BellToy and Bear

September 18, 2009

A snap of my latest craft. Two softies for a friend’s twinset, due in December.

Simple to stitch, stuffed with bamboo fiber (antimicrobial!), and with sound built in: the eensie pillow, the one with the grosgrain pully-things, has a bell buried inside for some special jingle-jangle. Hint: The bell is housed inside a soft plastic cage (yes, it’s supposed to be a cat toy, but whatevs) so the stuffing won’t muffle the ring.

Care to share your own sews?


Babies, babies everywhere! I know a boatload of ladies who are either preggers or just post-partum — and that means it’s time for me to get crafty. Exempli gratia: this knitted bear softie, stitched with love for a friend’s little girl, Clio Robin, born in September.

I’m guessing that you know at least one woman who’s expecting, so, in lieu of making you dredge the world wide web for baby projects, I’ll bring the projects to you. (Plus, a few off-the-shelf items, in case the baby comes early, or you’re not feeling the DIY verve.)

Knits and Sews

  • Cloth Diapers from T-shirts. Not into swaddling baby’s butt in plastic? Try zipping off a dozen of these second-life diapers. An especially lovely present for the craft-happy momma who is kind of busy right now.
  • Birdmobile. Think Calder, not Caped Crusader. This twig-and-twine mobile blooming with tiny birdies is so adorable, I want to make one for my house. And I don’t even have a baby.
  • Kipling Sweater, Goldie Dress, and Zebra Cardigan. A trio of baby knits for all seasons and a range of ages. The Kipling Sweater, for a newborn, comes complete with a preppy-meets-super villain poppable collar. The Goldie Dress, knitted here with a variegated orange/yellow/turquoise yarn, makes the most of cute with little cap sleeves and a simple, Nehru-look split neck. And the Zebra Cardi kills with its customizable stripes. (I’m thinking chartreuse and aqua, or orange and royal blue.)

In the Kitchen

  • Baby Food, chez vous. Gerber, go home! Check out the comments on this post, which will lead you a bazillion baby food-making sources. If you’re into home canning, push your advantage: a presentation of homemade, organic baby mash could make an excellent welcome-to-the-world gift.
  • Compostable Baby Wipes. Every diaper-wearing baby requires some sort of baby wipe. So why not make your own biodegradable scrubbies with household ingredients? Better for baby, better for the planet.
  • Ikea-hack Play Kitchen. So maybe you don’t make this in the kitchen, and maybe this can wait until the baby can stand on its own. But this pretend prep-station comprised of Ikea components (and a few mini frypans) is one of the coolest kid crafts I’ve seen. What up-and-coming chef wouldn’t flip his lid for a little kitch like this?

Store-bought, but Still Rad

  • Wooden Toys. In the event that you’ve already given your fave kidlet a metric ton of t-diapers and host of birdmobiles and six gallons of mashed bananas, there are always wooden toys.
  • Organic onesies and tees. Etsy artist Foxy & Winston silk screens animal prints onto organic cotton onsies and t-shirts. Love the orange armadillo, in particular.
  • Hand-quilted bibs. Beautiful fabrics transform the everyday to art. From Set Carré, another Etsy crafter.

What little crafts have you created? Any suggestions from those with kids?

baby in bonnet

Help! I’m going to a baby shower on Sunday for a little girlie. I’d love to whip up something sweet (and fast). The bun is due at the end of August, so something autumn-inspired would be beauteous. What’s more, the Mommy could be okay with something a little less trad and more tres tuff.

Suggestions? Pattern links?

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Take a photo tour of Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s 265-square-foot NYC apartment, which he shares with wife Sara Kate and now-toddler Ursula. The Gillingham-Ryans undertook a renovation in preparation for the baby, which included a kitchen maximization, trading a larger dining table for space to accommodate a rocking chair, and transforming the home office nook into baby central.
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