Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Baby Shower Gift

I stole this idea from a "Martha Stewart Baby" magazine a few years back, but it's a quick homemade gift that's always a hit at showers, and is useful to the new parents to boot. Back in the day, when I was the first of the people I knew to have a baby, I used cloth diapers as burp cloths (not cloth diapers that had been used as diapers, but still, they were kinda tacky.) Now I like to give all my new mom friends stylish & fun burp cloths, so at least they can pretend to be chic as they're getting spit up on.

I used 2/3 of a yard of 2 different fabrics. I prefer the soft flannels they usually market as being for kids' pajamas in the fabric stores (although it's stamped right on the fabric "Not intended for use as sleepwear") So if you're giving these to anyone who might be prone to setting their baby's stuff on fire, you might pick a different fabric. I lay the two pieces, one on top of the other, on a flat surface and cut it into 3 equal sections. Size is totally up to you...I'd guess mine were something like 14" x 24". The key to this project is having a couple fancy stitch settings on your sewing machine that you can use as an edge. My machine is nothing special...I think it cost around $100, but I have 4 different fancy stitch options. I like the curved one the best...experiement on a scrap fabric first to see what you need your length & width settings at to make the nicest looking border possible (it'll probably be a very high width setting and a very low length setting).
Then strap in the first rectangle of fabric. I don't even pin mine, because they're not hard to hold together properly if you just hold them tightly. But if you're a scaredy cat, then go ahead with your pins. Just do one continuous stitch all around all 4 sides, turning when you're through with an entire rotation of the stitch pattern (I wouldn't turn the corner in the middle of my little curvy design, for example).
Once you're done with all the stitching you get to the tedious part. First, I'd recomment you do this under bright light and only when you're not tired or hung over. (But who crafts hung over, right?) Ok, take those fabulously stitched rectangles and carefully cut around the border you just created. Obviously, you don't want to cut into the stitching, but you do want to cut it pretty darn close. I'd recommend small, sharp scissors for this job.

I like to make 3 at a time and tie them together with a ribbon to put in with a shower gift. If you want to be super-fancy you can slip a piece of vinyl between the two layers to make a waterproof pad. Until you have a kid, you'd never realize how many uses these burp cloths have: besides wiping up urp, they're a light blanket in an air-conditioned store, a cloth to lay a baby on the floor for a diaper change, a peek-a-boo prop, and my daughter loved to suck on them when she was an infant.

Ok, I promise something not kid-centric for my next post!
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1 comment:

Clubbs said...

Those are darling! I, too, used the Gerber cloth diapers as spit up rags for both the kids. I would have looked so much more chic walking around with one of these on my shoulder...