Tag Archives: sewing

New Sunhat

18 May

I recently finished sewing a new sunhat for Daisy. She’s grown out of the sunhat she wore last summer and autumn. I used this pattern from Merriment Design. It is beautiful, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Daisy models her new sunhat while enjoying a ride on the swings.

The hat is fast and easy to sew, it took me around 5 or 6 hours. I used my bias tape maker to make the straps, but otherwise I followed the pattern to the letter. The next time I make this hat, I will baste the hat lining in before sewing it. But that is the only modification I’ll make – this is a great pattern!

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Crib Rail Guard Tutorial

28 Apr

Crib rail guards keep baby from chewing up the furniture.

Daisy will be pulling up to standing any day now, so I made crib rail guards to keep her from chewing up the crib rails. I didn’t know this was a possibility when we got the crib, which is handmade and solid cherry. (Which is to say, expensive.) We got the conversion kits so that it can be turned into a toddler bed, and then a full-size adult bed. Fortunately, my sister warned me that teething toddlers like to chew on their crib rails and leave tiny little tooth marks in the wood. I was inspired by the cloth crib rail guard tutorial by Jill at Baby Rabies. However I had to change a couple of things – first, the sides of my crib are shaped with a curve. Also, I didn’t like the added work of applying fabric over plain quilted fabric. And finally, I don’t like the look of ties.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of Moda quilted fabric – $34.50
  • 2 yards of trim fabric (also Moda) – $18.00
  • 18 hook & eyes – $10.00
  • 1 yard of 3/4 inch velcro – $2.21

Quilted Poppy Fabric by Moda for Crib Rail Guards

It is hard to find attractive patterned quilted fabric, although it might be a little bit easier at the moment due to the trend of quilted purses a la Vera Bradley. I had the most luck searching for “double sided quilted fabric”, and found what I was looking for at fabricdepot.com – a beautiful Moda poppy print on a light blue background. If you have a quilt shop in your neighborhood, you might be able to get two fabrics of your choice quilted together for a small fee. I also got trim fabric for the attaching tabs and bias binding.

I started my project by pre washing all my fabric so that it won’t shrink when I have to wash it. Then I took half of my trim fabric and turned it into bias binding, using this tutorial. After the long strip of bias tape was created, I ran it through my one inch Clover bias tape maker. It took me about two evenings to finish the bias binding.

Completed wheel of bias tape made from contrast fabric.

After that was done, I measured the crib rails and made a template of the side rails with cardboard. For the front and back rails, I measured the length and the wrap from front to back. And for the template, I measured the length and tallest height of the side rail and cut a rectangle of that size. Then I held the cardboard up to the side rail and drew in the curve. I cut my quilted fabric for the front and back rails to be the exact size as the width (50 inches) and wrap (11.25 and 12.25 inches). For the side rails, I added a half inch seam allowance, cut out four (one for the left and right sides of each side rail), and made sure that they were mirrored so that the poppy print would be on the outside of both covers. Finally, the width of the side rail is one inch, so I cut out a two inch (one inch plus two half-inch seam allowances) by 28.25 inch (the length of the side rail) strip for each of them.

Cut out side rail covers.

I sewed the skinny top strip to the tops of both sides of the side rail cover. Then I applied the bias tape to the raw edges of each of the four crib rail guards. I used this tutorial for help applying the bias binding properly, and to get nice mitered corners at the edges.

The next step is to make the attaching tabs. I made five each for the front and back, and four each for the sides – it is up to you how many to make to get a secure fit. I made the tabs the width of the space between the crib slats – for my crib, the front and back spacing is 1.75 inches, on the sides the spacing is 1 inch. I made the tabs 5 inches long. So with seam allowances included, I cut out twenty 2.75 by 6 inch tabs and sixteen 2 by 6 inch tabs. I ironed down the half-inch seam allowance at one end of each of the tabs. Then I put right sides together and sewed around the three sides of the tab without the ironed down seam allowance. Then I turned the tabs right side out and sewed them shut across the ironed down seam allowance.

I took the rail covers and the tabs up to the crib and pinned the tabs into place so that they aligned with the slats. Then I took them back downstairs and sewed them into place, with one inch overlapping the tab and the rail cover. I sewed a rectangle around the overlapping area and then sewed an X pattern through the center to make it extra secure.

Tab securely attached to rail cover

For the other side, I used heavy-duty hook-and-eye closures (the kind you see on dress pants) and velcro. I hand-sewed the hooks and eyes, making sure that when attached to the crib the fabric was stretched so tight that they were hard to get on. A hook-and-eye stays closed because there is pressure pulling on either side. Without that pressure, the hook-and-eye will slip open. Then I machine sewed on the velcro to “seal” the area below the hook and eye, so that little fingers have a hard time getting at them. I also made sure that the fasteners were placed so that they would be outside of the crib when the rail guards were in place.

Hook-and-Eye closure and Velcro attached to the rail guard. (Left tab is folded back.)

One the closures were sewn on, I snipped the excess threads and put the rail guards on the crib. They fit perfectly, look really nice, and won’t come off when I tug on them. The most labor intensive part of the rail guards was not making the rail guards (which took maybe four evenings), but rather sewing up the tabs, placing them, sewing them on, and then sewing on the closures. Still, given the cost of rail guards that are just plain rectangles on Etsy, I saved a little money and gained the satisfaction of doing it myself.