcame my fear of knits

Seriously though. I had this fear/hatred/horror at the thought of sewing with knit fabric. I think some of it stems from how frustrating it was to try and sew with knits as a beginner and just felt like no matter how hard I tried, everything came out wonky.

That was at least ten years ago, and my sewing skills/craftsmanship have come a long ways since then--but I still avoided sewing knits like the plague. I revisited the idea of giving them another chance as I thought about what kinds of clothes I wanted for a newborn and of course having some soft, snuggly, stretchy pants were in order. I selected the Monkey Leggings pattern from  Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, since the contrasting bum gusset was too cute to pass up. Also it's simplicity and mere 3 pieces plus cuffs made it an attractively easy project for someone so wary of jersey knit.

Both of my fabrics I picked up at my local Joann fabrics--the turquoise one is 100% cotton and the gray has a bit of added Lycra to hold it's shape. I cut them out carefully with my nice, sharp Ginghers, I put in a proper ball point needle intended for knit fabric, and set my machine to do an overlock stitch and eased up the pressure of the presser foot, used an ample number of pins, and-- it WORKED. I made baby pants. Out of knit fabric. They look nice and professional. I didn't need a serger (always thought that might be the key to my knit fabric woes) and I already have another grey pair cut out, stenciled with little clouds, and ready to be assembled. (This is in addition to a version I whipped up out of wool interlock (so cozy!) and a fun pair made by my mom in a print.)

It felt so good to have success this time around (good thing, I have many more knit projects on my list!) Now I have this need to buy so many knit fabrics to add to my stash dominated by fat quarters for quilting. Seriously, I've spent hours online looking at all the knit fabrics money can buy. It's a little sad that previously my stash only had ONE jersey knit in it left over from making an infinity scarf a few years back. Clearly lacking.

So, do you have any secrets to sewing knit fabric with success? I'd love to hear them!

xo CBB

Sunday, April 6, 2014

handmade for baby: the master list

As soon as I found out I was expecting I spent many hours trying to learn as much as I could about taking care of babies. One of the big things was figuring out just what did I really need for a baby. There are many baby things out there that would be nice to have I'm sure, and some things that just seem frivolous (wipe warmers, anyone?). I'm definitely going the cost effective route and trying to make as many things myself, that I possibly can.

So after lots of research and making decisions about sleeping, diapering, baby wearing, etc. I've come up with my "master list" which is really just one big checklist of all the things I want to make. I'm a list person--it helps me feel organized and it keeps me motivated knowing the satisfaction of checking each item off!

This is really a starting point for me, I'm trying to stay prioritized so that this child doesn't end up with 20 different toys and hardly a wardrobe to speak of. Ideally, I'd like to make even more, but we will see just how much I can complete before September rolls around!

Here's my list of Things to Make for Baby:

I've already made quite a bit of progress and as of today my list looks like this:

 I'm looking forward to this week coming up because it is my first Kids Clothes Week that I am participating in! Which should help me to keep making more tiny clothes for the tiny babe!
xo CBB

Saturday, April 5, 2014

the best best best news

So I've had a bit of exciting news (okay more than exciting--SO thrilled!) that I've been keeping a bit secret for the past few weeks. Now I'm ready to share with everybody that come September, me and my guy are going to be a family of 3!!!! I'm over the moon that we are going to have a little baby.

Of course I've already started making lots of baby things(how could I resist--everything is so sweet when made for a baby, the tininess of it all, oh goodness!) Many more posts on this subject, I most certainly promise.

But for now, I just want to enjoy every minute of being pregnant (as much as possible, it's not exactly comfortable, as I'm finding out) and keep looking forward to this precious little one joining our family.

xo CBB