Mothers, grandmothers, loving friends and caregivers have been making all things for babies from time immemorial. A bit of soft warm fleece, flannel, pure cottons and tiny laces, ribbons and trims are all that are needed to sew everything special for the new baby. Make your own personalized baby gifts, keepsake gifts and more with just a few fabric pieces and much love. Here are just a few that are easy to make.
Baby Bottle Cozy
Use your favorite stretchy fleece material. Measure the height of the bottle from the bottom to just under the bottle's top. Measure the width around the bottle. Cut fabric the height and width of the bottle. Edges don’t fray so there is no need to finish the edges. Sew the two edges that correspond to the height measurement right-sides together in a ¼” seam and slip over the bottle. The fabric will stretch gently and securely around the bottle making it easier for babies to hold when they are able.
Just two yards of 36” wide flannel. Fold in half or use one-square yard from each of two pieces of coordinating solid color and printed cotton flannel or flannelette. With right sides together, cut all 4 corners slightly rounded. Stitch together with a 1/4” to 3/8” seam, leaving a 6” opening in order to turn, clip curves and then turn right side out. Press lightly, then hand stitch opening closed. Select a decorative stitch if you’d like or use a straight stitch with a long stitch length and top stitch about 5/8” to 1” from all edges to neatly secure.
Cut two of a large kidney-shape that will fit comfortably over the caregiver's shoulder area. Use soft flannel fabric, or use a cloth diaper for fabric. If the fabric is new, wash to remove sizing to allow for more absorbency. Stitch right-sides together, leaving an opening to turn. Press. Top stitch all around to better secure the two pieces of fabric or trim all around with colorful bias binding.
Cover a round embroidery hoop with ribbon by winding a length of ½” ribbon around the hoop. Attach animal cutouts lightly stuffed and made of colorful felt or flannel animal shapes all around by hand sewing the shapes onto a length of ribbon and then onto the hoop. Hang the hoop over the baby’s crib or cradle using three lengths of ribbon sewn to the hoop at three points. Tie all together at the top in a soft bow. Hang from ceiling using sturdy plant hanger.
Keepsake Bonnet with Poem
Use a square about 10" x 10" of fine batiste cotton or a purchased delicate hanky and a small amount of flat lace and narrow satin ribbon to decorate edges of the bonnet. Attach flat lace along outside edges of square using a narrow zigzag stitch to butt the edge of the lace to the fabric. To form bonnet turn back about 2 ½" along one edge and press. Tack a length of ribbon 1" in front of this fold at center and at both edges; cover ribbon ends with tiny ribbon roses if desired. On opposite side of this fold on the edge that will become the back of the bonnet, fold back about 5/8" so lace edging lays on the right-side of the bonnet. Press fold lightly and either hand sew to the bonnet using a basting stitch or machine sew using a long stitch length at the edge just where the lace has been attached to the hankie; pull thread at both ends to gather back of bonnet, tie securely. An alternative is to fashion the back of the bonnet by using a narrow satin ribbon that can be pulled through the casing formed by the basting stitch to form the gathers; finish by tying ribbon ends in a bow. Include the following poem, author unknown, with the bonnet for a charming gift.
I'm just a little hankie as square as square can be,
But with a small stitch or two a bonnet I will be.
I'll be worn from the hospital or on my christening day,
And after that, be folded then carefully put away.
When on that future wedding day so we've been always told.
The well-dressed bride must always wear something that is old.
So what could be more fitting, than to find little me.
And with a few fine stitches snipped, a wedding hankie be.
And if perchance it's a boy someday he'll surely wed.
Then his bride can have the hankie once worn upon his head.
Additional keepsake bonnet poems can easily be found online.
Sew happy, sew well.