April 7, 2013 by thepolishedbutton
Good morning! As I write this, I can see this view out of the window:
We are having a little holiday is beautiful Snowdonia, North Wales, and it sure is nice to get out of the city and get some fresh air!
The mountains are still capped with snow, but the weather has been sunny and we even managed fish and chips on the beach without bring half frozen – I reckon that’s as good as it gets in the coldest April we’ve had, probably ever!!
In other news, more babies have arrived in our circle of friends, so I thought I’d share some handmade baby gift ideas with you. I must confess these are not recent makes, as I made these to sell for a little while, but they are easy enough to make and I am always being asked for them by my friends!
The mat and baby wipe case are both made from oilcloth. I bloody love this stuff, and became obsessed with it for quite a while. The change/play/splash mat has a patchwork effect on one side, a plain piece on the other and is edged in cotton bias tape. The obvious benefit of oilcloth is that it is wipe clean, and I have made all sorts from it. It’s worth bearing in mind some types have certain chemicals which make it unsuitable for food stuffs, so sandwich bags etc are off the list, but apart from that it is a great kid friendly material. The little pouch is made to hold baby wipes, with an overlapping slot at the top edged with contrasting cotton bias. Ok, not strictly a baby essential, but it does give the wipes a bit of protection from crumbs/sand/random crap and stops them drying out a little. It also looks nice next to the changing mat 😉
I also made little velcro closure bags for holding a couple of nappies and a packet of wipes, perfect for bunging in your handbag to make changing easier when you’re out and about.
Oilcloth is great to mark out and cut, as it is usually backed in a cotton fabric so you can draw on it easily and it has a stiffness to it making it easy to cut. However, sewing it is a different matter. Firstly any holes are permanant, so there is no room for mistakes when you’re sewing it and pinning it. Also it likes to stick to the foot and plate when you’re machining it so either a teflon foot or a spray of starch on the oilcloth will help ease it through. It is available in a vast array of colours and patterns – check these guys out!
Viva la Frida
I made these using this pattern from Etsy:
This seller has loads of cute kids patterns and the pdf pattern and instructions are really easy to follow and I whipped this pair up in about an hour. I used a red stripe cotton for the top, a contrasting navy blue stripe cotton duck (for a bit of extra strength) for the sole and lining, and finished off with a little denim anchor applique on the front.
I added the anchor before stitching the shoe together, as I think it would prove a bit fiddly doing it afterwards.
Although shoes for a newborn are completely pointless (and I do think anything more structured than this can have an adverse affect on tiny feet) they do look sweet for a photo or as a keepsake, plus they are pretty enjoyable to sew!
Last on the list of newborn crafts is the greetings card. Naturally a button was involved, and I picked a nice denim one to complement the shoes. The other letters I drew with watercolour pencils and used a small wet brush to ‘paint’ them. So simple yet quite effective I think!
I think baby Toby (and his Mum and Dad) appreciated my work anyway!
In other news, I’m really excited to tell you that The Polished Button website will be launching on May 1st. I have almost finished stocking the shop and I think it looks pretty darn fabulous. Keep an eye out for discounts and giveaways to celebrate!
*As I have been writing this, look who came to visit us…
The toddler (and me) loved seeing the ‘sheeps’, I just hope the farmer tracked them down!!