Cozy, handmade treasures make especially memorable baby-shower gifts. The following pillows, burp cloths, and changing cloths are also wonderful additions to baby's time capsule.
Baby Pillows with Applique
Martha's favorite baby gift is a down-filled baby pillow personalized with a hand-sewn sham. These pillowcases are made from blue gingham with a yellow flower applique applied with fusible iron-on fabric. There are lots of different applique options to choose from. You could even use cookie cutters as templates. We used a duck, a hand, an initial, and a bear.
Baby Pillow How-To
1. Cut the fabric to an appropriate size: For a one-piece sham, cut the fabric the same width as the pillow and add 1 inch for the seam. The length should be equal to twice the length of the pillow plus 11 inches.
2. Stitch 1/2-inch double-fold hem at one of the short ends.
3. At the other short end, turn the fabric under 1/2 inch, then again another 2 inches, and stitch.
4. For the pillow's overlap, press the fabric under 7 1/2 inches on the end with the wider hem. Then, fold the sham crosswise with the wrong sides together, so the narrow hemmed edge is in the pressed fold. You can now fold the overlap over the hemmed edge.
5. Stitch a 1/4-inch seam on the two long sides, and trim the seams to 1/8 inch. Turn your sham wrong side out, and iron the seam edges.
6. For French seams, stitch 1/4 inch from the edges. Turn the sham right side out.
7. To make the applique, begin by cutting a square of contrasting fabric and a square of Pellon Craft Bond slightly larger than your applique template.
8. Iron the Pellon to your fabric.
9. Using tailor's chalk or a pencil, trace the applique onto the fabric, and cut out.
10. Cut a piece of fusible web using your applique template as a guide.
11. With the fusible web between your applique and your pillow sham, iron on at the center of the pillow-sham front.
12. Insert the pillow in the sham.
Prefolded cloth diapers come in packages of 12 and are great to use as burp cloths. Simply binding the edges of a cloth diaper with gingham ribbon makes it an attractive gift.
Burp Cloth How-To
1. Measure the width of your diaper to determine how much 7/8-inch wide ribbon you'll need.
2. Fold the ribbon over the top and bottom edges of the diaper, and pin, folding under the ends.
3. Stitch on edge of ribbon, making sure to stitch through ribbon edge on other side.
Portable Changing Cloth
An everyday hand towel, backed with fabric and augmented with ties and pockets, becomes a quick and easy baby-changing pad. This portable pad offers a clean place to lay the baby and pockets to hold wipes, a diaper, and ointment.
Portable Changing Cloth How-To
1. Measure your towel, and cut a piece of fabric the same size. Martha's example measures 15 1/2 by 30 inches.
2. To make the pocket, cut a 9 1/2-by-11 1/2-inch piece of fabric.
3. Fold the fabric under 1/2 inch on the right-hand side of the long edge, and press.
4. Fold the fabric's top edge under by a 1/4 inch, then 1 inch for the hem. Again, press the fabric.
5. Using your sewing machine, stitch a hem close to the pressed edge.
6. Lay your large piece of fabric so that the long edges are horizontal.
7. Pin the pocket piece to the lower-left-hand corner of the large fabric piece. Make sure you line up the raw edges with the right sides of both pieces facing up.
8. Stitch the pressed long side close to the edge.
9. Using a piece of fabric chalk, mark a light chalk line parallel to the stitched edge, 3 inches in, and stitch closed. This will divide the pocket into two sections, one for ointment, and one to hold baby wipes and a diaper.
10. Cut a 43-inch piece of linen seam binding.
11. Fold over about one-third of the seam binding, so that you have a long and a short end.
12. Pin the tie at the center of the left-hand edge, at the top of your pocket, with the fold lined up to the raw edge of the fabric. The shorter end of the seam binding should be underneath the longer.
13. Pin your towel to the fabric, inside out. Make sure the linen seam binding is inside of the pinned edges.
14. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stitch around the perimeter of the towel, leaving a 5- to-6-inch opening at the short end opposite the pocket.
15. Clip the corners, and turn the right side out. Then, iron the pad.
16. Whipstitch the opening to finish the pad.