Monday, February 7, 2011

Baby shower gifts

Fae gift
It seems like everyone I know is expecting! That means a lot of baby gift crafting for me, but despite not really liking children and planning to remain childfree myself, I don't really mind making for babies. For one thing, I think it's important to surround babies with lovely handmades, and for another, those handmades are usually small, which makes them fairly quick projects. I'm thankful for a couple books in my craft book stash to help me out in times like this: Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings, and now Hillary Lang's Wee Wonderfuls. The above gift, for baby Fae (who came 5 weeks early, so it was actually crafted a couple of weeks after her birth) includes projects from both books.

Fae booties
I've made these booties a few times already, but they are such a great go-to project, and they're so small that they come together quickly. I'm still hand-stitching the insole to the booties; I just can't get the fusible interfacing to work the way it should, according to the book. But, like I said, they're so small that the hand-stitching doesn't take that long, and it ensures a really nice finish, so I'm happy to do it. For these I used a super soft corduroy for the outside and a bright orange solid for the inside. I think they look adorable and sophisticated!

Fae doll front
The doll is my first project from the Wee Wonderfuls book. I have to admit, I didn't want to get the book at first. I'd flipped through it and decided not to--my original thought was that it was too doll-centric and I prefer to make animal softies instead. However, I re-joined Crafter's Choice (it's a sickness, I tell you!) and got it as part of my introductory package, and I'm so happy I did. It's true that the book is mostly dolls, but I'm now realizing that dolls are just as great as animal softies! This little girl is one of the three sleepover pals (and, I should mention, my brother isn't even married yet but I am so hoping for twin nieces so I can make them each a set!!) and I just loved making her. She was really easy to put together; I followed instructions as written except I machine-stitched her lace collar on before sewing the halves together. It did take a bit of time to finish her, though--there is a lot of hand-stitching involved with the arms and the hair, and stitching around both twice to ensure they won't fall off, but it was totally worth it. I definitely see more of these in my future!

Leah baby sleep sack
For an as-yet-to-be-delivered baby girl, I made this sweet sleep sack from Handmade Beginnings. I saw that my friend had registered for some plain ones, so I thought a patchwork one lined in super-soft flannel would be welcome. The patchwork is made up of 2.5" squares and actually took a really long time to cut, lay out, and stitch together. The rest of the sack came together quickly--I think I spent the most time sewing around each piece of Velcro twice.

Leah baby sleep sack detail 2
I didn't want to make my own bias tape, so I used some I had on hand, but it was much skinnier than what the pattern called for. I'm not sure if that's why the top is a little ripply?? In my card I told my friend that when the baby outgrows it she could return it to me to have the patchwork repurposed into something for the nursery (I was thinking a little pillow, maybe, or an embroidery hoop hanging with the baby's name stitched in it). I have a feeling I won't be getting this back again, though--my friend's mom saved most of her baby clothes, which are being passed on to this new baby. It was so amazing at the shower to see the handmade Strawberry Shortcake dress from thirty years ago!


Molly said...

so cute!!!!

I love that little doll! I bet your presents were the talk of the shower :)

Leah said...

I was the lucky recipient of the sleep sack!! It definitely was a hit at the baby shower :-) Everyone had to pass it around for a closer look and admiration.
What a beautiful, timeless gift - I know the wee one will love it!
Thank you, thank you!

two hippos said...

I'm another one who is not so into babies, but likes making gifts. I usually make quilts, but I'm really impressed with all your projects!

Holly said...

What wonderful gifts you've made! I had the same thought about the Wee Wonderfuls book, but I've also had luck turning doll patterns into animals. (not from that book, but I have a basic baby doll pattern from Simplicy I think... I've made it in fleece, and added ears, tails etc. and turned it into a cat, and a duck!)