Baby Bunting

So my stats show that the most searched for word on my blog is ‘bunting’. While it seams bunting has been top of the popularity scale for a few years now, there is no sign of it dropping.

And rightly so! It’s cute; adds instant glam and colour to any room or party; it can be decorated or personalised in so many ways; makes a great personal (and affordable!) gift; can be customised for the season, holiday, event or person, can be reused (and so has the ‘green’ factor)…in fact, there are not many reasons to dislike the good ‘ol bunting banners.

My wedding bunting has certainly been well used by friends, family, and friends of friends for various occasions!

Personalised baby bunting is what I make most of; I make it bespoke to colour or theme of baby’s nursery and often get asked to add special details such as weight and date of birth.

Here are just a couple I’ve made recently…

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This bunting was to match with some jungle stickers from JoJo Maman Bebe that had been used to decorate baby Stanley’s nursery. So the fabrics are relatively simple (spots, stripes etc) but all tie in with the colour theme, plus with the addition of a couple of felt appliqué monkeys…

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Jungle themes seem to be pretty popular; Mahli’s bunting was also to be jungle themed and fitting with a pink, green, yellow colour theme, and include some polka dots; I found this Urban Zoologie range of Robert Kaufman from Plush Addict that fitted the brief perfectly.

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Thalia’s bunting was to be similar (but not the same) to Lucia’s bunting; Thalia’s older sister who was born in 2012.

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I think I can say with confidence that my baby will get some bunting!

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New year, new beginnings.

Happy new year crafty followers! Any creative New Year resolutions?

2014 is going to be a less crafty (more crazy) year for me as Mr C and I are expecting our first baby in a few weeks time. You may think I have been working away over the past nine months in my attic/sewing room creating bunting, bibs and other baby-related crafts for our bundle of joy…hmmm that was the intention!

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The bump at 36 weeks.

Four weeks to go and I have made nothing for us…nada! Partly due to finding the time (there is very little me time between two works and constantly having sewing on the go for other people…creating things for other people’s babies mainly!), but probably in most part because, in a way, there seems more pressure to make the perfect things for my own baby; not helped by the fact that I am very indecisive and like lots of different styles!

What I have done is browse Pinterest and become overwhelmed by all the gorgeous baby styles, nurseries, and clothes, frantically pinning everything I loved but showing no correlation in terms of similarity! I think the problem is that I like too many things!

However, lucky for me, the majority of these above mentioned limitations have been removed; I am now on maternity leave (hurrah!) = more time (for now)! And by being donated various baby furniture from our family, some style decisions have been taken out of my hands.

Baby C’s nursery is only a very small room which also helps as it can only fit so much in it. Here is a glimpse into it how it’s kind of looking so far…

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Top row: Trogen Blue chest of drawers (Ikea), basket storage solutions (via Pinterest), Cinnamon sting lights (Cable and Cotton), Green Baby Lapin lamp (Lapin and Me).

Middle row: Scrapbook Soft rattle toy (Mammas and Papas), Blue Cloud Paper Ceiling light shade (This Modern Life), Black and White Puppy Dog soft toy (Jelly Cat via Amazon), On the Farm knitted stripe baby blanket (Joules via Amazon), Handmade Felt Badger Rug (Sew Heart Felt), ABC Animal Print (Holli Shop, Etsy)

Bottom row: Animal World Map Canvas (Not on the High Street), Faux Fur Throws (image via Pinterest), Byholma Basket chair (Ikea), Grey Star Pram Suit (Marks and Spencer)

Whist most of these items are blue-ish in colour and perhaps more on the boyish side of things, we do not know our baby’s flavour but I’m not a pink person anyway, didn’t want to go with neutral which I, personally, find a bit boring and just for going with the things we like, this is how it’s turned out – I’m sure baby won’t mind!

The felt badger rug (which is totally ace) was one of Pete’s random (but good!) purchases, as was the animal world map canvas…we never intended on having an animal theme but I think it’s definitely leaning this way. But my most favourite thing is the Lapin and Me Green Baby Lapin Lamp – I’ve lusted over this a while, not being able to justify the cost (especially when there are more essential baby items to be bought first like, say, nappies!) but then to my pleasant surprise, my parents bought it me for Christmas…I think it’s safe to say it’s not everyones’ taste but I love its quirky retro-ness and how a lamp can have such personality.

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So this is where we are at for now. But I have plans – oh yes! Plan for the coming weeks to make a few bits and bobs (let’s see how that pans out!)…

I’ve just received some gorjusss bamboo fleece from Plush Addict which I intend to make some dribble bibs and, if there is enough left, to use as a backing for a pram blanket. You can’t tell from the picture how soft it is (I may have snuggled my face in it on removal from the packaging!) and it is a natural fabric so will be kind to baby’s skin. Plus, Plush Addict pop a little Maoam sweet into the order – if this is not some kind of bribery for repeat custom I don’t know what is (works for me!).

