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Come and tell me what to make next!

(25 Posts)
hairtwiddler Sat 21-Jun-08 21:53:40

My mum gave me a sewing machine, and although I'm a complete novice, last week I managed to make a baby blanket *all by myself*! I followed this excellent tutorial
I'm so pleased with myself, but now I need another project that is easy, and doesn't take too long (I bore very easily!).
I'd like to make either something for my little girl (she's 2 and a half) or a present for a baby due in October.
I'd be very grateful for ideas.

Dior Sat 21-Jun-08 21:55:30

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hairtwiddler Sat 21-Jun-08 22:00:26

Thank you, I will. Please tell me that you learn as you go along. I feel completely clueless about anything other than sewing in a straight line at the moment. My blanket wasn't perfect, but I think it's beautiful. I hope my friend likes it.

Dior Sat 21-Jun-08 22:02:12

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gillybean2 Sun 22-Jun-08 08:59:40

How about making a cot quilt or a bed quilt for your older daughter. If you choose a simple design with squares and rectanges between them you can go with your straight lines. You can then aplique something onto the squares, or if your sewing machine has fancy stickes you can make patterns and pictures with these. Or you can buy a quilt panel at the fabric shop. (My son has a paddington bear one like this)

Lightly quilt it (again straight lines if you like) and it should be very simple.

My son was given quilts like this when a baby which I used as play mats on the floor as well as a cot cover. He also had a slighlty bigger one made for his first bed which I still use in the summer as a lighter alternative to a duvet.

Have fun
Gilly

hairtwiddler Sun 22-Jun-08 09:16:33

I wouldn't know where to start! Any useful online tutorials for a total beginner?

Miaou Sun 22-Jun-08 09:20:59

How about a skirt for your dd? Just a rectangle of material, hem at the bottom, big hem at the top, thread some elastic through - bob's your uncle! You could choose some pretty fabric (or even take her to choose her own!)

PS I used to be rubbish at sewing in straight lines, but you get the hang of it quite quickly!

Oh - here was my first attempt at patchwork - it was so well-used, I loved it! And didn't take long to make.

Miaou Sun 22-Jun-08 09:32:20

Just seen your previous post - I didn't follow a pattern, but this is what I did:

- Chose the fabrics I wanted - went with blues, greens and neutrals.

- Made a square template from stiff card, the size of the square I wanted plus 5mm margin round each side (so, if the finished square was to be 8cm, then 5mm on each side makes the square 9cm).

- cut out enough squares to make the blanket.

- laid them out on the floor and changed them around until I was happy with the arrangement. I kind of went for diagonals if you look at the picture.

- sew the squares together in horizontal strips. When you have seven strips (or however many you have made), then sew each strip to the next one. There you have your quilt front!

For the backing, I used one large piece of green fabric. For the wadding, I used a thick piece, doubled over, as I was intending to use it on the floor rather than as a cover.

- Sandwich the three layers together with pins (safety pins are good as they stop the layers shifting), and sew through all three layers along the edge of each square. For some inexplicable reason I did this by hand and it took ages - with a small quilt like this though there is no reason why you can't do it on the machine!

- For the edges, I used dark green bias binding (I actually made my own from the material but you can buy it ready made in strips and it is easier to handle that way) and sewed it round the edge.

Hope this helps!

If that all sounds a bit too much - then you could try a cushion cover first?

hairtwiddler Sun 22-Jun-08 10:17:24

thanks for taking the time to type that out, much appreciated!
Do I have to hem each of the squares? What kind of stitch do you use to sew them all together?

Miaou Sun 22-Jun-08 11:32:00

No, you don't need to hem them;as the raw edges are hidden inside the quilt it won't fray once it is made. If you think that it might annoy you whilst you are making it, you could cut the edges with pinking shears (scissors that cut in a zig zag) to cut down on that happening.

I just sewed my squares with a straight stitch - I didn't use any fancy stitching! Experiment to get the stitch the right tension/length on some spare fabric before you actually sew the squares.

I had a look for an online tutorial but can't find a simple one - however it wasn't an exhaustive search!

miamla Sun 22-Jun-08 11:42:29

and make sure you pre-wash all of the fabric before you cut any squares! its a pain in the bum waiting for it to dry but it does mean that when your quilt is washed that the squares will all stay the same size!

there are so many MNers on here having a go at the crafty stuff...i love it! i'm the only one round here (I know how the only gay in the village feels!) and its not frowned upon as such but its not really something one talks about in public!

good luck hairtwiddler and make sure you post some photos of your creations!

