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The Lorelei dress: Gemma’s first Easter dress

I know I’m getting a little off my usual topic by showing you some recent garment sewing, but I like to mix it up a little bit, and to be honest, a good variety of projects keeps me excited about what I’m doing every day.  This post is ALL about selfish sewing.  I took a little break from my other projects to make this and loved the result. 


I’m not a die hard mom that makes every little thing for the baby, but I did want to make one special occasion dress for Gemma as a baby–her first Easter dress.  I opted for the Lorelei Pattern from E-Beth Designs because I know Elizabeth and love, love, love the dress she made for her adorable little girl.  Plus, I purchased the mommy and me package to make matchy matchy dresses, but I was a little ambitious and didn’t leave myself enough time before Easter got here.  One of these days I’ll get to it, but I’ll make it in a print I love instead of matching my baby girl!  Also, there is a fantastic petticoat under the dress, and the pattern is so well written that there really isn’t any chance you can mess it up.  I was so happy with the results.  You can purchase the pattern on Elizabeth’s website and sew it up for any special event that you have coming up.  The only suggestion I would make is to use a cotton lining fabric instead of polyester, especially if sewing for a young child.  Our church is kind of hot and Gemma was a sweaty little baby by the end of the service, so a more breathable weave might be a better option if you know you’ll be in warmer temperatures.


Photo of the Mommy and Me bundle- from E-Beth Designs website

For the fabrics, I just went with some regular quilting cottons that I had on hand and had already prewashed for another project.  Sometimes I get too excited to sew a new garment pattern and don’t want to wait or go through the hassle of making sure the fabrics are pre-shrunk, so I was happy to use something already prepped.  I used a purple gingham for the accent pieces and a very light purple and cream floral fabric that I thought was really sweet.  I usually am not such a reserved person when it comes to fabric selection, but I wanted baby girl to look sweet!


Front


Back
And here is the finished dress-I made the 6 month size, even though Gemma was only 4 months and it worked out well.  I wanted her to be able to wear it for a little bit before she outgrows it completely, and the sizing was pretty spot on.  She’s a little over 6 months now and can still fit in it comfortably, which makes this momma extremely happy!  I was pleased at how professionally the dress finished–sometimes in children’s clothing patterns, steps are skipped or the patterns aren’t very well written, but this dress finishes with a petticoat and is fully lined.  I really enjoyed each step in the pattern and even learned some new things along the way.  Happy sewing until next time!  
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Sewing for BABY part 2 with Anna Maria Horner fabrics

So there are really only 2 more items I wanted to talk about on this topic, then I promise, I will move on from the baby talk!  

Find the fabric for this projects HERE and the pattern for the Belle Baby Bag HERE
Diaper bags.  Are. Outrageously. Expensive.  If you can sew, there is no excuse for buying a diaper bag (in my opinion).  I spent weeks looking for the perfect diaper bag pattern, and low and behold…Alicia from Swoon Patterns is miraculously pregnant at the same time that I am!!!  Which means she released a diaper bag pattern in the nick of time for me!!!  I mean, not really for me.  More for her, I’m sure.  But I’ll take it!  

My pile of Belle Baby Bag pieces cut and ready to go!

So I adore the “Passage” in Pomegranate from AMH’s Mod Corsage collection.  Such vibrant colors.  Seriously, pictures really don’t do the print justice.  I didn’t want to pair the fabrics with a solid, so I went with some Michael Miller’s Painter’s Canvas in a blue-grey color.  I feel like it really gave a little added texture and made the bag really POP.  

This is the shoulder strap for the bag–using Passage in pomegranate.  You can’t find a store bought diaper bag in fabrics this gorgeous.  Won’t happen.  

And then this is the nearly finished bag (I was waiting for the strap hardware to come in).  The pattern is very well written (thank you Alicia!), and I couldn’t be more happy with the fabric (thank you Anna Maria!!!).  I’m not going to lie…I started carrying it as my purse as soon as I got the rest of the hardware in.  It’s going to be a great diaper bag–there are pockets everywhere, and there are even stroller clips (not shown in picture) that attach to the handle of the stroller.  So there’s the diaper bag.  

The last thing I’m going to gush about for the time being is the wall hanging I made for Gemma’s room.  If you haven’t heard of Vanessa at Fabric Confetti, run–don’t walk–to her website.  Her embroidery-applique designs are awesome!  I purchased the Elemenopea embroidery design package (it also comes with SVG files to load into your cutter).  I was originally going to hand embroider “Gemma” onto a big wall hanging, but…ain’t nobody got time for that!  Find the embroidery files to purchase HERE on the Fabric Confetti website.

