Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't be like me.

Let this post be a lesson in what NOT to do while completing a sewing project.

DON'T think that just because you have fairly advanced sewing skills that it is a good idea to make all of your baby's crib bedding.

I was just starting my 2nd trimester. Isn't that when they say you're supposed to get a burst of energy and start doing some serious nesting? Anyway. The baby quilt below is as far as I got. We hadn't yet found out the gender of our little bundle of joy but I knew I wanted to stay neutral so I went with a black/white/red/olive green/yellow combo. There is also some orange, brown and blue in there for good measure. 

I had already purchased the fabric to make the quilt, bumpers, skirt, and crib sheet when I happened upon the most perfect crib bedding set below at a consignment sale for $30. 

The crib is a Jenny Lind crib in dark cherry and was a gift from my in-laws. The wall color is a custom color that I used in our bathroom. I pulled it from a swatch of Kravet fabric that I had used for a sink skirt and valance which you can see in the pictures below. You can also see a tiny peek of the green accent tile in that bathroom. I painted it 3 different times before I landed on this color. The fabric was from a remnant pile at one of our local fabric stores so I didn't have much room to work in gathers and such. I did manage to get corner pleats out of the sink skirt. But I digress, back to Sam's room.

The bedding is Nurseryworks Macaroni Crib Bedding in Canary and retails for around $330-$350. I had seen it in a Domino magazine and knew immediately it was a steal at $30. The set was missing the accent pillow but had everything else I needed (skirt, bumper, sheet, quilt) so I scooped it up and continued shopping. It turned out to be one of the best decorating decisions I made in Sam's room. But it also left me with a lot of yardage of the fabrics that I was intending to use for crib bedding. So right before we had company coming I quickly whipped up two euro shams from the flowered fabric and threw those onto the daybed in Sam's room and then draped the finished quilt over the foot of the bed and called it done for now. Well it always bothered me how slouchy the shams were. Granted, I didn't take a lot of care in finishing them. I just did a simple envelope closure on the back and called it good. I didn't even clip the corners or trim the fabric from the seams afterwards. Super lazy. 

So here we are. Sam is 7 months old and I'm finally getting back to those stinking shams. Now for lesson #2.

DON'T buy single fold bias tape when what you really wanted was double fold. And then don't use it just because you're too lazy to go to the store and exchange it. 

In order to compensate for my purchasing mistake, I just took the single fold and folded it in half and ironed it into a double fold. Now I realize I'm losing the "wide" part of the equation but I don't have to change out of my yoga pants and leave the house so all will be fine. The plan was to stitch the bias tape around the outside of the sham in order to give it some dimension and also to make it conform tighter to the pillow insert. Because I was now using a skinnier bias tape I was also going to have to go in and do another line of stitching about an inch in from the outside edge. Oh well, on to lesson #3...

DON'T pin your bias tape on with the pins in the wrong direction and decide to sew it anyway just because you're too lazy to pin it the correct way.

There's a correct way to pin something, you ask? Oh yes. See, the goal with pinning is to have the majority of the fabric on the left side of the pin so that you aren't trying to shove it all through the small opening between the needle and the brains of the sewing machine. See picture below on what NOT to do.

See how the yellow pin head is pointing up? It should be the exact opposite of that. So that you don't wind up having to do this....

Doesn't look too bad, right? Well consider that there are pins going every direction all the way around that hunk of fabric and then try maneuvering it without getting stabbed 20 times and you'll understand why you should take the time to pin the correct way. If I had been sewing something bulkier I would have definitely gone back and re-pinned. 

Here is a look at the almost final product. I still need to sew buttonholes and buttons onto the envelope closure to keep it laying flat but it's better than it was before. Baby steps.

Wasn't my next project supposed to be our bedskirt? I have a real problem. See, don't be like me. 

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