Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Okay, so I'm going to try my hand at doing a tutorial! Usually whenever I'm making anything, I just plain forget to take photos of the whole process. Seriously, it's so easy to forget. You just get so caught up in what you're doing, you just forget until it's all done...and, well, I'm definitely not undoing the sewing just for the sake of photos. Can you blame me?

Finished product

So anyway, today I'll be making a changing pad for little miss Jade. Cheyne didn't want a traditional diaper bag and opted for a backpack instead. Well, most of those don't exactly come with changing pads, and it's for sure a nice thing to have when out and about! Public changing tables are pretty grody, if I do say so myself! Besides, this will be softer and cuter than the one that would come with a bag anyway.


Okay, to start out, you're going to need a few things. Here I have some fleece, flannel, a yard stick, fabric scissors, a fabric pen (love this, it fades after 24 hours and writes easily!), and then not pictured, of course a sewing machine. I suppose you could also do this by hand, of course, but it's going to take you MUCH longer. I didn't really have a size for the pad in mind, but I happened to have a piece of the fleece already cut out from some other past project, and it just so happened to be a perfect size. I think it ended up being about 14" x 17" though. You can of course make it whatever size you'd like! Oh, and also, prewash your fabric! Always prewash if you're not using the same fabric for an entire project, as different materials shrink differently. 

Measuring and marking the material

On the wrong side of your material, use the yard stick to measure out the size you want the changing pad to be, and draw on the lines. These will help guide you while you're sewing as well. If you want to cheat and go the lazy route (uhh, but who would want that?), just draw the line on one piece of material, and then lay that piece on top of the other piece (right sides together!) and cut both pieces at the same time. That's what I did, kinda, since the other was a scrap piece anyway, and pretty much cut to size already. 

Both pieces of material cut out

Then, of course, cut out the material. Don't cut right on the line you just drew; instead cut maybe 1/4" outside of the lines. This will be your seam allowance; remember, the lines are what you will be sewing on top of. I occasionally will not be thinking and cut on the actual line, and then realize right after that I'm now going to have to improvise. Maybe I should have said this before: I'm definitely NOT a pro at sewing, just something I enjoy to do and a hobby I only just picked up towards the end of Blake's life. Even then, for a while I took a long hiatus from the sewing world, since I didn't have any little ones to sew for.

Pin both pieces of material together, right sides facing each other. 

As the picture above says, pin away! You can never have too many pins. Especially if you're working with stretchy material, use LOTS of pins. If you pin them horizontally, then you can sew right over them as you go. Otherwise, you have to take them out as you go. Either way works! As you can see, I, again, took the lazy route. I've decided it's okay to cut corners where you can when you're trying to finish the project during your six month old's nap that could end at ANY minute. Catch my drift? 

And now for the fun part! Sewing! Yay! Again, leave about a 1/4" seam allowance. I usually just try to keep the foot's edge at the material's edge. It looks like I decided to sew on the side I didn't draw lines on. I'm not sure why I thought that was best. Probably again a result of trying to finish before Sophia awakens. Oh well, it still worked fine! Make sure to leave about a 3" opening; this is where you will turn the changing pad right side out. I used a straight stitch (zig zag would work too) and be sure to back stitch at the beginning and the end. 

And this is what you have after sewing around! Go ahead and trim the edges of the pad where you sewed, but NOT at the opening. You'll want that little bit of material there for when you close it up! At the corners, clip the material straight across, being careful to not cut the stitching. This will just help the corners stick out more like they should. Now, turn it right side out and admire your nearly completed changing pad. Then think to yourself how much cuter this is than the stock ones that come with diaper bags. Okay, you're not quite done yet, and you're racing the clock against nap time, so get back to reality. 

Once it's all turned right side out, pin the opening shut. 

Starting at the opening, topstitch all around the changing pad, again being sure to back stitch at the beginning or end. I still kept with the straight stitch, but you could do whatever stitch you'd like. Just take extra time to make this neat, since this will be visible and all. 

And then, ta-da! You're done! You just made an adorable little changing pad, you little seamstress you. Now you can take this time to admire your work until the little one(s) awaken and demand your attention.

So there you have it. Hopefully it was easy to follow! This is a super easy project to do, so I would say a definite great beginners project. And quick! They're so cute, you'll probably have your other mommy friends begging you to make them one too!

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