Hopefully you saw my video post yesterday my showing the fabrics I received from Shannon Fabrics. If not, go check that out (here) real quick and come back.
In the video I show you the Cuddle Kit I used to sew my first baby blanket. My girlfriend chose elephants as the theme for her baby boy, so this Lullaby Kit was perfect. It was actually difficult to narrow it down to this kit because there are so many elephant print fabrics and kits, but I just love the sleeping elephants on clouds and moons.
This is my first blanket/quilt of any kind so I was a bit concerned, especially working with a cuddle. Thankfully it came together surprisingly easily. Instructions and a tip sheet are included in the kit and these helped tremendously. My worries about the sewing cuddle were unfounded, it sewed easily. A walking foot is recommended, but I don’t have one and I didn’t have issues. I simply lengthened the stitch and sewed slowly. Now the only negative thing is the amount of fluff that was left on my cutting table from cutting the fabrics. There are tips on how to handle that as well, I just didn’t really follow them. FYI, you should!
I was wrong in my video as this Cuddle Kit comes with backing, not batting. So I grabbed some lightweight batting from Walmart (here) and it worked just fine. This blanket is so soft and cuddly I just adore it. I do think it could be made without the batting as two layers of hide cuddle is quick hefty on it’s own.
I also just had to sew a elephant stuffie! I mean come on! Shannon Fabrics recommended the Ellie Elephant pattern by Funky Friends Factory. Again I will admit I was a tad nervous as this is more complicated than the previous stuffies I made (Whale of a Time by Christina McKinney and Henry & Helga Elephant Softie). Now don’t get me wrong those are great gifts and my friend’s kids still love the ones I made for them, but the Ellie Elephant is more like a “true” stuffed animal. So much so that the daddy-to-be thought I had bought it, even though he knows I sew! What a compliment.
If you watched the video you know I was trying to decide whether to use the Luxe Hide Cuddle or the signature Cuddle 3. Well I decided to use the Cuddle 3 because it has a shorter nap than the Hide Cuddle and I felt this would make sewing the little pieces, like the tusks and foot pads, easier to sew. Though I do believe that was true, after making my first Ellie I believe that its totally doable with the hide. I would heed the advice I received form Funky Friends Factory and print the at 110% to make a slightly larger Ellie. I’m actually thinking of making a mommy and daddy version using the hide for the parents since they both loved this one.
FYI Funky Friends Factory offers 104 patterns with most being animal stuffies so no matter what animal you need, I’m sure they have a pattern for you!
The other fabric I received was the Be Loved Embrace which is a super soft double gauze fabric with more sweet elephants. This fabric is perfect for a swaddle blanket, which I’m told every new mom needs. Shannon Fabrics provide a variety of free sewing patterns and tutorials on their website and I used this one to make two swaddles using the Embrace fabric.
The embrace fabric has a faint grid built in due to the way the two layers of gauze are combined which gives you a grainline to follow to make sure you cut your swaddle in a perfect square. The embrace is soft and lightweight, but not difficult to sew.
I had a good amount of the embrace left as well as some pieces of white and gray cuddle so I decided to add a few burb clothes and a bib as these are surely something you can never have to many of on hand. I used Treasurie’s free burp cloth pattern and made one of each type. The bib was made using Mary Martha Mama’s bigger, better bib pattern. Each of these were quite simple but I think they made the gift a bit more special.
I don’t forsee many more baby showers in my future, but you never know. What are you favorite things to sew for new babies and toddlers.? Any TNT onsies patterns you care to share?