Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fabric "ABC" Book with Heat Transfer Vinyl Letters

Pretty descriptive title, eh?

I've got a long list of things I still want to make before this baby gets here, and one of the things on that list is that I wanted to make a soft book of some kind.

I thought I would either make a book of colors (which I still might do...) or an alphabet book.

Colors probably would have been an easier choice to start with because there wouldn't be nearly as many pages, but I decided to go ahead with the ABC's.

I started off by cutting out 28 8"x8"pieces of fabric.  One for each letter of the alphabet plus one each for the front and back cover.

Then I cut out 14 8"x8" pieces of padding to use between each piece of fabric for each page of the book.

If you aren't as picky as I am you could skip this step, but I laid out all of my fabric and tried to choose which pieces of fabric I wanted next to each other...
 (They aren't in the order here)

I just chose a solid color for the cover.

I wrote in the corner what each piece was going to be just so I wouldn't grab the wrong piece.
 Ignore my handwriting.

So then I started piecing each page together.

You want to put your pieces of fabric right sides together and then put the padding on top of that.  The padding has to be on the outside of both fabrics since after it is all sewed you'll be flipping it inside out - which would mean the padding would end up in the middle. 

So I matched up the cover piece, with the ''A'' piece, then stacked the padding on top.

(Then laid them right sides together.)

 With the padding on top, I pinned the pieces together and then trimmed the sides of the padding a bit just to get rid of the extras and uneven parts.

Then laid them back down fabric side up and numbered them to keep them in order.

 They are all pinned/numbered and ready to for sewing!

 You will want to sew your squares with the padding on top, otherwise it is much more likely to snag on the bottom of your sewing machine... The feed dog (I think that's what it's called) is the little rough piece on the bottom of your machine where your presser foot sits when you have it down, and as it's pulling your padding through it can snag it pretty badly.  So I keep the padding on the top.  

I sewed the pieces together with a 1/2" seam allowance.  You only want to sew three of the sides together completely, then leave the fourth side open a bit so you can pull your pieces inside out.

(The fabrics are sewed together straight, I swear, the padding just looks a little skewed in this picture.)

I left the bottom side open quite a bit as you can see so I would have plenty of room to pull the fabric through.
 Turn it inside out.

This is what you'll end up with.

Then you need to tuck in the opening inside itself as best as you can to finish off the straight edge of your page, and pin it down.

Then I sewed a 1/4" seam allowance around each side of the page to end up with this:

It's not perfect, but it works!

Do this for all 14 pages.

Once you are done sewing all of your pages you're ready to do your letters!



This is where the project changed... because I realized that if I wanted to put one letter on every page, then the book would be this thick:

 The stack stood about 4.5" tall...

Uh.  Yikes.

So, I decided to do 2 letters per page and just use 7 of the ''pages'' I made and use the other 7 pages for a different book later on.

I have only used heat transfer vinyl twice before with the "Made in Iowa" onesie I made for our nephew and the ''Made in Illinois'' onesie I made for us, and thought it was really easy and they both turned out really nice.

I had my letters all set up in Sure Cuts a Lot and they were just waiting to be cut.  
When you use heat transfer vinyl you have to cut your images in reverse so that when they get ironed on they will be facing the right direction. So if you are using Sure Cuts a Lot just go to Flip Image in your Properties box for each letter.

And cut them out:

The vinyl has two sides.  A matte side and a glossy side.

 The glossy side is just a lining that you peel off after it's ironed on.

You cut your letters out glossy side down on your mat, then peel them off and flip them over and iron them on glossy side up.
All laid out and ready to go (glossy side up).
Arranged the first page of letters the way I want it:

Then ironed on and peeled the glossy lining off :

Another page done:

And the final page!

All of them:

The back sides:

The fabric for the ''Ii'' and ''Jj'' was obviously a mistake.  You can read it a little better in person, but it's still not as easy as it should be.  I'll have to outline it in something.

Other than that, I'm really happy with it.

NOW for the final step, you'll have to decide how you want to put your book together.

I chose to use eyelets and binder clips.

 Besides eyelets, you'll also need an eyelet tool that works for the size of eyelets that you bought.  I got mine at Michaels.

 Then you just follow the directions on the back of the eyelet tool.

Eyelets are really easy to put on, and the directions on the eyelet tool package are really straight forward and easy to figure out.  I had never used eyelets before and I had no problems.

So, here is the finished book!

Using the rings makes it somewhat less of a soft book, I realize.  I might change my mind and just put ribbon in instead.  We'll see.

