Monday, October 4, 2010

Shut Up and Sew: Burp Cloths and A Giveaway!

How many of you feel like this about sewing? It's okay to be honest.


I used to be just like you. But secretly, I wished that I felt like this.


I love the DIY world because it gives me the opportunity to attempt Pottery Barn or Pier One rip offs. But it's just that I have been seeing so many J Crew and Anthropologie rip offs, and my closet has started getting jealous of all of the attention that I am giving to my walls and my furniture.

When I made these Tie Appliques for my son a few months ago, I practiced with several different types of backing and fabrics to find the one that I liked the best. But I was left with several tie t-shirts with adhesive that wasn't going to last long, and I wanted those shirts. So the next time that I saw my mom, I took a bundle of shirts with me, sat down at the sewing machine, and had her show me what to do. I discovered something that I feel like the sewers have been keeping from us non-sewing DIYers.


A little something called...short term gratification.

I'm not kidding. Not only is sewing not difficult, sometimes it's kind of easy! No really, it is!!!

I wish I could go back in time, listen to all of the excuses about why I didn't want to sew, and tell myself, "Just quit your whining and try it already!!" So instead, I'm offering that to you, my dear non-sewing readers. We can do it!! It's not that bad! Just come with me and we'll do it together, okay? Okay.

Twice a month, I'm going to do a feature called Shut Up and Sew. (Perhaps a little aggressive, but gets the point across well enough, right?) I'll be following along with an online tutorial and giving you my step-by-step from a "learners perspective."

New Sewers: Please follow along and let's see what we can pull off together!! We can crack into the secret world of sewing and take it by storm!!

Seasoned Sewers: Help us newbies out and let us know what we're missing. Have a tip to add? Please let us know in the comments! Then we can all learn together.

There's also a GIVEAWAY! Read on for more details.

Today's Project is an easy and sweet set of burp cloths.


Before we get started, here are a few First Time Sewer Tips.

1. Thread the sewing machine so that the thread goes in the front of the needle and out the back. This matters.

2. Don't push or pull your fabric as you are sewing. You can lightly guide it so that it doesn't get crooked, but the machine will pull the fabric through itself.

3. When you reach a corner, leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, rotate your fabric, drop the presser foot and then continue your sewing. This will let you sew 1 continuous line down all 4 sides of the burp cloth.

 Ready? We can do it!!

Materials needed: 3 cloth diapers, 3 coordinating fabrics, sewing machine, pins, scissors, iron. (Moda's Fat Quarters or JoAnn Fabric's fabric bundles are perfect for this.)

I used the burp cloth tutorial from the Moda Bake Shop here.

Attempt #1.

I started off by ironing the diaper and decorative fabric. I started with 6" by 22," but it was a bit crooked, and when I tried to correct it (a few times), I cut off a little too much fabric, so that it just barely fit. Oops.


I flipped the orange fabric over and ironed the raw edges down about 1/2 inch. I lined the fabric up over the center of the diaper and pinned it in place. I then got started on my stitching. I set my machine to a straight stitch, stitch length of 12, and tension of 5.

Picnik collage1.jpg

So far so good. But be aware of this happening.


See that? The presser foot slid right underneath the loosely woven threads of the diaper! If i had sewn much further it would have either pulled those threads out of the diaper, or messed up my stitching. I stopped, left my needle down in the thread to keep my place, lifted up the presser foot just slightly and got it disentangled from the threads. To correct this from now on, I adjusted my needle position (you can do left, center, or right) so that the decorative fabric was underneath the whole presser foot as opposed to just half of it as before, and it was smooth sailing.


I did have an "Aww, maaaan" moment with this burp rag though. Remember how I said I had cut the fabric length slightly too short? I didn't have enough material on the length to tuck the raw edge under and sew them down. So I improvised.

I sewed a straight stitch across to seal the opening, and ran a thin layer of fray check across the raw edge to keep the fraying in check.


Attempt #2.

