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How to make Plush Baby Booties

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As promised I’m going Plush baby bootiesto show you how to make plush baby booties like these, and the ones in an earlier blog post Here’s one I made earlier.” I used fleece but you can use any fabric or trim. These are small enough that it wouldn’t take long to sew them by hand if you don’t have a machine.

 

First download the pattern here  Upcycled-Baby-Booties

The pattern is for 3mths but I’ll explain how to make them smaller later in the tutorial.

 

Next gather your materials: Materials

  • Fabric (fleece and cotton work well)
  • Elastic (1/4″)
  • Pattern

 

 

 

Cut out the pattern pieces from the paper. Paper pattern pieces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fold the fleece (it doesn’t matter which way) Paper pattern pinned to fabricand pin the pattern pieces to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then cut out the pieces remembering to cut 4 for Pattern pieces cut outthe upper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take the 2 “back and side” pieces and stitch a hem alongHem stitched for elastic the straight edge wide enough for the elastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thread the elastic through the hem using a Elastic being threaded through hemdarning needle with a large eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hold onto both elastic ends and pull to Pulling elastic ends together to form top openinggather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To secure the elastic in place stitch backSewing elastic in place and forward over it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tidy up the ends and you’ll be left withFirst 2 pieces complete 2 pieces like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, this is the bit that’s tricky to explain Sandwich upper pieces with elasticated bitshence the extra pics! Take 2 of the uppers and sandwich the elasticated pieces between along the straight edge.

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch along the straight edge.Stitch along stright line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tidy the seams.Tidy up seams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip the back/side over and mark the centre.Mark the centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mark the centre 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line up the centre of the soles to the centrePin soles to uppers of the uppers, pin and stitch.

This is where you can make them smaller by sewing the seam further in.

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch and trim seams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tidy up the seams.Tidy seams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn right side out.Right side out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All that’s left is to add the trim, you can use anything here, just make sure it’s well secured on the bootie!

One pair of finished plush baby booties!

Finished plush baby booties with trimPlease contact me if there’s anything about this tutorial you need help with.

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Plush Baby Toy

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Plush Baby Toy

Yesterday I had an idea about making Light-bulb-momentmy own plush baby toy but wasn’t quite sure how I would implement it. I did a Google search (don’t you just love Google!) and found this tutorial.…..DING……the ideas started coming in.

 

 

Now I had some fleecePlush Blanket left from the booties I made in a previous post (here) and you’ll know by now that I like to get the most out of everything! This bit of fleece started life as a baby blanket, cost £2.45 and I’ve already made 4 items out of it.

I decided to incorporate the teddy bear embellishment for this one. I also decided to use the purple ribbon I had in my stash but you can use your imagination here, even do different shapes if you wish. I had a cushion I no longer needed so took the stuffing out and used some of that. No purchases needed for this upcycled project!

 

 

I used a 6″/15cm bowl and drew around it Cut 2 circleswith tailors chalk to cut 2 circles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next step is to cut your Showing how to pin ribbon onpieces of ribbon, (mine were about 5cm) then fold each piece in half and lay on the bottom piece of the plush fabric. Lay the upper piece right sides in on top then pin making sure you also pin the ribbon. The folded end goes in towards the middle and leave a small bit sticking out over the edge.

 

 

Leave a few cm open, this is Circles Pinned togetherwhere you’ll turn right sides out, put your stuffing in and add the piece of ribbon for hanging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully sew where you’ve Round circles sewn togetherpinned it, I put the machine on slow speed when I’m doing anything circular for more control. Remember to leave the end open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn right sides out and stuff, Plush baby toy stuffed with  top edge pinneddon’t stuff it too tight, you want it to feel a bit “squeeshy!” Cut a longer piece of ribbon, length depending on where you’re hanging it then, pin into the opening at the top at the same time turn the edges in and pin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I machine stitched this part but in hindsight it might have been a bit neater hand sewing it. And that’s it, a simple plush baby toy which took around 1 hr to make! You could make a few of these with different shapes and colours and hang them from a baby bouncer handle, no need to purchase expensive toys!

plush baby toy finished

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Jack and Jill Market

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jack and jill marketNot a new concept, selling and upcycling second-hand goods but, with daughter and I having used the Jack and Jill Market to purchase most of the items baby Lilly has needed I decided to write about the experience. this is a great way to make some money as a seller or save money as a buyer.

What is the Jack and Jill Market?

 

The Jack and Jill Markets are based in Scotland and are regular indoor markets where you can buy and sell second-hand baby and children’s goods (up to 9 yrs). A community-based initiative, it started in 2010 when a group of Mums got together and came up with the idea. From large items like prams, cots and car seats to clothes, toys and maternity wear, you can find just about EVERYTHING you need and at a fraction of the cost! There are markets across Scotland and most weekends have a market going on somewhere.