But here it is for now:

This is like the longest post in the history of the world and for most people it probably wouldn't be... but I ramble... and it was a really drawn out process for me because I had to wait for the vinyl from Expressions Vinyl to come, then I had to make two separate trips to Michaels (over a couple of days) for the eyelets because I ran out... And sewed the pages together over a couple of days as well.  So I'm glad it's done :)

And I really really like it.

Somewhat Simple
I Heart Nap Time
Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Sew Can Do
Making the World Cuter
Cherished BlissTip Junkie
Not Just a Housewife
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
J&M's Eye Candy 
Lines Across My Face 
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom
Lil' Luna
Seven Thirty Three
Take It From Me 
Somewhat Simple 
Design Dazzle
Tatertots and Jello 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Soft Baby Blocks

I'm not sure how many little toys I will be making for the baby, but I thought that some baby blocks would be cute.

I had some 5" x 5" Amy Butler squares that I bought on Etsy like 3-4 years ago when I was making a quilt.  I used those squares for the centers of each block on this quilt:

(I'm not crazy about this quilt, but I liked it at the time :)  Some of the fabric choices are very questionable to me now, but it is really big and comfortable so that's fun.)

Anyways, I have had extra squares sitting around ever since then, so... I made some baby blocks!

I love them :)  

I added little pieces of ribbon to a few sides of each block to make little tags to grab onto.  


They stayed pretty square for the most part, and you can kind of smash them into shape once they are done, too.  I think they would've looked pretty cool if I had used the interfacing but I am perfectly happy with them the way they are.

I love how bright they all are!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat Transfer Vinyl (round two)

Heat transfer vinyl is awesome.  I'm in the middle of another project using it that hopefully you will see soon.

After making our nephew his ''Made in Iowa'' onesie, I knew that I wanted to make one for our baby too.

I used vinyl from Expressions Vinyl again and really like this stuff.

I used Sure Cuts a Lot again with the Illinois SVG file I have on my computer.

I have better instructions on this whole process in this post.

Using heat transfer vinyl you have to cut everything backwards, but what I forgot this time around was that you also have to TYPE it backwards as well as flip the image.  Good thing I practiced cutting it out on paper first, but I was extremely confused why some of the letters were still backwards.

So typing this I had to type ''EDAM'' ''NI'' ''SIONILLI'' and then using Sure Cuts a Lot in your Properties box,  go to ''Flip Shapes''.

Then line everything up the way you want it.  It was hard to center everything looking at it sideways like this but it turned out pretty good:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Changing Pad Cover and Crib Sheet

Why are baby projects the most fun things to make?  I am having way too much fun making really boring things like crib sheets...

I'm so happy that people create such easy to follow tutorials for these things or I would be LOST.

The crib sheet tutorial I used from Prudent Baby was really simple and it turned out perfect the first time.  My fabric was a bit too skinny, but only by a couple of inches.  Those 2 inches made a big difference though once I had to fold it under to make a pocket for the elastic. 

It definitely fits the mattress, but it's a little short on the sides.  I really doubt you will be able to tell once it's on the crib., but even if you can I don't really care.  It covers the sides just fine, but it just BARELY fits under the bottom of the crib.  But oh well.  I like it!

Close up of the fabric:
This is a little more green in real life than the picture shows.

For the main items in the room I am using all Joel Dewberry fabric in the Pond Palette:
I did not buy all of those, probably only 5 different fabrics and I haven't decided where to use them yet.  But the crib bumpers will be in these fabrics, possibly a crib skirt and a few other things.

I used the Herringbone in Lake for the changing pad cover and I like it a lot.  That is one of my favorite fabrics that I'm using.

I was a little scared of this tutorial from A Load of Craft because of the fact that the changing pad is contoured.  The tutorial is another really nicely written one and easy to follow, but I was pretty worried I'd get confused with the sides... but it worked out pretty well.  It did not fit very tightly at all after my first attempt, but after I marked where I needed to take it in a bit it fits really nicely so I'm pretty happy with it!!

And since you can see the entire dresser in these pictures, I might as well talk about that too :)
This was the very first baby related project I did, and it's been done for over a month already.  I loved the shape of the dresser I just really wanted white furniture and it needed new handles too.  I wasn't thinking and didn't take a ''Before'' picture and this was as good as I could find:

Ignore the blurriness, it is zoomed in so you can see it slightly better.

I am really really really happy with the way it turned out.

The room is coming together!  I know it's ridiculously early to be doing as much as I'm doing, but I want to do it while I still feel like it... so I'm refusing to put it off any longer :)