Baby stuff: sewing easy bibs

Baby shopping can be fun and exciting and cute, but it can also sometimes be (to be entirely honest) a bit of a chore. We have trailed through shops ticking things off lists, and sometimes it’s been disappointing. There’s still an awful lot pastel pink for a girl, blue for a boy, on almost everything from bibs to bedding.

So I decided to make some of my own things. There are some absolutely awesomely gorgeous fun prints out there, that aren’t all teddy bears and hearts, and I think they’re perfect for children’s stuff (and grown ups’ stuff too), like all of these I got from Lucie Summers and M is for Make.

But since it’s been years, if not decades, since I sat at a sewing machine, I’ve been doing incredibly basic stuff but I’m pleased with the results so wanted to share them here.

Bibs have to be the easiest things ever to sew, especially the triangular ‘dribble’ ones. It’s literally sewing two triangles together. I used this tutorial at Love Me Sew and used some soft creamy white fleece from John Lewis (£4 for a half metre) as the backing fabric. Then, using a bib we got given as an early baby gift as a template, I decided on doing a few round bibs too. I found these a little trickier because I’m not that used to sewing curved edges (tips, anyone?) and turning them inside out was slightly iffy, but by the third one I’d got the hang of it.

I’d recommend any fellow novices to use the tutorial I linked to as it’s so simple, but here is my version in a simple nutshell. Cut out your templates (for the triangular bib: 16.5 inches by 11.5 inches by 11.5 inches; for the round bib, use an existing one as a template or there is a handy template here), pin to your fabric and cut.

Do the same with your choice of backing fabric (fleece or towelling fabric, whichever you prefer), so you have two pieces per bib like this:

Now add your choice of fastenings – some people use little popper clasps but I kept it simple and used stick on velcro which I secured with the sewing machine. Sew the velcro into the same position on each piece (the left hand corner). I added longer strips of velcro on the triangular bibs so that they can be easily adjusted for size.

Place the fleece right side facing up (with the velcro on the left hand corner) and put your top fabric right side down (so that the velcro ends up being on the right hand corner on the top piece, ie the opposite corner to the backing fabric) and pin. Stitch on the machine using a straight stitch, leaving about 0.5 inch seam allowance.

Make sure you leave at least a 2 inch gap from where you started sewing so that you can turn the bib inside out (secure with a reverse stitch). Turn the bib inside out and poke out the corners like this:

Iron the bibs and fold the edges of the 2 inch gap you left and stitch over it neatly with the machine. On the triangular bibs, I did a top stitch all the way round to conceal the gap in a contrasting thread for some of them.

The end result is our baby has a lot of bibs, or at least a lot for now. I love that the fabrics are so different from what you’d see in the baby shops and I’m quite pleased with how they’ve turned out. This weekend, I’m going to try and tackle making a cot sheet using this gorgeous grey and yellow fabric. The bibs may not stay so pristine, but we’ll see how quickly we get through them and how many more he/she needs!

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Nursery inspiration

I am collecting all sorts of things that catch my eye over on Pinterest ahead of the imminent arrival of our new little housemate. I seem to have a thing for open shelves, white walls and bright colours, which is nothing new really. We want a nursery that is fun and an extension of the rest of our home too. We are getting there – I will post photos after the little one arrives, not long to go now.

In the meantime, this is what is inspiring me and what I like:

 

 

 

I could keep going with these pics, but you get the drift; as you can see, there’s definitely some sort of theme going on. We’ve put together a little open wardrobe with hanging rails and white shelves and I’m collecting all sorts of bright fabric scraps and things for the wall that are going up with washi tape. I’ve also splashed out on some metal, old school Rie Elise Larsen hooks in bright colours that we’ll put up in a row.

I’d love to know where the black print with the white cloud (which appears in the first two pictures) comes from – if anyone can identify it, please let me know. Meanwhile, a lot of the prints we relegated from the living room seem to fit perfectly for the nursery – so clearly we already have childish taste!

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New house

The stop gap days are over, we are finally moved in and it’s starting to feel like home.

We have painted, we have taken down units (hello, open shelves kitchen) and cleaned and organised and put up more shelves and chucked tons of old stuff out. I have sewed cushions and edited my print collection and agreed to let wallpaper go. There’s little bits and pieces still to do, including the nursery, but I like that we have blank walls and open rooms that we can take years to fill as we settle in. There’s something very humbling about coming home and simply being in love with it.

We’ll be here a while.

 

Posted in: Design, Homes

New York in the springtime…

…Could there be a nicer time to visit? Cherry blossom, sunshine and plenty of pancakes and ice cream.

