Thursday, January 06, 2011

for baby awesome

I know it's the new year so technically I should be sharing with you all of the things that are happening this year instead of last. But there are a couple of things which I did not manage to blog about before the year ended. My  hope is that I will have a few more sewing projects to show you over the coming year. Until they materialize (no pun intended), here's what I stitched at the end of 2010.

The brainwave came as I was thinking about my favourite baby. I decided to make her a taggy blanket. At the moment she's a little bit too young to fully appreciate the fun there is to be had with a whole lot of ribbon tags and some brightly coloured fabrics, but knowing how baby's tend to go, I am pretty sure in a few months time she will be loving it.

Here's how the process went...

I selected five different fabrics and cut them into strips of about 35cm long and 8-10cm wide.

Then I pinned them back to back and stitched together to create a row of strips with hidden stitching. 

Next, I went to my ribbon stash and selected 8 different ribbon styles. I tried to vary the ribbon texture where possible to make the blanket as tactile as possible. I cut two strips from each style of ribbon, measuring 6 inches long (15cm).

Once I had cut the ribbon strips, I worked out where they would look best against the different fabric styles and placed them on top of the fabric, aiming to space them relatively evenly, placing 4 on each side. I didn't bother with measuring the spacing.

Now, if you happen to feel inspired to have a go at this project yourself, don't make the same mistake as I did at this stage. Note how in the above photo, all of the ribbons are facing the right side up? Well, they shouldn't be. I went ahead and stitched the blanket together like this, which meant that the ribbons which were only patterned on one side ended up inside out Fortunately, there were only about 4 that this was the case, so my mistake was easily redeemed. 

Having made sure all of your ribbons are facing the right way (or wrong way if we are speaking practically), fold each ribbon in half and pin to the right side of the fabric strips like so:

Once securely pinned, I machine stitched each ribbon to secure it to the fabric and removed the pins. I then cut a piece of wadding to be the same size as the fabric square - approximately 40cm square.

Having chosen a plain, slightly textured piece of fabric for the backing, I lined up the backing, fabric with ribbons attached, and the wadding - placing the two pieces of fabric right sides together, so that the wadding lay on the wrong side of the backing fabric. Like so:

I pinned through all three layers then machine stitched around three edges, leaving one side open to turn it the right way out. Now comes the moment of truth where you discover whether or not you have put your ribbons the right way round and right side out!

If all is well with your tags & machine stitching, it's time to hand sew the top edge....

Ta da! It's finished! Simple as that. I wanted to sew another 10 of these right after finishing, it was that that straightforward (minus a couple of hiccups but I have learned lots from my little mistakes). Simple, satisfying sewing. Just the kind I like.

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