Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monkey See Monkey Do...

We have been going through a lot (especially me personally) in the last few weeks to a month or so that not many people know about. So, finding time to sew has been difficult, but it is also like great therapy for me. To begin with nothing and create something out of it just makes me feel so accomplished.

A dear sweet friend sent me a text yesterday that said "Do not cook dinner tonight, the food fairy will be stopping by". I was taken back for a moment because I am a giver. I love to give and have a very hard time receiving. I took it as a blessing and what arrived was more than I even expected!

A mound of pizza, bread sticks, cinnamon pizza, the works was delivered. It did not take long for Livy to see it and say "peesa! peesa!".  The kids devoured their food and I ate way more than I should have. It was so nice and I was truly thankful and blessed to have such a great friend! <3

Because dinner went so smoothly, I was able to get the kids bathed and in bed early (ok, earlier than normal) and decided I had the perfect opportunity to do some sewing.

Have you ever made a tag blanket? Do you know what a tag blanket is?

Its basically a baby blanket that has ribbon attached so the baby can feel different textures and help their sensory development. (and my kids never had one!) Maybe that's the real purpose I wanted to make one. They are so super easy!

First off, I knew I was going to make one for my one beautiful momma to be friend. Remember the sock monkey baby shower? Yep that was hers. So I got this fat quarter on eBay for about $5 total with shipping.

The ribbon I already had was in these three colors, so it was perfect!

Isn't it so cute? Can't see it very well so lets open it up!

Ahhh, much better. Now a professional seamstress/craft person would tell you to wash and/or iron your fabric first so that is what I guess I am supposed to tell you. (I didn't because I am too lazy...shhhhh) Once I get it in my mind I am going to do something, I want to finish and dragging out an ironing board and waiting on the iron to heat are just not in my schedule.

I was given a piece of red minky fabric. I am sure there is a more technical name, but its really soft with textured dots on it. It is not cheap and I was so excited that there was some leftover and was blessed to get it! I laid the fat quarter on the minky fabric to give me a guide to cut from.  

Once both pieces were cut, I began cutting my ribbon. I used regular grosgrain ribbon, but you could use any kind that you prefer. I cut them in strips about 10 inches long. The length will vary depending on your preference. I will probably cut them to 8 inches next time. (honestly, I will just eye-ball it as I did this time, who has time for measuring??)

 Then I folded each one in half and pinned it to the outside of the sock monkey fabric. It was a good thing I was lazy and didn't iron because it made finding the center and placement of the ribbon easier. I mean so would a measuring tape, but then you have to add and calculate, and phew! I am tired thinking about it!

NOTE: when you pin these on, you want to pin the loop facing inward on the fabric, on the right side of the fabric, but you want to pin it from the wrong side. If you place your pin on top, you won't be able to get it out when you lay your minky on top. Just trust me on this. :)

Once you get them all pinned on, there can be some hanging off the edge, you will trim that later. This is what it will look like.

Then take your beautifully soft minky and lay it right side down so that you are now looking at the back or wrong side of the fabric. Line it up and pin it like the mad woman you are. I ran out of pins! I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to move!

Then sewing began. Because my minky piece was slightly larger, I flipped it over and sewed on the sock monkey side. First I did a straight stitch 3/4 the way around the whole blanket. You have to take your time as you are going through a couple of fabrics. Then after I did a straight stitch, I went back and did a zig zag for extra security. I did not want any of those ribbons coming out! Stitch the zig zag 3/4 way around as well.

Once you get that stitched you can trim the outside ribbon and cut your corners. I used my pinking shears and they were not liking the minky fabric at all! Then you can remove most of the pins and flip right side out and ta-da! Its almost done!

You have to hand sew or top stitch the whole additional 1/4 that was left un-sewn so you could turn. Once you do that, stand back and admire your beautiful tag blanket!

It all in all took me less than an hour. No pattern, no instructions. Just basics.

Think about trying one. They are super cute and will make a fabulous gift! :)

Until Next time...

Stay Calm....and back away from my cinnamon pizza! :)

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