Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SHB Sew-Along: Baby Accessories

Before I had SHB, our house was littered with cat toys. Catnip mice/beavers/squirrels/other rodent-like creatures, dingly balls, crinkly tunnels, small stuffed animals, and feathers-on-a-stick, all for Walnut's enjoyment. If I thought that was bad, though, that was because I didn't know about babies. SHB has so many toys (some gifted, some made by me, some purchased by us because they were too cute to pass up), and while he isn't old enough to make a mess on his own yet, somehow there is a mess on our living room floor at the end of the day.

I wanted to make a containment-type object for Category 2 of the SHB Sew-Along (doesn't that sound like I'm talking about hurricanes instead of sewn items?), and while it would've been nice to have more marine-themed prints to coordinate with his other nursery items, I figured that stash-busting (and saving money) was more important. I pulled out fabric leftover from this dress and this skirt to make into a fabric basket using this tutorial. The only changes I made were to make the basket a couple inches taller and to use a couple layers of acrylic felt from the stash for the interfacing instead the quilted interfacing they recommend. I think the final basket reads nicely gender-neutral, despite their fabrics originating from my wardrobe.

Walnut models with the basket. Doesn't he make it look so attractively basket-like?
SHB checks out the basket contents. "Why are all of my toys in there instead of scattered all over the place for easy access?"

So that was one problem solved, but of course there are always new, unforeseen problems popping up when one is in charge of a small human being. For example, I theoretically knew that babies like chewing and sucking on everything when teething, but to see it in practice is a different story. I'm more or less resigned to SHB drool all over me, but the Ergo carrier straps can't be washed as often as my clothes. Apparently this is a common problem, as there's a thriving Etsy economy just for home-made suck pads. I found this DIY tutorial and figured it would be easy to make my own. Since I'm stingy with printer ink, I decided to wing my own pattern instead of printing out hers, and I used Velcro instead of wrestling with my snap setter, but otherwise they're fairly similar. My fabric was leftover from making SHB's lovey and interfaced with stash fleece. 

I'm pretty pleased with how nicely the colors coordinate with the gray of the carrier!

Fabric: Various scraps and remnants, all stash, probably totaling 1.5 yards
Notions: Twill tape for the handles of the basket, velcro for the suck pads
Hours: Five total, for both projects
Total cost: Free! I love shopping my stash.
Final thoughts: So useful. No more thoughts necessary.

Once again, let me reiterate how glad I am that the SHB Sew-Along gave me the kick in the butt I needed to set aside time for sewing! These were such easy projects, but if I didn't have that motivating factor, I would've kept thinking about how much I needed them but never gotten around to doing anything about it. There were a couple of other accessory items I made for the sew-along as well, but were less necessary; I made a cover for my nursing pillow and a couple of toys for SHB, but more on those in another post...


  1. great makes! i love the extra satisfaction that comes with sewing something practical and unique, especially for bubs. and, hurricane-lingo isn't far off when discussing kids and toys ;)

    1. Lol! SHB isn't crawling or throwing toys yet, but I'm bracing for the inevitable hurricane when that happens...

  2. I've already noticed the too-cute-to-pass-up problem! Especially if it's cute AND able to be classified as educational. Or is a stuffed animal that goes well with a book. The storage container is a great idea, though we actually sprang for a fabricy toy box with a lid from Ikea. Otherwise, the silly goldies will think that all these toys belong to them.

    The suck pads are a really good idea. I should probably try to make a couple of those. The carrier that I have is pretty similar to yours, and I'm sure I have some fleece and/or flannel scraps lying around.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Although TBH, it's more Mr. C's problem than mine, as he wants SHB to have all the same toys he had (e.g. that vacuum popper thing). I'm going to have to look into that IKEA box, as I'm sure we will only accumulate more toys...

      The suck pads are super useful, although I will say that quilting cotton is probably a better outer fabric than flannel, since you don't want Hobbit swallowing all those fuzzy fibers.

    2. Yeah, I was thinking more flannel for the inside, if I can't find any fleece scraps around here. After all, I am trying to bust some stash, not add to it!

      And this was the box I ended up getting--I'm not sure how well it would hold up to Walnut trying to use it as a seat or launching pad, since it's collapsible, but so far, it's worked well as a dog deterrent. Hopefully it will continue to be one after we're actually using the room more. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50306932/

  3. Great shot of him enjoying "tummy time"! And an adorable catch--all for his toys! Brilliant!
    Nancy N

    1. Thanks! He's gotten to be a lot better at enjoying tummy time!


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