Miaou Sun 22-Jun-08 11:53:26

Oh good point miamia, I forgot to do that, used a couple of felt patches, and they shrunk when I washed it hmm - I learnt the next time!

hairtwiddler Sun 22-Jun-08 14:02:37

You all make it sound easy! Next project will be another baby blanket, as have another friend due this week. I am thinking I might try a bit of applique on this one. Have started a blog to record my efforts. Tell me what you think of first project? Baby blanket on my blog

miamla Sun 22-Jun-08 15:39:23

your blanket looks beautiful and i'm sure your friend (and her daughter!) will love it

DutchOma Sun 22-Jun-08 18:13:08

Since you are new to sewing I might just make a very elementary suggestion.
Most sewing machines have little lines on the plate near the foot. If you guide the edge of your material along those lines it will become much straighter and will also help once you are ready to make other than straight seams

DutchOma Sun 22-Jun-08 18:15:57

Your blanket is beautiful. You will learn as you go along. I was the bane of my sewing mistress and have learned so much all by myself. My husband has a beautiful blue jacket, with collar, zip and pockets and he just loves it. It is now about twenty years old, but still perfectly wearable.
Once you have practised on a few blankets or cushions you will be able to buy a pattern and work with that. It will be such fun and you will feel very clever. As well you might!!

hairtwiddler Sun 22-Jun-08 18:22:24

Thank you for the helpful tip! |Oh and my little girl has a Dutch Oma!

DutchOma Mon 23-Jun-08 10:48:37

Tell me more

hairtwiddler Mon 23-Jun-08 11:44:22

I married a Dutchman, so have family over there. DD is Dutch/English bilingual. I speak some Dutch, but only enough to make small talk and understand the gist of what the family are talking about!

I tried some applique last night, just a few scraps of fabric - put a heart design onto another piece. Had some struggle getting blanket stitch right, but seem to have mastered it.

DutchOma Mon 23-Jun-08 19:58:00

Your daughter is a clever girl. Living as we are in England, we decided that we wold bring up the children 'in English' because we were afraid that otherwise no-one would understand them. They both speak a fair amount of Dutch:- ds did Dutch and German at Uni and spent a year working in Holland and dd has an amazing ear for languages and could do really well if she gave herself a chance. I still bring books back for dgrandson and hope he will get a flavour of the language and culture.

DutchOma Mon 23-Jun-08 19:58:41

Did you do the blanket stitch by hand or with the machine?

hairtwiddler Mon 23-Jun-08 20:07:26

I did it by hand. Last night I wanted to sit in front of the TV, so thought I would try out the applique idea while I was being a couch potato! It turned out quite well, so the plan is now to do an applique heart onto my next baby blanket. The problem I had with the blanket stitch is that I find it extremely difficult to follow written diagrams or instructions. I have to work it out for myself, which took me a little while last night. I don't think my machine is fancy enough to do blanket stitch.

I ordered a pattern today, a dress for DD, so will work myself up to trying that.

When I say DD is bilingual, she's only two and a half, but she's getting there!
She's doing some lovely mixing of the two languages just now, e.g. "DD go on those schommels now"!

DutchOma Mon 23-Jun-08 22:26:37

Yes, we have quite a number of Dutch words peppering our language: kapstok, voorkamer and I can't think of anything else.
Clever enough if she can say schommels...

And clever to do the applique by hand made blanket stitch.
The thing with doing a paper pattern is to make sure that the arrows on the pattern are on the straight thread length, otherwise it won't hang right. Come back if you don't know what I'm on about.

saltnshake Sat 23-Aug-08 12:04:24

http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2007/07/peasant-blouse.html
I made this as a top and a longer one for a dress. Make one out of scrap fabric first - like an old sheet if you want to practice. Looks really cute on toddler. I'm not a big on sewing but it is pretty easy.

saltnshake Sat 23-Aug-08 12:13:33

Also purlbee eg http://www.purlbee.com/best-bunnies/ if you fancy making toys etc.
flickr good too if you search the craft groups and look in people profiles for links to blogs. i've found lots of good tutorials and ideas that way.

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