Sewing Projects – For Drooly Days

burp cloths and bibsOur new sewing machine has become quite the time suck way to spend an evening now that we’re getting ready for parenthood in more earnest than ever before.  I’ve managed to tackle quite a few of the ideas that have been stacking up for ages. It’s a good thing – last year, we resorted to hot gluing a project together, which wasn’t terrible, but was a lot more work than necessary.

I started with a simple project – cloth wipes.  I mentioned this in my last sewing-related post.  We’re planning to cloth diaper, and for us, that means using cloth wipes, too.  They were super easy to do – it’s just sewing rectangles – and they allowed me the chance to get a little more familiar with our new sewing machine before I tackled something a little more challenging.  I got lots of practice – I think the final count on the cloth wipes was 48, which should get us through at least 6 hours, right? 🙂

cloth wipes

I used super-soft flannel in fun colors and prints for one side, and for the other side, I used either the same flannel or terrycloth (for messier moments).  I didn’t use a pattern or anything for these, just determined an approximate size – they wound up to be approximately 8″ by 10″, which seems to be good hand coverage.  I stitched them right sides together, leaving a 2-ish inch opening, trimmed the corners, turned them outside-in, and top-stitched them.  Easy-peasy. I think I got up to doing one every 12 minutes, which is not terribly fast, but not half bad, I don’t think, for someone who’s never used a sewing machine all that much.  Obviously we’ll be using these things daily – hopefully they’ll hold up well.  Not a huge investment.  It’ll save us loads over buying disposable ones, though.  Or at least that’s the plan.

With the cloth wipes situation under control, I turned to other projects – burp cloths, bibs, and blankets.  I found a good pattern for contoured burp cloths and though I’ve yet to burp one of my own, I think it’s a good size for decent protection from projectiles.  (More than decent protection might involve a tarpaulin).

burp cloths 1

I’ve done six of these so far, some all flannel, some cotton-and-flannel.

burp cloths 2

Burp cloth unfurled.  The cut out section goes over your shoulder, facing your neck.

burp cloths 3

We’ve got a good system – *A* picks out her favorite fabrics and I stitch them up.  She’s much better at matching fabrics than I am. I’m okay with that.

I’ve also experimented with dressing up regular cloth diapers – not the highly recommended old school granola kind we’re planning to use for actual diapering, but similar ones meant for use as burp cloths.  Using this pattern, I covered a couple of these with flannel (on one side) to use for burp cloths – because can you really ever have enough of these things?

diaper burp cloth

This one’s a pattern we both agreed on – red double-decker buses with “London” on the side. 🙂

Thanksgiving morning, while *A* was puttering around in the kitchen getting some of the Thanksgiving dinner stuff going, I spent some time working on another project – bibs.  I have yet to find a pattern I really like, but these turned out okay – I think – using this one.  There are lots more patterns out there, though, so I’m sure I’ll explore a few more. I’m thinking maybe one that has a built-in vacuum system, or perhaps some sort of funnel-bucket contraption. I may be in new territory here.


I’m most proud of the yellow owl bib, which required some piecing.  Not so good at that yet – but I’m getting there. The first one I did looked like it was put together by rabid wolves.  (Assuming rabid wolves have not acquired the skills of sewing machine use).  I won’t be picturing that one here. It’s my blog, after all. And that was the awfullest, wonkiest bib ever. But, as *A* put it, ever so tactfully, “you should keep it, just so you can see how much better you’ve gotten.”  *snort*

You know, now that I think of it, the common thread (HA!) in all of these projects is that they all involve cleaning up leaks/explosions/foreign substances in foreign places – whether run-of-the-mill drool, projectile barf, carrots-up-the-nose-and-in-the-ears, or those dreaded (yet magnificent) gastric explosions that go up the back, over the shoulder, and into the bellybutton.  And that’s when they’re not sick…

Is it me, or do these janitorial tasks seem to make up a significant portion of early parenthood?

Ah well, at least the Littlest will have his or her messy carrot face cleaned up in fuzzy flannel double-decker bus style.  🙂



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