Saturday, April 19, 2008

McDonald's bib

This bib was basically free. I had receiving blankets, the McDonald's fabric that someone had given me, and of course, recycled denim.

First I cut out squares from the McDonald's fabric and arranged them in a grid on the denim, that I had cut with a bib pattern I made up. You can get free bib pattens all over the web or copy one of your own or make one up. This one is about 8" wide and 11" tall and I'd consider it a baby, not a toddler bib. But you can make yours smaller or larger. I machine appliqued the squares on the denim.
I then made a pocket of the McDonald's fabric and basted it on the bottom.
Next, I placed the receiving blanket piece that I had cut to match the bib pattern on the back and pinned it in place. You can use a receiving blanket, cotton, an old towel, chenille, or whatever you have on hand for the back.
I used bias tape that I had around the house, but you can make bias or buy it. I put this all the way around the bib, catching the pocket edges in the tape.
I added Velcro for a closure. You can use Velcro or a snap. For a baby bib, I would not use a button.
Voila, free bib! Even if it's not 100% free for you to make, you can probably make bibs and potholders and all sorts of items with fabrics, threads, tapes, and trims you already have. Consider appliqueing designs to dish towels, blue jeans knees that need to be mended, or anything that doesn't move!
Have fun with it. That's the main thing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Unintentional stash reduction

I'm always looking for projects for the parent group at CDR to work on. I am a group facilitator there three days a week. Everything we do is geared towards enhancing their parenting skills. An upcoming event is related to literacy and includes a gift of a bag with books, props for the books, and other activities enclosed. All the goodies for inside the kit are ready, but we need bags. That's where the stash reduction comes in. I volunteered to make about 100 bags. Each one uses about 18" x 36" of fabric, so I went through everything I have and started grabbing pieces of fabric that fit the bill.
One week in parent group, I set up two sewing machines and put the parents to work cutting, pinning, and sewing the bags. I decided to do the handles myself. As it turns out, only about 8 were sewn in group, so I've been sewing bags over and over and over and over .... AAAAA!
This is frugal sewing at its best. I'm using excess fabric that I don't dare get rid of because I might need it some day, excess threads that I've been collecting also because I might need them some day, and making bag after bag. I have bought nothing. Not only that, I'm giving them all away.
I'm far from done, but the moral of the story is that there are sewing opportunities out there for all of us that can include stash reduction. Check around and see if there is a school or early intervention center like CDR that needs your help. Do the sewing for them or take a bit of time and teach them to do it for themselves. It's a great way to pass on the lessons we have inside us to teach and it's a great frugal lesson for those who may not have the money to buy fancy schmancy bags on their own.