Baby car-seat blanket with tutorial

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We are expecting our next baby and he is going to be born (hopefuly not before) January. My three-year-old son was born in September which means we still have lots of warm winter-clothes for the little one but slightly in a different size, meaning bigger. So I am collecting warm babyclothing in newborn-size now. Also, our daily life-style is different now: I have to get into the car and pick up my older son from the kindergarten every single day at the same time. This got me thinking: how am I going to manage this with a newborn? It is something that many parent can manage, so I will, too. But to make it just a little bit easier, I figured out to create a couple things, like this car-seat baby blanket. It will be useful because the temperature in the house, in the car and in the kindergarten will never be really cold but on the street it might be. Yes, we used regular blankets with my first son but we also lost a couple of them. And we mostly used the stroller anyway, not the car seat…

To make this blanket, I needed a warm but not too thick fabric, so I choose the combination of fleece and cotton. I bought a 130x170cm big fleece blanket. I could have bought it as fabric, but I just didn’t have time to head to the fabric store. This way was easier for me and it only costed 3€. The other two fabric were already on hand at home.

Then I was searching online for DIY ideas but I couldn’t find anything that I liked. Or if I found something interesting, then it had no tutorial. So I came up with my own idea, made it, it turned out exactly how I wanted and now I am sharing the tutorial with you.

What you will need for one blanket:

– fleece ca. 130x150cm

– a cotton fabric of your choice for the inner side ca. 130x120cm

– an other cotton fabric for the bag-part ca. 50x50cm

I drew a “sample” or “plan” for myself and it looked something like this:

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I decided to make the rounded top but if you want to make a hoody, then make the square-kind top and at the end attache three pair of magnetic buttons.

First I took out the cover from our baby seat (maxi cosi) and layed on top of my fleece. I traced the edges and the holes with a pencil to get some idea how big this thing should be.

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In the car seat there are two sets of holes for the seat belt. Mark them both and the one down in the middle, as well!

DSC_0328Then comes the tricky part: I  just drew the whole shape following my “plan”. I folded it in half, so both sides will be the same, and then cut it out.

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Note: I could have made the bottom a bit wilder… next time.

Then I layed the leftover fabric underneath and cut around the bottom. Don’t have to cut farther then 5 cm from the corners. (Shown on the next picture)

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Then I took off the blanket and folded the leftover-halfcut fabric into half. Marked wher the top should be and then cut it.

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Now I had the two pieces I needed.

DSC_0333As the next step, I cut out the same shape from the baige cotton fabric, and the smaller fabric with the elephant pattern. I just simply layed the fleece pieces onto the cotton fabrics and cut around them.

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When I was finished with the cutting, I layed the two smaller parts onto each other, facing the right sides and then sewed just the top together. Then I turned it inside out and sewed it along the edge again.

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After that I was making a fabric-sandwich: put the cotton fabric wrong side down, then the smaller pieces facing the pattern up, then the fleece facing your markings down.

Babaules-takaro1Pin all four layers together and sew. Don’t forget to leave a gap somewhere to turn the whole thing inside out later.

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Then I made an other seam around the edge from where the bag on the bottom starts to the other end of it. I forgot to take a picture of this step but hopefuly you understand what I am trying to say. The important thing is to close the gap once the blanket is turned inside out. The good news is that your blanket is basically done. The last thing to do is to make those button-holes that you marked at the beginning. But before you do that, make sure to check if your markings are at the right place. Mine were not! I put back the car-seat together and put the blanket on top, just as we would use it. Then took a look at the seatbelt and made new markings.

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Then I rememberd, that there is somewhere a newborn addition/extension to the car seat. I was able to find it and tried the blanket out with it. I noticed that I had to make a third marking for the seatbelt-hole because it had a completely different size now. Don’t forget to do this!

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Finally I sewed the button holes for the seatbelts but only after careful measuring! And voila! The blanket was done! I am so happy with the result!

