Baby snuggler tutorial

Happy Monday everyone!  I spent most of my weekend hanging out with my sewing machine, and I thought y’all would enjoy seeing the end result.

Awhile back I pinned this pattern– and I just could not get it out of my head.  It’s similar in theory to my knitted sleep sack, except that there’s velcro involved to keep the baby’s arms in.  I’ve been reading a lot about how important swaddling is with a new baby- so this snuggler seemed like something we should have at least one of in our new baby arsenal, right??

Here’s a picture of my first attempt:

Cute right??  And actually pretty easy to make.  Easy enough that I felt comfortable writing up a baby snuggler tutorial for y’all to have.  You can download the pattern and instructions here, but if you’re like me, having some visual instructions are always nice as well.  So here goes!

You’ll need:

1 yard of a cotton fabric
1 yard of something soft- I used flannel, but the instructions recommend micro fleece.  Whatever you’re most comfortable working with.
Scissors
Pattern (downloadable from here, and pieced together)
Sewing machine and thread
Pins
Velcro

Start out by washing and drying your fabric and then ironing out any wrinkles.  This is an important first step- that way your fabric is pre-shrunk and ready to go!

Fold your two fabrics in half and lay them out on your cutting surface (I use our guest bed- probably not a good idea since I’m always afraid I’ll cut the bedspread, but oh well- live dangerously right??):

Pin your pattern pieces to the fabric and then cut them out- do this for both fabrics:

You should end up with this:

The instructions then tell you to pin and sew the darts.  At this point I got nervous- how do you sew a dart?  What the heck is a dart?!?  I almost quit- but lucky for you I didn’t!  The darts are shown on the pattern:

And you can also see them cut out in the fabric above.  Basically what you want to do is fold your fabric down the center line of the dart (like you’re making a paper airplane), pin it in place and then sew down one of the diagonal lines.  The instructions recommend marking the darts on your fabric, but I don’t have the patience anything that writes well on fabric, so I just measured the length of each diagonal and roughly pinned out a diagonal line on the fabric.

Here’s the upper dart pinned:

And the lower darts (be sure to consume some starburst candy at this point…you’ll need it after pinning all those darts!):

Then you simply sew down your diagonal line (starting on the widest part of the diagonal and sewing all the way to the fold), on the wrong side of your fabric:

Remove your pins, press the darts with an iron and you’re left with this:

Still with me??

Next you want to pin your two cotton pieces together, right sides touching.  Do the same with your two soft pieces- lining up the bottom darts is a good way to get them aligned properly.

In the above photo the cotton is NOT pinned to the soft layer- I just laid them on top of each other for the photo.  Basically the only part of the snuggler that’s pinned right now is the bottom U shape.  Go ahead and sew those two pieces together, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and then trim your seams to be 1/4 of an inch.

After you’ve done this, turn your cotton layer right side out and leave your soft layer wrong side out.  Put the cotton layer inside the soft layer and pin everything together.

Now you’re going to sew the two layers together- you want to sew along both arms and back (**make sure to leave a 3 inch gap on the underside of one arm in order to turn the whole thing right side out**) and the top part of the front panel.

Here’s a close of up the 3 inch gap I left on one of the arms:

Turn the whole thing right side out and adjust everything to your liking- you’ll need to use your fingers to poke the corners out and get it looking just right.  At this point the instructions tell you to slipstitch the 3 inch opening closed.  I thought this might look weird, so I chose to top stitch the entire piece- basically everything I’d just sewn, except for the bottom U shaped part of the pocket.

I used a zig-zag stitch in a similar color to the lining, but you could use whatever stitch you wanted to, in whatever color you decided.  Or you could slip stitch the opening closed as the instructions said.

Next you want to place your velcro.  Again the instructions say to transfer the velcro placements from your pattern on to your fabric, but I went ahead and just eyeballed things.

The soft pieces of the velcro (loop) go on the soft layer of your snuggler, and the rough pieces (hook) go on the cotton layer of the snuggler.  I pinned them down and then sewed around each one- I did make sure the snuggler closed properly with the velcro placement before sewing.

And here’s the end result (3 hours later if you’re slow like me…less time if you’re not a sewing sloth):

Oops- hang out, let me get that out of the way for you…

Tada!

I hope this little tutorial was helpful for you- like I mentioned before, you can find the pattern and written instructions here.  I loved making these and can’t wait to make a couple more- relatively quick and easy.  They’d make a great baby shower gift…or go ahead and stockpile a few for your own child (you know that’s what I’m going to do!)

Linking up to the fall Pinterest challenge!!!

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Nicer notes

Have you ever left your car for an extended period of time, only to return and find someone has left an advertisement on your windshield…or even worse, a parking ticket?  I kind of hate walking up to my car and finding some junk stuck carelessly beneath the windshield wiper.  Once, on our honeymoon, my husband and I returned to our rental car to find a note basically saying “I watched someone hit your car and not do anything about it…sorry.”  Luckily we were able to rub out most of the damage- but what a bummer to come back to, right?

What if you came back to find a note like this instead?

Better yet…what if you could leave a note like this somewhere for someone to find?  Well…now you can!  A friend of mine just started up Nicer Notes– she took her own photography (all images taken in the lovely Pacific Northwest) and added some quotes, then had the images printed out on handy little cards to be left anywhere.  She’s already been busy leaving them around her local city.  I think it’d be pretty sweet if these cards made their way across the US- don’t you? 
**Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated by this company in any way- I just think it’s a cool concept and wanted to share!!**

A tour!

