Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sewing a fabric book for baby

A cute little gift to sew with love, and a nice way to use up some of your fabric scraps!

-Some colorful fabric scraps
-Assorted thread
-Batting, not too thick. You could also use polar fleece.
-Fabric glue or sticky fusible web 
-For the embroidery machine version: you can download my embroidery files for free
-For the sewing machine or hand sewing version, go to the download page and choose the files handembroidery 1 and 2. They're templates you can print.
All the files can be found here.
Of course you could also design your own.


1. Decide what your book will look like, page by page. For an 8 page book, you'll need 4 rectangles of fabric. For a square shaped 15cm book, cut four 32cm x 17cm fabric rectangles (this includes the 1cm seam allowances). The page order is illustrated here.

2. If you use the paper templates, transfer them on you fabric using some tracing paper and a tracing wheel or a sharp pencil. Cut. Place the pieces on your rectangles of fabric in the order shown in the first drawing. Use fabric glue or sticky fusible web to hold them in place temporarily. Sew them with a narrow zigzag or a simple straight stitch. Don't forget to leave space for the seam allowances when placing the designs.
For page one, draw, cut and sew letters to write the baby's name or embroider a nice message. :) 

If you use the machine embroidery files, place the applique fabric on top of the book fabric and embroider. If you want to use several different fabrics in a single animal, here's how to do it. The machine will first embroider the design as a single line. Pause the machine after that first step and arrange your fabrics using the line as a guide. Restart the embroidery. When it's done, cut the excess fabric as close as possible to the embroidery. If you're like me, you may need a little practice and patience to get good results : I recommend doing some tests on scrap fabric first.

3. When all the appliques are done, put two pages right sides together (1-8 with 2-7, 6-3 with 4-5), and place your batting underneath. Sew as shown, keeping a short space free for turning.

4. Trim the fabric close to the corners.

5. Turn inside out, fold the free seam allowances on the inside and press.

6. Topstitch close to the edges.

7. Assemble your pages with a straight stitch in the middle. For closing the book, you can sew a nice ribbon or add a piece of fabric with snaps or velcro on the side. You can add it after the book is done or catch it between pages 1-8 and 2-7 on step 3 (if this sounds confusing, just leave me a note and I'll add a drawing).

Happy sewing!

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