We’ve just got back from spending a week in the Big Apple. Ever since I first tried AirBnB, I’ve become hooked – so much nicer to have a whole apartment to yourself than just a hotel room, right? – and I spent ages trying to find somewhere to stay. We weren’t disappointed.

Seeing as we’d both been to Manhattan before, we opted to stay in Brooklyn. Because we’re cool like that ;) (honestly, I didn’t know that would turn into an actual emoticon, but I’m leaving it in). Our apartment was in Williamsburg, a short walk from Bedford Avenue, home of the ironic hipsters. The flat was all vintage-styled, and had everything we needed (cable tv! New Girl!  The Mindy Project!)

We did a little sight-seeing, a little catching up with friends, a lot of walking everywhere and an even more lot of eating (awesome big pizza at Fornino; veggie lunches at Bliss and proper pancake stacks at any one of those time-warped diners). A few lazy nights, we stayed home and I cooked – there’s a little Italian pasta place called Savino’s where you can buy freshly-made-on-the-day stuffed ravioli that sells out fast. I had to go all foodie and photograph it:

 

Surprisingly, shopping took a bit of a back seat. We were really there to chill. But there were a few places that caught my eye for their homey-stuff; Milly & Earl, A&G Merch, Canvas in Chelsea. But mostly, it was lounging about in Central Park under the cherry trees:

 

Now I’m back home, back to work and waiting for house move number two. With the whole baby-on-the-way thing, I’m not sure there’ll be another holiday anytime soon, or at least not for a while. So with that: New York, we love you!

 

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Our (temporary) new home

I have no idea who is reading this anymore (hello?) but two months away and now I’m back! A mix of being off-sick and moving house have kept me busy. Oh and the small matter of expecting a baby. More on that later.

This year, we were meant to move into our new place in Crouch End. But the house-buying process being such meant that it fell through at the final stage (grrr) and despite us signing our contracts, our sellers wouldn’t budge. So we decided to throw caution slightly to the wind and rent in the meantime in the lovely area and keep our eye out for anything new that might take our fancy. Anyway, in the whirlwind that has been the last few months, we’ve found somewhere else to buy (yadda, yadda, long story etc) but in the meantime, it’s not like I could live among packing boxes now, is it?

And so, I’ve been trying to make our temporary home feel more than just a pit-stop. Whatcha think?

The lounge is a little tight and the bookcase is a bit overstuffed, but the room just about fits the new sofa bed from Sofa Workshop, the snuggler and my desk tucked behind the door (oh to finally have a proper desk and a proper chair – now I just need to get around to doing some work on it… ). It’s been a little challenging getting everything into a room smaller than we had before, and I reckon the sofa could do with being brightened up with more colourful cushions, but with pictures on the wall and a few little additions here and there, it kinda works overall. Or at least I think it does?

I picked up the little Lucie Kaas eggcup on the right in Copenhagen, and found the cute Donna Wilson beaker in Indish, a neat little Scandi-style shop on Crouch End Broadway. It reminded me of these gorgeous Meyer-Lavigne ceramics I also spotted in Copenhagen but were too pricey to buy at the time!

Behind the door is my desk – after much scouring, I settled on this trestle-style oak one from John Lewis, with the lamp from Garden Trading. I love finally having a bit more of a proper work space, and a proper chair – made comfy with Nikki McWilliam’s Nice cushion which she sent me as a thank you gift (no, no, thank you!), and a bargainous crochet throw picked up for £5 at a charity shop. (What you can’t see are the piles of notepads and magazines on the floor underneath).

The hallway is home to a mishmash of plates and prints, and one of the bevelled mirrors…

And the other mirror is on top of the dresser in the bedroom, which is a pretty simple/plain but peaceful room all in all at the moment. Oh and I had to snap the darling Isak pots I got as a Christmas present – I am in love with Isak; so colourful, so happy. Exclamation marks all round!!

The kitchen and bathroom were redone by the landlord before we moved in, all contemporary and glossy, which is nice but also means there’s not much to add to.

If it wasn’t a rental I’d love to splash some colour on the walls, but I’ll just have to wait until we get into our own place next and then I swear, the OK wallpaper is coming back. I swear. I don’t care if she’s in Uniqlo and everywhere you look – I still love it. Colour, colour!

Anyway, like I said, I know I’ve been offline for a while (morning sickness sucks), so it’s my own fault if no one is coming back to visit Her Little Place. But if you are, please say hello, it would make my day. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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