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?

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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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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:

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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

 

 

 

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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Diaper Bag/Playing Mat

I read many other blogs and I just realized that my English is very poor, so I decided that I will post more pictures until I improve my language skills. This way you may understand better how things were made and help you even more. Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures of my old creations but in the future I will pay more attention to that. I promise.

My latest project was a 2 in 1 present for my dear friend Marta who had her first baby a couple of weeks ago. The present contains two peaces: a folding diaper holder and a playing mat that you can fold in and wear it as a bag. This way you can put the diaper holder in it and for example a few toys, too. It wasn’t very difficult to sew them but you need to be a little better at sewing as a beginner.

Here is the final product:

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Let’s get started. I will show how you can make it step by step!

1. You will need for the playing mat/bag:

– 80x85cm cotton fabric with patter on it (mine was blue with cute worms)

-80x85cm filling fabric (I still don’t know the proper English word for it)

-80x85cm plain cotton fabric

-60cm zigzag ribbon for the worm

-20x30cm blue fabric for the worm

-black and red stitching yarn for the eyes and the mouth of the worm

-2 pieces of 7x60cm cotton fabric with pattern for the handlers

-2 pieces of 7x60cm plain cotton material for the handlers

-2 pieces of 4,5x60cm filling material for the handlers

-6 pair of snap fasteners (13mm)

STEP 1: Put the (80x85cm) filling fabric on the wrong side of your plain (white) fabric (85x80cm) and pin them together on the edges and in the middle as well. With the edge of an old soap draw a couple of lines on the right side of your white fabric. Something like this:

It might be a good idea to pin the two fabrics together along  these lines, too. And if you do so than pin across those lines so your sewing machine will sew through the pins and you can take them out when you are done with one seam. Now it’s time to sew together the two fabrics along those lines. I suggest that you sew one line/seam vertically and then one horizontally this way you’ll have a better chance that your seams stay nice flat. When you are done don’t forget to take out all the pins!

STEP 2: It’s time to cut out the worm from the blue fabric. You just have to be creative and drew it yourself because I don’t have a pattern for that but it should look like something like this:

Now you have to cut in every 1,5-2cm along the side and fold it back. Even better if you iron it down. Before you sew this little worm onto the other fabric you must hand-stitch its eyes and mouth with the blue and red yarn. If the face is ready then turn the worm on the right side and place it in the middle of your white plain fabric (what you had just sewed together with the filling) and of course you’ll have to pin it down again.

Now get back to the sewing machine and sew your little worm onto the white fabric. When it’s done take the zig-zag ribbon and sew it onto the worm covering the edge of it.

STEP 3: Place your colored fabric and what you’ve made so far onto each other facing the wrong side of the colored fabric and the filling! Now comes a little bit of a trick. As you sewed together the filling and the white fabrics the edges may have become a little uneven. Pin this now together with your colored fabric just on a few places and then cut it straight: 5cm from the edge of the colored fabric. Careful, don’t cut your colored fabric!

Now it should look like this:

With the help of your iron fold 1cm up from your colored fabric all around. Then fold the now 4cm wide edge onto the white fabric and pin it down. The corners are a bit tricky but just fold it as you would fold a wrapping paper. Next you’ll have to sew all the way around the folding. Basically the playing mat-part is done now.

STEP 4: Making the handlers. Take the 7x60cm colored and white fabrics facing the right side. 1cm from the side sew them together on one side. When it’s done turn it out and iron your line and also the other side: fold in 1cm along the edge:

Now put the 5x60cm filling into it, pin it and sew down on the other longer side on the right side of the fabric.

STEP 5: Attaching the handlers. Now you pin down the end of the handlers on the shorter side of the playing mat and on the “outside” where the colored (blue) fabric is. Make sure they are even from the middle line. The length between the two end of one handler should be not wilder then 30cm. Follow the drawing below:

Of course you must turn 1-1,5cm from the handler underneath itself to make it look nice. Attach it to the playing mat where the “frame” runs and don’t go onto the white fabric. Sew it down on all four endings. Now it should look like this:

It is very pretty now and you are almost done! You have a good idea how it will function.

STEP 6: Fold in the two longer side of the playing mat. They should overlap in the middle as wild as the “frame” is (about 4cm). On the inside you will have to sew on the one half of the snap fasteners and on the outside the other half.  So when you fold the playing mat the two sides stay together. I hope you understand what I try to explain.

And this is it. Your playing mat/diaper bag is done! If you fold the whole thing in half you’ll have two packets what you can fill from above and carry the bag on the shoulders.

If there is one person who understood my description and liked my idea, please, let me know!