Project Post – Swaddles to dream

Projects

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

More up cycling for my Aden and Anais swaddles. This time I’m making dream blanket. I have one for my daughter and she loves it so I figured since 4 swaddles = 1 dream I’d make one for the wee boy from our extras.

I wanted to get this project done quickly since it’s one I have been meaning to do since before we moved back in February so I opted to do what I call “cheater” knit binding instead of the cleaner typical technique. Cheater binding is nice enough and much easier and quicker to do, great for a beginner. The one I’m doing doesn’t require a serger but I will note another one that does.

Materials: 4 swaddles (I used ones by Aden and Anais but any brand will do), knit jersey for binding.

Prep:

  1. Undo the hems of all 4 swaddles. (Not mandatory but I find it easier if I do)
  2. Iron the swaddles.
  3. Match up swaddles along two edges smooth out.

Sewing:

  1. Baste swaddles together along matched edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Since my unmatched edges do not meet they will need to be trimmed. The easiest way to do this is snip the edge of the swaddles at the shortest length and rip (scary but effective).
  3. Baste ripped edge at 1/4″ SA.
  4. Snip and rip the last edge.
  5. Baste at 1/4″.
  6. To trim corner: find something that is the desired size of curve. Place on fabric and cut around it. The blanket is now ready for binding.

Since bias tape doesn’t come in a knit I made my own. Normally I’d use a rotary cutter and quilting ruler but since I haven’t unpack those yet I improvised. Using a piece of 1 1/2″ wide elastic as a pattern piece I cut out strips of the jersey. The nice thing with jersey is it doesn’t need to be cut on the bias so it doesn’t use too much yardage to make.

Tip: it is much easy to cut jersey (or just about any fabric) if you use underlay.

Adding cheater knit binding: 

  1. Seam binding to blanket at 1/2″ SA right sides together.
  2. Fold binding over SA covering stitch line at the back.
  3. Edge stitch the binding along the folded edge on the right side, careful to catch all layers.

Jersey doesn’t really fray so edge finishes are not as necessary as with a woven. It does however tend to curl which in this case helps clean up the finish on the under side of the blanket with washing (see example in photos below).

Cheater binding with a serger: This is basically adding ribbing to the edge and top stitching it down and can be seen in my Baby Stuff project (Teal and white burp cloth) or in the photos below. It is also super fast so great if time is an issue.

  1. Fold binding in half and serg to blanket edge right sides together.
  2. Press binding out covering SA.
  3. Topstitch binding to SA.

 

Project Post – Leftover Skirt, a tutorial

Projects, Tutorials

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

After finishing the Sweet Pea Dress I had bit of swaddle left so I decided to make a skirt for the little girl.

Fabric: leftover Aden & Anais swaddle and leftover brown slug jersey from the A&A Sweet Pea Dress

Pattern: a bunch of rectangles. Not very exact or anything but this is what I did.
Waistband – Hip plus ease wide x desired (what looked right) hight. I folded the whole thing in half to make the elastic casing.
Skirt – max hight x max length I could get out of the remnant of swaddle, I then cut it in half so pocket could be added in the side seams.
Pockets – what I could get that would fit a child’s hand folded in half.
Skirt lining – same hight as skirt minus about 1/2″ x hip plus ease.

Sewing: Prep sewing – instead of serging I folded the short edge of the skirt and the pocket opening edges of the pockets for a clean finish. (I don’t have my serger set up yet and didn’t what to have to do so). I then did a french seam on the bottom of the pockets ending 1/2″ from the open edge.
Adding pockets – I seamed the open edge of the pockets to the side seams with at 3/8″ SA and the under stitched the SA to the pocket. Next it sewed the side seams with a 1/2″ SA.
Waist band – I seamed the single seam with 1/2″ SA making a tube. I then folded it in half. And place the seamed elastic inside.
Joining the two – I used a double line of gathering to match the skirt to the waist band. I then basted the two together with a 3/8″ SA. This just kept things more stable and manageable to put the lining in.
Lining – I seamed the single seam making a tube. I then seamed it to the waistband/skirt combo with a 1/2″ SA. I kept the SA facing down towards the lining and under stitched it in place.

Project Post – A&A Sweet Pea swaddle dress

Projects

I have been using the project feature of the Threadbias.com site and really enjoying being able to track my projects. Periodically I will be posting copies here.

The wee boy is getting bigger and not needing all his Aden and Anais swaddles so I decided to make something else out of them. The fabric is lovely and they are a good size blanket giving me plenty of yardage to work with. Although the Sweet Pea dress is a dress it also works nicely as a tunic top. It has raglan sleeves and an easy fit which seems quite fitting for the lightness of the fabric. It also allows for a lot of flexibility in sizing. My daughter wore the ones I made her for quite a long time.

Pattern: Sweet Pea Dress – on Threadbias (Also available on Etsy)
 
Fabric: Aden & Anais monkey print swaddle, brown slub jersey
 
Prep: Since I’ve washed the swaddle a few times it has developed this nice waffle texture, great for a blanket but not so good for cutting so ironing it first. I’m also removing the A&A tags so they can be added back as a reminder of where the fabric came from.

Cutting: The swaddles are not very stable so I like to use underlay to keep it from shifting around. The trick to using underlay is to use a paper that is more stable then the one you are cutting. I’m using jersey for the band and to make things simple I’m putting on the fusing before I cut the pieces out. Both have to be cut anyways just this way the jersey is stablized before cutting instead of after.

I guess I have to get my sewing machine set up, something I haven’t done yet since moving.

Sewing: Even though I wrote the instructions I’m still having to follow them since it’s been a while since I last made one of these dresses. A trick for sewing fused placket facings: if you want a clean finish on the open edge, seam the fusing to the facing along that edge (wrong side and glue side out) and fold glue side in before ironing. The seam allowance ends up under the fusing leaving a nice clean edge. (see the picture.)
To cut down on how flouncy the pleats are, (this dress if for a boy,) I tacked the pleats for the first 1 1/4″ leaving 3/4″ visible once the band is on.
I opted to use french seam since the fabric is so light (serging may just pull out), makes for a soft inside and gives it a heirloom feel.
I stay stitched the edge of the band facing to make it easier to fold and more stable.

Finishing: I finished it with elasticized sleeve hem, a wide bottom hem and snap closures.

Want to see what I did with the leftover fabric? Check out the Leftovers skirt, a tutorial.