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DIY Baby Swan Costume

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I love everything about it: candy, dressing up, decorating, trick or treating, and not to mention that Halloween is essentially the kickoff of the entire holiday season.  Trick or treating was always my favorite thing to do as a kid, and let me tell you...I trick or treated as long as I could! I may have even gone up until I was 18, haha!  Fortunately I had friends who loved candy as much as I did to trick or treat with.  I was pretty bummed when I was too old for trick or treating, but now that I have little Henley here, my trick or treating days are back in business! Anyone else excited to live through your little one and eat their candy? It can't just be me, can it?! ;)

Looking at Halloween costumes for Henley, I saw a baby swan costume at Pottery Barn Kids and fell in love!  However, chubby as she may be, the smallest size (12-24 months) was still a tad bit big. My friend had the idea to dress up together as Swan Lake, and I was set on that idea, so I decided to make her a baby swan costume!

What you need:

White onesie
Spools of 6" white tulle (sparkly and plain)
Spool of 3" white tulle 
Maribou boa
Crochet headband
Black and orange felt

For the tutu skirt:
1. Measure the waist of your little one and cut your elastic accordingly.  Add about a half inch to the measurement for a seam allowance.  I don't like things tight on baby's belly so I made it just snug enough to stay on, which was 15 inches. She's a 6-9 months size in clothing. Line up the ends of the elastic and sew them together with a half inch seam allowance.  If you don't wish to sew, then you can knot the elastic, but account for that in the measurement.  

2. Cut about 60 strips of the 6" tulle to your desired length. For a 6-9 month old, I made the strips 18 inches long.  

3.  Place two strips on top of each other and fold them in half making a loop.  Pull the ends around the elastic and through the loop.  Continue until your tutu is nice and full.  I alternate plain and sparkly tulle.

4.  Weave the maribou boa around the tulle waistband.

For the onesie top: 

1. Cut 9 strips of 3" tulle five times the width of your onesie. 

2. Layer 3 strips of tulle and, using your sewing machine (or by hand), sew a gathering stitch along the top of the tulle with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Do this with the other strips also.

3. Gather the strips and pin them to your onesie, alternating the tulle ruffles and maribou feathers.  The onesie will stretch while you are sewing, so account for that when you pin the layers and leave extra length on the side you will end your stitches. 

4. Sew each row onto the onesie by hand or machine.  When using a machine, use a zig zag stitch.  It will allow the onesie to stretch when your little one is wearing it and not pop any stitches!

5. Make two loops of maribou and attach at the shoulders. 

For the headband:

1. Cut a triangle of orange felt for the beak. Cut triangle of black felt the same size as the orange triangle (for the black part of the beak) then snip a smaller triangle off of the tip. 

2. Glue the black to the top of the orange triangle. Place a white maribou puff behind the felt beak.  Glue to a felt circle and adhere to a clip or headband.

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this tutorial!  I made this costume after Henley went to bed and the lighting was not working for me...hopefully you can still make out how I did it, though!

Henley made an adorable little swan!  Her costume was a hit when we went trick-or-treating, which she LOVED.  Her first Halloween was one I will always remember.  

My Baby Soothing Must-haves

Monday, October 20, 2014

Henley is seven months old now!  I seriously can't believe how fast time is going by.  It seems like yesterday she was a newborn: crying, sleeping, eating...eating...and eating.  Besides using breastfeeding as a pacifier (guilty), I had to find other ways to soothe Henley.  I eventually got the hang of it (mostly) and now, I thought I would share with you my list of must haves to help soothe a fussy baby. Everyone seems to have different favorites and here are mine (and why):

Brica mirror: This mirror has been a lifesaver in the car.  It's super cute, lights up, and plays music.  There is a daytime/upbeat setting for when you just need to keep them awake and happy and a sleepy/calming setting for when it's time to nap.  There is even a remote control to make it easy to operate while driving.  I use it every time we are in the car!

Pack 'n Play with newborn napper: This was Henley's bed for the first three months.  She slept in our room in the newborn napper portion until she outgrew it.  There is a vibrating pack that adheres to the underside of the napper that helps soothe baby to sleep.  This definitely helped with calming Henley back to sleep when she woke up and no longer needed to eat so often.
Calming Vibrations Cuddle Soother :  Well, we call "her" Ellie.  This elephant soother is perfect for napping on the go.  It vibrates and plays music for ten minutes, which is great to block out noise and keep Baby asleep while you run errands.

