Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blankie, a Free sewing Project

Our second child had a "Blankie"-he took it everywhere & I can only be thankful that it was only bassinet size, as in my years as a pediatric nurse I saw kids toting all manner of things, even full size single bed blankets, their mother's nighties & even one child had the bits you pulled off the band aid!

Babies & children are very tactile & so I've made this little "Blankie" in honour of my No 2 son as that's what he called his. My adaptation of the security blanket is a lot smaller & more manageable to carry around.

My daughter, whose friends are now having babies, love these little "Blankies" & I would suggest if giving as a gift to make 2 or even 3. One for home, one for the car & one for the Grand Parent's house- there will be no dramas if one gets lost or left behind!

They are quick to make & I make them up 6 at a time-they use up those smaller bits of fabric & all those ribbons you have in stash.


What you need

Paper or stabilizer to draw your pattern on. Pen or pencil.

2 pieces of fabric 30cm x 30cm ( 12")- one a satin or silky fabric the other minky or polar fleece (make sure they are washable)

Assorted ribbons 20 pieces x 7.5cm (3"). Vary your widths & textures.

sewing machine & thread

Note on fabric & ribbon choices:

Lingerie fabric & minky or polar fleeceare a good choice- both are washable & readily available.

Ribbons- largest width should be no more than 4 cm (1.5") & only 1 or 2 at this width & the narrowest is 10 mm. Have all sorts of textures & colours-as long as they are washable, they will be OK. Ribbon with wire edging should have the wires removed before using. Coloured cotton tapes work as well. Textured nylon ribbons are another good choice.

No little bits that ca
n come off, like pom poms.

Have 20 different ribbons for maximum sensations for the baby.

Let's Get To It:

Draw a square 30cm x 30cm (12").Use your paper or stabilizer, whichever you have on hand. Cut this out.

Now measure in 1cm (7/8") around all the 4 sides- seam allowance.

Fold the pattern in half, finger press, do it in both directions & place a mark with pen where these folds are.

Measure 4.5cm (1.75") either side of the centre marking, then again from those 2 markings- you should have 5 marks along the seam line- do this on all sides.

These are the ribbon placement marks.

Cut out your minky & satin fabric using the pattern you have just drawn- 1 square of each fabric.

Take the ribbons & fold in half, matching the cut edges of the ribbon to the cut edge of the fabric on the right side & using the pattern markings as your guide, pin the ribbon to the fabric, centering ribbon-if you put a wider ribbon on an end, then use a narrower ribbon on the next side which will be the closest to it.

Repeat until all ribbons pinned on.

Stitch around all 4 sides within seam allowance. Stitch again close to the first stitching- or even on top of it. Its important that the ribbons can not be pulled out.

Lay the minky/polar fleece right sides together to the satin fabric & pin all round- place 2 pins together about 9cm (3.5") to remind you to leave a gap for turning. Stitch together using a 1cm seam allowance (7/8")

Trim corners. Turn to right side. Push out the corners. Pin opening closed. Stitch around outer edge, close to seam edged using a 3.5 stitch length. Repeat stitching approx. 1cm (7/8") from first stitching.

Admire your Hany Work!

When I sew 6 at once I chain piece each side- clip apart, then do the next side- as you do in quilting.

You could embroider on the Blankie, if you like- but remember that will change the "feel" of the Blankie & another may not be able to be substituted unless you use the same design!

These are great little sellers if you have a market stall, great for baby showers & to pop in with another gift!
Please leave a comment if you enjoy my projects, so I know that someone is reading them!

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Machine Embroider on a Onesie

Machine embroidering on a Onesie, on a domestic embroidery machine, has got to be one of the most difficult items that most sewers will attempt.

Here is a tutorial on how I manage this tricky feat. This is neither the only way, nor the right way, just my way, & hopefully by me sharing my method you will have success in your endeavours.

Firstly, the easiest way to embroider on these items would be to make your own & put the embroidery on before construction.

Failing that, the next easiest way would be to undo a shoulder seam & give yourself more room to manoeuvre around in that tiny opening!

Let's face it,neither of these options is very appealing to most of us-they are cheap to buy ready made & we hate, in the main, undoing & re-doing what is already done.

That said, lets look at how we can do it without unpicking or sewing up any seams.

What You Need:
  • Onesie -it does help
  • Embroidery Sewing Machine (stating the obvious, but its in case you started to read this thinking it was for hand sewing)
  • Smallest hoop you have (my smallest is 120mm x 120mm)
  • Tear away stabilizer or heavy weight wash away-enough to fit in your hoop
  • Lightweight wash away, to use as a topper.(Solvy)
  • Iron on backing for knit fabrics (Totally Stable or similar)
  • Titanium needle or ballpoint/stretch needle size 70
  • Design, threads- usual stuff.
Just a few things here:

Ballpoint/Stretch needles will need to be changed every few garments if sewing a lot of these- the thread begins to shred as the needle blunts very quickly.

I found the titanium worked the best & while there are perforations in the fabric when I remove it from the hoop, these disappear after a launder.

If you like to adhere your item with spray- go right ahead- I personally hate the stuff & what it does to my hoops so never use it,ever. You could also use a sticky back stabilizer in the hoop, but it will gum up fairly quickly & its harder to remove after you finish. As I said- this is the way I do it, feel free to add or subtract with whatever you are comfortable doing.


Choose designs that are fairly small in size, not too stitch intensive-its hard enough getting around the neckline & the arms without having to struggle with it as well.

Designs that don't matter if they are a little crooked work really well. Butterflies, bees etc (see pic)
Do not leave the machine while it is stitching out-no matter how you pin, peg or hold back the Onesie from the sewing field they tend to keep falling in on themselves- mostly when you aren't watching & then its disaster if it sews over what it shouldn't!

