Half Yard Baby Shower Gift

You’ve been invited to a baby shower and you decide you’re going to sew an entire layette or possibly an entire crib bedding set for the new squishy. The you realize, dude, I’ve got four kids of my own and the shower is in a week and I’ve got no time for such ambitious gifts. You need something practical. Something handmade, useful, but quick to make. I give you the half yard baby shower gift! It’ll take you an hour to whip up and you’ll still be the talk of the party.

Or maybe you’re new to sewing and want to sew something but you know you’re skills aren’t up to a smocked christening gown. So do you just buy some old something from the store? No. You sew the half yard baby shower gift! It is perfect for beginners!

The half yard baby shower gift includes 2 burpies, 3 wipies, and 2 drool bibs. What is a burpie? A cuter name for a burp cloth. Great for protecting shoulders, putting under little prone to leak heads while changing diapers or sleeping, good for big baby messes. What is a wipie? A smaller version of a burp cloth. Can be used as a cloth wet wipe, washcloth, face wipe, booger cleaner, drool wiper, etc. Great for smaller baby messes. What is a bib? Seriously? Do you have a baby? Have you seen a baby?

You’ll need a half yard of fabric. (You can use regular quilting cotton or flannel.) If it is going to annoy you having a directional print not quite lined up perfectly, don’t use a directional print. This project leaves no room for fussy cutting.

You’ll also need one cheap (new) bath towel. You can buy the cheapies at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target. (Target’s are the thickest of those three, FTR. So, if you’re a newbie, it might make it more difficult to sew.) I promise one bath towel will be enough. You’ll see that I have 2 different colors of terry in these pictures. Once I got started, I realized I’d already made a couple burp cloths out of the other half of my blue towel. So, I had to grab the half of a brown towel I had from another project.

All laid out, this is essentially what your half yard is going to turn into.

First, iron your fabric. If the ends aren’t straight, straighten them. Also, some places tend to cut a bit bigger than you request. If your fabric shop did this, go ahead and trim your fabric to 18″.

Now, measure and cut 3 burpies. You’ll use the 18″ as the length and cut 10″ wide.

Take one of those burpies and divide it into 3. Mark it along the length at 6″ and 12″. These are your wipies.

Cut the towel to match. I cut the decorative stipe off. If your towel seems small, leave one of the stripes one, just in case you need to use it. I have used the stripe on burpies and bibs. It works fine, I just prefer not to have it. Also, the width of your towel is likely the length of one burpie plus the width of one wipie. To cut the terry, I lay the cut cotton on top and use it as a template. Terry is difficult to mark and it stretches in odd ways when you pin and pull it.

You should have about 14″ of fabric left. Fold this in half and lay a bib template on top. Cutting out two bibs.

I had to turn mine a bit because this Michael Miller fabric wasn’t quite as wide as my Joann’s stuff I used in my first few of these. It fit fine, as you can see, I just have slightly slanted cowpokes. Cut 2 bibs from the towel.

About this bib template. We’re making small newborn type drool bibs. You may have a template you can use. I use on from Sweet Booties. If you don’t have a bib template, here is how you make one. (And save it so you only have to make it once! I keep all my patterns, including those I make, it hanging file folders in milk crates.)

As you can see, my bib template is roughly the size of a regular 8.5″ x 11″ piece of printer paper.

Fold your paper in half and draw a bib shape on half of it (on the fold, so it opens whole). It may take you a couple tries, which is fine, it is just paper. A couple things to keep in mind: Keep the bottom relatively perpendicular to the fold, if you are coming at the fold at an angle, it’ll be pointed or heart shaped when you open it. You’ll loose some of your pattern in sewing space, so keep in mind your finished bib will be smaller than your template. (This mean necklines will be more open, too.)

Cut out your bib shape.

Open your bib template up and see how you like it. If you don’t like it, fix it now. It is much easier to scrap your pattern than try to make it work in fabric. If the paper doesn’t look right, the bib certainly won’t. Do you see how my straps don’t quite touch each other? You want that. When it is snapped, it pulls down and makes a two dimensional piece of fabric into a three dimensional piece of clothing.

As you can see, these two bibs would look much different from one another, but they’d both be fine. The point is to make a little bib this size. How you make the bib is up to you.

Now that you’ve got it all cut out, you’ve got about this much scrap fabric. See, I told you no room for fussy cutting.

