Friday, November 20, 2015

Diaper Changing Pad

A couple of new babies are set to join our extended family soon!  Here's a quick little project that's perfect for the new Mommas.  

I used Riley Blake Designs' Aqua Chevron laminated cotton with Auqa Crimp coordinating cotton for the binding. The laminate cleans up easily with a damp rag.  If you've never sewn with laminate before, see my Top 5 Tips in the previous post, or click the button for the print-friendly instructions.
Diaper Changing Pad
1 yard cute Laminated Cotton Fabric
     Cut 1@ 27" x 22" rectangle, 1@ 11" x 22" rectangle and 2@ 9" x 22" rectangles
11" x 22" piece batting or Pellon 987f Fusible Fleece
5/8 yard binding
     Cut 6@ 2-1/4" bias strips for binding (see Bias Binding tutorial HERE)
2" to 3" Velcro sew-in hook and loop tape
Matching thread
Diapers and wipees, etc.

Step 1)  TRIM.  Round the top and sides of the 27" x 22" rectangle as pictured.

 Step 2)  CENTER SECTION.  Adhere fusible fleece or batting to the 
11" x 22" rectangle, center on wrong side of the large piece,
then trim the top edge to match and baste all edges in place with 1/4" seam.

Step 3)  SIDE PANELS.  Trim top edges of  the 9" x 22" side pieces
to match the back.   Machine-bind the straight inner edges.  
Apply binding strips to laminate side, using 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold binding to back and "stitch in the ditch" to finish.
Pin or baste side panels in place, overlapping center section.

Step 4)  POCKETS.  Measure up from the bottom about 8 inches, mark a line
then stitch from the outside edge to the binding; backstitch at the end.
 Repeat at another 8" width as pictured, then pivot alongside
the binding edge and stitch in the ditch to the upper edge.
Repeat to create pockets on the other side.

Step 5)  BINDING, CLOSURE.  Apply binding around
the outer edges by machine, as before.  
Stitch a strip of Velcro (the soft loop section) at the top inside edge.

Step 6)  GO!  Fill the pockets with diapers, a small packet of diaper wipes,
baby lotion, powder, goggles, nose plugs, clothes pins,"Poo-Pouri", etc. ;)
 Fold sides over center,

 Fold the bottom up,
 Fold flap down to determine where to stitch
the corresponding Velcro section, then stitch it long-ways,
so if it's more or less bulky it may still be secured.

Ready to Go!

A little sweetness for those on-the-go diaper-changing (life-changing) experiences!  Now, just a couple more "pink" ones, and I'll be set!

For more gift ideas and laminate projects, please visit my Snippets page.
Happy sewing!

Top 5 Tips for Sewing with Laminates!

You've seen it in the quilt shops, made into darling bags, rain coats, aprons... cute prints that coordinate perfectly with that line of designer cottons.  You may even have a stash of it sitting on the shelf, waiting for the perfect project!  It's laminated cotton fabric ( cotton laminate, or "laminate" for short), and you may be just a tiny bit afraid of it!  Don't fear the fabric!  It is regular cotton fabric with a thin vinyl coating.  It's soft, supple, great for crafts and easy to sew with just a few tricks.  Here are my TOP 5 TIPS for sewing with laminates.

1)  YES, You can PIN laminate!

     Use fine pins like these glasshead patchwork pins for best results.  You can reduce pin holes by spritzing the back lightly with water, then press on the cotton side.  If you prefer not to use pins, try paper clips, or binding clips.  Or you could use a glue stick or maybe double-stick fabric tape (works perfect for zipper installation!) as an alternate method of holding your fabric in place while you stitch.

2)  YES, You can PRESS laminate!  

     Use a slightly cooler-than-normal iron, press from the back, or use a press cloth (a square of muslin works well) when pressing on the laminated side.  You can use a little spritz of water or a bit of steam.  Just don't overdo or you will dull the laminate coating.

3)  YES, You can FUSE laminate!  

     Fusible products can be adhered to the wrong side of the laminate.  Follow manufacturer's directions and press for about 7 seconds at each spot, overlapping the iron and using a little steam.  Be careful not to over-press as it can reduce the adhesive properties of your fusible product.  I use Pellon 987F fusible fleece to make my UFO-to-Go portable design walls and my Pack-Along Picnic Quilt.
4)  YES, You can SEW laminate!  
     Many sewing machines offer a Teflon foot for use with vinyl and laminates, which helps the foot glide over the laminate without pulling.  Depending on the machine, the price can range from 45 cents to 99 dollars!   
     If you don't have a teflon foot, try putting some removable painter's tape over the bottom of the foot.  That has worked well for me.  Use a pin to poke a hole where the needle goes.

     Another option is to lay a sheet of paper tissue over the top and stitch through the tissue.  Tear off the tissue when the seam is complete.  

     Here's another option - rub a tiny dot of machine oil on the bottom of the regular presser foot.  Then just wipe off the laminate when it's stitched.
     Use a new, sharp needle in the sewing machine.  Set stitch length between 2.5 and 3.0.  Try not to "re-sew" too many times.  Polyester or cotton-poly thread seems to have less breakage than 100% cotton thread.
     If you are having trouble feeding the laminate through the machine or if it's sticking on the sewing machine bed, here are a couple more ideas:   1)  Lift the fabric off the machine bed slightly so it comes in contact with the machine only at the feed dogs/presser foot. That has worked well for me.   2)  Try sprinkling a little corn starch or baby powder on your hands, then wipe your hands over the sewing machine bed to reduce the "stickiness".

5)  YES, you can CLEAN laminate!  
     The laminate coating will wipe clean with a damp rag.  You can also hand-wash and air dry. Best not to throw it in the dryer as the heat may dull/diminish the vinyl coating.


Happy Making! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Laminate Fun!

I re-covered an old chair this week.
You know this chair, it was in your kitchen in the 1970's!

After a move this summer to a smaller home, it has taken a lot of sorting and tossing and yard sales and organizing and re-organizing and touching each possession and asking the questions:  Do I like it, want it, need it, use it or have room for it?  It has been a very freeing process.  But I just couldn't toss this sweet little chair.  Plus, I have some tools...

featuring Halle Rose laminated cotton by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake Designs
Girls with tools, gettin' 'er done.  My husband is a carpenter, but I can never find a hammer or screwdriver when I need one!  So I have my own cute little flowered hammer with the screwdriver hidden in side the handle.  That's so he won't "borrow" it.  I know he wants to... ;)

I used a little leftover laminate from my summer Snippets classes to recover the chair.  Worked like a charm!  Can you tell I love my upholstery tacker, too?  I think it will hold for at least another 20 years.


Have you sewn with laminate?  It is regular cotton fabric with a thin vinyl coating.  Not stiff or hard to sew like oil cloth or regular vinyl or naugahyde.  And there is no fraying, which I love.  No need to finish the edges because they're sealed with the laminate.  And most designer laminate is a coordinate to regular cottons, which fact I also love.

Looks like these gals from my latest Snippets class had fun sewing with it too.
Snippets Laminated bag and Sewing Accessories - Free Tutorials HERE

Check back tomorrow for a new laminate project/gift idea, along with my Top 5 Tips for Sewing with Laminates!  (Don't fear the fabric!)

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