This one went a lot better than the first. I sewed all the way around the whole diaper! My sewing was a little bit jagged on the long stretches, but overall I was feeling so proud of myself!


However, #2 was not perfect. Apparently I hadn't been smoothing out my fabric as I went because I ended up with a little pucker in the 4th and final corner, darn it! And it still was just a little bit short on the end. But overall, it was better. All 4 sides were more finished looking, and I didn't snag any of the diaper fabric as I was sewing.


Attempt #3.

My best burp cloth yet. My lines were straight and there was no puckering.


The ends of the burp cloth looked pretty good too. One was perfect (left), the other was not perfect, but it was pretty darn close.

Picnik collage3.jpg

Now here is the best part. I made all of these in an hour. ONE HOUR!! It turns out that ironing, measuring, cutting and machine sewing don't actually take that long. Coming from someone who is always waiting for stain to soak in, paint to dry, glue to dry, sealant to dry, etc, having project that went from start to finish in an hour was a joy!! If I did it, you can do it!!


And aren't they cute?! I have to be honest, when I walked out of my craft room holding these, part of me expected to see cheering crowds. Okay, not really. (But kind of.) It was like the first night that my son slept through the night when he was a newborn, part of me expected someone to make an announcement about it at church the next day or something. :)


Okay, let's review. These are adorable, fun, easily customizable for a new mom or mom to be, inexpensive to make, not time consuming, and if you make any little mistakes they actually add to the handmade charm!!


Would you like to win a fabric bundle like the one I used in this project? Leave a comment answering one of the questions below for a chance to win.

For the new sewers,what do you think, would you give this a try? What other types of tutorials would you like to see from a learner's perspective?

For the seasoned sewers among you, what did I leave out? What was your first sewing project and how did it go?

I'll be linking this to these parties. Have a great week!!

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Danae October 4, 2010 at 6:41 AM  

What a great first project! When I first started sewing I made pillows. I always thought that sewing square peices of fabric and stuffing it was the easiest thing, I mean what could go wrong. However, my first few (ok, so a little bit more than that) were certainly far from being square! Since then, I've learned that taking my time to cut straight and to measure my hem allowance saves a lot of aggrevation in the end.

Keep up the great work; can't wait to see your next sewing project! It does get easier.

Julie Kay October 4, 2010 at 6:45 AM  

I have been teetering on the edge of learning how to sew for a while now. This was very encouraging. I do bevlieve I'm ready to take the plunge! I would love to see pillow tutorials. Throw pillows are so expensive and I would love to be able to make my own.

Tiffany October 4, 2010 at 7:12 AM  

Erin, these are beautiful! I LOVE the fabric you used. I want some! I definitely want to try these. Mia is such a spitter and fun burp cloths make it much more fun! Thanks for sharing! I am so excited about your new Shut Up and Sew stuff! : )

Rebecca@This Present Life October 4, 2010 at 8:03 AM  

The burp cloths look great! I am by no means a "seasoned" sewer. But I have found that using white thread and a zig zag stitch when making burp cloths is muuuuch more forgiving than a straight stitch in colored thread. Just my two cents!

Naomi October 4, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

I've been asking for a sewing machine for Christmas for years now, as I would LOVE to start with projects like this one or maybe some easy throw pillows. Excited to see what you do with this new series!

sheila31100 October 4, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

these are soooo cute! i am not a sewer but would love to try and make these!!! my sister in law is having a baby THIS morning and these would make the perfect gift!
i hope mine turn out! i would love to see any other kid friendly projects to sew. i love your tie t- shirts! how do you make those?? thanks so much for showing us this project!

Summer October 4, 2010 at 8:33 AM  

They turned out great! I just started sewing in January, and felt pretty much the same way - why had I not done this sooner? Now I'm totally obsessed and can't imagine how I ever lived without my sewing machine!