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My model was the huge teddy-bear once again. It is much bigger then a newborn (about 70-80cm) but I think you get the idea how the blanket works and looks in use.

 

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For me it was very important to have a cotton fabric inside of the blanket because my older son’s skin is sensitive to anything that is not cotton, so I had to make sure, that the little one has also cotton touching his skin, if possible. Just in case, you know.

I made some other great projects for the car that I will present in the next post. Not much baby-related but very practical things if you use your car a lot.

And at the end I still had lot of left-over fabric. My evening-project was to make a hat(again, with cotton on the inside) and a scarf for my older son. We call it the “elf-hat” and he loves it! (And as a bonus for me, I don’t have to pay an other 8-10€ for a new set of hat and scarf!)

DSC_0358What do you think of this project? I am very happy with the price. I gave only 3€ out, but with the cotton fabrics the hole blanket costs no more than 6-10€. If you buy something like this in a store or even online, you will at least have to pay 15-20€, if not more… But probably more. This sewing project took me about three hours which is not bad, I think. But my favorite  thing about this project, that I made it especialy  for our son, and that is priceless.

 

UPDATE: The blanket has been in use for six weeks now and it is really great. Here is a picture with our son (and no more teddy bear):
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One more baby quilt

The last piece that I sewed before the Lothringair Street Festival was a beautiful yellow and green baby quilt. It’s made from stripes so it is kind of an easy project but this time I quilted it a bit differently: with waves. I think it turned out very nicely.
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For the back side I was finally able to use that beautiful flower-printed fabric which I bought very long time ago.  I love the fresh colors and the fact that it’s unisex.

I would have been very happy if I got something like this blanket on my baby shower (if I had had one).

 

By the way a notice for all: I will go on vacation and get back to you with the results of the monthly give away sometime in July. Until then: have a great and creative time!

Toys for boys…

Last year, just a few weeks before Christmas I had a booth at a local craft fair which was an amazing experience for me and I learned a lot about this business. Of course I took a look at the competition and I realized something: when crafters sew for kids they usually have more stuff for the girls. It is understandable because it’s much easier to make cute clothes and accessories for girls. But I decided to look at this as a challenge and try to come up with ideas for boys. Well, it’s not easy, let me tell you this but not impossible.

The first thing was for me to buy a great boat-themed printed fabric and then I made a few things using this very nice fabric. I already presented once before the playing mat but my collection has more members, such as a portable changing mat…

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a toy storage…

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… a car seat organizer with a cup/bottle holder…

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and a notebook cover (for the book of medical records that every child has in Germany)

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Besides this boat themed collection I also made two fort kit. No, it wasn’t my idea, I saw it somewhere and thought it would be a great present for a bigger boy!

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The fort kit contains a blanket, a flashlight, clothes pins, carabiners, wooden rings, kitchen towel clips, and clothes line in a great bag.

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The third idea came from this website and I had one of those typical moments: “Why did I not think of this before?” Pirate eye patch!

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The next idea came when I was making head bands for girls: Why not make feather head bands for boys? For the feathers I used my scrap-felt fabrics. I am officially out of felt now… I hand stitched the feathers first, made the bands and then attached the feathers by hand-stitching.

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Unfortunately my son didn’t like them, so I had to ask our teddy bear to be my model again.

The next idea is kind of old. Do you remember when I made car-garage that you can hang? In case if you don’t remember here is a picture from one of them:

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So when I made these last year I thought I should make some kind of portable car-storage or bag for boys and here is what I finally came up with:

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This car-bag has seven pockets: four smaller and three bigger. Also has a road and you can fold it and roll it up and it’s ready to go!

Finally I made a truck-themed drawing set, as well.

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So far these are my “toys for boys” ideas. How do you like them?

