nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

Posts tagged ‘baby shower’

minky… all the better to clip you with!

I had a request from the person that received these to do some more for a baby shower. The only instructions given were that the colors were green and brown, they didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, and she liked the damask patterned one. Not a whole lot, but more than enough to get creative.

So I started searching around my stash for green and brown, everything green and brown i could find in any fabric, even if they didn’t go together or weren’t the same shades, even if it was just a scrap. I came up with about a dozen fabrics and carted them all to my sewing table (aka, “the kitchen table that hasn’t seen food in probably close to 2 years now”). I started laying them out, moving them around, pulling some, putting some other ones in, just visual brainstorming. I had the wonderful thought to make one side minky because I had some stringy minky scraps from cutting around blankets and bibs, and I hardly ever throw a scrap away. So here’s what I came up with:

Not too girly, not to boy-y (yes, it’s a word now), and hopefully sorta co-ordinate-y (again, now a word).

clothing little ninjas

When little ninjas are very tiny, they still need to be clothed properly as a true little ninja. I completed this project on the long weekend (Victoria Day in Canada), but I’m using WordPress’ handy scheduling feature to make sure that the recipient doesn’t see this post before he returns to work next week and I can give him the gift.

How did I accomplish this feat of ninja mastery? The first thing I did was search for “ninja silhouette” in Google Images. I actually traced it right off of my laptop screen (I have a hard screen cover that lets me do that, it’s the easiest way because I can easily adjust the size on the screen before tracing). Then I went to Walmart and found plain one-sies and fabricland to find pretty fabrics and Heat’N’Bond lite. Keep in mind that I did all of this in Lloydminster!

I’ve used Heat’N’Bond before, but never anything this complicated before. I found out from my last project that if there is any webbing peeking out from behind the applique, it will get all over the iron and make a sticky mess. So after I got the fabric pieces all cut out, I set the fabric on chunks of Heat’N’Bond and thought to myself “How on earth am I ever going to cut out an identical shape?!”

So I took the iron and “tacked” the fabric to the Heat’N’Bond – I heated up dots near the end of each limb of the ninjas to hold them all in place, and then cut around the fabric shapes and continued on as before. This method ensured that each part of the ninja – even the tiny little ties of his belt – were firmly attached to the garment. When I got home I stitched around the edges of each of the ninja – I’ll wash them and I hope that they’ll fray around the edges, and that the washable quilting marker comes out!

As usual when I go to Lloydminster, I came out of Fabricland wanting to punch the lady behind the counter – she didn’t want to sell me the glow-in-the-dark machine embroidery thread that I found. She started off by asking me if I knew that this wasn’t normal thread. I tried not to be insulted, since I had been standing at the till, had squealed, and then dashed over to get some, and came back to the till – anyways, no harm on that one. I replied “Yes, it’s glow-in-the-dark machine embroidery thread. I’ve never seen anything like that before, I’m quite excited to try it out!” She then asked me if I knew that it was expensive, and I got very slightly insulted… I replied “Yes, it’s right there on the shelf, it’s 8 something a spool”, which I realize is a lot more expensive than your run-of-the-mill thread. Then she went back to look at the box on the shelf to check the price and came back and said “They’re $8.98 each”, to which I nodded. She asked me if I still wanted them, and I nodded and said yes. Then she asked if I really wanted two of them – now I was starting to get annoyed. I nodded and said yes. She said “Two of them, at 9 dollars each, that’s $18!” I nodded and said yes. She said “You really want both of them?” Now I was starting to get angry. I wanted to asked her “Do you not want me to buy your thread? Just ring in the freaking thread!” But I didn’t say that… I didn’t even raise my voice – much. I just nodded and said yes and ignored the flabbergasted look of confusion on her face.

I can sometimes get this sort of attitude because I don’t look very old – I’m 29, but I don’t look very 29 – I get ID’ed at bars, liquor stores, and restaurants often, and the legal age here is only 18! I’ve encountered this before too, and I find ageism not only frustrating, but insulting. I make a decent living and I have no children, so I spend money on things that I enjoy, like sewing and embroidery, and I don’t appreciate people that assume for whatever reason that there is anything of which I’m incapable.

baby, baby, baby oh!

i know, it’s been a while. i had to write an exam on monday so studying was my entire world for about two weeks straight. seriously: eat, sleep, study, rinse, repeat. oh yeah, and go to work.

but now that it’s over, i have time to share the baby gift that i so didn’t have the time to make that i made!

I would say that it took about 2h in total… an hour of shopping and an hour of assembly. I used the super special organic cotton, hypo-allergenic diapers because I didn’t know what brand she uses and these ones have pooh bears on them 😀 I also used 4 washcloths twisted and tied to look like flowers, and 3 onsies that made very pathetic looking flowers. The baby in question is about a month old, but needs 3-6 month clothes for the near future, and was lacking a baseball hat, so when I found a pooh bear baseball hat, I knew it was a “home run” (pun intended)!

To assemble the cake I used the following proportions:

  • 1/2 of the package minus 3 or 4 for the bottom layer
  • 1/4 of the package plus the leftovers from the first half  plus the “flowers” for the middle layer
  • the remaining 1/4 minus 1 for the top layer
  • the last diaper got rolled up and stuffed under the hat to prop it up.

If you don’t know how to create a diaper cake, it’s super easy. The method that i use is to roll up 3 or 4 diapers (make sure they’re all rolled in the same direction and on the same side) and tie a really long string around them just tight enough so that they stay together.  Then go around and evenly stuff some more diapers around the edges so that they’re all still facing the same direction. Most diapers nowadays have cute little pictures on them, so make sure the pictures are all facing outwards and the “raw” edges are all facing in.  Loosen the string a little so that it’s just tight enough to hold everything together and go around again.

can you see my study materials back there? ugg, canadian copyright law and the alberta engineering act...

The most important things in the end is that every diaper is consistently rolled, and that the entire thing is round.  When you’re finished the layer, tie everything at an appropriate tightness (none of the diapers should be folding around the string, but you should be able to pic the entire thing up and have it stay together).

The bigger the layer, the more diapers it takes to increase the size by one “row” (the bottom layer is only about one row bigger than the middle and top rows, but uses 2x as many diapers!).   Stack the layers, put something pretty on top, and you’re done!  If you want, you can include the packages from the items so the mom knows what she’s got!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the flower washcloths.  Here’s what I did:

  • Fold the washcloth in half.  These ones have very pretty bias, so that’s what went in the center of the flower.
  • Start rolling.  You want to make sure that the bias’ed edge stays about even.
  • For only the very last wrap, fold the bias’ed edge over once, towards the outside of the flower.
  • Tie very tightly right underneath the bias’ed edge to make the flower “bloom”!

So about an hour after I began construction, I had a smash-hit gift… it was a big hit at the party, the only gift that was passed around. The best part is that you can add exactly the things you want to it, in this case I knew what the things she needed were.

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