Merry Christmas everyone!
I’m not really sure if Christmas stockings are common in Sweden in general but it’s always been a tradition in my family. During my childhood, my parents would always surprise me with a present from Santa in my Christmas stocking on the morning on Christmas eve. This year, I wanted to surprise my husband with a Christmas stocking of his own (and of course a small present :) ).
While he was at work, I made this stocking from some burlap that was leftover from the Christmas tree sack and decorations and some red linen I had in my fabric pile. The pattern is drafted based on a picture of an actual knitted stocking that I found on Google.
Normally, we would buy a traditional Christmas tree that would occupy a large part of our living room but this year’s Christmas tree looks a bit different compared to previous years. The reason is of course lack of space. Where we’d normally put the tree, there is now a changing table and a baby stroller. The obvious solution was to find a really slim tree that we could squeeze in beside the changing table! And that is why we bought a modern and scrawny looking Atlas cedar as this year’s Christmas tree.
The Atlas cedar is actually a potted plant that can be replanted outdoors later on. In order to protect the floor in our apartment, we got a large plastic bucket that we could put the pot in. However, that bucket looked quite far from “Christmas-y” and after reading a catalogue from the fabric store “Stoff & Stil”, I was inspired to make a sack for the ugly bucket and some nice fabric hearts as Christmas decorations. The materials needed for this project was red and beige striped burlap, string to tie the sack together, thread, padding for the hearts and a bit of gold/beige yarn as hangers for the hearts.
To save some fabric, I decided to make the sack with a circular base and a large rectangle to go around it. I first measured the diameter of the bucket and added a bit of extra to make the sack a bit more fluffy. After that, I took a piece of pattern paper, folded it twice and with a pen and a ruler marked the radius +1cm for seam allowance. Based on the radius, I calculated the circumference of the circle and then cut out a rectangular piece (with seam allowance included).When sewing, always try to sew the “flat things” first which is why I started with the top hem of the sack. After that, sew the rectangle into a tube and attach the tube to the circle. This was one of the easier things I’ve made in a long time :)
The pattern for the hearts can be found here.
As my life changes, so will the content on my blog. In my last blog post I told you that I’m about to become a mother so maybe it doesn’t come as a big surprise that from now on, you’ll see a bit of baby stuff here as well :). The first thing I decided to make for the baby was a changing pad that would fit the changing table we got from IKEA.
I got both the fabric and the foam base for the changing pad from a store called “Stoff & Stil”. The goal was to make a pad that would be easy to clean but still nice and cosy for the baby. With that in mind, I decided it would be a good idea to make two covers for the foam pad. The first cover would be made out of a pastel green oil cloth with some geometric shapes on it. Since oil cloth is water proof, this would be the “easy to clean layer”. For the second cover (that’s was supposed to go over the first one), I got a soft cotton satin with grey and yellow raindrops on it. I thought the yellow raindrops was quite befitting a changing pad :)
Stoff & Stil also had a pattern for the changing pad but since the shape of the thing was so simple, I didn’t really see the point in spending money on something I could make myself in 30min. To begin with, I measured the sides and made a pattern for that. After the sides were finished, I measured the circumference of the pattern and the length of the foam base. With those measurements I had a rectangle that would go around the pad. Last but not least, a 1cm seam allowance was added. When the pattern was done it was time to start pattern matching and cutting out the pieces. Because of the very symmetrical geometrical shapes on the oil cloth, this turned out to be a walk in the park! To make the sewing a bit easier, I used a pencil to draw where the seam should go on both side pieces.
Assembling the whole thing was a bit trickier than usual because you obviously can’t use pins on a plastic oil cloth. That would just leave ugly puncture marks all over the place. Instead, I got to use these handy little clips from Clover that I got from Okadaya in Tokyo. The first step was to attach the invisible zipper. I can highly recommend inserting the zipper as soon as possible. It’s just so much easier to attach it to a garment/cushion/etc. when the fabric lies flat. Next, I continued sewing around the side where the zipper was attached. One stretch at a time was “clipped” together and sewn. When reaching the corners, I had to cut the oil cloth in order to continue with the next stretch without the fabric bulging into weird shapes. The same procedure was repeated for the other side and last but not least, the side seam on the large rectangle was sewn.
Half of the zipper is in place.
“Clip” and sew one stretch at a time (red clips). The pink clip to the right just keeps the oil cloth in place.
Yay, the first cover was done! At this point I had no idea that I would spend the coming 15min sweating and cursing while I was wrestling the foam base into the cover. Have you ever touched and eel and gotten surprised at just how slippery it is? Well, that pretty much describes my experience with the foam, only that the foam was the exact opposite of slippery. After I won the wrestling match, I decided that I wouldn’t be making a second cover. There is just no way I’m putting a cover on/off of that changing pad on a regular basis. Instead, I’ll probably make something like a towel/blanket to put on top of the changing pad. That way it would still be nice and cosy for the baby and easy to remove and throw in the laundry.
The invisible zipper at the back is pretty invisible :)
The finished changing pad on top of the changing table!