Category Archives: sewing

DIY Sleep Sack

I lost a lot of sewing momentum after Christmas. I was sewing sewing knitting knitting knitting sewing so much that I needed a break. I’m starting to get back in the swing of things though and I finally have something to share with you today.
We bought little man a really warm and cozy sleep sack when we were in France last May/June. We were there during a cold spell and weren’t prepared. Luckily, just because it was June didn’t mean there were no warm sleep sacks available. The French have a thing about making sure their babies are warm. I mean REALLY warm. We’re talking bundled up in wool socks and a a heavy blanket while outside in 80 degree summer weather. It’s a bit over the top. But in this case, the sleep sack was well needed and appreciated. So much so that I decided he needed a second one, but these types of sleep sacks are no where to be found here. I’ve only been able to find fleece, which is fine, but less breathable than cotton with batting.
What I made is basically a quilted sleep sack. I used a stretchy main fabric, stretchy lining fabric, and cotton batting in the middle. For the neck and arm holes, I used strips of cotton ribbing that I folded into bias tape. The only difference between this sleep sack and the French one is that the zipper on mine opens downward and the French one opens upward. I tried to figure out how to do that, but I just didn’t have the right tools to make a zipper long enough for the sleep sack that opened upward. Oh well. I know sleep sacks have to be sold that way for safety reasons, but this is not being sold and I have deemed it safe enough for my level of comfort. I do still need to make a little fold that covers the zipper, but it’s pretty much ready.

Also, notice the very cool personalized label on the sleep sack. My sweet husband got them for me for Christmas this year. Such a thoughtful gift for a maker of handmake things. Thank you honey!

So there’s my latest creation. Hopefully I’ll get enough motivation together to work on some more projects to share with you soon.

DIY Toddler Slippers

There’s nothing cozier to me than a pair of slippers when you’re home on a cool day. (Well, maybe a pair of slippers, good book and a fire would be even cozier, but you get the point).
Little man didn’t have any slippers, only socks. But most of his socks aren’t non-slip, so when wearing socks he’d just slip and slide around the house- falling even more than he normally would without any socks on. Something needed to be done so that he could have warm feet without all the falls. So, I set out to make him some slippers. I used some non-slip fabric that I found at Jo-Ann. I believe I spent $3 on enough of this stuff to make slippers for years to come (and I only bought 1/4 yard). For the rest of it, I used scraps of fleece and some 1/4 inch elastic that I already had. For the pattern, I adapted it from a pair of soft soled shoes that currently fit him. I was able to get these done start to finish (making the pattern and all) in a couple hours. Now I’m going to make him a few more pairs in different colors for when these ones are in the wash.
If there’s enough interest, I can do a tutorial for how to make these. Let me know in the comments if you’d like that.
Front and back
Slippers in action

Felt Chicken Ornament

When I was young, my parents started a lovely tradition of giving me a new ornament every year to commemorate something special or memorable about that year. One year, it was a ballerina another year a piano. When I turned 16 it was a car and when I turned 21 it was a bottle of wine and so on a so forth. I think it’s such a sweet tradition and I plan to continue it for our family. So, one of the big things that happened this year for us was getting our chickens. Raising chickens for eggs is something I’ve wanted to do for years and I’m so so excited to have them! What better way to commemorate this year than with a chicken ornament?
I found the pattern over at Down East Thunder Farm. The pattern is free, along with many other patterns for felt bird ornaments. They’re beautiful and I plan on making some more felt birds to decorate our tree and to give as gifts. Be sure to check out this blog if you’re into making felt ornaments.