Now that you’ve got all your pieces all cut out and ready to go it is time to sew! If you’re an old pro at sewing, sew, turn, and topstitch all of it, add closures of choice to the bibs. You’re done. If you are a beginning sewer, I’m going to go through all the steps for you.

First, with the wrong side of the fabric down on the terry, sew around the edge of the burpie leaving a hole.

See the hole? That is where we’ll turn it right side out. You want to reverse stitch at the beginning and the end. You do not want your seam unraveling as you turn. Also, if you make the hole small, life will be difficult (though not impossible) in 5 minutes. If you make a very large hole, your life might get difficult in 10 minutes when you’re having to line it up and sew it shut.

When you get to the corners:

You stop about where the line going the other direction will start. Eyeball it.

Pick up your foot, but leave the needle down. If your machine doesn’t stop in needle down position automatically, make sure to put the needle down before you lift the foot.

Turn your fabric. (My needle is down, my foot is up.)

Put your foot down. Now continue to sew. See how easy that was? *Confession: There once was a time in my early days of sewing when I would have sewn completely off the edge on one side, cut my threads, sewn the entire edge of the other side, cut my threads, sewn the entire opposite side the the edge, cut my threads, and finished by sewing the entire other side and cut my threads. Such a waste of time. And thread.*

Now that you’ve sewn all the way around and turned the corners like a pro, you’ll need to clip the corners of your fabric. This makes it so you actually have a corner when you flip it. Don’t clip your corners and the fabric will bunch in the corner, making it a round more than a corner. (And it’ll be a devil and a half to sew through.) Just don’t clip your seam!

Now, your burpie looks like this. And you are pretty proud of yourself for making it so nice and pretty. Good job. Now turn it right side out. Through that hole you left.

Ah! I made a fabric blob! Keep turning. It’ll work out. Run your hand along the inside, pushing the seams outward. Push those corners out.

Now press it. Make sure that hole is lining up nicely. Press it well. This is important. Don’t like ironing? Then you should probably avoid sewing because you cannot neglect to press things properly when you sew. (BTW, I burned my arm trying to iron left handed so I could photograph with my right hand. I think I may need a left handed camera.)

Let me stop and talk about stitches before we move forward. See my #00 and my #01? The 00 aligns the needle at the far left of my foot. The 01 aligns my needle in the center of my foot. If you have this option, use it. I use the 00 to sew the inside, then the 01 to topstitch. This way, I know my topstitching is catching the right fabric. If you use the same, be very careful that the hole closes!

Also, I use a longer stitch length to topstitch. It just looks better to me. I sew with a 2.5 stitch length usually. I topstitch with a 4.0 stitch length.

Starting just before the hole, topstitch. You want to be kinda close to the edge but not on the edge. *Confession: This freaked me out when I first started sewing. Topstitching was freaking nerve wracking! I would often sew it too far from the edge, leaving the unfinished edge of my hole hanging out. I often did a double topstitch because I got it wrong the first time. I’d topstitch it too far in, then topstitch again alongside it where it should have been. I claimed I mean to do it. I didn’t. But it always worked out.*

Turn your corners the same way you did for the other side. Leave the needle down, pick up the foot, turn, put down the foot, and keep sewing. Now aren’t you glad you perfected that on the side no one could see? In the corners, if your terry is particular thick or you didn’t clip quite right or if the stars just aren’t aligning for you today, you may have to push the fabric through a bit if it seems stuckish. Don’t freak about it, just push it a bit and it’ll go through and no one will notice your stitches are a bit smaller in length at the particular point because the fabric just wasn’t moving through properly.

Now, you’ve sewn all the way around and you’re coming back to your original starting point! (Which you don’t have to backstitch on, BTW, because we’re sewing over it just a bit.) Oh! Line it up! Quick! Don’t pull too drastically, just guide it so the threads line up! If you’re slightly off, no worries. I doubt anyone will notice. You’ll be a pro by the end of this gift!

See, it lined up! Yay! *deep breath* Sew over the line an inch or so. No need to backstitch at the end.

You did it! Bravo! Now, do the other burpie the exact same way. And those three wipies.

Now those bibs! Okay, now you’ve practiced sewing, turning, and topstitching 5 times. The bibs will be ever so slightly more difficult because they are curved and curves take some patience and practice. Just go slow. Take deep breaths. You can do it. Leave the hole on the straightest part of the bib. I chose the side. Once you get it sewn, you need to clip the curves (shown in the above picture). Clipping the curves on a bib feels like you’re making fringe our of the entire bib. Try not to clip your seams. (If you do, don’t panic. Just keep rolling. It’ll work out.) Turning this will be much more difficult. You can do it. The straps will turn. Just work ’em. Now that you’re turned, press it. Now topstitch being extra careful. Don’t think you’ll be able to manage? You can zigzag the topstitch to make the ever so small mistakes much less noticeable.

