I hope you were all blessed with a wonderful Easter Sunday! We enjoyed an amazing worship service, yummy food, great company and beautiful weather! I was up late two nights in a row last week sewing for our two little guys and our granddaughter. The boys ended up with khaki shorts that I ran out and grabbed at Target on Saturday night, and I was still sewing buttons on Charlie’s shirt about fifteen minutes before church started on Sunday morning! (We’re used-car shopping right now, and it takes so much time! We were out nearly all day on Saturday after spending hours of time researching for days ahead of time, and we still haven’t purchased anything. I’d really like the perfect van to just appear in our driveway so we can be done.)
We went to the early service on Sunday morning, so we were all a little wrinkled by the time we got out to hunt eggs in the afternoon. You’ll just have to overlook the wrinkles. We also had no baskets, so the kids hunted with my reusable grocery bags!Katie’s dress is the Reversible Double-Layer Katie J. Jumper in Riley Blake Tone-on-Tone Dots and coordinates from Dress-up Days.Charlie got an Everyday Camp Shirt made with Timeless Treasures’ Soho Solids and yellow buttons! (Hmmm . . . how did I miss that dirty face? Just pretend that I washed it, and you can’t see that chocolate.)I’ll be back to share a little more about Charlie’s shirt later this week. It’s Button Week at Sew-vivor!Jamie’s shirt is a prototype of a new design that I’m working on. It’s a fun retro Western-style shirt.Those pocket flaps were supposed to get snaps, too, but church was starting without us! I love the shirt-tail hem on this one.Ray and Samantha hid the eggs for us, including a few that they thought would be too high for the little ones to get to on their own.Bet you never knew that palm trees were made for climbing! (I certainly didn’t!)I attempted to get some pictures of the three little ones together.
I cannot possibly thank you enough for sharing your time, your talents and your fabric by sewing so many bibs for last month’s Hopeful Threads Dinner for 2 project! Opening your packages has been so much fun! It’s so cool to see the love and care that was put into each bib.Over 160 bibs are packed in a suitcase, ready to fly off to China where they are going to be a huge blessing to the children at Hidden Treasures Foster Home. (No worries, though, if you haven’t shipped your bibs yet. You can still send them, and we’ll make sure that they make it over on the next trip!)I’m working on a little “Thank-You” gift that I hope to have for you tomorrow!
Have you peeked over at the Dinner for 2 Flickr Group lately? There are some seriously great-looking bibs showing up already, bibs for kids and adults alike. Have you sewn a bib or two yet? What are you waiting for? A quicker method of sewing perhaps? Do you have a serger? Well, then the Serged & Snapped in Seconds Bib tutorial is just for you! (Okay, so it really takes minutes, but seconds make up minutes and without seconds you don’t get the alliteration.)
Let’s get started! First, hop over to this post: Hopeful Threads & Dinner for Two. Read all about why we’re sewing bibs this month, print the Big Kid Snap Bib Pattern and get your three fabric pieces cut out: I have a front piece of cotton quilting fabric, a hidden inner layer of cotton flannel and a backing piece of PUL. (This method works well with PUL because the slippery side is hidden when you serge. Ripstop may be too slippery, but you can certainly try it!)
Grab a glue stick from your school supply closet or your junk drawer. A fabric glue stick will certainly work, but regular glue stick is cheaper and easier to find, and as long as it’s washable, it works just as well. You do want a glue stick that is new and not gummy at all. It needs to spread quickly and in a thin layer.Rub that glue stick all over the shiny side of your PUL. You want plenty of glue so there won’t be any slipping and sliding. Carefully place your hidden layer on top, line up all the edges and smooth it out.
Now glue the wrong side of your front fabric piece to the top of the flannel using the same method. It is much easier to spread the glue stick glue on cotton quilting fabric than on flannel. Flannel leaves icky fuzzy stuff on your glue stick. Check to see if you have any areas where the fabrics are overlapping and square them all up. Now you’re ready to serge. Just one second before you head to the serger, though. Do you have one of these baskets? These beautiful colored spools of Woolly Nylon have been sitting in this basket since Joanns clearanced them quite some time ago. If you have a basket like this, you might consider pulling one of those pretty colors through your upper looper. If you don’t, white will work just as well! Now, off to the serger! The seam allowance is 1/2″ so you want to cut off 1/2″ or close to that with your serger blade. It’s hard to keep that exact when you’re going around curves, but get it as close as you can. I started and stopped my serging at the back of the neckline since that’s the spot that will be least likely to be seen when the bib is worn. Zip, zip, round the corners, and all you have left to do is add the snaps.Refer back to the pattern for snap placement. Press the snaps in place. And you have a bib ready to send off with love to a sweet little one who will be so excited to receive it! Now wasn’t that fast?! Fast enough that you have time to make another one? Super! Go serge some more!
Woohoo! It’s February! I have been bubbling over with excitement about today for weeks now! Not only do I have the magnificent privilege of getting to work with Kristy and all of the incredibly giving Hopeful Threads followers this month, but I get to be involved in a project that I know is going to be a huge blessing to everyone involved, from those who contribute their sewing talents to the beautiful children and caregivers who receive these handmade gifts.