Turn down the speed of the machine- you don't need to sew like a bat out of hell & it gives you more time to avert disasters.

Let the Fun Begin.

The easy stuff.
Pick your design-transfer it to the machine, pick your thread colours. Change the needle- you know the drill.

Hoop up your tear way stabilizer into your smallest hoop.

On my machine I can do a baste around of the design-if you don't have the ability to do this download a free one (google it) & add it to your design- its important you know where the design field is & how big it is.

Set the machine to do the baste of the design field (see pic-I did a darker colour so you could see it)

Remove the hoop from the machine.(do not remove stabilizer from hoop)

With some pins mark the centre of where you want the design to be on the right side of the Onesie. On the pictured one its to the left of centre.

Turn the Onesie inside out-it stays this way until you are finished.

Cut a piece of Totally Stable slightly larger than the design field- fold it in half,finger press to give a crease line,unfold & match the folded line with the pins on the Onesie. Press in place-the waxy side goes to the wrong side of the Onesie-this holds it in place & stabilizes the knit fabric.

The Tricky Bit

Leaving the Onesie inside out, place the Onesie over the stitched out design field so the right side is uppermost- you will be working through that small neck opening.

Pin the Onesie in place- make sure the pins are out of the way of the stitching line. You can pin the Solvy (topper) at this point as well but I hold the topper as I do the second baste around, just sewing slowly.

Put the hoop back on the machine & do a second baste around to hold all this in place-you may need to stop the machine to move the excess fabric out of the way-there isn't a lot of room. I hold the topper with my hands at this point & stitch it down as I go-do whatever you are the most comfortable with.

When you have basted the Onesie to the stabilizer in the hoop & the Solvy is on top- stitch out your chosen design- watching carefully as you sew, as the Onesie may creep into your design field, where its not meant to be.(ask me how I know this).

The Home Run

When the deign is finished stitching out, remove hoop from machine (don't go pulling it out or you'll end up with holes in the Onesie). Turn the hoop over & clip the basting stitches- trim any long jump bobbin threads & all other threads that need trimming.

Turn over. On the right side, trim jump stitches. Taking hold of the topper pull it up carefully so that the stitches that you cut on the wrong side release- then pull the thread out all the way round.

Tear the design away from the stabilizer after the basting threads are removed-it should come out clean. Now pull away the excess Totally Stable & you should be left with a very clean back to your work.

Check the front, remove stray bits of topper & admire your handiwork-see it wasn't all that hard after all.

Hope this has helped you understand how you can machine embroider on these tiny items & if you like you can iron a no- show backing to the reverse side of the embroidery- although I've never had a new Mother tell me the embroidery irritated the baby's skin.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, new beginnings.

Wow, what happened to the nearly month since I blogged....the time slips away so quickly. It has not been from a lack of anything happening- more likely too much.

By the time I packed up the quilt & samples & posted them off to the magazine it was well & truly Christmas time & I hadn't done any shopping or any of my usual sewing-with less than 3 weeks to go.
Running around like a headless chook I managed to order a couple of gifts online-coming up with the brilliant idea of a touch screen monitor for the MOTH- who is a gadget kinda guy- that was a great choice, he loves it, but at this stage is still having trouble with the touch bit of it.....guess he'll figure it out.

I went through my handy stash of items purchased through the year & bundled them up with hastily embroidered tea towels & ran up a few very neat looking aprons & managed with cash in envelopes make a gift for everyone!!

I even wrapped up 2 of the pieced, but unquilted, quilts & gave them as gifts with the promise I would quilt them & to beat me with a stick if I didn't deliver in a timely manner!

Pass a large Bailey's please.... I deserved it.

Our No1 Grandson & his Mum arrived the Tuesday before Christmas & No 1 son arrived Xmas Eve- to complete the gathering my friend, Marge, from Wagga Wagga arrived on Boxing day & that filled the house.

There is something about having a small child in the house for Christmas- it made it all that more exciting-even if I had to work the 4 day weekend of Xmas-everyone was here when I got home.
The visitors are gone, the house is quiet, back to the Old Fart & Me & life continues on much the same as it did before.

Managed to knit a dishcloth for my DIL while she was here- who'd have thought everyone would like them so much & want more of them, have downloaded 4 patterns to try, to start another stash of them for Xmas this year!

Knitting for the expected grand-daughter continues-a little hat & a romper that seems to have taken a back seat since Xmas as well.

Today I put a quilt on the largely un-used quilting frame down in the garage. MOTH had broken one of the rods & then told me he 'fixed' it- well it worked for a little while then broke again- didn't like any tension on it!. MOTH is no handyman that's for sure. I had planned on doing a quilt a day for the next 4 days that I'm off- guess that's not going to happen now. The one I did finish looks quite good as long as no quilt police come looking at it! they'll get rotary cutters at the front door if they approach!

MOTH finally got his way yesterday when we went to look at new flooring for the lounge/ dining room-he ordered a new TV- all the bells & whistles- mind there is nothing wrong with the TV in the bedroom other than its not digital- that's what he wanted- I don't care he paid for it!
Looks like after 3 or is 4 years of haggling we have finally agreed on a floor covering-now lets hope the limited stock is enough to do the 2 rooms-timber flooring we've gone for-fingers & toes crossed that it eventuates this time. I'm sure carpet would be warmer- but one thing is for sure timber floors are easy to keep clean.

Nearly time to pack away the Christmas decorations for another year....seems like only yesterday I finally got them up.

A New year begins & so do my projects- hopefully I'll manage to do lots more this year!

Happy Crafting
Oz- Tralien