Selling

 

How much of your baby stuff did you put up the attic, or in the shed? Booking a stall at the baby market is a great way of making some money and decluttering. To book a stall, it costs £25. This includes advertising, both online and off, all indoor venues, a 6ft table, a couple of chairs, a table cover, and 4 x spaces in the gallery for large items. No commission is taken, any money earned is all yours!

I’ve spoken to many of the stall holders about their experiences and they were all positive. Most said they made over £200 and 1 lady was delighted with her £600 profit. She had sold some larger items, a pram system, cot and high chair.

You need a very early start to get organised and should check all the details, terms and conditions. Rusting, badly worn items aren’t allowed but you get a free guide when you book with tips on how to set up and sell. Staff can be contacted by email or phone so there’s plenty of support.

Buying

 

Firstly, if you’re looking for a larger item like a pram you need to get there early, these items are hot and go first!

jack and jill market queueDoors open at 10.30, I usually go with daughter and baby Lilly and get there around 10. The queue is always massive, round the corner and down the street. You can either get there early and be first in or, go at 10.30 and be at the back of the queue, either way, you’ll have a 30/45mn wait. If you’re taking children with you be prepared, have snacks, and suitable clothing for the weather.

It costs £1.50 for entry and depending on the venue there’ll be a cafe or vending machine. If you can leave children with a babysitter then do. The Jack and Jill market is a noisy busy place. Navigating around the stalls and trying to look at goods pushing a buggy and/or watching young children is challenging, I’ve seen a few frayed tempers on my visits!

jack and jill market large gallery systemIf you’re looking for a large item head off to the Large Item gallery first, as I said, these items go quickly. A good system is in place for this. Each item has a ticket with the price, description and stall number:

  • go to the relevant stall holder
  • pay for the item
  • get the receipt
  • take it back to the staff manning the Large Gallery area
  • the sold ticket will go on the item

 

You can safely leave the large items in place till you’re ready to leave.

Now it’s time to move on and browse the stalls and I was stunned on my first visit, You can buy EVERYTHING baby related, even breast pumps and pads! We (daughter and I) decided to walk round the stalls first for a quick glance then get the shopping list out and look for specific items.

The prices varied and some items were clearly overpriced, £4 for a teeny pair of second-hand booties? I don’t think so! The sensible stall holders were willing to negotiate and usually had realistic prices from the start. They didn’t want to be taking a pile of stuff back home with them again!

The stall holders who had taken the time to organise their goods into age groups and had sensible prices were the busiest. Some had offers like buy 3 items for £2, or had put together complete matching outfits.

Tbaby in highchairhis Graco highchair was £10 and in pristine condition, not so pristine now though! The coverall apron was also a baby market item, £!

 

 

All the clothes Lilly wears have mostly been purchased at the Jack and Jill market. We’ve also bought disposable nappies, chicco baby carrietoys, steriliser, weaning cups, cutlery and the latest purchase was a back carrier.
Not the first size but for hiking over rough terrain with an older baby/toddler. Only £15, she’s a little bit small for it but loves it anyway!

As it gets nearer to closing time at 1pm some stall holders will drop their prices and you can pick up even better bargains. As I said earlier, they don’t want to be carting a load of stuff back home.

 

 

A word of warning, it’s easy to get carried away. Make a list of what you need and try to stick to it. On our first visit, we bought so many clothes and much of it has never been worn. Of course, we can always go as sellers and resell these things!

The Jack and Jill market really is one of the best ways I’ve seen of buying all those essential baby items for a fraction of the cost. Yes, it’s busy and you have to queue but it will save you £100s on retail prices. For more details and to find out about the Jack and Jill markets in your area pop over to their website. They even have an online market now too!

Have you been to a Jack and Jill market? Share your experiences in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taggie Blanket

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A baby taggie blanket can be so expensive taggie blanketto buy, so why not have a go at making one? These are simple to make and don’t take long. A beginning sewer can easily manage this project. Making a taggie blanket uses up your fabric scraps too.

I’ve explained all the techniques used in this project in previous articles. Just click on the blue links if you need help.

I used microfiber fleece for the main part of the Taggie Blanket. You could also use pretty print cotton fabrics like fat quarters but, if you’ve read my other tutorials, you know I prefer the microfibre fleece. I’ve already made three pair of baby booties and a plush baby toy from it. Why? It’s very soft and feels so good on baby’s (or anyone else’s) skin.

fat quartersHobbycraft have some special half price offers on some very pretty fat quarters.

 

 

Materials

  • 2 pieces of micro fleece 30cm x 30cm (12″ x 12″)
  • 14 fabric scraps of differing sizes. (I used different textures to make it more tactile)
  • Thread
  • Scissors

 

Making the tags

Once you have all you materials, take the scrapsMaterials for Taggie Blanket first and cut into rectangles of various sizes. Remember these will be getting folded in half and sewn so allow for this. My largest piece was 10cm x 15cm (4″ x 6″)

 

 

 

 

Fold each piece in half lengthwise right Tags cut and pressedsides together and press till you have 14 tags ready to sew.

