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Shhh...Quiet Books!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In an attempt to keep my children occupied with quiet activities while we are at church, travelling, etc. this week, I've been busy making these Quiet Books.  My goal was to create something that could be easily added to/changed in order to keep it interesting for them and here's what I came up with:

Sorry for not providing a full tutorial on this.  It was one of those projects that I wanted to finish quickly but it wasn't difficult, so I'll try to be descriptive enough about what I did.

For the covers of the books, I measured out my fabric (it's three layers thick) about 4 cm larger than the album refill pages on the inside (two of the polka dotted fabric, and one quilted polyester to give it a bit of added structure and heaviness).  Then I sewed the layers (polka dots facing each other with quilted layer behind them) and left the bottom open.  Flipped it right side out and topstitched/sewed the bottom closed.  The binding is grosgrain ribbon threading through small buttonholes.

For the personalized titles, I stamped ribbon with these letters using Tulip fabric markers.

I used these album refill pages for the inside.  This is favourite part because I can fill these pages with different activities, and the children can draw/write on them using dry erase markers.  Stickers also remove and reapply easily.

Here are the pages.  You can see what my little ones are really into these days.  With Tobias, it's all about Little Einsteins and Dot-to-Dots.

I had intended for Tobias to match the letter to the animal sticker using markers, but he wanted to move them.  Whatever, as long as he had fun!

 I got the idea for the gel filled bag from here.

Anja loves animals and In the Night Garden.

First thing in the morning, I couldn't wait to show Tobias & Anja their books...and they couldn't wait to use them!

Bubbly Onesie Tunic

Friday, March 23, 2012
I've been in need of some quick and easy to make summery outfits for Anja (sorry west coasters...not meaning to rub it in) because it has been so hot this week!  So, with more than enough onesies in her closet, I decided to cut one up and turn it into a fun tunic.  So incredible easy, and I think the outcome is pretty cute!

Start with a onesie...

and some fabric (mine measured about 150cm X 24cm or 60in X 9.5in)

Snip, snip...

Sew the edge of the fabric...

Fold the fabric in half wrong sides together and then gather one edge.  Attach to the onesie.

Ta da!

Retro Refashion

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I love watermelon, but didn't find it appealing as the collar on this little romper I had in Anja's closet.  It was one of the garments in a bag of hand-me-downs kindly given by a friend.  While I think the fabric and shape is adorable, I just had to change the collar.  I also had to almost force myself not to add my favourite, beloved peter pan's such a go-to look for me.  Instead, I opted for another collar I've had my eye on: the ruffled collar.  I've tried it once before, but it looked way too clownish.  This time, I made sure it was subtle, much like the following blouses from a couple of designer boutiques I admire:

First of all, removal of the collar.

Cut a couple inches off the bottom for the collar.

Original back becomes the front.

I simply gathered the strip of fabric I cut from the original hem.

I should mention that I removed the top button on the back so it didn't interfere with my stitching.

To make sure the serged seam didn't show on the right side, I stitched underneath the collar.

Some views of the back.


I hope this example of upcycling might encourage anyone to do the same with a garment that needs a bit of a makeover.  It's great for the pocketbook, and the - win!

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