Your burp cloths turned out great! I made some awhile back as well. Just for a fun twist, I added some jumbo rick rack to mine. You can check them out here if you want:

Love that fabric!

malia October 4, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

hi erin-- great job. i am cracking up at your pirates of the caribbean reference. i consider myself a new sewer-- about 9 months or so of experience.

i love this fabric and i think your new series is a great idea too. hugs, malia

Carole Davids October 4, 2010 at 8:46 AM  

New follower from the monday linkup.

I love the fabric you chose. When I make these, on the end where the serged edge of the burp cloth is, I trim the burp cloth to match the edge of my fabric and use a zig zag or over lock stitch to finish that edge. This way, there isnt a gap between the edgeof your colored fabric and the burp cloth.

I think this was a great starter project and you did great! I learn from making things over and over again. As you go along you will find what works for you and what doesnt.


Dana October 4, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

Love this new series! I just received a sewing machine for my birthday last month and have yet to use it. I would love to see a tutorial on throw pillows!!

Rebecca October 4, 2010 at 8:52 AM  

I love your blog and I am excited about this new series! The colors were my favorite part...they go so well together!

Judy October 4, 2010 at 8:54 AM  

I love sewing and am so glad my mom taught me at a young age! It is so gratifying to see something you have made or altered in a way that is unique to you :)

Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife October 4, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

I definitely plan to try this! I would love to see more baby related How Tos!

Stefibeth @

Eric and Hilary October 4, 2010 at 9:05 AM  

i would try it, once i fgiure out how to fix the sewing machine that someone gave me. i can;t figure out how to get the presser foot to lift up. (ive tried doing the right way) it must be jammed or something. who knows? but its really frustrating.

Joseph's Grainery Recipes October 4, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

I would love to make a set of burp clothes. Fun gift idea!

Mommy of Two 24/7 October 4, 2010 at 10:01 AM  

These are great! I have several girlfriends that are preggers right now, and these are darling!

From a learner's perspective, I'd like to see how to sew velvet and satin without it slipping around and getting all wonky when stitching. :)

Kylie October 4, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

I just started sewing and this looks like a great/easy project that I would like to try, especially since I have so many friends (and myself) expecting new arrivals soon!

Tracey October 4, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

I can't wait for shut up and sew! I would love a tutorial on those sweet pillowcase dresses--I know they are simple, I just need to shut up and sew one :)

Melissa October 4, 2010 at 10:28 AM  

You got the most important part of sewing down! Iron, Iron, Iron! It makes a huge difference. Over all, I think your directions were great. I have been sewing for 9 years now. My first project was a skirt for myself, my mom gave me lots of pointers, and helped a bit, but in the end it worked out pretty well. My only mistake, I was using suede cloth and I didn't really understand about fabric with a nap (meaning it has directionality, if you turn it the wrong way it can have a totally different color and texture). I had turned one of the back panels the wrong way when I cut it out, I didn't realize till the 3 or 4th time I wore it that I had messed up. Oh well! I am looking forward to more sewing! Oh, and I love the fabric you used, I would love to win some! The colors are awesome!

Sandy October 4, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

I just started sewing again about 6 or 8 months ago after not having attempted any sewing since Home Ec in school many moons ago! This is one of the first projects I did also! I would just add that you should wash your diapers and fabric before sewing them and I agree with what someone else said ... a zigzag stitch is much more forgiving! I started a sewing blog to hopefully help other newbie sewers like me out there with simple projects... if you would like to check it out, I am at I look forward to the rest of your series!

Tanna October 4, 2010 at 10:31 AM  

I'm not seasoned and not new, so here are my answers. I would try this, I've made burp clothes, but differently. I love to make baby blankets. I recently tried putting a monogram letter on the blanket, but with fabric instead of stitching. If you are a perfectionist you can use a little metal ruler found at Jo-Ann's that has a slider on it so you can measure the folded fabric all at the same measurement. Also leaving the edges raw will give that shabby chick look that is so popular right now.