I was visiting with my friend, Heather, several weeks ago, and she mentioned that she was getting ready to sew some waterproof bibs to send to China with her daughter, Ransley. Actually, I think she simply asked me if I thought diaper-making PUL would work as a waterproof backing for the bibs that she was making. I thought it would be perfect and offered her some scraps that I had in a box in my garage. A few days later, she texted me about the PUL, and I called her to ask some more questions. The more I heard, the more I was sure that this was a great project for all you sewists who are so kind and generous about offering your time and talents each month to give to those in need! A quick email to Kristy and an even quicker response from her, and I was busy at work putting together everything that you would need to start sewing!
First, though, a little bit about the children who will be receiving your gifts. This is Ransley, above, on her last visit to the Hidden Treasures Home just outside of Fuzhou, China. Ransley is leaving in the next few months to go serve on staff at Hidden Treasures for the next few years. She shared with me that God showed her such peace, love and joy on her last journey there. The home is filled with children, many of whom have special needs, but it’s also filled with love and fun and hope. You can read many of the children’s stories and browse through photos on the homes’ official website right here: Loaves and Fishes International and the Hidden Treasures Foster Home. I urge you to take a few minutes to read about these sweet little ones.
When I asked Heather to tell me about the bibs she was sewing, she shared that she’d been asked to sew some when Ransley last journeyed to China. The older special needs children often need bibs to keep their clothing clean and dry, but larger bibs are harder to come by, especially in China. The staff at Hidden Treasures actually sent her a pattern drawn up on a paper bag and suggested that she sew them with cotton fronts and vinyl shower curtain backing.
Heather sent over about a dozen sewn that way, but she heard they didn’t hold up as well as she’d hoped. I was so excited to jump in and offer suggestions that I hope will produce bibs they will be able to use for years to come! And, after reading this inscription on the original paper bag pattern, I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to offer my experience!
Are you ready to get sewing?
I have two different bib options for you, but let’s start with a little about fabrics and notions. For the waterproof backing, I highly recommend diaper-making polyurethane laminate. You’ll find it labeled PUL in most fabric shops. (Natures Fabrics is offering a 10% discount on PUL for participants. Just type in the code loavesfishes1 when you checkout. You must only have PUL in your cart to check out with the code.) Rip-stop nylon is an alternative waterproof backing.
These bibs will be packed into spare suitcases for the trip to China, so they need to be absorbent, but not too thick. I’m suggesting sewing them with cotton woven quilting fabric or flannel on the front and a hidden flannel layer for a little extra absorbency without too much thickness. Please pre-wash all cotton fabrics.
One last thing, the staff at Hidden Treasures has specifically asked for bibs with no Velcro (or other hook and loop) because the children tend to rub their heads against it, and it can be irritating.The first bib pattern is a traditional tie bib. These work really well for the needs of the children at Hidden Treasures. (Now that this project has ended, this tie bib tutorial is no longer available, but be sure to grab my tutorial for the snap bib in four sizes here: The Bibs in All Sizes Tutorial.)
The second bib pattern is a snapped bib with a wrap-around back. These are very quick to make and great for both the needs of the children at Hidden Treasures and perfect for your little ones at home, too. (My favorite tool for attaching metal snaps is The Snap Source Snapsetter. It’s what I use for campshirts, pajamas, overalls, anything that needs metal snaps, and at only $9, it’s quite economical, too!) Just click this picture for the Snap Bib PDF pattern download.
Be sure to add pictures of your bibs to the Flickr album: Dinner for 2 Album. Thank you so much for giving your talents, your time, your stash, yourselves for these little ones!
Have you ever walked into a vintage store, or thrift store, or yard sale, and had something demand that you take it home? I had a lovely afternoon of shopping this past Friday with my two girls, my granddaughter and my oldest daughter’s best friend. There’s this amazing little downtown area not too far from here where all of the shops are locally-owned small businesses, and there is a huge array of things to browse through . . . lots of it handmade! It’s one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon.
Late in the day, it started to rain, so we ducked into a little strip of stores that all open into a shared indoor breezeway and wandered into Anchors and Acorns. The owner, Karen, was friendly and welcoming, and the whole shop is full of beautiful and whimsical vintage items. I happened to glance down as I walked around a table in the center of the room, and instantly fell in love. This sweet old girl looked like she was sitting there just waiting for me.
Yes, she is quite tattered. She’s got plenty of wear and tear and some random age spots. It even looks as if someone has cut pieces from her and ripped her binding off completely. One day in the past, though, she was fresh and new and loved by someone. Maybe I was a little affected by something that the kids and I had read in our history lesson earlier in the week. “Katherine of Aragon is forty-four years old. The freshness has faded from her cheeks.” I’m only a few years shy of that! I like to think that the freshness is far from fading from my cheeks, but the truth is, we all get a little “tattered” with age. That doesn’t change the fact that there’s beauty in all of us, though.
Can you just imagine the stories that she could tell of the hands that created her, of the fabrics used to piece her together, perhaps of little ones that she covered and comforted through sickness or scary dreams, maybe stories of picnics in meadows and days at the beach on the sand?
She’s long past her prime now (another wash or two might be the end of her), but she’ll do a beautiful job of decorating my sewing studio, and I hope that she’ll remind me on a regular basis that beauty is about far more than appearance. There’s an unmatched beauty that emerges with age and experience. You just have to look past what you see with your eyes.