Elephant Baby Quilt

Last week I worked on an other baby quilt. I wanted to use my newest elephant-print fabric that I found in Hungary on our last trip. I find it very cute and perfect for baby/kids projects, so I decided to make an other blanket. After a long consideration I choose a geometrical quilt pattern and I am happy with the results.

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It wasn’t a difficult project but with my very simple home sewing machine I am not able to make advanced quilts. Anyway, my elephant baby blanket is soft and cozy and kids will love it. I can’t wait until my next craft fair where I will be selling this one, too.

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The binding is hand-stitched which takes a bit longer time but considering that this blanket is only 1x1m, it wasn’t that bad. I really like the fact, that even the backside looks very neat.

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Who wouldn’t want a blanket for his kid like this?

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Craft Fair in Aachen

A couple of weeks ago I was accepted to a local craft fair which will take place in Aachen on the 14th of June. I was really happy and now that we got back home from Hungary, I can focus on the work and the products I will bring to that craft fair. In this spirit I made twelve more luggage tags and two small, but really soft and cozy baby blankets.

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Is anyone interested in a tutorial on the luggage tags? They are a little bit complicated but it’s a great project and worth making them because they are very fun gift ideas for people that love travelling.

IMGP0160Unfortunately I couldn’t take better pictures of this owl-themed blanket. Sorry. It is made using fleece and cotton fabrics. Very easy project and looks fun!

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Finally a car-themed blanket, my favorite. It is really soft and small-sized, so it fits perfectly to the trolley or into the car-seat.

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I also decided to make more car-seat organizer for the bigger kids. Especially in the summer-time, when families are traveling more, it’s a very useful thing to have in the car. So, probably you will see more of those in the near future but I have also new ideas! Let’s get back to work!

 

Elephants

IMGP8782As I promised in my previous post, I am presenting the newest babyblanket that I sewed. I used the same technique (sewing together stripes) but I also applied three elephants on the front and one more on the back. I tried to make this blanket “unisex”, so it would be good for boys and girls, as well. What do you think? I always love most the project that I just finished, so this one is my favourite right now.

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A colourful babyblanket

A tried something new again: a babyblanket made out of stipes and let me tell you, I loved this project! I loved it because it was very easy to make, quickly done and it contains so many colours! It’s like a rainbow but even better because the colorful stripes can come in any order. I can only recomand this project to beginners and for those, who need a quick present for the next babyshower.

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And I am already working on the next, similar babyblanket that I will spice up with a couple of elephants! Are you curious? Well, it’s not done yet but here is a sneak peak:

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An other babyblanket

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This babyblanket was an other step for me learning new techniques in patchwork. Assembling triangles was new for me and I really thought through every little step of it, I was careful and watched some tutorial videos on youtube. Take a look at this picture below, it shows you the steps how I created this pattern. Yes, it does take time but at the and it will be worth it.

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Now I am proud of the final product.

IMGP8333It’s a 1x1m blanket with thicker batting, so it’s even better for those little crowling babies. I hope a little one will enjoy this blanket for a long time!

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I will be seeling this blanket with all the others at a three-day long maket in Aachen in December. (12. 06-08. Nikolausmarkt in Marienhospital)

Hungarian blue print

I was recently thinking about my Hungarian heritage. I studied cultural anthropology and folklore, now I make blankets and other crafty things. How did this happen? And how could I continue crafting but also represent my culture at the same time? I feel like I have some kind of a mission since I don’t live in Hungary: with my actions and also with my products I represent a little bit Hungary. At least I feel this way. So I figured one thing out so far: I sew and I would like to use a traditional hand-printed fabric called blue print. It’s really a beautiful fabric, although not easy to use because it’s died in indigo and with washing one must be very careful. But I find it very good for patch-working with all the different kinds of pattern.

Some companies make “fake blue prints”. They are actually printed cotton fabrics, that look like blue print but they are very easy to work with. I had a little piece of this kind at home, some old scrap-fabric from a skirt that I made ages ago. And I created an other baby blanket/playing mat using this fabric.