Jenna October 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

I bought an inexpensive sewing machine a few years ago and only used it ONE TIME before I decided that I knew nothing about sewing and what was I doing trying to pretend I did? Please do a tutorial on how to make a pillow! I bought my machine for that purpose alone and attempted a pillow on my first and only sewing session. It turned out okay for a novice sewer but the amount of time it took me was ridiculous. I think I was holed up in my craft room for hours just trying to figure out how the whole thread/bobbin thing worked. I'm looking forward to reading more of your Shut Up and Sew series... love it!

Missy October 4, 2010 at 11:10 AM  

Love the title! I received a sewing machine for Christmas last year, and it's still in the box! Maybe this is the kick in the pants that I need. I agree with others that throw pillows tutorials would be great! Thanks!

Jennifer October 4, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

I will definitely be trying this as one of my best friends is having a baby in december. Perfect gift!

I would like to see something involving a zipper. I saw a great tutorial for a makeup bag somewhere, and the directions weren't crystal clear for me (someone who has never done it before!)

Mom2fur October 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM  

You know, I never think to make burp cloths for a baby gift. They are so practical (we were always using dish towels)--and yours are very cute!
I have another tip for you, if you don't mind. ALWAYS hold on to the ends of your threads before you start sewing, just until you've done a few stitches. This will keep it from getting all tangled up. Even after more than 30 years of sewing, I still forget to do this at times, LOL!

Deanna October 4, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

Very nice tutorial! Don't think you missed anything! My first sewing project was curtains for my living room. They worked out pretty good, even if my seams weren't all straight. Now I try making clothes for my little girl. Clothes are quite different from curtains, that's for sure!

Erica October 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

I'm not a big commenter but I laugh because I am a new sewer as well, only have a total of 3 projects under my belt, and the third was 12 burp cloths I churned out this weekend to give as gifts! Slightly different from yours - which look nicer than mine - but I totally identified with the expectation that there should be a round of applause for my efforts. Fortunately my husband is as amazed as I am that I could pull off something cute! I'm most proud of my second project, a ruffly pillow:

I got the instructions off of

I'm borrowing a machine now but I'm going to ask for one for Christmas, so keep the tutorials coming! I know people make their own crib sheets, bumpers, and crib skirts ... feel like taking that on?

Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

I think you did very good.I wish there was a tutorial on sewing machine up when and how to oil it.

Caroline October 4, 2010 at 2:25 PM  

I would definitely give it a try! Thanks for the great tutorial.

I would like to some tips on sewing with a stretchy cotton. I have done a few projects and the seams come apart after a couple wears / washes. I don't have a serger, but would like to get one someday.

Leanne October 4, 2010 at 2:28 PM  

I love this tutorial, those are so much cuter than using just the plain cloth diapers--which by the way make the best burp cloths! I am a mid-area sewer which means I can sew a straight line but I still need a pattern or a good tutorial to follow! Thanks!!

Taylor-Ann October 4, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

Hi..I'm Taylor and I'm a newbie sewer and I would totally give this a try. :o) It looks super easy.

For future tutorials how about...decor pillows or curtins.

Eva Marie Harp October 4, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

I love what your doing!!! I am passionate about teaching sewing. Please check out my beginners page. I have posted 24 learn to sew videos. I have gotten tons of great feed back. Is is great for beginners. Also free easy patterns. Thank you for all encouraging others to Shut up and sew.

Jennifer October 4, 2010 at 4:55 PM  

I would love to get a fabric bundle like that, and I would love to try to make the burp cloths, only thing I need is a sewing machine. Maybe this would give me the incentive to get one.

Hannah October 4, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

I love this idea! I just started learning how to sew and am definitely going to follow along with you simple projects. The first project I am doing right now is making a tiny comfortor, pillows, and mattress cover for my little girls doll bed. I figured it would be less scary than attempting the real thing and she won't really care if (or when!) I mess up.

emerzim October 4, 2010 at 5:40 PM  

My very first project was a tote bag. It turned out ok, useable at least. It never even occurred to me to buy matching thread, so you can totally see my wonky stitching in white thread on the brown fabric. oops!

