Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Simplicity 3709: Cloth Baby Book

This weekend we went to Chicago to visit family and friends. Saturday was my cousin's baby shower. We had a blast! I got a chance to hang out and talk with all the family I missed seeing on vacation which was really nice, and even got in a Babywearing Lesson with the parents-to-be. Man, why can't I get paid to hold babywearing demonstrations? I love showing people how much easier life can be if they would just wear their little person around, and since I have been overly boisterous in my research I'm actually decently knowledgeable about it. Anyway, it was fun to rap about wraps and such and found out that my cousin's cousin, is a slinging mom too, which was so nice to hear! Oftentimes with the babywearing you either get, "Wow, what a great idea!" or "Who is this hippy freak?!" It is always nice to find a kindred spirit . . . even if just for the afternoon. :)


I'm also excited that I can now show the pictures of the project that I was working on (secretly) for the new baby. It was a labor of love for sure as I was teaching myself as I went: a) how to read/use a pattern, b) how to make buttonholes, c) how to not go crazy as you get towards the end of the project and realize you have no idea how to attach the last piece. Being able to watch the Olympics into the wee hours of the night over the course of many evenings helped keep me company as I went on my sewing odyssey with this project. Some of you have seen it because you were at the shower, but for my other readers who couldn't be there, this is what I came up with.

Without further ado, my first cloth baby book (Simplicity pattern 3709):This "I Love You" fabric was something I purchased in a random quantity when I first decided that I was going to make a gift for the new babe. I had no idea what I would eventually do with it, but I wanted to use it for whatever I decided to do so I got it.
This is Little Miss' favorite page in the book (the "peek-a-boo" page). Of course I had to have her *test* the book for me before I could count it worthy to pass along. :)

Little Miss loves "peek-aboo". When she realized that's what this was about I can't tell you how many times she opened and closed his hands saying "peeeeeeeee-PA-boo!"
This was the page that taught me how to make buttonholes. The flowers can be unbuttoned and buttoned back on and they won't fall out of the book if they become unbuttoned because they're held down by that bow gathering the "stems" at the bottom of the page.

The Little Miss also loves puppies and enjoyed pulling the puppy out of his house and then dragging the book around the room. That was actually a good thing because then I knew that the "leash" was sewn in enough to take some abuse. The little puppy ears, however, may prove delicate. They're only one-ply felt . . .I had a hard time getting a good photo of this page since the face is not showing up too well due to the dark color of this fabric. This is actually the only page I redid because after I got the rest of the pages done I realized how poorly the first one came out. The first time the fabric I used for the background had way too faint of a pattern and ended up looking more like just a solid yellow, which wasn't that fun to me. I wanted some unobtrusive, but still patterned, fabric of different colors for each page. Also, I hand-appliqued a mouth on the first one that I did and it turned out really wonky and there was no good way to pull it out and try again due to the fabric used for the cat's body. Also, it was my first experience with applique-ing pieces of fabric to each other and the sewing was way off. I went too fast with it and so the precision suffered. To make a long story short . . . quality control said it had to either be deleted or redone. I'm glad I redid it when all is said and done. The bow on the cat has jingle bells inside. :)This one was just kinda fun to do. The corn zips up and down. One thing I really liked about this project was all the different things I got to use in making it. All the different textures and notions . . . it was really involved! Much moreso than any other project I have ever attempted.
The bird's nest is made out of craft fur . . .

which pulls down to reveal some polka-dotted eggs!

The crinkly butterfly wings page. I had the hardest time figuring out what to put in these wings to give them a crinkly sound. The pattern called for an 8" square of "crinkly paper". No other explanation on what that might be. I talked to several different people at fabric and craft stores and no one had the same idea (and many had NO idea at all). I ended up taking a couple of cellophone treat bags and cutting them open to get my "crinkly" wings. I'm not convinced this was the best thing I could have used, but it's what I came up with and seemed to more or less create the desired effect.OK, so kids don't really learn the whole tying their shoe thing until they're probably way too old for this book, but it was in the pattern so I just went with it. I got to use Jiffy-Grip for the toe of the shoe which is that nubby fabric that they use on the bottom of the foot-y pajamas that kids wear so that they don't slip and fall down. The shoe laces are a suede trim. There are so many great textures on this page that it's worth putting in there for that alone.

THE END!


Anyway, we're home now. I thought I would have some work that needed to be done, but it looks like I wasn't left proper directives in my email so instead I'm up blogging. As usual, I was super-tired on the drive home and now that we're here, I'm UP. Maybe not for too much longer though. It's way too late to bust out a sewing project and I don't want to be up all night wasting my time perusing sewing blogs on the internet. Well . . . actually I wouldn't mind it, but I do need to sleep every once in awhile.

4 Comments:

subversivesewer January 22, 2010 at 11:40 PM  

Love your book! I'm going to start on mine this weekend!

Skooks January 23, 2010 at 5:07 AM  

It was definitely a labor of love, but very worth it in the end! My cousin was thrilled to get it for her little one. Good luck with yours!

Anonymous,  June 17, 2011 at 6:17 PM  

I'm having trouble sewing all the pages together. I used denim fabric for the cover as suggested but it's very thick. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

Nancy

Skooks June 17, 2011 at 6:43 PM  

Hmm . . . this was a LONG time ago that I made this. Honestly, all I remember is kinda making up how to put the cover on by hand because I had no idea how to finish it properly. And the Olympics were on. That didn't help you at all, I realize. As far as the denim thing goes, I have no experience with that. I used quilter's cotton for all the pages as well as the cover and I don't remember that part being challenging to put together. Just that last step of the binding where you had to hand sew it. Or where I decided to hand sew it. Don't remember if that's how the pattern is written or if that's just what I chose to do.

I gave this away as a gift so I can't even look at it again to see what I did. I'm so sorry! I wish I had more help to offer.

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