Made for Baby – DIY Tutorials

When Eden was born, we had been house hunting and hoping to get into a place beforehand. We ended up moving in three weeks after she was born so for her first three weeks of life, her things were piled in the living room of our one bedroom apartment. I wasn’t able to organize very well, and she being my first baby, I didn’t know what things I really needed or wanted for a little one. It was really hard to play catch up and get organized and get things we needed (once we realized we needed them) after she was born.

This time around, I was determined to not let that scenario play out again. I began nesting really early, or maybe my motivation came purely from my lack of organization surrounding Eden’s birth. I felt relieved to know the things I needed or wanted this time around and so I broke out my sewing machine and got started (as soon as my first trimester and the nausea was behind me).
I may sew some more things…like bow ties are definitely in the future, but for now I wanted to try and create a one stop of diy tutorials that cover everything you need for baby or items I found very useful to make. Here they are and here are the tutorials I used for them:

Towel Backed Burp Cloths Tutorial

I was given towel backed burp clothes at my baby shower for Eden and they were probably the most used item I received. In fact so used, that they started falling apart at the seams and had some nice stains going on by the time she had outgrown them. So I ended up tossing them. When I learned of our little guy on the way I knew I NEEDED some and so I searched for some fabric and a tutorial and made a whole stack…because you can’t really have too many burp cloths on hand. The tutorial I found here used flannel fabric for both sides, but I highly recommend replacing a side with towel, cause man it soaks up way more! I also really loved the shape/design of these burp cloths.

Knotted Baby Hats Tutorial

I always worried that my bald little Eden (you’d never know she was a bald baby by her hair today) was too cold at night or even in the day. She was born in the middle of the spring and even though warm months were upon us, she went from a warm tummy to living in the AC – which we kept blasting in the summer months.  So it didn’t matter if it was a hot desert outside, I worried about her being warm enough and so, I felt really good about keeping a little hat on her head. Along with that, since this little guy won’t be wearing pretty bows on his head, I thought it would be fun to make him a good assortment of knot hats using this tutorial.

Baby Mittens Tutorial

When Eden was born, it didn’t take long to realize that she was going to be pretty good at decorating her cute tiny face with scratches, as some babies do (maybe I passed that onto her since it sounds like I was pretty good at it as a baby as well). We had some baby mittens for her hands, but a lot of the time they would get flung off as she flailed her little newborn arms around and if we didn’t notice in time she would put a nice scratch or two on her skin. I found that sock actually stayed on better, but looked a little funny. I am not sure if this little guy coming will be a face scratcher, but I wanted to be prepared and I hunted for some mittens that would stay on. I found some on Amazon that had a pretty long wristband and the reviews claimed they were worth the $12 per pair since they actually stayed on.  I knew I would need more than one pair and didn’t exactly want to fork out a couple dozen dollars, so I set out looking for something similar that I could make and stumbled across this tutorial. These mittens have two layers and I remember how sweaty Eden’s little hands got in her gloves, so I opted to just do the outer layer and not worry about the uncovered seam on the inside of the gloves. I really don’t think that’ll bother him or be noticeable at all.

Car Seat Canopy Tutorial

I did have a car seat canopy from Eden that was still in great shape, but I didn’t really want to tote the little guy around town under a pink owl and floral design, so I decided to make one, more suitable for him. The outside fabric I used was a canvas fabric and then the inner cloth was just cotton fabric. I used my friend Valeri’s tutorial here. She was the one who helped me make my first one for Eden, so I knew right where to go for a great tutorial. Oh, notice that she used lace for the straps on hers. If you plan to use fabric and opt out of lace, like I did, be sure to get an extra ¼ yard of the top fabric so you have enough to make some straps.

Boppy Cover Tutorial

I used this tutorial to create a new cover for my boppy pillow. I have only ever had one cover, but when it gets spit up on it, it will be nice to have an alternative while the dirty one is getting washed. This tutorial does require you to fold a bobby cover in half and trace it with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, so if you don't have one to begin with you will need to find a pattern online to use...which there are tons. I just preferred to trace mine and know that it would fit my pillow more exactly. I went with two different fabrics, a cream colored cotton with white triangles on one side and a gray minky fabric on the other and a gray zipper.