Jacket adapted from the Urban Hoodie pattern by Heidi and Finn

So at this point you might be getting tired of seeing my creations sewn with the Heidi and Finn Urban Hoodie pattern (I swear, I don’t get paid to promote her pattern here). This time, though, I adapted it and made a jacket for little man.
Normally, the pattern should be made with knit fabric. I used woven fabric for this jacket, so I made it bigger because there’s no stretch in the fabric (size 5T instead of 2T). I also extended the bottom, since in the sweatshirt version, there’s normally a bottom panel of fabric that adds to the length. Here’s a picture to make it clear what I mean by bottom panel:
For the sleeves, I used a smaller seam allowance than the pattern recommends. I’ve found the sleeves on this pattern to be very tight, so I think I’ll be doing this for the sleeves from here on out when I use this pattern.
I also added pockets to the front. And finally, to make sure it’s nice and warm for the winter, I put cotton batting in between the main fabric and the lining.
Oh, one more thing- normally the neck curves up a bit. Can you see what I mean in the picture below?

I don’t really like that. It seems to get in the way and annoy little man, so I just cut it off and made it go straight across. Like in the picture below:
So here is the finished jacket:

I love how it turned out! He gets lots of compliments on his jacket when we’re out and about running errands.


Perfect for playing outside on a cool day.

DIY Fleece Sleep Sack

The weather has officially cooled down here (and by that I mean it’s in the 50s during the day and 40s at night). Little man has a nice and warm lined jersey and cotton batting sleep sack that we use for nighttime, but he needed an upgrade from his single layer jersey sleep sack for naps. Plus, he was definitely getting too tall for the size we had. I decided that a sleep sack looked easy enough to replicate and I didn’t really want to buy another one. So, I used one of the sleep sacks we had to make a pattern, extended the length and used some fleece I got from a freecycler. The only thing I had to buy was some zipper by the yard, which I found on Etsy (and later discovered I could get at a local fabric store without paying shipping…next time).

The zipper goes from top to bottom, unlike commercial sleep sacks, so I put a little tag of fabric over the zipper closure to keep little man from being able to mess with it and to avoid it irritating his skin.

It turned out great and for about $3.50 (the price of the zipper with shipping), definitely saved me money to make it myself. I have another yard of zipper, and I’m planning on making another sleep sack soon. If there’s enough interest, I’ll take pictures while I’m making the second one and post a tutorial.

Happy Halloween!

We had so much fun yesterday! It was crazy and thus I didn’t have time to write up a blog post, but it was totally worth the crazy. We started off with music class, then went straight to our downtown for toddler/preschooler trick or treating, then came home for lunch and a late nap. I made some Jack-O-Lantern soup for dinner and we had an early dinner followed by trick or treating on our street. Little man had so much fun. Initially he hated wearing his costume, but he quickly forgot about it and kept it on. He loved going up to knock on our neighbors’ doors, sign “please,” take a piece of candy and put it in his bag and then sign “thank you.” We loved chatting with and meeting neighbors. We bought our house over a year ago, but still hadn’t met everyone. Halloween gave us a great opportunity to knock on peoples’ doors and chat with them.
About the costume- The pattern I used was Butterick 6695. He was supposed to be a tiger, but the only fabric I could find was this half tiger-half leopard print. Whatever. We went with it. Besides, if he had truly been a tiger, I would have gotten even more comments from my local Giants fans like “Why isn’t he a panda instead of a tiger, huh?” How could I have known over a month ago when I sewed this that the Giants would end up winning the World Series against the Tigers?
Luckily for little man, the heat wave we had last week broke and we got some cool weather for Halloween. We would have had to figure something else out at the last minute if it had been in the 80s like last weekend.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! Did you dress up? Did your kiddo dress up? Share or link your costume in the comments! I want to see 🙂

Jack-O-Lantern Treat Bag

This will be little man’s first Halloween trick or treating. And by trick or treating I mean we’re going to go to a few neighbors’ houses to say hello and show off his costume. He probably doesn’t *need* a special trick or treating bag for this Halloween, but I can’t help it. I’m addicted to making things for my little boy. Plus, he’s obsessed with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns right now so I think he’ll love it.

I used the bag pattern in Butterick B6695. You can barely see the example bag in the link, but the little boy dressed as a dalmatian is holding it. It looks like that little guy’s bag is made out of fleece. I made this one out of flannel. I’m so happy with how it turned out! I think I’m going to have to make little man another non-Halloween bag, because he was really into carrying his new bag around the house to hold his treasures.

Are you ready for Halloween? What have you been creating for it?