Elemenopea Embroidery package-picture from the Fabric Confetti website


So this comes in two different sizes (I swear–I didn’t get paid anything to promote either of these products.  I just love them.  I purchased them both myself and didn’t ask for any kind of payment from any designer mentioned in this post.)  I bought the larger size.  And yes, it is a bit pricey.  But…so worth it.  


I embroidered/appliqued each letter in “Gemma” separately and cut them out so I could set them at wonky angles on the wall hanging.  Note the reappearance of “Passage” in pomegranate!  The solid fabric on the bottom portion of the letters and also seen in the border of the wall hanging is a shot cotton by Studio E.  The prints in the top portion of the letters are all various prints from Mod Corsage.  



So this is the nearly finished project–loaded onto the longarm and being quilted.  So these are just a few of the things I’ve made for the nursery, and I’m happy with the few items I did make…even though my original plan was to basically stress myself out to the point of no return by making crib sheets, changing pad covers, lots of baby clothes, etc.  Nope.  Didn’t happen.  🙂  

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Sewing for BABY with Anna Maria Horner fabrics

As I said in my post a few weeks ago…we have a little girl on the way (I’m typing this in October, so I’m half way hoping she’s already been born by the time this goes live!).  My husband and I come from a long line of handmade people…my father in law made Gemma’s crib and dresser, my mother in law hand painted baby blocks for her and even wove some handles on a wooden basket to keep the blocks in.  So I wanted some other handmade items in the nursery too!

When I first found out I was pregnant, I had all these grand illusions of what I wanted the nursery to look like.  I was dreaming of a little girl.  We found out that was the case, and I knew immediately I didn’t want a sickening pepto pink bedroom for her.  

Pinterest was my BFF and I was pinning tons of color schemes and baby patterns.  I decided to make a short list of things I knew I would have time to make prior to her arrival and planned them out.  I started out with Alison Glass fabrics because I LOVE the saturated colors.  But I couldn’t pick a color scheme.  So I moved on to AMH and fell in love with the Mod Corsage line and Fibs and Fables.   I love how complex the colors are in Anna Maria’s lines.  The color schemes are very sophisticated, but they all manage to work with her other lines.  So I’m just going to do a quick run through of the items I’ve made so far for sweet baby girl’s room.  

Handmade burp cloths from cloth diapers and AMH Mod Corsage

 So this style isn’t typical of the burp cloths I used to make and sell in my Etsy shop, but I think these will be much more absorbent.  We shall see!!!  At the very least, they’ll be beautiful until they are snotted on and spit up on 🙂  Get the tutorial HERE (and better yet, this tutorial is labeled for beginner sewing!

Hour Baskets in Mod Corsage for baby organization

And have you seen how expensive simple little organizing baskets are???  Enter the hour baskets by kelbysews.  These literally took me 30 minutes from start to finish, and they hold the burp cloths like a champ.  I think I made 6 of these, and I love them all!  Get the pattern HERE

Tummy time mat made with Mod Corsage and Fibs and Fables AND batting scraps

And this ethereal print from Mod corsage with the bouquets…to die for.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to use this fabric for, but I knew I wanted it showcased.  And I loved this dressmaker print from the AMH Fibs and Fables line.  So I made a simple tummy time mat.  Another great thing about making this was that I used up a TON of batting scraps that I didn’t have any plan for.  I quilted this mat pretty heavily, so I stacked the batting scraps 3 layers deep.  This is the cushiest thing you could ever lay a baby on.  And I love that I put those smaller batting scraps to good use.  I squared it up after quilting, rounded the corners to give it a little more style, and bound it.  It’s small enough that I can roll it up and take to grandma’s house or wherever but big enough that I don’t have to worry about other people’s dirty floors 🙂  
There’s no pattern for this to link to, but it’s basically just a whole cloth quilt with tons of batting scraps layered in between the two pieces of fabric–enough to make 3 layers thick with batting.  Quilt as desired.  Trim/square up into whatever shape you desire.  I rounded the corners because I didn’t want them square, and then I slapped some binding on that sucker.  I did machine bind–in the event that this got pooped on or spit up on a ton and needed to be laundered a lot–so if you love hand binding as much as I do, you may want to rethink that!

I’m going to make this a two part post to talk a little more in depth about the other items (so I can credit other people’s designs).  Continued to next week–when I will hopefully have this baby out of my body if I don’t already!!!