Category Archives: Babies and kids

New Baby Name Frames

Baby Name Frames

Baby Name Frames – boy and girl

All the babies from my NCT group – including mine – turned 1 recently. The girls I met through the course (plus a few others) kept me sane throughout those first few crazy months, and we met up pretty every much every week while we were on maternity leave (if you’re a parent-to-be and you’re wondering whether to do NCT, I’d highly recommend it, just for the friends you’ll make).

Now that we’re back at work it’s virtually impossible to get everyone together, so I wanted to make the kids something to keep – and their parents something to remember the first year by.

Baby Name Frame - Alexander

These personalised baby name frames include full names, date of birth, weight at birth, time of birth, first address and parents’ names (and the one above also includes the meaning behind the name). I’m pretty forgetful, so this kind of thing is right up my street.

Baby Name Frame - Imogen

Having made the NCT presents, I’ve now been asked to make a few more for Christmas – they make nice ‘new baby’ gifts as well as first birthday mementos.

Baby Name Frame - Imogen detail

In terms of how they’re made, the text is written in InDesign, and the frame insert is painted in baby blue or dusky pink emulsion, which means (for the cost of a tester pot) they can also be painted to exactly match a particular colour scheme.

Baby Name Frame Boys

They cost £24 (plus UK P&P), are completely personalised, and take around 2 weeks to make and post. You can buy via my sister Etsy shop, One Green Rocket.

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How To… Make A Child’s Apron

Child's apron

I found this stripy fabric in a charity shop for £1.99 and couldn’t resist making a chef’s apron for the little fella. Completely pointless, yes. But cute, too. Here’s how to do it.

You’ll need:
Cotton fabric (I used a 50cm x 45cm scrap for an apron to fit a 1-year-old)
Apron ties x3 (measure the circumference of your child’s head then add 5cm. Use this measurement for all three lengths)
Pins
A needle and thread, and/or a sewing machine
One of your child’s vests

Step 1: child's apron

Step 1: Lay the vest on top of the fabric as per the photograph above (note the extra length below the vest – as a rough guide this measurement should be about half the length of the vest itself). Trace the vest (excluding the bottom edge) about a centimetre out from the edges using a washable felt tip pen.

Child's apron: basic shape

Step 2: Cut the fabric, following the markings, and you should end up with a basic apron shape like this one, below.

Child's apron: step 2

Step 3: Turn the fabric over so the right side is facing down. Begin hemming the apron by folding the edges of the two ‘arm holes’ inwards by about a centimetre and pinning in place. As these edges are curved, it’ll help if you make a few inward snips perpendicular to the edge with a pair of scissors beforehand – if you look closely at the photograph below you should be able to see what I mean (click it to enlarge). Tack and sew in place.

Child's apron: step 3

Step 4: Hem the top edge in the same way, by folding the edge of the fabric over by a centimetre, but this time tuck the two ends of the neck tie in as you do so, as per the photograph below. Pin and tack in place, then do the same along the two long edges – this time attaching the two side-ties as you do so (place them at the top, just beneath the armholes). Pin and tack, then sew all three edges.

Child's apron: step 4

Step 5: From the leftover fabric, cut a pocket to fit the size of your apron, and hem all four edges by folding them over and sewing. Pin the pocket to the front of your apron and sew three of the edges, remembering to leave the top edge open.

Child's apron: step 4

And voila! Here’s a photo of Little Boy modelling his apron to prove it does actually fit (with quite a lot of room to grow…). I’m still not sure about this do-I-or-don’t-I put photos of my kids on my blog thing, so for now I’ve chopped his head off. But you get the idea (and a lovely shot of my bin: bonus!)

How to make a child's apron

Apron: model’s own

 

 

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Sew Your Own: Baby Playmat

Handmade Baby's Playmat

This looks more complicated than it is. Which, in my opinion, is the best kind of sewing project out there.

I bought the alphabet fabric – a kind of faux patchwork called ‘Letterbox’ – from kidsfabric.co.uk, and backed it with a thin layer of wadding and another layer of fleece. I sewed the three layers together by following the edges of the ‘patches’ in vertical and horizontal lines. Then I used a bit of bias binding to neaten the edges of the finished playmat.

And voila! Roughly the same effect of a more standard stich-all-the-squares-together-first patchwork quilt, but with more time left over to watch The Great British Bake Off. What’s not to like?

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Baby shower central

Gluten-free lemon cupcakes

My nearest and dearest seem to be popping out babies left right and centre at the moment. I swear it’s catching. After the very girly baby shower a few weeks back I had two more to go to last weekend, which meant two lots of gluten-free cupcakes (I love Doves Farm’s recipe with lemon icing) and two more taggie blankets. I’ve just finished another new baby gift – a playmat – but I’ll save that for another post in case the new mum spots it on here before I have time to give it to her (because of course she’ll have time to sit and read my blog…)

Taggie blankets on the line

I think that’s a total of 6 baby showers now – including my own last year – and I’ve seen some lovely handmade gifts at each one. A couple of friends are great at making nappy cakes, another made a beautiful patchwork quilt, and another a gorgeous crochet blanket. I’ve made so many taggies now that I think it’s high time I found a new ‘speciality’. I’ve started a board of crafty baby shower ideas on Pinterest, but if anyone else has any bright ideas please give me a shout!

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A very girly baby shower

The pinkest taggie in the land

The pinkest taggie in the land

Some friends and I organised a surprise baby shower over the weekend, which gave me the perfect excuse to run up a ridiculously girly taggie blanket for the mum-to-be (I’ve only ever made unisex taggies before this). It also meant I was tasked with making the invites (OK, I may have volunteered my services before anyone else had a chance, but that’s beside the point…)

Baby shower invites

I got a set of notecards and tarted them up with a few mismatched buttons and some superglue. How they fared in the post I’ve no idea, but they looked pretty before they went!

More baby shower invites

My baking skills are on a par with my ability to read a map, so I got my sister to make some gluten-free cupcakes and we asked the rest of the ladies to bring something sweet to share (the cupcakes-in-a-cone got my vote!). Needless to say, we’re still working our way through the leftovers. Which reminds me – is it lunchtime yet?

Cupcake cones

Gluten-free cupcakes

And the rest...

 

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Neat cheat #1: pretty bedding = cheap fabric

Single duvet and pillowcase set for £10 = cute kids' fabric at less than £2.50 a metre

Single duvet and pillowcase set for £10 = cute kids’ fabric at less than £2.50 a metre

I picked up some bargain kids’ fabric this week in the form of a duvet cover and pillowcase from TK Maxx. A tenner got me more than 4 metres of fabric, plus the pillowcase (a drawstring laundry bag waiting to happen), which rings in at less than £2.50 per metre. Not bad eh? I might have to pay a visit to the bedding section more often, although not before I’ve decided what to make with this. I’m torn between running up a pair of tab top curtains, a beanbag, or a fabric tent for the garden. Decisions, decisions…

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He had a nap!

Image

…and this was the result. Happy Wednesday folks!

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