Suzy October 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

I would say that I am a craft clothing for me. Recently I had so much fun making pennants for a dog rescue fund raiser. I think zigging and pinking are a sewer's best friends. Zig zag stitches are so helpful to make stitches that show more fun looking and pinking shears are great for making edges look special and to keep easily frayed fabric tamed!

I'd love to win the fabric to make more pennants.


Jodi October 4, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

The burp cloths are so cute, what a neat idea! I have been sewing for a short while, I am really getting in the groove and wish I had more time to spend sewing.

Love your blog, will be checking it out more!

Lynn October 4, 2010 at 10:10 PM  

I would love to make some burp clothes for my baby girl due in Feb. I started sewing last christmas and it's so fun to see the final results. My first project was a pillow, then an apron.... I would love to see more tutorials on how to work with knit fabric sewing.

Practically Spent October 4, 2010 at 10:17 PM  

Hilarious! Especially since your first picture IS how I feel about sewing (and it's one of the only movies I've ever walked out on....well, the sequel at least).
I TRY to like sewing, but every time I do it, I just end up being frustrated at how putzy and time consuming it is. Plus, it means I have to sit down, which I'm not a big fan of. (ADD anyone?) I guess I better stick to shopping.

I am, however, absolutely blown away by all the talent out there and I am still drawn to check it out regularly!

Anonymous October 4, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

I love it!! I've been wanting do try these same burp cloths...but I can't find the cloth diapers!! I would love the fabric bundle...fabric inspires me to try sewing. I've done a few things--sundresses and a shirt for my daughter, pillow covers, and bean bags. Love the idea of "Shut up and Sew". Keep it up!! Thanks!!


Domestic Nerd October 4, 2010 at 11:38 PM  

I just started sewing in May. I wish I had started sooner, but now I'm obsessed! I want to make everything! I am still looking for a tutorial for the "perfect" diaper bag...easy to make, good size, pockets inside. I have a little one & several friends who are pregnant. this would be the perfect tutorial for me :)

Jamie W October 4, 2010 at 11:52 PM  

I love making these as gifts! A tip I have for sewing straight lines is to use your overcast foot. It gives you a guide for the edge of your folded fabric (that little metal piece that extends from the right side of the foot- mine is black), just use a straight stitch instead of an overcast. It gives you a perfectly straight stitch very close to the edge of the folded fabric.

JoLynn October 5, 2010 at 1:55 AM  

Thanks for this! I consider myself a beginner too, even though I've done a few projects. I wish I knew how to sew "for real". :) I just kind of figure things out on my own...kind of wish I could take a class to learn how to sew the "right way." If there is a right way! :)

I have been meaning to sew some burp cloths, but haven't done them yet. Thanks for the tutorial and giveaway!!

wig4usc October 5, 2010 at 3:03 AM  

I'm really glad you did this...I've dabbled a little in sewing, and the more I did, the better I did. But still, I didn't feel entirely adept. I appreciate the candor and honesty about the flaws - most of us newbies can TOTALLY relate! I'm looking forward to giving this a try and seeing more "Shut Up and Sew" features!

tonnia October 5, 2010 at 5:38 AM  

I love your blog and love these burp cloths.

Becca October 5, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

These are awesome! I'm a beginner sewer (VERY beginner) and I would totally give these a shot! Thanks!


Alyssa October 5, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

I'd say I'm an intermediate sewer. One thing I prefer with burp cloths is to use a flannel material - for practical purposes I think it absorbs better than a straight quilter's cotton does. Sometimes with a straight woven cotton the spit up can run right off the cotton and down your back. Not that I at all know this from experience... :)

Honestly, from talking to many people, it always seems like one of the biggest things is people simply learning to thread their machine. Obviously every machine is different, but maybe showing a step by step tutorial of how you thread your machine will inspire others to try it. And also letting people know that their sewing manuals will always tell them how to thread their machine, and most newer machines (made in the last 10-15 years) have manuals that can be downloaded from the internet.

