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Audrey-Inspired Nursing Top

May 21, 2011

Audrey Inspired Nursing Top

First of all, it’s been way too long….insanely too long. I had every good intention of posting more of my sewing projects but the Holidays hit, traveling occurred, and, oh yeah, we got pregnant again! 🙂 So, needless to say, I was pretty exhausted the first trimester right after the holidays and am finally back on the energy train and sewing wagon…whatever that means.

Anyway, I have been wanting to work more and more on sewing my own clothes including maternity as of late. I follow this site called DIY Maternity which is all about inspiration for creating your own maternity clothes (brilliant) and they linked to a contest at A Jennuine Life. Contests, for me at least, are a great way to get going on a project that I would otherwise put off longer. I missed the maternity part of the contest but I have 2 ideas for the Being (or nursing) as well as the Been (or postpartum) part. The latter is still in design stage but I’m excited to show my entry for the Nursing part. I hope to make another top soon and plan to photograph and document every step so that I can post the tutorial here.

My inspiration was from the fabulous style of my favorite actress – Audrey Hepburn. ::Warning: High School Confession Time:: I was so in love with Audrey and her style that for a dance, I begged my mom to have a seamstress make a dress based on Audrey’s black boat neck dress from Sabrina. P.S.- I rocked it at dance and at many Oscar parties since (see proof here)

Me playing a movie game at an Oscar party

:: ANYWAY, I wanted to go off of the boat neck style with a tie up at each shoulder and an invisible zipper on each side. That way, all you have to do is untie, unzip, and viola…feeding time.

This top is meant to go over a nursing tank although you wouldn’t necessarily have to have a tank underneath…just be extra careful of babies (like mine) that love to pull on strings or you’ll be giving a show that you weren’t planning on giving. The outer fabric is Alexander Henry’s Joy of Life and the lining of the front piece is Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow Herringbone in Grass. I went bold on pattern and color because all the nursing tops that are out there to buy (and maternity tops for that matter) are always solid or stripes. Hope you like it and I will try and work up a tutorial soon for those that are interested. P.S.- It is a little short on me with my baby bump but I tried sucking it in (yeah right) as much as I could. It would normally sit lower on waist plus you can always make it as long as you want…a dress even!


Easy Halloween Baby Beanie

October 23, 2010

Baby Owl Beanie

As some of you may know, I have an adorable almost three-month-old. As Halloween draws near, I have been debating between getting a store-bought costume or making one. I’ve only made a few things since having Jack so I didn’t want to undertake a huge, intricate project. Plus, I’m always trying (key word: trying) to be budget-conscious. Jack loves being in his Moby wrap so I looked for costume ideas with baby carriers. Lots of good ideas came up like momma and baby kangaroo, baby peacock, and monkey in a tree. I decided to modify the monkey one and have my little buddy be an owl (while I will be dressed as a tree). (My hubby is going to be a bird watcher with a vest and binoculars <-we’re dorks I know) I figured the obvious way to go was a knit hat so I scoured Etsy (a fave past-time) and although I saw adorable stuff, I couldn’t help but think, “Hey, I can make that!” Granted, I can’t knit (yet) but I figured I could sew my own version. I had all the scraps and thread already so I’ll just put him in a brown onesie and his hat and, voila, free costume! (Plus, it’ll make a great hat just because) So, there you have it. My first tutorial on my new blog! I’ll post pictures of the final costume after Halloween.

Baby Beanie Tutorial

This tutorial can also be used for lots of different animals. I’m making a friend a piggy hat over the weekend and will post pics of that too. There’s also a kitty cat, monkey, frog…the options are endless.

Materials/Supplies Needed:

  • 1/4 yard of main fabric (in this case, brown)
  • Scraps of fabric for beak (nose) and eyes
  • Scrap of interfacing (optional)
  • 2 buttons for eyes
  • Thread that matches your beanie, beak (or nose) and eye fabrics
  • Embroidery thread
  • Sewing Machine (optional) – this project could be hand stitched but a machine would obviously make it faster

Cutting the Pieces:

For the main part of the hat, you’ll need to do a little math to get the right fit. You’re looking to have a batman looking piece. Measure the circumference of your child’s head as well as from their brow line over the top of their head to the lower back part above their neck. Take the circumference and add 2 inch then divide by two. This gives you the width of fabric that you’ll need to cut. Do the same with the other measurement except just add 1.5″. That will give you the height to cut for the middle part of the hat. So, for example:

Jack’s circumference was 15.5″ ->  15.5″ + 2″ = 17.5″ / 2 = 8.75″

Brow to Back of Head was 10.5″ -> 10.5″ + 1.5″ = 12″/ 2 = 6″

But don’t forget your ears. I gave myself about another 5 inches on both sides for the ears. So fold your fabric in half and chalk your measurements on then cut. Here’s what Jack’s hat looked like before I cut it:

Main Beanie

Then, cut the beak and eyes in whatever colors/sizes you’d like. I added interfacing to the fabric I used for the eyes and beak so that the brown would not show through.

Start assembling your pieces:

For my owl, I cut out two different circle shapes in which the button would be added to…you can do however many circles you want. Zig-zag stitch the smaller circle inside the bigger one.

Attach smaller circle to bigger circle using zigzag

Then, take the beak and place it in the lower center portion of one of your beanie pieces. Zig zag stitch it to the beanie.

Attach the beak

Then put the eyes where you want them and zigzag stitch them in place. Next, thread your embroidery thread and attach your buttons to the eyes. Your owl face is done! Now you’re ready to attach the other beanie piece (or back) to the face side. Place the two pieces right side together and stitch a 1/2″ seam allowance along the sides, 1/4″ allowance around the ears, and then back to 1/2″ allowance down the other side backstitching at both ends. I recommend a 1/4″ at the ears so that it’s easier to turn them inside out.

Turn the beanie inside out. Tie each ear into a knot. For a more rounded ear (for say, a monkey or frog), tuck the end back into the knot.

Right ear is knotted; left ear still undone

You’re almost done! Fold and press the bottom under and then top-stitch along the edge, creating a hem.

Topstitch along the bottom

Voila! You’re done!

Here’s my sweet model with his Zoolander pose.

Hoo's the cutest?!

Please let me know if there’s anything you’d change. This is my first time to do a tutorial so I’m learning!