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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Free PDF Patterns for Children and Babies

I've thought for a long time about committing my research for free patterns to a post, but I've always been too busy using them to make clothes for the grandchildren to find time to write about them. I did manage one post a while back with my (then) favourite free patterns. Those were all ones I'd used over and over again for my grandchildren.




But I really want to make an attempt now to produce something that would be useful to others looking for free patterns for babies and children. It will take several posts. I have several hundred links on my spreadsheet, and there are several worksheets on it covering dresses and tops, pants and trousers etc. Then there are all the different sizes. Where to start?

To find which I think are some of the most useful web sites, and links to them, read on. Please recognise I have put a lot of work and research into my patterns reviews, so please don't just copy it all into your own web site without acknowledging the source. Thank you.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Replacement Padded Covers for Baby Car Seat or Buggy Straps

When my daughter found to her delight that she was pregnant again for the second time, it was time to get Jane's old car seat out of storage. Oh dear! One of the covers that should wrap round the shoulder strap to protect the baby from the strap chafing had gone missing.
Image result for car seat
It wasn't actually this model car seat, but you can see the padded covers for the straps clearly on this picture as they should be. Two of them. 

So the next sewing request was for a new set of strap covers. (A set, because, of course, you want them to match.) To find out how I made these (easy as pie), read on.

Easy Sunglasses (or Glasses) Case


In the middle of packing a holiday case (yes, I'd left it that late) I realised that none of the cases I had were big enough in depth for either of my two favourite pairs on sunglasses. 



So I had to make a new case, pronto. It had to be able to protect my sunglasses in the suitcase, and when out and about, but I didn't want it to be too heavy.

I knocked up this case in about 7 minutes. You could do a much better job in 15, but I didn't have 15 minutes available!










Friday, 6 October 2017

The Fat Quarter Challenge

I have always tried to squeeze as much as possible into the material I have. Probably comes from my Mum, who lived through the hardships and shortages of the Second World War. Her favourite recycling mantra was 'make do and mend', and she never threw anything away. So I recently took it as a personal challenge to see what I could make from fat quarters. With a new grand-daughter expected any day now, I thought I would start there.

A fat quarter is a small piece of material which is effectively a quarter of a square yard of fabric (or metre, if you are lucky). So they are popular with quilters, who can cut several six to nine inch (15-20 cm) squares from each. In practice, few bolts of material these days are exactly a yard or metre wide:  41"-42" or 112cm are the standard for the types of cotton and poly cotton from which most fat quarters are cut. So a fat quarter is usually more like 18" by 21".  Hence the name 'fat' quarter, I suppose.

Here's what I made recently from a few fat quarters: a kimono wrap dress or nightdress for newborn; a sun hat, a diaper cover, a play suit for c 3 months, and a circular skirt age c 3 months. You can find out more about squeezing tiny garments from a minimal amount of material below. Of course, if you have just a tiny bit more fabric, it will be a little easier!


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

My Dining Chair Harness

Home-made baby sitting harness (for sitting at table)

In an earlier post, I wrote about some ideas for making home made harnesses. I also mentioned that none of them were 100% right for my needs, and that I had made my own based mainly on the Canadian Living example, but with some modifications. This is what I came up with.



Here's how I went about it, including the adaptations, and a link to my pattern.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Snappy Top

As I look through my photos, I see there are  projects I photographed but didn't blog about - too busy at the time! But I like to write up my experiences / efforts, especially when trying a new free pattern.

Here's one from May 2015.

This is made from the Snappy Toddler Top pattern from Prudent Baby.  Below, you can find out more about this pattern, and the dress I made from it.

Recycling Adult Clothes for Baby Things

Once adults have no further use for their clothes, they may give some of them to the charity shop.  Sometimes, the clothes may be in such bad shape that they just need to go into the fabric recycling waste. But sometimes adult clothes on the throwaway heap may still have some good fabric in them. My husband throws away a shirt once the collar corners have started to curl. If there is usable material, I put them in my stash, until I find a further use for them. (Often to my husband's protests that I already have too much fabric. Is there such a thing???) Often, there will be enough to make little garments for small children. In this post, I'm going to recap on some of the uses I've made of rejected clothes over the past couple of years that have enabled me to fashion new garments for nothing or next to nothing. If any of them strike a chord, there are links to the more detailed descriptions or tutorials.


Making Baby Leggings from an Adult Vest

My daughter's newborn baby was too long for the newborn clothes - the leggings she had been given didn't reach her ankles. So I thought I'd have a go at making her some bigger leggings.
I was pretty happy with the results, will definitely make some more. To find out how to make these easy little leggings, read on.