Miss Sews-it-all October 5, 2010 at 7:37 PM  

I love this post! You go and sew sister! Hey, here's a great place to find sewing tips, tricks, and tutorials - go to There's even a whole page of organizations that NEED volunteer help from sewers to help others!

BizzyMom October 5, 2010 at 11:06 PM  

I love any project that you can do quickly.. especially for babies. I have a large family so anything I do can't take too long to make. These burp cloths are PERFECT for that. Thanks for the tutorials and being honest with your 'mistakes'. ;)

Christina October 6, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

I started making doll clothes which helped a lo to learn the basics and not waste a lot! Great burp cloths I think I am going to make some tomorrow.

Boy oh Boy oh Boy! October 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

I have a sewing machine, but I know very little about sewing! I love this project and it is just straight lines, so I will have to give it a shot!! These would make an adorable baby gift! Thanks for the idea! I can't wait to see more!

Patrice October 7, 2010 at 8:15 AM  

Okay, you are slowly talking me into a sewing machine. Not everything can be done with hot glue, even I have to admit that!

janimal October 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

I think that was a great post. Well done! Since cloth diapers aren't straight, it's really hard to get those exactly right. Looks like you did a lovely job! I think what sometimes intimidates people is they are afraid to not get it perfect. Home sewing doesn't require perfection - and sometimes those little imperfections are totally charming! Well done!
I started out with sewing pillows and valances - all straight lines! I think a simple skirt would be a good project - check out the Lazt Days child's skirt on Oliver and S. Totally simple.

Katy October 7, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

This is actually going to be my very FIRST sewing project. My good girlfriend is about to have her first child and I want to make something unique and special for her.
I'd love to have a tutorial on how to make cute pillows.

Marci Wittwer Butterfield October 7, 2010 at 4:33 PM  

I am fairly new at sewing and when I first began burp clothes were one of my first projects. Such a perfect way to learn.... and so cute as well. Great job.

Amy October 7, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

I am really grateful for your step by step comments and words of encouragement. I am a novice sewer and still very intimidated by the whole thing!

Dawn October 7, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

I completed my first sewing project this week - a pillow case a pillow on my office couch. I LOVE this project and can't wait to try it! Tip #2 is invaluable!!! I did not know that!

Melissa October 8, 2010 at 12:15 AM  

You are too funny! Now I have to be honest with you, I have had the burp clothes for about 1 1/2 now and I just haven't made these. Because I ahd a friend who did and say they were SO hard. She lied! Thanks for taking the time to show us how easy this is. I am not really new to sewing, but I am not that great either. So I will be doing this soon. Thanks for giving me the courage.

Diane October 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

I love using cloth diapers for burp rags, and love these cute ones, but have never made them. I always thought there was some trick to them, but not so. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!! :)

I have been sewing for a long time and love it! :) It is very addicting! ;) So be careful! Haha. The ONE thing that I thought of that was missing (which I really did like your simple tips at the beginning) is backstitching at the beginning and end of your sewing. When you start sewing stitch two stitches forward, two stitches back and then you're of! (or how ever many stitches you want to make. Though you don't need a lot!) So important to make sure your thread doesn't come out. :)

Thanks again! :) Love your site! I'm your newest follower. :)

from blank pages...

Angela October 8, 2010 at 11:23 AM  

Great job! I am fairly new to sewing too and just made a few of these for a friend's baby shower a couple of weeks ago. They were pretty easy.

Cheryl October 8, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

Great Job.!!I have made ones very similar to this before(in my blog) and am actually going to make a few more and try a new pattern tomorrow morning. I bought a flannel and some microfiber cloths to sew together and make it decorative. We'll see how it goes.

Estee October 8, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

I'm very new to sewing, right now I sew by hand and dream of a sewing machine... Can this project be made by hand stitch? I'd love to try!

