Roll-Up Changing Pad with Recycled/Re-Purposed Hand Towels
The blog Handmade Therapy offers a tutorial for this project called Waterproof Change Mat Sewing Tutorial. It is not the same one I used (that blogger has started to sell her patterns on etsy), but these directions are very similar to the ones I followed.
This project takes about an hour to complete. It is very cute. I made four of them so that I have one for each car and one for each diaper changing basket in the house. You might want to make a few more for laundry purposes. These are great to have because they keep my little guy protected from the surface of the public changing tables and they even help out when you can't find a changing table.
You can recycle/re-purpose a hand towel for the top layer the baby will lay on or you can get the Bobby Changing Pad Liners which will eliminate the need for PUL fabric or water resistant fabric which is recommended in the directions. I highly suggest a thicker loft batting in the middle for extra comfort if you are going to be changing baby on a hard surface.
Boutique Style Burp Cloth
At Crap I've Made you can get some directions for how to make designer style boutique burp cloths on their Boutique Style Burp Cloth Tutorial.
A friend of mine was given a set of cloth diapers that were trimmed with cute fabric and ribbons by a lady at church. She said that she always kept them in her diaper bag because they looked better than pulling out a plain one and she always got compliments on them. She also mentioned that they were easier to tell apart from everyone else's and she didn't lose them as easily. I fell in love with them and I learned how to make them and then gave them as baby gifts. When I found out I was pregnant I made a dozen for myself. I also cross- stitched a few of them as well. My grandma used to say that cloth diapers were the only cloth you needed with a baby, I say why not make them cute and special too!
Toys R' Us and Buy Buy Baby sell the cloth diapers rather cheaply, especially if you find them on sale and have a coupon. I bought 24 for $14.00. Since I am a quilter I had lots of scraps of fabric around to use for this project but I have also found that Fat Quarters work really great for this project too. Sometimes you can get Fat Quarters and fabric ruminants on sale for 99 cents. I can get at least 2 burp cloths out of a fat quarter. If you want to get really fancy add a strip to both ends or to the sides rather than to the bottom. I have also reduced the size of the fabric strip in some cases for a little different look or to make my fabric piece go a little farther.
Note: I have you can always edge the diaper with a simple biased strip but I find the pattern above easier to make. Also, make sure you buy fabric that you can wash in hot water and that will not fade to quickly...remember they will need stain remover at some point...!
Car Seat Cover or Greeter Deterrent
At the Cluck Cluck Sew you can find how to directions for a Car Seat Cover (or Greeter Deterrent).
This sewing project was a huge money saver! The car seat covers at Babies R' Us retail for $25-30! If you make one you can do so for under $10-15 depending on the fabric you buy. I got my fabric on sale and I also used scraps for the backing. I bought fabric that was dark to shield the light but also pick a sleepy time theme so that the message would be even clearer to those who approach. This car seat cover has also acted has a tummy time mat when we were out and about, a nursing cover, and even once as a burp rag. All around it is a versatile project that has served me well!
Made by the Mama Monster offers a free nursing cover tutorial.
For this project, the above link is the best set of instructions I found. However, you do not need a full yard of fabric so if you buy a yard you will have extra. The pattern does not specify but you will need the need the 1 1/4" D rings. Nursing covers can be very pricey $35-50 but if you make it yourself it can be a $10-20 project! I made my project for about $13. I will be making a second one because I have the fabric, boning, and D Rings to do so.
*The instructions for sewing the boning in are a bit confusing. I sewed the top layer in three parts: first after sewing the perpendicular line on the 10 inch marks for the straps I sewed two seams from the outside in-ward (one seam from the left edge to the first 10 inch mark, then a second seam from the right edge to the second ten inch line), last I placed the boning in place and sewed the middle seam which sews the boning in. It took me about 2 hours to complete.
I found directions for a the diaper stacker below on eHow.com under How to Make a Diaper Stacker.
I found that this sewing project was one of the more challenging projects I have undertaken. There are not diagrams or pictures so these were not the best directions but I know enough about sewing to power through. If you are a novice this might not be the best set of directions for you. Simply because I like torture, I made things even more complicated by I adding pockets to the front of mine. The direction I am linking you to do not contain front pocket directions. In the end the trouble was worth it because I really like the pockets in the front. They conveniently hold the powder and diaper rash cream.
This project took me an entire day plus a portion of the next day to complete. Diaper Stacker's retail for $20-50 but I made this one for $13. If I attempt to make this one again I will take pictures as I go.
Sewing Book with Lots of Patterns
Simple Sewing for Baby: 24 Easy Projects for Newborns to Toddlers
By: Lotta Jansdotter
While wondering around Joanne's Fabrics one day (pre-baby) and I found a book filled with simple sewing patterns for baby. It has everything from bibs to bloomers. It was on sale so I picked it up. I like this book because of the ideas but I find some of the directions to be less than complete. If you do not have much experience sewing this might not be the book for you. It is based on a minimalist attitude and some of the projects may need a little bit more embellishment to make them cute as well as functional.
Pictures of the Sleep Sacks that I made using a pattern from this book. They worked great and were much cheaper than buying them.