ruffles and appliques: burp cloths

burp cloths! one of my favorite baby gifts to give for a touch of personalization. someone in my office recently gave birth to a gorgeous little lady, tallulah (tilly), and i made her some pretty burp cloths to up the style of her spit up.

(edited to add: i forgot to mention that the base of these burp cloths are the gerber premium 6-ply cloth diapers, which have been given two thumbs up for use as a burp cloth – and what me and my siblings grew up using)

every girl needs some ruffles, so ruffles it was, made out of a pink and white striped jersey fabric from my stash (jersey fabric is great for ruffles since the edges won’t fray). the ruffles were made following the same steps as the ruffles from my ‘think pink’ burp cloths:

sew down middle{using the longest stitch, sew down middle of fabric strip – do not back stitch}

pull thread{gently pull one of the threads to gather the fabric. my back side thread worked best}

pin and sew{pin ruffles to fabric, sew down middle of ruffle – backstitching at beginning and end}

ruffles

ruffles

i also tried my hand at appliques for the first time, and i will definitely be doing it again – easy and i love the outcome.

(note: steps pictured are for a different project, but it’s the same idea)

supplies needed: fabric for design, heat n bond, design and fabric the applique is being applied to

heat n bond{this is the heat n bond i used – ultra. it says to not sew, which is great since it eliminates a step. but if you do want to sew around the design for extra strength, i did and it was just fine.}

trace your desired design onto paper side of the heat n bond. if it’s something that needs to go in a certain direction – i.e. a letter or word – make sure it’s printed/drawn backwards.

design

iron heat n bond design to back side of design fabric, paper side up.

iron

cut out design.

cut out

peel off paper from  backside, position on fabric and iron. viola!

tilly

tilly

i used the same technique for the last burp cloth, although my fabric was my design (so i just ironed on a piece of heat n bond large enough to cover the design to the fabric,  cut around the edges, peeled the paper off and then ironed the applique to the burp cloth).

flower

for some reason i was having issues with the applique adhering in places to the burp cloth (i really don’t know why), so i did sew around the perimeter of the applique using a zig zag stitch (i like to use white thread so the stitches blend in on the opposite side).

flower

the pretty trio:

burp cloths

all packaged up:

burp cloths

and there you have it. burp cloths that are not only functional but pretty too.

it was fun to step away from the boy mindset that i’ve been in for the past couple months since finding out i was having a boy. i can’t say that i’m not a tiny bit jealous i can’t enjoy flowers and ruffles myself – but that’s what future kiddos are for (hopefully) 🙂

{justine}

p.s. for more burp cloth inspiration, see here, here and here

t-shirt blanket tutorial

tshirt blanket

six months ago (don’t hate because i’m so behind on things) i made a chicago sports themed t-shirt blanket for the baby shower of this handsome little man.

jack

for baby showers, i always like to give something homemade (for a personal touch) along with something from the registry (for a practical touch). as our friend john, the dad, is a huge chicago sports fan, and they were expecting a little boy, the idea for the blanket was sparked when i saw another friend’s t-shirt blanket (theirs was a bit more complicated and larger, this is my simple version).

the blanket is fairly simple, especially since you don’t need to bind it. the hardest part may be collecting enough t-shirts to use! if you don’t have a bunch of extras lying around, like me, the thrift store is a great place to find them (and of course wash before you make the blanket, please). or you could ask friends and family to donate old shirts, so the blanket will be even more special.

(note: the size of the blanket is really up to you and your materials – the number of shirts available and the size of the squares from them, and the width and length of your backing fabric).

step 1. gather t-shirts to be used. the amount of t-shirts needed depends on the size of the blanket (or, the amount of t-shirts gathered decides the size of the blanket! i gathered about 16 shirts, and used 12 for the blanket)

step 2. decide how large you want each t-shirt square to be and make a template for easy measuring. the size of the t-shirts determines the largest size possible (the  area below the neck and between the sleeves). i found the smallest t-shirt i wanted to use and made the biggest square possible out of it, to be used for all other t-shirts.

template

step 3. use the template to cut squares of the t-shirts (i also used a straight edge for extra strength and my rotary cutter).

squares

step 4. arrange your t-shirt squares to find the pattern you like. i laid mine down on my backing fabric (blue, soft minky, one of my favorites) to check how many across and long would fit.

placement

step 5. flip over one square onto the square next to it, so the right sides are together. pin along the inner edge (the edge that joins the squares within the blanket – not a top, bottom or outer edge). sew along the pinned edge (i used a 1/4″ seam allowance).

face to face

sew along edge

step 6. open the two squares you just sewed, and repeat step 5 with the next square in the row. do this for all squares in your row (if it’s only 3 like me, the row is done; ignore my upside down squares below).

pin next square

step 7. follow steps 5 and 6 for all rows. rows

step 8. flip one row on top of the one below or above it, so the right sides are together. pin along the inner edge and sew, making sure to open the row seams so they lay flat.

rows together

sew

step 9. repeat step 8, attaching all rows together. you will end up with one large piece, the front of your blanket.

step 10. lay the back fabric right side up, and the t-shirt front right side down on top. pin all around and sew (again i used a 1/4″ seam allowance), back stitching at the beginning and end. make sure to leave an opening to turn it right-side out – i left the length of a square unsewn.

sewn together

step 11. trim the corners and turn right-side out through the opening.

corners

turn right side out

step 12. pin opening shut, folding in fabric to match seam allowance. sew around entire blanket perimeter, back stitching at beginning and end.

pin opening

done!

complete

blanket

both the back and the front are so soft, perfect for cuddling.

blanket

top stitch

beck and blanket

one of my favorite t-shirts was too small to be used in the blanket, so i whipped up an easy burp cloth out of it. after trimming the shirt to size, i cut a piece of terry cloth fabric the same size for the back. with right sides  pinned together, i sewed around the edge, leaving an opening a few inches wide. after turning right side out, i turned in the opening edges to match the seam allowance, pinned, and sewed around the entire edge. done!

burp cloth

burp cloth

happy sewing!

though i have plans to make my son a chenille blanket, ryan has informed me that he also needs a chicago sports t-shirt blanket of his own. i need to start collecting the shirts now…

{justine}

linked to remodelaholic