 

 

 

 

Sew two sides leaving one side open Sewing the Seamsfor turning right sides out.

 

 

 

 

Turn all pieces right side out and pressIron the tags. I pressed the seams to the side but you can press seams to the centre if you prefer.

 

 

 

 

Putting it together

Fold the tags in half and lay on 1 of thePin tags on fleece pieces of fleece with the folded ends facing the centre. Space them out as shown in the picture and pin in place.If you’re using fabric pin the tags to the right side.

 

 

 

Baste/tack in place, you can find an Sew Tags onto fleeceexplanation of basting here. Take the second piece of fleece and lay on top of the basted pieces. If you’re using print fabric remember to place the right side down.

 

 

All pieces placed togther ready for sewing

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch around all 4 sides leaving a gap Right sides out and pin open endfor turning right sides out. Turn right sides out then turn in and pin the open end.

 

 

 

Top stitch around the edge to give a nice Top stitchneat finsh.

 

 

 

 

 

The fleece centre looked a bit plain to me Baby taggie blanketso I thought I’d try my new found applique skills. I had an old charity shop cushion cover with animals printed on it so I cut out the giraffe for this project.

 

 

And there we are, I think baby Lilly likes her new taggie blanket!

Baby Lilly holding taggie blanket

 

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Here’s one I made earlier.

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As I mentioned on the “About” page, I ‘ve a grandaughter due (6 days and counting UPDATE –  SHE’S ARRIVED!) and I’ve been making baby clothes for a few months now, hence the title “Here’s one I made earlier!” I found a simple pattern for a baby dress to start me off, free here

A clear and concise tutorial and such cute pictures of her twins. I made a couple of dresses with this pattern and plan to do more but upscale in size.

This one was made from a summer skirt that had a light lining. Made-earlier1There wasn’t quite enough fabric for sleeves so I used the lining for them. There was just enough left to do a wee hairband, can’t wait to see it on new baby!

TIP: Keep all your leftover scraps from projects, great for trims/bows and making hairbands .

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric in this one I love! This wasn’t stictly upcycled as I Made-earlier2purchased the fabric from Hobbycraft for a festival belt project. There was enough left for the dress and matching headband, size 0-3mths, it’s tiny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to be doing a tutorial (UPDATE, TUTORIAL HERE) on these baby booties, so quick and simple to do. I purchased a fleece baby blanket (out of bargain bin) for £2.50, plenty ofBooties-2 material for lots of booties and another opportunity to upcycle scraps for the decorative bit on the toes. I found it a bit tricky to get the toes evenly rounded on the first pair but was getting better by the second ones, I’ll show you how on the tutorial coming soon.

 

 

UPDATE…..

I wrote this post a while back, have completed more projects since then and baby Lilly is growing fast Here she is wearing the baby Christmas dress I made out of some Christmas curtain fabric!

here's one I made earlier

 

 

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Alternatives to Recycling

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Sometimes for various reasons making your own things isn’t practical, it might be because you

  • don’t have the time
  • lack the skills
  • lack the time to learn the skills

There are alternatives to recycling and upcycling and we can always find ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Eco Friendly Baby Clothes.

Eco friendly baby clothes are made without harsh chemicals and with non toxic dyes. There are many different organic natural fibres used such as:

  • Cotton
  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Soy
  • Wool

Most eco friendly baby clothes are eco friendly baby clothesalso Fairtrade, meaning the producer receives a fair wage for their work. There are many stores now selling these products both on the high street and online. Hudson Baby Clothes are an ethical company and sell a cute range of organic baby clothes in bamboo and cotton, at affordable prices. A Google Search will find tons of results, lots to choose from!

Modern Cloth Nappies.

Decisions decisions, disposable or cloth nappies? For cost effectiveness modern cloth nappies are the way to go. Having said that, many parents opt for both, disposables for outings and cloth for at home. These days cloth nappies are sold as “systems.” No more learning how to fold them and chaffed legs from rubber pant elastic! Check out the Charlie Banana 2-in-1 Reusable Diapering System link to see what a modern cloth nappy looks like.

For disposables Naty Babycare Diapers are the most well known. Bleach free and in a wide range of sizes these will help keep your baby free of the dreaded nappy rash! Their products are 100% renewable so a very eco friendly disposable nappy to buy.

Eco Friendly Baby Toys.

I’ve written a couple of tutorials for making your own baby toys from scrap fabric like this taggie blanket and plush baby toy. Again not everyone has time to do this but there are many companies now producing eco friendly baby toys. Ethical Superstore based in the UK stock a wide range of toys amongst a wide range of ethical goods. In the US Amazon is a good source of eco friendly baby toys.

And Lastly

Another often forgotten about alternative to recyling is to buy your baby items from charity shops. Many of these items are like new, as you know babys don’t stay the same size for long. Second hand baby markets are also a good source of items for your baby. I’ve used these myself and seen everything being sold, from pram systems right down to booties, toiletries and toys.

Happy Shopping!

 

 

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