Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sew & Tell: Smiling Yeti

Softie 007

Isn't she a cutie? I found a pattern online and blew it up about 50% to make this softie. I'm kind of in love with her smiling face! I think it would have been better if I'd used fabric with a little stretch: fleece, or terry towel for extra fluff, but I didn't have any of those on hand so the cotton bunches a little. Still, the color combo is pretty, isn't it?

You can find a tutorial to make your own Kawaii Yeti Monster here.

SO many baby birthdays! This one is a gift too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sew & Tell: Laundry Bag

laundry bag

Need a breather from all the baby stuff? I do! Here was a quick weekend project. I needed something to hold laundry in the bedroom that wouldn't take up too much space. I really like how this turned out. Former sheer curtain ends were turned into a simple drawstring bag. A pant hanger holds it up. It's just big enough for a week's worth of laundry, and easy enough to hide if people come over.

Maybe it's too simple to even post, but it's one of the most useful things I've made lately.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sew & Tell: Simple Plush Bear

Softie 005

This was the easiest plush toy yet: two pieces of cloth plus felt. I made him for my friend's baby shower. I suppose baby won't be playing with it for a long time yet, but it's still fun to gift a little something homemade right? I made him a little larger and wider than the original pattern.

Get the tutorial and free pattern here: Mr. Ted Tutorial.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sewing for Baby

For someone that sews so much, I haven't done much sewing for our own baby! Most of the sewing I've done for baby so far has been practical rather than sweet. We received a bunch of hand me downs which I'm SO grateful for and there wasn't much that I needed to make.

Take for example these burp cloths. I cut up some old towels and lined the back with more colourful fabric. Not exactly heirloom material, but they'll do for wiping up the spit and spills that are bound to happen.

baby 004

Then there's the nursing pillow. I sewed it from some leftover cotton curtain fabric, and then made a washable cover from old flannel. I'll be the first to admit the flannel is UGLY, but it is soft. There's an envelope closure at one end so it's removable.

baby 003

And you can never have enough storage. I sewed 3 fabric bins and they're already full of baby socks, hats, and bottles. They're at the bottom of the changing table. The last bin is a cardboard box I covered with fabric. The fabric bins fit in the bookshelf that is off to the right outside of the camera view, but it's more useful to have them in the changing table for now.

baby 002

Lastly, I made a changing pad. Right now it's covering the foam that came with the changing table. It's vinyl over a sandwich of cotton fabric that came from a crib bumper, with a thin hand me down receiving blanket for padding in between the cotton. At least the moons and stars match the nursery theme.

Maybe you're a practical person too? Here are the links to tutorials so you can make your own:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sew & Tell: Owl Softie

Softie 001

I'm addicted to sewing stuffed toys. Luckily, there are plenty of kids' birthdays to go to lately! I whipped this little guy up based on an owl I saw in a photo. I think the owl was originally from West Elm but isn't available anymore. This one is jumbo sized, almost big enough to be a toddler's pillow. You might not be able to tell so well from the photo (cursed, dark, rainy, winter, with bad lighting), but there are embroidered scallop shell feathers on the chest of the owlet and the wings.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Baking Interlude: Buttery Sourdough Buns

Buttery sourdough rolls

I've been a little neglectful of my sourdough starter and accumulated a lot of excess and wanted to find some recipes where I could use up the extra. This recipe via King Arthur Flour is a keeper. I only modified the recipe by adding a little garlic powder in with the paprika and butter swirl.

Buttery, soft, fluffy, and not to sweet or salty. The dough is the perfect base for either sweet or savoury fillings.

Next time I might add some sugar, cinnamon, and nuts to make cinnamon buns. I could also see these tasting wonderful with some cream cheese and jam, or even a pesto filling!

Buttery sourdough rolls 2

These sourdough buns are so good that they deserve a close up. They're not going to last long!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sew & Tell: Diaper Bag

Since I've started sewing I've gotten very picky about my bag needs. Most of the ones I find in the store are missing one or two elements that I really love (like a hook for my keys or extra pockets), so I decided to sew my own diaper bag. This one is inspired by the Kate Spade Striped Stevie Baby Bag.

Diaper Bag (1)

It didn't turn out exactly the same. I wanted the bag to be a little larger, I simplified the shape, added a pocket to the front, plus a faux leather bottom with purse feet.

Diaper Bag (2)

There's an inset zip so that the bag has extra capacity and I prefer zippers because I know that things aren't going to fall out. The interior is sewn from water resistant nylon and has 9 pockets. It may sound kind of excessive, but I love organized bags, and all of them are full already. The bag turned out so large that there's enough room for that many pockets, plus the three exterior ones. There's one long pocket along one side that isn't visible in this photo, but is big enough for the changing pad.

Baby Bag Interior

It's a bit hard to photograph the lining of a floppy bag! I hope you can get the idea from here. I figure I can use this as a weekend bag even when the diaper days are done with. It's lightweight which is a bonus so I can stuff a lot in there and still carry it around.


I also sewed a couple of stroller attachment straps so I can clip it on if needed. The straps are made of nylon, hooks, and velcro.

Now, I'm not the biggest lover of pink, but it makes me smile that the interior is unexpectedly bright while the exterior is so subdued. I almost grabbed my sunglasses while I was sewing it up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nursery in Progress: Cloud Wall

Cloud Wall

We're almost done! The mobile is hung, the crib and changing table are assembled, and we finished decorating the wall with a cloud design. The clouds are cut out of white contact paper so can easily be removed or repositioned if necessary.

Cloud Wall (1)

I downloaded three different cloud templates and traced them out. I cut out 8 of the largest, 12 of the medium sized, and then 18 of the smallest sized ones.

Cloud Wall (2)

I think the wall would look amazing if it were blue, but our walls are yellowish so I outlined the clouds with blue permanent marker so they would show up better.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dining Seat Covers

I'm a messy eater, and with the baby on the way, things are only going to get messier around here! So, to save our new dining set, I sewed some washable seat covers.

Seat Cover

Why white? Because I can just throw them in the wash with bleach if needed. I sewed them out of the old curtains that used to hang in the nursery.

Seat Cover Detail

Here are a few of the details:
1) Traced the top and sides of the dining chair with newspaper, and cut it out of fabric.
2) Sewed the sides to the top, using top stitching along the top edge.
3) Left space for the wooden chair back.
4) Added velcro to the back edges so that they could attach securely to the dining chairs.

Seat Cover 2

And this is what it looks like from the back, when attached. I used the basic idea from this video tutorial but modified it slightly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recipe: Quick(er) Sourdough Nut Bread

Nutty Sourdough 2

Some weeks I'm lazy and don't want to feed my sourdough starter, because I've accumulated too much or I don't have 8 hours to make bread. Here's a recipe that takes about 3 hours from start to finish, and uses unfed starter. It's a good way to use up extra starter, plus it's packed with nutty flavour.

Nutty Sourdough 1

Quick(er) Sourdough Nut Bread
makes 2 loaves

  • 227 g unfed sourdough starter (1 cup)
  • 340 g lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 14 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 300 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 300 g spelt flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds

  1. Mix sourdough starter, sugar, instant yeast, and water. 
  2. Add flours and nuts.
  3. Add salt.
  4. Knead on lightly floured surface until you get a smooth dough ball.
  5. Let rise in a covered, oiled, container for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled.
  6. Cut into two and shape as desired. 
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.
  8. Slash the bread loaves.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until golden brown on the outside.