October 11, 2011

Oh Baby

Posted by Laura

Babies babies everywhere (I will quickly interject with the statement that this is NOT a pregnancy announcement). In the last three years I have become an Aunt x3 and an aunt-type-person-to-friends'-kids x2. Luckily, some of my favorite things to hand-make are baby gifts. I have no problem spending an entire afternoon working on the little details that go into burp cloths, lavender sachets and packaging.

My friend Ashleigh just gave birth to little Cohen. Since they live so far away and I'm not able to hold him and cuddle him, I put my love into a gift for him. Here's the little man himself, bright-eyed and so sweet...

Cohen Richard Murphy
Congratulations Brett & Ashleigh

...and here's the little gift sent his way.

Burp Cloths
First off, a couple of little burp cloths made from cloth diapers. I accidentally bought these enormous cloth diapers that were so huge that I made both of these, double-sided, out of one diaper. True story.

Instructions for one burp cloth:
Step 1. Cut two pieces of material, equally sized. I used approximately two 12" x 12" pieces.
Step 2. Sew a piece of patterned fabric onto the corner of 1 piece, folding over the edges first for a clean edge. I cut squares from the patterned fabric full of little birds and trees, leaving 1/2" allowance around each square to be folded over and tucked behind the stitch.

Anyone who has received a baby gift from me in the
last 2 years has most definitely gotten something with
this fabric. I've stretched it out across multiple gifts. 

Step 3. Put the 2 pieces of 12"x12" wrong sides together and stitch a 1/2" seam allowance around the perimeter, leaving one corner open (corner that is opposite the patterned fabric from step 2).
Step 4. Turn the product right-side-out. Fold corner over, add tag (made from twill trim folded in half) pin together and sew around 100% of the perimeter leaving 1/4" seam allowance.

Lavender Sachets
These are made with the same sewing concept as the burp cloths, sort of. Take two pieces of fabric, stitch a word of your choice (or a piece of patterned fabric like the burp cloths, or really anything you want) on one side, put the two pieces right sides together, stitch 3 1/2 sides around the perimeter. Turn the product right-side-out, stuff with dried lavender, fold the open side into itself and sew 100% around the perimeter.

These are great for putting near the babies crib, in the
dresser, under tired parents' pillows, etc. They can
also go in the dryer to freshen up laundry.

Homemade Baby Powder
Making your own baby powder is done by many money savvy parents. You can make large amounts for only a few dollars. Also, in doing a little bit of research I learned that main stream baby powders are made from a mineral called talc. Now, I'm no scientist but research shows that talc is possibly carcinogenic. I'm not advocating to ditch the Johnson's all together, just providing one more reason to love homemade things.

1 box corn starch
10 drops lavender essential oil
  • Place cornstarch and essential oil in a ziplock back. Work oil into cornstarch by shaking the bag and massaging the clumps out. Let sit in bag for a few hours to let the essential oils soak in.
  • I used a mason jar for a container. To make the screen, I cut out 3 round pieces of mesh (from hardware store) and layered them, turning each one slightly to create small holes for the mesh screen. I glued this to the inside of the outer rim of the lid. The solid piece of the lid is still removable and sitting under the mesh.

One gift out, another one in...
Anybody who knows me, knows that I'm not a big fan of fabrics with lots of patterns/prints on them. I am like the queen of solid fabrics. The patterned fabric with the birds & trees on it used for the burp cloths is as patterned as I get (and even with that I cut the patterns out and put them on solid things to tone it down a bit). Well, with this gift to baby Cohen I had finally finish the birds & trees fabric. I stretched that fabric out over a couple years and in that moment of completing the gift, I was left patterned-fabricless. Later that day, literally, I received this gift in the mail from my friend and fellow blogger, Lauren. She and I get together for sewing/creating/let the dogs play dates as often as we can and she knows my sewing style quite well...which makes this gift perfect. If you get a chance, check out her blog about her journey as a parent. She writes beautifully.

plant. eat. create.

I feel so inspired by making Ashleigh's gift and receiving Lauren's. If I had the time, I would sew something every day. Of course that would have to be coupled with weekly massages from me slumping over the sewing machine to make the details just right. One can dream...


  1. aww, yeah! And I am again inspired to revisit the burp cloth :) I just made a "sweet pea" onesie with that fabric, just lovely!

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