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Through my obsession with Pinterest, I’ve also come across a few DIY tutorials or nursery decor inspiration which I’m planning on giving ago, including…

Mobile via Craftiness is not optional. I love anything that hangs; lights, bunting, garlands etc and one thing we haven’t got for the nursery yet is a mobile. I love this cute mobile tutorial from Craftiness in not Optional.

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Or this super cute simple cloud mobile tutorial I found on We G Three

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Felt Pom Pom Garland. Talking of garlands, I love these as an alternative to bunting. And so simple, check out the tutorial on Oh Happy Day.

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Cushions. Following on the cloud theme, I’ve been drawn to these cute cushions which can’t be too difficult to recreate myself and I think will look fab on my Ikea basket chair…(Or, if all else fails I can just buy these from Petit Home.)

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I’m also planning a patchwork quilt (fabric currently en route!) – this is going to be slightly different to those personalised ones I made in the past for friend’s babies but I will post about that once the fabric has arrived and I’m a bit more decided on how it’s going to look.

Anything else and I don’t thing there will be room for baby!

Annabelle’s Book

You may have seen the post I published a few weeks back featuring Toby’s picture book – well this is similar; another picture book only this time for a little girl.

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Annabelle, my friend Jane’s little baby, was 1 year old at the beginning of December (how time flies…it only seems like five minutes ago since I made her quilt for when she was born!). I actually started this picture book at the same time as Toby’s (back in September) but it got put on hold for a few weeks due to my Christmas stocking demand!

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I used a combination of pink and yellow fabrics for the pages and, again, like Toby’s I wanted to include a mixture of pictures and quotes, made up of different textures: hand-sewn embroidery, free-hand machine appliqué, regular appliqué, and with both fabric, felt and buttons.

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I decorated the front with Annabelle’s name and a little appliqué pic of a girl in a strawberry outfit (as Annabelle had one of these a few months back!).

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One to come out on her 18th birthday…

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Stanley’s Quilt

My friends and I are all at that age now where there is a lot of new little people appearing in our lives.

I like to give a personal pressy when a friend or family member has a baby and this is my latest. My friend Rachel who I went to Uni with, and her partner Sam had their first baby in August. Whilst we, and the other Uni crew were sunning ourselves in Italy celebrating yet another Uni friend’s wedding, Stanley was born.

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I’ve made a few patchwork quilts, the most recent being Annabelle’s quilt, which was actually back in January (who is now coming up to her first birthday…seriously – where has that year gone!).

I started Stanley’s quilt in September when I came back from Italy but I really struggled deciding what colours and fabrics to use.

I bought a lot of cotton/linen blends from Etsy (my fav type of fabric) but it’s so hard to tell if they were going to match until they arrive – which, of course, a lot of them didn’t so unfortunately (obviously I was very upset about this!) I had to buy more.

I started by making the outer pinwheel-style patchwork (not sure if this is the offical technical term!) using a range of cute nautical fabric, robots and guitars, matching them with spots and stripes. When these were put together, I didn’t like it – the colours looked too dull which is kind of what the natural linen looks like so I don’t know why I was surprised.

So, back on the internet I went to buy more fabric for the centre square patches that would add a bit more colour and brighten it up whilst still co-ordinating. Finally I found some that worked – and I’m pleased that I didn’t just go with the typical blue-is-for-boys type colours.

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I threw the nautical theme in there as Rach and Sam met in their University rowing club and the rest – robots and cars were just cute!

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As with most of my crafts, I like to add a bit of decoration and personalisation. Unlike Annabelle’s quilt where I mainly used free-hand machine embroidery, I decided for Stanley’s to use regular applique but use felt as well as fabric to add a couple of different textures.

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For the personalisation, of course there was his name in the centre…

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His date of birth in a balloon held by a robot (to tie in with the fabric prints, plus robots make a brill applique shape).

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His birth weight on the side of a truck – again tying in with the other fabric print used in the centre panel.

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As well as machine quilting the pinwheel patches, I hand-stitched a running stitch around the centre panel giving it a bit of a boarder.

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I backed the whole quilt in cute red dots and binded it with a red linen bias binding.

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And here’s the little man Stanley himself looking pretty chuffed with his new blanket (or at least I think so!).

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Toby’s Picture Book

I made this little picture book for my friend Sam’s little boy Toby, for his first birthday. I always think it’s nice to give something special for a first birthday and this project was certainly a labour of love.

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Initially, I thought this project, whilst a nice gift, would be relatively simple and straight forward, which in practice it could have been! But oh no, I seem to get these ideas popping up in my head as I’m going along and as soon as I’ve thought of them, I have to do it otherwise I feel like I’m cheating or cutting corners! So what could have been a quick project, turned out to be quite a task…but totally worth it! I love how it turned out and feel pretty proud of the end result. Toby and his mum and dad loved it too.

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To start, like most of my more detailed projects, I like to draw them out to make sure the layout and design looks right (and the keep referring to so I don’t forget what I’m doing along the way!)