Add closure to your bib. I use snaps because I have a snap press. (Not rubbing it in. I do have a snap press.) Don’t use buttons. That is just dangerous. If you don’t have a snap press or snap pliers, use velcro. I had velcro, but it is better than choking a friend’s baby with a button. Don’t use ties. Ties are for bibs from the 80’s. No one has time to tie a bib on a squirming baby. It’ll never get used if you add ties.

Now you’re done! Tie it up in ribbons and present it proudly! If you’ve got more time and a contrasting fabric (or more of the same fabric) you can make 2 or 3 or 4 of these sets. These are items every parent needs plenty of.

As usual, do what you like with this tutorial. Make these to keep, give, sell, whatever. Just give a shout out back to me and don’t take credit for the work (this tutorial) of others! Free crafting for all!

 

Burpies & Wipies

Well, as promised, I’m giving you my burp cloth talk. And since it has taken me so long to round up photos and get to it, I’m throwing in wipies.

So, first things first. A “burpie” is a burp cloth. A “wipie” is a cloth wipe/mini burp cloth/cloth Kleenex- you get the point.

Now, how do you make them? Here are the dimensions:

Burpie- 10″ x 18″

Wipie- 10″ x 6″

So, the wipie is about a third of the size of the buttie.

To make a burpie or wipie, simply cut two rectangles of fabric (we’ll discuss fabric selection in a minute) and sew them together with right sides together, leaving a hole to turn the item right side out.

(You can see the hole in the above photo on the upper edge.) Clip the corners so when you turn your item right side out, you’ll have corners rather than rounds.

Flip right side out, pushing the corners out. Sew around the edge again, all the way around. Sew close to the edge to close the hole. Overlap your stitches where you began.

(This entire process is very simply termed “turned and topstitched” or “T&T.” When you see this, you know the whole process is sew, flip, sew.)

Now, let’s discuss the arduous task of choosing fabric! So, you can clearly use whatever you want, but I have tried several things and used them personally, so I really do know what works.

The best option based on absorbency is woven cotton on one side (quilting cotton) and terry cloth on the other side. You can buy the terry cloth by the yard, but the best absorbency is to buy cheap towels from the mega mart which shall remain unnamed. (No joke, I only go to the MegaloMart – name changed- for these cheap towels!) You go to MegaloMart and buy their cheapest towels. (They cost $2.50 a towel and you can make at least 4 burpies out of one towel!) Cut the end strips off (unless you like that line across your burpie) and cut them into appropriate sized rectangles. I have tried both terry by the yard and cheap towels and I can tell you that cheap towels make fluffier, more absorbent burpies. (And you’ll have a broader range of colors.) Burpies made out of cotton and terry are cute and functional. They catch the biggest messes from the biggest spitters! They are awesome! The drawback is the bulk. They are pretty hefty and don’t fold up very small, which makes them boogers to stick a few in your diaper bag. There are also limited colors available. Yes, towels come in many colors, but you may have trouble finding exact matches.

The next best option is flannel. You can use a woven cotton (quilting cotton) on one side and flannel on the other, or you can do both sides in flannel. Flannel is soft, thin, and absorbent. Flannel/flannel make awesome wipies! They are the best wipies in the world. (Well, flannel/bamboo velour make some super awesome wipes- but that can be expensive!) Solid flannel comes in more colors that terry and even more than towels. Cotton/flannel burp cloths are perfect for stashing several in your diaper bag for emergency use. They also work well if you have a frequent spitter that doesn’t spit a lot each time. They fold down so easily. You can also use flannel on one side and terry on the other side, if you are so inclined. Flannel is much softer than the terry.  Flannel is also really cheap! (I buy mine when JoAnn’s has it on sale for $2.49 a yard!)

You can also use a cotton knit in place of woven cotton. I tend to use woven cotton because it comes in so many prints and patterns. I can find so many cute fabrics. Knit on one side and terry on the other do make some awesome wipies, though they can be a little rough (especially on little noses), but can clean poo off little butts like nobody’s business. You can also use knit on both sides, but they are hard to sew and are not my favorite. But if you have some old tees and need wipies, go ahead and use them! (If you have a serger, you can just serge two layers of knits together instead of T&T.)

