Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oliver + S = Adorable Baby Gift

If some people call themselves "Selfish Seamstress," I surely should be called the "Crabby, Sassy, Bitchy, Sarcastic Seamstress."  Not all at once of course but at different times I'm each of these.  Overall, I think sassy says it all most of the time.   But one fine day I inadvertently lashed out at an acquaintance about why I don't attend baby showers (a reason I should just share with my inner-self during our constant dialogues about what's wrong with us and how we will fix it someday when we have time or more insurance for therapy).

Often times, I should really just follow the advice of Thumper,"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  However, in practice, I end up following the Olympia Dukakis/Clariee in Steel Magnolia's motto "If you can't say anything nice, come sit by me." 

The truth of the matter is that I love babies.  I love my nieces and nephews too and would shower them with gifts every moment and adopt them to live with me if their darn parents weren't so attached to them.  But they are older now and babies smell so damn nice and say goo goo and are overall just lovely, especially if you can hand them back to their parents when they cry or get stinky.

Anyway, although I don't like attending baby showers, I like making stuff for and buying gifts for babies and baby showers.  And that's what I really should have said to the mother-to-be (third time) who was very insistent that I should be ecstatic about attending her shower.  Instead I assured her that as a single woman, who has not been married, and has no children, who is about to turn 40 and who has attended over 1 million showers of all manner, that I have happily attended my lifetime fill of showers and would kindly decline attendance.   But, I made a gift because although I'm a sassy, bitchy, brat, I am generous.

So I embarked on the journey to make the Oliver + S Bedtime Story Pj set and by doing so completely ripped off (and or got inspired by)Amber who made such an adorable set with matching blanket.

And here's my finished set.  Fabric is Kitties wearing kimono's, trimmed with bright yellow.  I thought that was fun and cute considering it was a kimono style! Pattern Review click link.
Try not to be distracted by the tiny stain on my carpet.  Can you see the ginormous mistake I made?
Then, inspired by this Pairie girl's incredible quilt made from this beautiful book,
 I purchased the book  thinking surely someday I could make something as beautiful as that.  And the book itself is just so lovely.  I went with a 1 hour project to wet my feet, a bound baby blanket using the kitties with kimonos as the binding.

I've never made a quilt but my mother always wanted to quilt. She even bought a huge frame, and I'm sad to say never used it.  I'm even sadder to tell you that we got rid of it because it was ginormous.  I wish upon wish I had kept it even though fitting it into a tiny dorm room might not have been practical. 

So in my true, don't read the directions cause you think you know everything fashion, I prepped the binding the night before by pressing it into what would be like store bought double fold binding.  Then of course I read the directions the next morning that you don't press it if you are doing the hand stitched version.  DARNIT!  But, have no fear, there is a machine version, which is all I had time for anyway, using a folded/pressed version, so I zipped it together and it turned out pretty cute. I will say the directions weren't the greatest, but it turns out they are if you are doing it at the same time vs. reading it before hand.  And since I was wanting someone to better illustrate how to do the corners, I'll attempt to show it here:
Sew along one side till you get to the end.  Back stick and or tie off your ends, trim.
Then to miter the corner, the book says: "Fold binding strip straight down, with the two halves of the tape encasing the quilt edge."  I'll add that the corner becomes like a present, and naturally forms a triangle on both sides.  Pictures, are better..
Both sides will look the same. 
I have no idea if this is helpful to anyone.  I didn't quite get it when I read the book and looked at the pictures, but I actually instantly understood once the fabric was in my hands.  If you think this is daunting, think again.  It's really easy and what a cute finished product.
Folded blanket corners

Gift presentation. Blanket folded around pj set, tied with extra binding.  Card sewn with contrast thread and scrap of fabric.

And in the end, I packed the gift off to the hostess, collected her children, and while women sat together swapping gifts, eating artichoke dip and doing whatever else was planned at the baby shower, I enjoyed the latest installment of Toy Story with three of the cutest kids I know.   Getting to be Auntie Shannon is one of my greatest joys.

1 comment:

  1. Just found you -- so happy to find a blogger who seems to share my taste in dresses: I got married in the Vogue 7848 and am already regretting my two last pattern purchases because the twirly vogue dkny number and the other sheaths dress are really what I was looking for. Never mind. Maybe I'll eventually find the time to sew them all.
    And you're an Oregonian too -- I miss my college years there (UO '92)