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I chose six different printed fabrics, all in nice bright colours but with subtle prints, nothing to detailed to loose the picture amongst.

Each fabric was to make up in total ten pages in the book plus the front and back cover.

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I wanted each page to be pretty, with a fun picture for Toby to look at and use for learning objects, but I also wanted to put a little bit of meaning behind the pictures so I decided to use some nice quotes and phrases that were relevant.

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Some quotes I choose after the object e.g. To my sailing boat, I found a nice lyric from a Van Morrison song ‘Into the Mystic’ which fitted well: ‘Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly. Plus Anth (Toby’s dad) is a big music fan so that added something else a little special.

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Other quotes I choose before I’d decided on a picture, so then came up with an image that worked; so I wanted to use that old familiar rhyme for little boys: ‘Frogs, snails and puppy dog tails’ to which I added an appliqué dog.

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To make the book more interesting for Toby to look at and touch, I used a mixture of fabric, felt; both regular appliqué and also free-hand machine appliqué, hand-embroidered letters, and buttons.

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Once all the pages were designed, the putting together part was easy! Each page has a piece of wadding between the layers to make it nice and padded.

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I finished the book by adding a ‘Happy 1st Birthday’ to the back cover, edged the covers with a running stitch and added a button and ribbon for the closing.

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I currently have another on the go for a little lady’s first birthday in December and, the way time is flying, I best get cracking…

Ahoy there!

I’ve been making a few cushions of late which I quite enjoy as it’s a little like making a picture; the making up of the cushion is easy, it’s the design on the front that takes the thinking about.

Like my cushions I posted a few weeks ago, for two twin baby girls, this cushion was for a new born baby boy. The theme was nautical to match his nursery.

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I bought the fabric for the cushion from Etsy; it’s a linen cotton blend which I think is more hardwearing and suitable for home furnishings. I wanted something relatively plain coloured with a bit of pattern so this fits perfectly.

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The boat is quite a simple shape so I included a few extra details such as applique clouds, and hand-sewn waves and birds. On the spotty blue background, anything else would have been a bit too much. Finishing it off, I trimmed the whole picture with red and cream gingham ribbon which I think ties in all the colours quite nicely.

My friend Elena, who I’ve made a few bits for in the past for her cutie of a daughter, Emily, asked me to make this for her friend’s new baby. On receipt of this cushion, Els forwarded me her friend’s response…

‘And we had a beautiful package through today!!! Oh my god, the cushion is beautiful! Did you know I liked the nautical theme?! If not fantastic choice! It’s absolutely gorgeous and of course goes so well in his nursery!’

Always lovely to know my crafty items are liked and I hope this adds a little special something to baby Harry’s nursery that will make family Robinson think of Els (and hubby Mark and their little lady Emily) and their kindness.

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Twin Cushions

I was recently asked to make two matching cushions for newborn baby twin girls as their Christening presents. The brief was something quite girly and colourful, decorated with their names.

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The two floral fabrics I used were from Dunelm Mill and, as a medium weight cotton, it was perfect for cushions. The two florals were from the same range so, although different patterns, complimented each other – I used one for the front (called ‘Rosetta’) and the other, the striped floral (called ‘Chloe’) for the back.

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The other request for the cushions were for them to be decorated with something like little baby booties. I thought my attempts at baby booties might end up just looking like wellies so I decided to do little girl-style shoes instead – a much clearer and more obvious (and cute) shape me thinks!

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I used regular machine appliqué for the shoes in a zig zag stitch and straight stitch for the names, hand-sewing a running stitch using embroidery thread around each letter to make them stand out.

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Finishing, I added a little pink button to each shoe for the ‘fastening’ and used coconut shell buttons for the back closing of the cushion.

I really enjoyed making these cushions as, while cushions themselves are pretty easy to make it’s the decorating that’s fun!

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I’ve got another cushion on my ‘to do’ list and this time it’s for a baby boy so I’m looking forward to thinking of ways to decorate this next one.

Patchwork Prop

A little while ago a friend on mine, Andy who is a photographer (of Lawson Wright Studios), did a little favour for me and photographed some products and lovely styled images to use for my other partnership business: Love Me Sew. Here is one of his image…pretty eh!
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Anyway, in return for these photos I made them a patchwork quilt to use in the studio when doing baby photography.
I made one side suitable for girls with girly florals spots and colours, and the other side more for boys.

I stupidly forgot to take photos of the finished item, but having seen the quilt in action in ‘proper’ photos, I don’t think it really mattered…
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Check out Andy’s other work (weddings and babies) over on his Facebook page and also at their studio’s ‘Lawson Wright Studios’ Facebook page.

More and more Baby Bibs…

I seem to be making more and more of these as friends keep having babies!

Not that I mind of course as I get to cuddle a little baby and make these cute bibs. I’ve made plenty of baby bibs with names in my time, but I’ve been trying to refine these and the last few I think are well on their way…

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I am slowly building up a collection of little bibs that I plan to sell on an Etsy shop (once I have enough stock to open one of course!)
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