Tag Archives: sewing

DIY Baby Pixie Hats from Old Sweaters

2 Dec


It’s starting to get a bit nippy out here in the sunshine state, and baby Tessa is in need of hats, having outgrown her little infant beenies. But even when they fit it, I’ve discovered I don’t really like baby beenies. They are awkward, they slip off tiny heads, and I spend more time adjusting them and keeping them from slipping than they actually spend on her head keeping her baby ears warm.

I finally decided to make Tessa a couple of bonnet style hats that tie under the chin and completely cover her ears and cheeks to keep her warm on family outings. I was ruing the fact that I am still far too impatient to learn the art of crochet or knitting, and then the lightbulb went off. Just buy some old sweaters at the thrift store and turn them into pixie bonnets! Brilliant! I could even use the finished edges and hemlines of the sweaters for decorative trim! Woohoo!

So, as with every “original idea” I have, I ran online to find that… well, it’s already been done. Many times, in fact. *shakes fist at the internet heavens* So rather than reinvent the wheel, let me point you to a few good tutorials on turning an old sweater into a do it yourself baby pixie hat.


Ella Bella blog has a great no sew tutorial on upcycling sweaters into pixie caps. The only warning I have with this method is that the fuzzier and looser knit the sweater is, the more likely it is that the “steam a seam” or “stitch witchery” won’t hold. Likewise, some knits don’t do as well and the no-sew method works better. (We’ve used BOTH sew and no-sew methods in making our pixie hats.) Also, this tutorial leaves raw edges on the bottom of the cap, which will cause your hat to unravel and not be machine washable. So do whatever works for you!

I Am Momma Hear Me Roar has a great tutorial that involves using bias tape to edge the hat so it is machine washable. I personally prefer not adding any accents to the hats, but this is definitely a good sturdy tutorial. If you’re looking for a long term keepsake hat, I’d recommend this method.

Sew Liberated also has a sewn pixie hat tutorial, this one from scratch in case you’re itching to use some fabric you had no idea what to do with up till now.


For my pixie hats, I used the basic outline of Ella Bellas pattern, only I lengthened the points to various legnths to get more of an exaggerated tail and to change it up a bit (I also found that the 6 by 7 inch measurement was spot on for Tessa’s 3 month old head). Then I sewed the seams. For the neckline, I gave it an inward curve so it fit Tessa’s head more snugly. I also turned the raw corners in and hemmed them with very light interfacing so the hat won’t flap around on her when it’s tied, and so there’d be no loose edges for machine washing.

And voila! The husband and I cranked out 6 hats out of 3 different sweaters in about 1 hour on Thanksgiving. (Yes, we have odd date nights, I know.)







Anyhoo, if you make one of these, post some pix and share! I think they’re crazy adorable!


Nerdy Bibs, Blankets, Burp Cloths and Diaper Covers

15 Jul


Alright folks. This is my first batch of nerdy sewing projects for my daughter Tessa. I have spent the last five years with Jonathan working on all kinds of crafts and projects for cosplays and holidays and geekiness of all varieties, so I knew I would eventually be cranking out random baby paraphernalia for my future children. I thought making this first round of goodies would make this whole parenthood thing more real, but with my daughter only two months away, I am still having trouble wrapping my brain around the concept of being a mother. Me? A mom?! I still watch anime and relate to the shy 13 year old characters! How is this whole raising a human being thing gonna pan out?!

At any rate, I had fun making these goodies over the last few weeks. All of the fabrics were purchased from either Joann’s Fabrics, Wal-Mart or the LA Fabric District. The prints are all a variation of Star Wars and Marvel / Avengers. (Gotta introduce baby girl to the classics!) So here’s what I made:

Burp Cloths:






I made these burp cloths using a variation on this tutorial from Chickpea Sewing Studio. While some of the cloths have the decorative strip of fabric down the entire length of the terry cloth as the tutorial shows, I made a couple of the cloths with the nerdy fabric strips on the very ends of the cloth, so when baby burps up it will most likely land on the terry cloth, which is far more absorbent.  That way you get functionality while simultaneously getting to nerd represent! hehe!

Receiving Blankets:






I made the 32″ x 32″ Marvel Comics self-binding receiving blanket using this tutorial from the blog Sew Much Ado.

I didn’t use a tutorial for the 36″ x 36″ Star Wars receiving blanket, I just kind of… made it. But for those of you interested in a simple, no pattern required sewing project, the closest I could find to what I did can be found on this tutorial from KDBuggie Boutique.

Diaper Covers:







I made these diaper covers using McCalls pattern 6223. I will say, I was a little nervous about making these. I always had it in my head that diaper covers would be difficult. Maybe it was a loose association with the mess that usually comes with diapers? Who knows. But these were effortless and easy. I will be using this pattern again and again, I’m sure. These were my favorite to make thus far.

Newborn Bibs:




These were also made using McCalls pattern 6223. I’m not overly crazy about bibs (or making them.. CURVES, ugh!) but I wanted to make a few for some “OMG, look at that adorble baby geek!” newborn pictures.

So that’s my first batch of geeky baby projects. I’m planning on making many more in the future (changing pads, nighties, infant car seat covers, oh my!) but I thought I’d share these for now. ^_^

DIY Lavender Potpourri Suffolk Puff Pouches

27 Jun


In the very beginning of May I blogged about harvesting fresh lavender for potpourri and aromatherapy at our friends house in Southern California. After letting my lavender bouquets dry for 7 weeks I finally decided to get around to making the little aromatherapy bundles. I was tossing around different sachet patterns and techniques, but ultimately decided to make these very simple Suffolk Puff Pouches.

This Suffolk Puff technique – while very popular in Victorian times – dates back to well before the Victorian era. The very first known ‘puffs’ pattern was recorded in 1601 in Suffolk, England, as a means of recycling old worn out clothes and fabric scraps. Today, the pattern is flattened out (not stuffed) and used primarily for patches, jewelry, headbands and crafting décor. But as I’ve been on a recent Victorian-era kick, I thought I’d give this old school potpourri pouch a go. It’s really extremely simple:



1. Cut out a circle of fabric.

This can be as large or as small as you’d like. Since I intend to use my potpourri puffs to tuck into my undergarments drawers, I wanted them small enough to just fit into my palm. So I used a medium saucepan lid as a template for my circle (about 6 inches across). Once you’ve cut out your circle, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, fold over the edge of the hem and with a needle and thread, sew a loose running stitch all the way around the circle.

2. Sew and gather the complete circle of fabric.

Continue sewing your loose running stitch until you’ve completed the circle. Then, pull gently on the thread so that the circle is gathered up into a loose pouch.


3. Fill with your potpourri.

For my lavender potpourri, I simply snipped the heads off of the stalks of dried lavender, and used the heads intact as stuffing for the pouch. That way, when I want a fresh infusion of lavender, I simple gently squeeze the pouch, crushing and breaking apart the heads, which releases more of the fragrance, and doesn’t dry the oils up prematurely. So I just tucked the heads in whole into the pouch.



4. Tighten your pouch and finish.

Once filled, simply squeeze the gathered thread till its tight, and stitch it closed. If desired, top off the center pucker with a decorative button and some ribbon. And voila! You have a gorgeous and simple little aromatherapy pouch to freshen up linen closets, drawers, or to keep by your bedside to promote relaxation and restful sleep!