I saw these adorable changing pad covers over on Toad's Treasures, and was immediately hooked on them. I don't know about you, but the changing pad in my diaper bag doesn't get washed as often as it probably should, so I was really drawn to the ease of just tossing these into the wash with everything else. Plus, we are past the diaper bag stage with my son, I just usually grab a diaper, wipes and a drink to stash in my purse when we're out, but this idea was SO much better. Also, did I mention that they are stinking adorable?!
Tackling this project also gives me the opportunity to try out a few "sewing things" that I haven't tried before.
-Sewing with minky fabric.
-Sewing with flannel fabric.
-Sewing on velcro.
I started off by browsing the fabric selection over at Poppyseed Fabrics. Have you been there? Kim has the most GORGEOUS selection of fabrics to choose from. Actually, good luck choosing between them all because it won't be easy! But Kim is super helpful, answered several of my questions about the durability and opacity of a few fabrics, and even helped me find complimentary patterns to go with my favorite fabrics. I couldn't have been more pleased! Read on for information about an incredible giveaway from her fun shop!!
But first, ready to check out the project?
I used this tutorial from Toad's Treasures. She gives fabulous step-by-step instructions and a pattern that you can download and print. In the tutorial she describes the project as "very easy" so I thought I'd give it a shot. It turns out, it wasn't actually that difficult after all!
She gives patterns for both infant and a toddler-sized changing pads, so I decided to try one of each. This also gave me the opportunity to make a girl and boy version, in addition to trying out some different types of materials.
Attempt #1: Infant-Sized Boy Diaper Clutch
I used 2 different types of fabric for this clutch: A soft animal-patterned flannel for the inside, and a cute 100% cotton print for the outside.
On sewing with flannel:
I had never sewn with flannel before, and I have to say it was a breeze! The thicker material was soft but sturdy, and I didn't feel like my machine was ripping it up as it ran through. It washed nicely, the colors stayed bright and the design still looked crisp around the edges.
On Sewing Velcro: Straight Stitch
I used my late grandmother's beautiful old sewing machine for this clutch, and since it doesn't have the option of doing a zig zag stitch, I sewed the velcro strips on with a straight stitch. I went around the edges twice for extra reinforcement and had no problems with it.
Overall, it was an easy project.
Attempt #2: Toddler-Sized Girl Diaper Clutch
I decided to mix things up a little bit on this one since it was my second attempt, and used 3 types of fabric for this clutch: A soft minky fabric for the inside, and 2 different 100% cotton prints, 1 for the outside and 1 for the inside pocket. (Crazy, I know.) I just love mixing up coordinating fabric, it's such a cute touch and a fun way to personalize your project!! This didn't add any extra work either, just an extra bit of fabric.
On Sewing with Minky:
Minky is stretchy and a bit delicate so it requires some extra care. Also, it melts easily, so don't iron it!
Before you start your sewing, make sure to use lots of pins when you are pinning your fabric together! I pinned the fabric down about every 1" - 1 1/2" because I was paranoid about the fabric shifting around. This prep took a little longer but was worth it in the end.
Also, because I sewed the minky to a non-stretch cotton material, I made sure to feed it in the sewing machine with the minky side down. That way the feed dogs guided the fabric through without tugging at the minky.
Also, sigh, I don't want to admit this, but my machine slipped all over the place when I was trying to sew my final decorative border on this clutch. I spent 40 minutes trying to sew a 40" strip of fabric. After many many many attempts, (I was just so close, I didn't want to give up!) I went to bed, thinking that my patience was probably a contributing factor. I went at it again the next morning, and in 20 minutes had only successfully sewn about 8 inches. It turns out that the problem wasn't my temper, but my machine settings.
After researching sewing with minky online, I discovered that apparently minky is a difficult fabric to work, and you need to have a pretty good knowledge of your machine, and it's settings for tension, stitch length and width to pull it off. When I was sewing with the soft side of the minky down I was fine, but with it up I just couldn't pull it off.
Here is the place for you seasoned sewers to speak up! What are your best minky sewing tips? Any ideal machine settings that you always use for this fabric that you are willing to share?! Please!! :)
On Sewing Velcro: Zig Zag Stitch
I sewed on my own machine this time, and since the tutorial called for the velcro to be stitched on with a zig zag stitch, I went for it. This didn't work so well for me. I lined it up so that my left stitch went into the velcro strip and the right stitch went into the fabric, and this seemed to just shift the strip around a lot, despite the fact that it was pinned down. Maybe I should have done the whole stitch on the velcro and that would have made a difference, but next time I'm sticking with the straight stitch.
If I was going to do this project again, even for someone with a baby on the way, I would forgo the infant sized changing pad and just do the toddler size. It's not so much bigger that it would completely swallow a newborn, and with as quickly as babies grow, I want it to last as long as possible. (Or perhaps this is just saying something about how much effort it takes for me to make a handmade gift!)
The other great thing about this project is that I ordered a half a yard of each of the fabrics for this project, and had just enough little scraps leftover to use to make little matching gifts, which I will be sharing with you next week. Okay, okay I'll tell you. It was the perfect amount of fabric for...appliques!!
In the past 3 months I have appliqued over a dozen little onesies and t-shirts. I have learned a lot along the way, (dos and don'ts) and will be sharing my best tips, so be sure to stop by!!
Now, are you ready for the giveaway? You'll go nuts over this!
Kim from Poppyseed Fabrics is going to give one lucky Lemon Tree Creations reader a Fat Quarter bundle of Patty Young's newest collection line "Sanctuary."
You can choose between the warm palette line (14 fabrics),
or the cool palette line (13 fabrics).
This fabric is called designer cotton shirting, is a little softer than regular cotton and it's great for quilts, clothes and bedding.
Want some?! Yes?! You'll have 4 chances to win.
1. Seasoned sewers, lend us some of your knowledge on sewing with minky! It's tricky stuff, but we are determined to beat it, not let it beat us!
2. Head on over to Poppy Seed Fabrics Blog and follow her. You'll be glad you did. Leave us a comment to let us know you did.
3. Check out Poppy Seed Fabrics' Etsy shop, find your favorite fabric or bundle, and come back to let us know that you did.
4. Post about this giveaway on your blog, facebook or twitter. Leave us a comment with a link.
Poppy Seed Fabric is also offering Lemon Tree Creations readers 10% off of their purchase with the code lemontreecreations10. The discount is good for this week only, so if you need some great fabric for one of your holiday gifts, head on over now!
I'll be linking this project around to some great parties, so check them out and I'll see you next week!!