So there are still a few things missing, and I’m sure once we have a baby shower it’ll fill up with all sorts of goodies, but for now I’m calling baby D’s room “done”.  First, let me remind you what this room used to look like when we looked at the house….

Sorry for the bad photos- these were taken from the real estate listing.  The paint job was horrible/dirty, gold hardware was everywhere and the carpet had all sorts of mystery stains.  For the longest time we didn’t do anything about this room- we just put a baby gate up (to keep the dogs out) and made it a cat room.  About a year and a half ago, we started talking about having a baby, so we got to work!  The decal (from Leen the Graphics Queen), which was sort of the inspiration for the entire room.  I knew I wanted it to have a nature theme (without being too theme-y), and that it had to start out gender neutral if I was going to start decorating before a) being pregnant and b) knowing the sex.  I also wanted it bright, but also easy to change once baby D started growing up and having their own opinion about decorating.

I picked a grey wall color to keep things neutral (Martha Stewart’s Driftwood Gray), and painted the ceiling/closet interior a lighter grey (Martha Stewart’s Cumulus Cloud).  The wall decal went up next, and I picked a pretty aqua blue for the birds, which also happens to be the exact same blue that we used in our wedding.  From there everything else sort of came along slowly- I’ve had lots of time to think about this room!!  The carpet is Martha Stewart’s Winterthur in “Wild Turkey” (hmmm, I’m sensing a hidden theme in this room!)

Without further ado, let’s start the tour!

What you see when you walk in the door- our bedroom is behind me.  The dresser/changing table we got off of Craigslist and T re-did the top to be white.  I found the blue bin on clearance at Target for $4 and will use to hold changing supplies.  You can find more information about the gallery wall here, the bird mobile here and the crib skirt here.  We still need a crib sheet (or two), and the crib was a generous gift from my parents (Baby Mod Cadence 4-in-1).

As you turn the corner, you see the guest bed place for me to sleep once baby shows up and T goes back to work (it doesn’t look very big in this photo, but it’s a queen size).  The bedding came from Bed Bath and Beyond (but looks to be discontinued).  The pillows are from TJ Maxx and are actually meant for outdoors, but the colors/patterns worked great in the room.  The black dog on the bed was mine when I was growing up (fitting considering we have 3 black dogs now).  I did the art on the wall- you can read more about that here.  And more about the patterned curtains here, the rocking chair pillow covers here.

This shot was taken standing underneath the bird mobile- which helps explain why we have all the furniture along 2 walls- the other main wall is one giant closet.  There’s a stroller and other random items stored in there right now- I’m pretty sure it’ll become filled with only baby gear at some point soon.  The end table next to the rocker also came from Craigslist- the same place as the dresser actually- and T painted it white.  The quilt on the back of the rocker was made by T’s sister.  I’d like the dormer to become a reading nook one day, so I plan on installing some shelves in there at some point soon.  The storage ottoman and white curtains came from Target.

And the gallery wall/dresser as seen from the bed.  So far the dresser is holding clothes and blankets- I’m sure we’ll be overflowing into the closet at some point in the near future.

And that’s the tour!!  What do you think? 

Another gallery wall…

I mentioned in Monday’s post that I picked up a bunch of frames (7) from the dollar store.  One went in the office, but I didn’t mention what I did with the other ones. 

I knew I wanted to create a gallery wall in the nursery, and I had some art work that I’d gotten a long time ago from Etsy to use.  I also had a very large needlepoint (?? I think that’s what it is ??) picture that my mom had made a long time ago, when I was a baby.  I decided that picture needed to be the center of attention.  It was framed in a large wood frame that didn’t quite fit in with the nursery’s colors, so the first order of business was to do some spray painting.  Not me though- I pawned that job off on T.  He’s a much better spray painter than I am anyway.  I also had him spray paint the dollar store frames, using some leftover paint from the bird bath project.  Sadly I did not think to take photos of this process- but it’s pretty self explanatory!

Once the frames had dried/cured outside in the garage, I brought them inside and popped my art work into them.  I took them upstairs and played around with the arrangement until I found something I liked, then hung them up on the wall.  By the way- I learned a neat trick via Pinterest for picture frame hanging- it works great every time, especially for those frames that have 2 hooks.  Put a small dab of toothpaste on the top of your picture hook, then press against the wall where you want the picture to go- voila!  Instant mark for your nail.  I did the gallery wall in the office this way (which has a lot of frames with 2 hooks) and it worked awesome!

Anyway- on to the photos, since that’s the most important part anyway, right??

 The horse was made by my mom.  The state art came from Poppy and Pinecone on Etsy.  The other art came from Etsy as well but I don’t remember where?  Whoops.

 Washington state for where both T and I were born…

And Georgia for where baby D will be born!

I might put a few more things up there as I find them- like a letter for his name (still undecided as of late), but I’m still thinking about it.  And I plan on putting double stick tape on the backs of all the photos so he doesn’t rip them off the wall onto his head!

What do you think??  I think this room is really coming together.  In fact, now that the walls are filled, I’m calling this room “done”…I’ll be back tomorrow to give you a little tour of baby D’s  room to be!