360 Degree Nursing Cover Tutorial

As a new experience for me, a pretty conservative person in general, I found nursing in public and even small groups to be uncomfortable. Mainly because, by the time I was able to get to nursing Eden, she was usually already thrashing her limbs around like a wild banshee and it took a lot of effort not to have my blanket or whatever I was using as a nursing cover, flung wide open. If I could have felt more securely covered, my nursing stress level would have been extremely minimized. A year or two ago, while I was at the zoo I watched a girl get ready to nurse, by slipping a cover over her that wrapped 360 degrees around her. Basically, it wasn’t going anywhere. I immediately decided I NEEDED one of those with my next baby. I began to see them around more and more, but again…didn’t want to fork out the $30-$50 to get one.  I decided to make my own. I bought two yards of jersey knit fabric (which was more than enough) from Walmart for like $4 per yard and got to work – it was probably the easiest things I made for the kid (and me I guess)! I did end up sewing a large pocket on it as well, so I could stuff it all into the pocket to transport it easier…cause I am bringing this thing everywhere! See Tutorial below.  

I made my cover more narrow at the shoulders and wider through the body

The opening of the pocket aligns the bottom of the cover

The fabric I purchase was about 59 inches wide (and the stretch of the fabric ran width wise – which you can tell by stretching the fabric with your hands to see which way has the most give). This I the part that would wrap around my body 360 degress. I ended up getting 2 yards cut for the length of the cover, but only needing 1 yard + 6 inches for the cover and about 10 more inches for the pocket - so overall I would recommend getting 1 1/2 yards to be safe. Although how much length you get cut depends on how long you would like the cover to be from your head/neck to your knees . I am 5”6 and found that I really liked the 42 inch length that I ended up trimming my two yards down to in the end. I also left the top and bottom edges raw since the jersey knit won’t fray, but if you want to fold over the edge and put a zigzag stitch (make sure it is a tight zigzag so you do not restrict the stretch from side to side) then factor in an extra ½ inch-1 inch for seam allowance. After I cut my piece I ended up with a 42in x 59 in rectangle.

I decided to make the fabric that would be around my shoulders more narrow so it wouldn’t slip down over me while nursing, by shortening one of the 59in sides. To do this fold the rectangle of fabric in half so that the  59inch sides are lined up (fold with inside out so that you can pin and sew and then flip and have the seam on the inside).  Once you have the fabric folded and lined up, measure the top from the folded edge and make a mark at 21 inches. Draw a line from the 21 inch mark to the bottom corner of bottom side, so that side will remain 59 inches wide. Then cut along the diagonal line you just drew and remove those skinny triangular shaped pieces, If you would like to fold the edges of the top and bottom over and sew them, this would be the point to do that. I skipped that step and left them raw since the won't fray anyways. 

Then pin the freshly cut edges together and sew them with a straight stitch at 1/4in seam allowance. Then follow up the straight stitch with a nice zigzag stitch to finish the edge and secure it...unless of course you have a serger in which case you can just serge the edge.

Now if you would like to add a pocket (refer to picture above for a visual), create a pattern by drawing a 9.5in x 7.5in rectangle –pin it to the extra fabric so the stretch is in the width and cut it out. Then fold the longer side down 1 ¼ inches and iron to make a crease before sewing it with a 1/4in seam allowance to create the top of the pocket. I used a twin needle to sew since my stitch was going width wise and I didn't want to ruin the stretch. If you don't have a twin needle do a tight zigzag. the fold the two side edges and the bottom edges of the pocket in 1/4 inch and iron them to crease them before pinning the pocket to the cover by aligning the top of the pocket with the bottom of the cover and one side of the pocket with the seam running down the cover. then I sew the the pocket to the cover with a twin needle. Again, use a zigzag stitch for anything you are sewing with the stretch of the fabric if you don't have a twin needle. In the end, when I fold my cover inside the pocket the pocket ends up being inside out, or having raw edges visible from the inside of the pocket. I would rather have it like this and have it look nice on the outside of my cover when it is un-tucked, but if you'd like your pocket to have finished seams when the cover is all tucked into it, sew the pocket to the inside of the cover and it will be right side out when you tuck it in. 

Hooded Towel Tutorial

I was given a hooded towel for Eden, made from a normal size towel and a hand towel (as the hood). I had a few baby towels as well, but the home made hooded towel was always my go to, because those thin little hooded baby towels didn’t soak of very much water at all and I found they were always soaking after bath time. I was able to get Eden dryer and keep her warmer in the home made towel. She still likes using her towel to this day and she is almost 4. I decided that instead of her thinking baby brother is taking over ALL of her things, that I would just make him his own so that she could use hers whenever she wanted. Plus hers happens to be purple, which isn’t the end of the world, but why not make the little guy a more many grey one? I used a combo of tutorials, but had I stumbled across this one originally, I would have used it. Mine came out pretty similar other than the cuff on the hood.

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