FrouFrouBritches October 8, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

Great job! I make a lot of burp cloths, although mine are a little different. I have found that when I'm pinning my layers together, pin the short ends first so that the fabric is stretched tight so you don't get as much puckering when you sew the long sides. Does that make sense? Because sometimes those thick fabrics tend to bunch up when you pin a lot down the long side so stretching tight helps prevent that. Am I making any sense at all?

Anyway, you did a great job and sewing is GREAT fun!

Cathy October 8, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

I'm so glad you are doing this! I'm fairly new to sewing too. While I have sewn a couple of things from scratch, I have done more refashioning. I have refashioned some winter clothes into summer clothes for my little girl, and made some polo shirts and long sleeve shirts my boys had outgrown into dresses. Right now I am cutting off the snap bottoms of several of her winter shirts and hemming them so they don't interfere with her ability to use the potty. I needed a burp cloth tutorial, for a new niece, thanks!

Kelli October 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

Sewing really is much easier than you might think. I learned how to sew as a child, but didn't sew alone with no one to rely on until my daughter was born and I'd been on more than a 5-year hiatus from even touching a machine or fabric for that matter!
But when I got started again, I just read through the instructions, called my Mom or searched the web when I had a question and decided I wasn't going to let fear win. I love sewing now--clothes for my kids, Halloween costumes, gifts for friends and their kids, quilting, home decor--you name it, I'll try it.
So go for it! Keep trying and enjoying sewing!!

Suzie October 9, 2010 at 5:41 PM  

You've got some great comments here! And you did a super job with the burp cloths. Diapers aren't the easiest thing to sew on because of their loose weave and they aren't perfectly made either. Remember, they're made to hold a bunch of you-know-what and not look pretty. Here's what I have found really helps. First of all, iron your diaper and maybe even give it a quick spray of spray starch. That helps add body and hold the weave a little more steady. Do the same with the fabric. Remember to prewash both, too. That's critical. Second, I made a template out of a piece of poster board. I measured the length of the diaper panel, added about 2 inches for the "play" at the end of the diaper and then measured the width plus about an inch. I cut this out and I use it to press my sides into a nice sharp, even crease on both sides. I just lay the fabric wrong side up on my ironing board, place my template and fold up the sides and press down both sides. This template holds up really well surprisingly. For the ends, I do a temp fold up, meaning I don't use steam or be heavy handed with the iron, I'm just folding it up nice and neat. It's kind of hard to explain what to do with the corners on this forum but and experiment with the folds until you have a nice sharp corner. Once you've done that, take it to the diaper and pin it on nice and firm, use lots of pins if necessary. Pins will help hold the fabric and diaper in place. Adjust the end pices to the right length, fold them under, press and pin firmly. Then sew nice and slowly all the way around moving the pins out of your way as you go. Sewing slowly helps you control the fabric and diaper a bit better, too. If you have a walking foot attachment for your machine, this will be the key to really making nice, neat burp cloths as it will feed the loosely woven diaper and the fabric at the same pace and no puckering or shifting of the diaper as you sew. Gosh! I think I'll do a tutorial on this very thing for all of you! Good luck, and nice job BTW.

Suzie from staycalmandsewsomething

Becolorful October 9, 2010 at 9:41 PM  

Haha. Loved the title of this post. :)
You have me motivated.
I know where my machine is but I'm wondering if I can remember how to thread it.
Thanks for linking this to Motivated Monday at Becolorful

kelly October 16, 2010 at 6:04 PM  

so funny, i wanted to start sewing and this is what i started with, i have loved it. the problem is i still don't know about the machine so i go over to my friends house so she can be in charge of the machine and i sew but i will learn eventually. these are really fun! i will be back for more!

Margaret October 19, 2010 at 6:35 PM  

I am new to sewing... actually I haven't even really started yet. My mom just gave me her old Singer sewing machine (which was her mom's) and I got it tuned up and ready to go. I still don't know how to use it yet but I already know what my first project will be. All my friends are having babies now and there are just so many things to sew for babies! I can't wait to make these burp cloths. Thanks for posting this.

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