You can use whatever you like, but there are a few things that I thought might be nice, but really suck when made into something you need to actually function! Don’t use minky. It sounds like a nice idea. A burp cloth with cotton on one side in an adorable pattern and super soft minky on the other. Well, it is gross when a kid pukes on the minky and it isn’t absorbed at all! It just sits there and you touch it and it is cold, then the baby rubs his face in it and he has puke all over his cute little face because minky does not absorb! Yes, the burp cloth is cute as can be. Yes, before the baby is born you run your hand over it and feel the softness and you get all mommy-eyed thinking about your soft, sweet baby cuddling up on your shoulder with this divine burpie. Then you use it once, have puke smeared everywhere on you and adorable baby, and you never pick that burp cloth again. Until your mother-in-law visits. *laughing* (That was a joke. I am not at all responsible for mothers-in-law getting covered in icky baby puke from a non-absorbent burp cloth!)

The next fabric not to use is fleece. It seems like it’d be a nice choice. Many baby things are fleece. Fleece is soft and fluffy. Fleece comes in bazillions of colors. But let me inform you. Fleece repels water. That is not a good feature for a burpie or a wipie. (If you need liners for cloth diapers to keep diaper rash cream, bacitracin, or petroleum jelly off your diapers, fleece makes a good liner. Other than that, keep away from the fleece!)

(3 wipies made with cotton/terry on left next to 3 wipies made with cotton/flannel. All are folded in thirds- my usual way of folding things- and the terry ones were pushed down so they’d stay for the 2 seconds it took to snap a picture!)

So, go sew! Go ahead! Make burpies and wipies for yourself, your friends, your neighbors, that person across the country that you don’t know but paid you to do so!

Need burpies and/or wipies but don’t have the time/energy/resources to make them? Let me know! I take custom orders! (Visit MooseandWormy or contact me any other way you know how!)

Newborn Cloth Diaper Review

Emery is our first little one to have a fluffy bum from birth. I chose to go with mostly fitteds and covers for the newborn stage.  I also ordered some all-in-ones for this stage. I love the fitted option for a newborn! Those explosive newborn poos never leaked with our fitteds and covers. If the poo somehow managed to make it out of the fitted, which was rare, it was still trapped in the cover. So, no up-the-back-and-into-the-hair poo messes with Emery. And his little bum was oh-so-adorable! Here are the reviews of the newborn diapers and covers we used for Mr. Emery.

** Reviews have moved to make them more reader friendly! Click the links or go to the “Off the Bum” section! Sorry if this inconveniences you in any way. **

volcom diaper gbw

graham bear wear diapersGraham Bear Wear Newborn Fitted Diapers

nannipoo diaperNanipoo Newborn Fitted Diaper

cocostar diaper coverI purchased three custom made newborn covers from CoCo Star Creations. The covers themselves are adorable. Shipping from Canada takes time and costs quit a bit more. These covers worked fine for daytime wear. They work especially well when worn without clothes over top. And they are so cute, you’d want to do that. They do leak if you leave them on for more than 3 hours, so night time wearing is out. They also leak if you’ve got tight clothing on top of them. They fit Emery from birth to about 13 lbs. I had one with a woven cotton, and it only fit to 12 lbs. She had lots of great fabrics to choose from. She offers both side snapping and front snapping. The newborn size she also adds a snap down front for the umbilical stump.

ProrapColorsBecause of the leaking issue with our custom made covers, I ordered some Prowraps. I ordered both the colors and the classic Prowraps. I prefer the colors. The inner material is thicker on the colors and the exterior is softer. Although, the colors do snag with the Velcro. The classics don’t snag themselves. I really do like the Prowraps. No leaks with these at all. I love the ability to wipe out the cover and use it again. I am usually not a Velcro fan, but these didn’t bother me. They don’t have laundry tabs, instead you fasten them like there is an invisible baby in there and wash them. They never let go! I also can say that I’ve got no complaint with the Velcro rubbing on Emery’s tummy. These fit Emery from birth to 13 lbs. I think they would have fit for a little longer, but we had no diapers that fit under them beyond 13 lbs.

wild child AIO

Wild Child for Babies newborn all-in-one cloth diaper .

I am always willing to try new cloth diapers and cloth diaper products. If you have something you’d like to send me to try just contact me! I’d be happy to share your product with my world.