Sewing so easy even I can do it: Nursing Shawl

Nursing Shawl 18

Okay so it’s official: I’m going to be an aunt (again).  This time, though, unlike my lovely instant nieces Tego and HG I get to meet this niece or nephew at birth!  Krystopf and Atlas, the expectant parents, are coming to visit at the end of May.  It’s my big brother’s first time in Newfoundland, though Atlas was here back around the time of Doodle’s Newfoundland Express.  And neither Atlas nor I will let Krystopf forget the fact that SHE bravely came to visit us (by herself!) when she was a just brand new girlfriend, and HE (my own eldest brother) can’t organize himself enough to book a flight.  But for reals now they are coming and I couldn’t be more excited!  It’s a very brief trip but we’ll be sure to cram it with all sorts of fun stuff.

Nursing Shawl 15

While I fully plan to have their wedding present (from last July) finished before they get here,  I thought I would also get cracking on some baby-related things they might find useful in the near future (the baby is due in October).  Now we know that if you put me in front of a sewing machine I am likely to break it.  Like for real.  But this one I think I can handle, because it involves sewing precisely one line.  Even I can do that.  I hope.  Anyway, this post also kicks off my new Kidlet category here at Ali Does It.  Who says you can’t do it yourself when there’s children involved?

Nursing Shawl 14

What we’re going to make today is a nursing shawl, and it’s so simple it’s almost stupid.  But the great thing about this shawl (I think) is that it’s an easy (and fashionable) alternative to nursing bibs and trying to gather blankets around your shoulders and whatever.  And it covers your back, too, like a stylish poncho.  And it’s small enough you can just jam it anywhere in your bag.  And it doesn’t wrinkle.

Start off with some fabric, a nice jersey knit.  I found two that I liked, this pink cotton and then a silky gray polyester blend.  They were $2.99 a metre, which struck me as a good deal.

Nursing Shawl 1

After washing and drying the fabric (to remove sizing and get any shrinkage out of the way), fold the fabric right-side-in along its width (which should be about 60 inches (or about a metre and a half).  This will leave you with something about 30 inches wide.

Nursing Shawl 2

Because fabric stores cut this stuff very quickly, the edges are not exact.  I lined mine up as best I could and then used some sharp sewing scissors to cut along the outer edge to make it more square.

Nursing Shawl 6

Next, use a measuring tape to measure 25″ from the outer edge and pin several times to mark your place. This will run perpendicular to the folded edge.

Nursing Shawl 4

Cut along your markings so you are left with a rectangle that is about 25″ x 30″ (or 25″ x 60″ if you unfolded it).

Now you’ve got one folded edge and three open edges, right?  From one corner of your folded edge, measure 13″ along an open edge and pin to mark it.  This will be the head hole for your shawl.  Pin along the rest of the fabric to hold it in place.

Nursing Shawl 7

Nursing Shawl 5

Now all you have to do is sew along that line, from the edge of the head-hole to the end of the fabric.  It’s only 17″ of sewing.  Of course, my sewing machine and I don’t get along.  And so rather than throw it across the room I just did these by hand with a needle and matching thread and it took no time at all.

Nursing Shawl 8

Then you just flip them right side out and they’re done.  Jersey knit doesn’t fray so you don’t have to worry about hemming the other sides (though you can if you want to, or embellish them with ribbons or whatever you would like).

Nursing Shawl 9

It’s a nice comfortable, breezy fit!

Nursing Shawl 19
At this point, Fussellette laughed and said, “I’m not fit yet for motherhood.”

Nursing Shawl 22

Thanks to Fussellette and Teddy Two for being my models!

Nursing Shawl 16

Advertisements

The T-Shirt Ring

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 20

This is a cute little last-minute stocking stuffer idea from Homemade Ginger.  You can do it with either hot glue or a needle and thread, and make all sorts of nifty floral accents.

What you need is an old cotton t-shirt, or any other jersey material.  The Pie wore this shirt for Hallowe’en.  He dressed as Peter Parker, the alter ego for his hero Spider-Man, so he just needed to paint the collar of a red shirt to look like he was hiding a Spider-Man costume under his street clothes.  So while he painted the top, I’m just going to use the bottom.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 1

You’re going to cut the hem off the bottom, and cut several circles out of the main fabric.  You’ll also need a circle of felt, about the same size as your circles.  If you’re making a ring you’ll want the circle to be relatively small, whereas if you were making a brooch then the circle will be a bit bigger.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 2

Take a pencil or toothpick or the end of a paintbrush and jab it into the centre of one of your fabric circles.  Scrunch it up around the paintbrush or whatever.  Put a dab of hot glue on the tip of that.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 9

Stick the circle onto the circle of felt.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 10

Repeat, sticking the circles close together, until you’ve filled up the felt.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 11

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 12

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 13

Trim the result with scissors for tidiness.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 16

To make a bracelet, measure your finger with the t-shirt hem and cut off an appropriately long piece, with a bit of overlap.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 4

Glue the overlap down, then attach it, with the seam side hidden, to the felt.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 5

For a ring, simply make the hem loop a little smaller.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 7

For a brooch, and if you don’t have any of those handy jewelry backing pieces around, take a safety pin, cut two slits in another circle of felt, and slide it through so the working pieces are exposed.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 3

Glue that to the other piece of felt.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 15

That’s it.  Easy and fun.

T-Shirt Ring Etc. 19