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Take a closer look at the blue fabric, I think it’s very lovely:

IMGP7619I was also experimenting with free motion quilting but unfortunately there is no free motion quilt foot to my Janome sewing machine, so I did this very simple floral quilt with the normal sewing foot. And voila! It looks nice, don’t you think? And it shows of course on the other side as well:

IMGP7635One more picture of the final product:

IMGP7621Well, what do you think?

After I finished this blanket, we traveled back to Hungary and I was able to buy some real blue print fabric but let me tell you, it’s not easy to find! Anyway, next time I want to use blue print fabric, I will use the real ones:IMGP7649

 

 

 

Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, recently I sewed two baby-blankets using new techniques. I didn’t have pictures of the second blanket but I do now and I would like to share them with you. Unfortunately I did not take picture during the sewing process, therefore I can’t give you a step by step tutorial. But if you look very closely, you’ll see that this blanket is actually a visual illusion because I sewed only squares together. Each square has four little triangles on its side using the other color.

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Put two squares next to each other that are “negatives” or “opposite colors” and the pattern will turn out very neatly!

IMGP6954I feel like all the math-classes in school were after all worth it because finally I can use that knowledge! Yeay!

This blanket it approximately 70x140cm, so it would perfectly fit to a same sized baby bed to cover it when it’s play time and not sleep-time. For the back I used the darker, deep-red fabric.

And it’ll be for sale soon on a website, called dawanda. It’s very similar to etsy.com or meska.hu in Hungary. Anybody with a payPal account can use it. And yes, I am planning on starting a small business. This is the reason why I don’t have so much time now to write: I am busy planning and researching but hopefully soon I will be able to introduce my own online business. Fingers crossed!

Lately

Lately I have been working on couple of things but nothing really new.

I made an other felt-picture but this time I put it in a real frame and it looks much better this way.

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Then I sewn two new notebook covers (U-Heft Hülle). It is very amazing that on a simple product how many changes can be made! Use a different fabric, or just change one color, maybe put onto it a ribbon…really there is no limit!

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Well, there is a new thing that I created: a small apron for my son. I know it’s a very girly thing but I tried to use darker colors and I put the letter “B” on it, as well. (You know because his name starts with B.) Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of him wearing the apron but hopefully soon! What do you think?

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And finally two baby blankets. The first took me a while to finish it because the stars in it are so complicated but it’s finally done! It’s really not perfect if you look closely but for now I think I did a good job. I made mistakes and I learned a lot, so next time it will be better.

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For the other blanket I really just wanted to use my scrap-fabric because it had been piling up and we do not have a space for that. It was a simple project: I cut out the same size squares from the left over fabrics: as many as possible, then I laid them out on the floor and played with the pattern until I thought it’s gonna be nice.

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Baby blankets

Since we are expecting a baby, I decided to make a nice baby blanket. I’m not really good at patchwork but I like to try it out sometimes. In May the doctor told us that the baby is going to be a girl. Most likely.  So I looked for that old pink-red material that I bought about two years ago in Detroit. Of course, it wasn’t big enough, so I bought an other pink material and used it on the other side of the blanket.  The pattern of the blanket is very simple. And I put some filling between the two material. Unfortunately I have no idea what’s the name of it in English. Could someone please tell me?

Anyway, here is the final product:

But I also got some blue materials, just in case… Then I got to know that my sister-in-low is also expecting, and it’s a girl, too. I thought that I make her baby an other blanket, so I used the blue materials but somehow made it very girly with lots of flowers. Their baby is going to be named after a flower anyway. This time I tried to make more pattern on the blanket and I think I succeeded. First I sewed on the flowers on both sides, then the filling on one side, finally I sewed the two layers together. It is really not complicated.

PS.: Yesterday we went to the doctor again and had a big ultrasound, and as it turns out we are having a boy… No comment.