Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fabric Toy Bin and Other Handmade Baby Gifts

Last summer a close friend had her third baby.   I had gone out of town to see my Grandpa before he died and I did not have anything made up for her before I left town and then the summer was crazy busy after we got back.  So it was late summer by the time I sewed up some things for her.

Burp Cloths
I made her some burp cloths that I've been making for many years now.  They are really simple.  It just takes 1/4 yd flannel sewn right sides together, then turn right side out, and sew around the edge again closing the hole as it's sewn.  (I often use a decorative stitch for a fun touch.)  Rounding the edges before sewing makes them much easier to sew and turn out.  These are always a big hit!  After I started to sew these, I began getting many requests for them.  They are easy, but time consuming as I try to make 8-12 for the new moms.   It's hard to tell how many they might go through in a day. 

Fleece Blanket
I also made her a fleece blanket with a satin ribbon binding sewn around all edges of the fleece with a zig-zag stitch since babies love soft and silky things to touch.  These are the first baby gifts I ever started to make, with my niece being the first ever to receive one.  (She's now 9yrs. old.)  It became the blanket she latched onto which made be happy.  It's nice to know things I make are loved sometimes.  (The blanket has held up well despite the fact that I kept having to redo stitches, using my seam ripper a lot.  It turns out my bobbin holder tension needed adjusting.)  My friends first baby boy also latched onto the fleece blanket. 

 Fleece blanket with ribbon binding

I made a   taggy as well,   a 12" square of fleece with loops of ribbon all around it. 
Taggy-bear side
Taggy-moose side

Taggy Critter
I also made a taggy "critter" because I was in such a creative mood.  I tried to stitch eyes on the critter using a tight zig-zag stitch, but it shrunk the fabric, so I cut the eyes out, cut another side to the critter, sewed the eyes on to the new piece, added ribbon and stitched the whole thing together.  Because it got so late the night I made it and I was meeting my friend the next day, I brought it with me unfinished to show her and get her opinion.  She really liked it and decided to take it with her on the upcoming car trip and finish it on the road.   She added the mouth and then stuffed it and sewed it together.  It's very cute and definitely hand-made with all of it's "rough-ness".  As you can see by the picture, it's also been well-loved as it's already missing a ribbon. 

My friend gave me a great suggestion to melt the ends of the ribbon before sewing them to the projects.  It will add a step and make the project take a little longer, but if it keeps the ribbons from coming out, it'll be worth it and make the toy safer.

Fabric Bin
I had seen some fabric bins on other blogs and decided to try my hand at one of these for her also.  I had a good idea of how I was going to do it, but no real instructions to follow.  It did not go together exactly how I thought it would, but it still worked out and is holding up great!  It also was bigger than I thought it would be, but believe it or not, the thing is full of toys!!!  Here is a pic:

Click on photos to enlarge
   Full height
(filled to capacity today)

 Top folded down

 Close up

Bottom quilted

Close up of bottom

I used the thickest stiff pellon that is like stiff felt.  I had wanted to adhere the fabric together before sewing, but I bought the wrong stuff, (an iron on interfacing), but it still worked out, plus made the bin a little bit stiffer.  I sewed all of the layers of the bottom together using a stipple quilting stitch, before sewing to the tube.  I used binding on the inside to hide the raw edges on the bottom inside of the bin.  I also had enough binding left over to add some to the top of the bin.  It gave it a very finished look.  The bag is as high as the pellon comes, about 20" and the width is maybe 14" or more.  I used a large round cardboard cake base as my template. 

I also think it would make a good clothes hamper.   I had intended to add handles to the sides, but my friend said she liked it as is so I left it alone.

Here are some sites I refered to when I made this:

I think this one is the one I referred to when sewing mine.


I don't always get pics of the things I make, but here are some of the pics I've found of past projects.

More past projects
Fleece blanket with two fringed ends and two sewn sides.  I really like this pattern and color combo.  This was very easy and the sewn edges give it a very finished look even though fleece will not unravel.
Another taggy

I don't have a tutorial yet, but maybe one day I'll remember to take pics as I go.

I hope I've inspired you and given you plenty of ideas to make some of your own projects.


I Linked to these


Todays Creative Blog

Creative Itch

Junkie handmade projects


  1. These are all fabulous ideas, and you do great work!

    I've been meaning to try my hand at some fabric bins (on a smaller scale). I need some to store my quilting scraps, sorted by size. I have some of that really stiff Pellon, and I may just use it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. so many fun projects!! i love them all, but the taggy critter is my favorite!!
    awesome :)
    hope you can come visit me

  3. That looks really good. I have been thinking of making one too. I'm glad your's came out so well.

  4. Thanks everyone! I was so glad the bin came out too, cause there was a point that I was really sweating it! I think I may try this again someday too, but on a smaller scale, maybe for my cats to play and hide in. I like the critter too and it was a joint effort. My friend wants us to make more to sell at a craft fair sometime among other things. Thanks!

  5. Wow, very creative :)! I would love this as a gift if I was expecting. Thanks for linking up at Unwasted Homemaking Party.