Receiving Blankets:  These are not only for swaddling, but work for keeping the babe warm while you're on the freezer aisle in Target, or especially for impromptu burp cloths.  They are super easy to make, and you can see how, here.

My Baby Sound Spa: A sound machine is a MUST for helping baby to get to sleep and STAY asleep!  Most that are out there turn off within a certain amount of time, but this one is awesome and stays on continuously or you can use a timer.  I just leave mine on all day, haha!  Another great thing about it is that you can use batteries to make it portable.

There you have it!  My top five baby soothing items.  Hope that they help some of you with new babies!  For all of you other moms out there, what are some of your favorite ways/items to calm a fussy baby? 

DIY Multipurpose Baby Lovie

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Babies love tags. Give them a toy/blankie/pillow, etc. they will find the tag and obsess over it.  I guess that's why they make blankies and toys with tags all over them...go figure!  As a hoarder of fabric, ribbon, and well, all types of craft supplies, I decided to make a lovie/taggie blankie for Henley.  I added in a binkie strap in the corner to keep track of one of the tens of binkies that I have and misplace on a daily basis.  It is really multipurpose because it acts as a lovie, pacifier holder, taggie toy, and burp cloth in a pinch! This project took about ten minutes from start to finish.  Perfect for naptime, especially when you have a cat-napper like mine.

What you need: 

•18" x 10" Flannel fabric
•18" x 10" Minky fabric
• 10 Pieces of ribbon 4" long
• 1 piece of thin ribbon 6" long
• Pins
• Sewing machine
• Coordinating thread
• Scissors

How it's done:

1. Cut your fabric.  You can make yours any size or shape you want, but you may need more ribbon if your Lovie is bigger than 18 x 10". 

2. Lay your flannel fabric out flat, right side up.  Take your pieces of ribbon, fold them in half, and pin them evenly around your fabric.  Make sure to pin the open edge (as opposed to the loop) to the edge of the fabric with the loop facing the middle of the fabric.  Pin the 6" ribbon in one of the corners. It will serve as a pacifier strap.

3. Once all the ribbon is pinned in place, place your minky material on top of your flannel and ribbon, right side down.  Pin the pieces together. 

4. Sew along the edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Make sure to leave a small opening to turn the lovie right-side-out.

5. Once turned, press and fold in the unfinished hem and sew shut with a 1/8" seam allowance. Continue sewing around the entire lovie for a finished look.

6. Attach a pacifier and give to your little one! Or, give as a gift!

Henley LOVES hers!

Incredibly Easy Receiving Blankets

Friday, July 25, 2014

While pregnant, I kept reading that I needed a bunch of receiving blankets.  However, every time I went to buy them, I couldn't believe the prices!  My mom had bought a pack of Carter's receiving blankets, and basically, they're a square of flannel with serged edges...piece of cake to make!  I made a ton for baby Henley and I use them all the time (that's her at just 4 days old)!  I recently made some for a friend who had twin boys.  Here's how I made them:

What you need:

• 1 yard flannel (Joann's always has great 
• Coordinating thread
• Rotary cutter or scissors
• Serger or sewing machine
• Bowl to trace round edges (if desired)

Directions for Serger:

1.  Wash, dry and iron your flannel.  Lay flat then cut a square 30" x 30". 

2.  Fold in half twice so that all four corners are stacked.

3. Place your bowl about two inches from the corners.  Cut around the edge of the bowl using your rotary blade or scissors.  

4. Serge around the entire blanket edge, and you're done!

Directions for Sewing Machine: 

1. Wash, dry and iron your flannel.  Lay flat then cut a square 31" x 31". 

2. Fold over each side 1/2", then 1/2" again for a finished edge. Sew along all of the edges of the blanket using a zig zag stitch and you're done! 

These blankets are so easy to make and make perfect gifts for someone who is expecting.  With the leftover flannel you can even make a burp cloth or two to match! See my burp cloth tutorial here