Homemade boys baby bib by poppysews.com

Baby Bib ii (boys/unisex)

I wanted to make a baby bib in a boyish fabric (could be unisex though!) as a friend was expecting a baby boy any day and I wanted to give her something I had made…

I made it in the same way as i described in my first baby bib post 

Baby boys unisex homemade bib by poppysews.com

This time I used slightly wider bias binding than I had for my first baby bib (closer to 1cm width)….which, apart from the fiddly  neck-end bit,  was easier to put on than the thinner bias binding, but I think I prefer the look of the thinner bias binding….

Also, I didn’t have any applique for this one as the main fabric had pretty pictures on it 😉

Let me know what you think! Which do you prefer?

DIY Applique Muslin Burp Cloths poppysews.com

Applique Muslin Cloths

So I am even more sure I am expecting a baby boy in the autumn now..I was out the other day and a lady we got chatting to (didn’t actually know her…) asked if i was expecting a boy..and she went on to say that it looked like I was from “the lay of the land”..presumably my bump…

Yeah I know, what does she know? I don’t even believe that old wives tale about the bump out front means a boy or whatever…but it was a bit weird as she sounded so sure! So anyway, I will need some muslin cloths, and I am still feeling bored by the overly boyish things in the shops..and since I LOVE applique I decided i would applique some muslin cloths with a baby boy in mind, just in case 😉

This was my first version, i used a gorgeous bear applique from Freeapplique.com

(note: a great tutorial for applique is found at Molly and Mama)

DIY Applique Muslin Cloths poppysews.comDIY Applique Muslin Burp Cloths poppysews.comDIY Applique Muslin Burp Cloths poppysews.com

One thing I realised as I was sewing on the first bear applique was that the muslin material is too thin and the needle was pulling on it too much and so it needed some ‘backing up’.. so from then on I used applique backing fabric ironed on to the reverse side of the muslin cloth before zig-zag stitching the bear on to the fabric…

Here are the other two applique muslin cloth designs:

Would love any feedback as to which you think looks cutest (or suggested improvements!)…

DIY Applique Muslin Burp Cloths poppysews.comDIY Applique Muslin Burp Cloths poppysews.com


Pillowcase Dress

I love pillowcase dresses- and they are sooo easy to make: All you need for a simple pillowcase dress is enough fabric for the dress, some bias binding and some elastic  (applique fabric is optional)….

imagePillow-case Dress Poppysews.com

I decided to make one to fit a baby up to around 6 months (but they can also make a pretty ‘top’ if they get too short, but not too tight width-ways….). So I aimed for the following:

  • Total fabric width of 82 cm (this is the dress circumference including 1cm for seam allowance);
  • Fabric drop/length of 33.5cm (this included the 2cm elastic casing allowance for the top and 1.5 cm hem allowance at the bottom);
  • Approximately 130 cm of Bias binding.

A brilliant guide for the sizing of a pillowcase dress can be found at  Polkadotchair.com…..I also used this website to create a paper template for the armhole.

First I folded the material from left to right, and then pencil marked (on the fabrics wrong side) where i was going to sew the seam.

I then pencil marked the armholes, using a paper template, which I then cut out  before sewing the side seam… (note there will only be a seam on one side of the pillowcase dress…)


I pencil marked the seam….


and marked the armholes using a paper armhole template prepared in advance….









I first cut out the arm holes, and then sewed the side seam…

Next I sewed the casing for the elastic into the top of the dress, at both the front and back of the dress:


Note: the front and back of the dress will look the same…

…..and inserted the elastic (in my case I used a length of 12 cm) through the casing by using one safety pin to hold it at one end and another one to feed it through the casing. I then pinned the elastic the other side and sewed it securely into place at each end.

I did this at the front and back of  the pillowcase dress…


I then attached the bias binding to the arm holes, ensuring there was enough length to make ties or bows at the top..mine were a little on the short side as I only used 110cm, hence in future I would start with a length of 130cm;  65cm for each side (a good bias binding tutorial is from The Seasoned Homemaker).


Finally I sewed a hem to the bottom of the dress (a double hem), and attached some applique birds to the front of the dress.

I used the same method for the applique as described in my Applique Baby Bodysuits post. Or a great beginners guide to applique is at ourhomemadeeasy.com.

Note: My applique didn’t turn out too great I feel..it doesn’t stand out enough on this fabric; I would have been better picking a more solid pink colour for the applique so that it stood out more, or at least a darker thread for the zig-zag stitching… i need some more fabrics I think 🙂

So here is my finished pillowcase dress:  I love the blue floral fabric, and thought it went well with the pink and white bias binding..if I had had more bias binding left over I would have done a trim around the bottom of the dress to match the armholes and ties…next time!

Pillow-case Dress Poppysews.com



Dress Refashion Part i – Girls Skirt

I found this dress in the charity shop..apart from the fact I’m not really a dress-wearer myself, this one was a good couple of sizes too big anyway… but I loved the fabric pattern and saw the potential for a project with two outcomes: A skirt for my little girl and another DIY maternity top for myself 🙂


First, for the skirt, this was the easier bit…

I simply cut the top part off the dress, leaving the waist band attached nicely to the skirt  and I measured it on “Poppy Jr” and used a safety pin to mark how much the waist needed taking in by, and measured the (new, shorter) length of skirt required (which i then cut to length, retaining the bottom part of the skirt for use in part ii of the project)….


I then sewed a new side seam, using my safety pin marking point and a pencil line…and zigzagged stitched the seam allowance and cut off the excess fabric…


I then sewed a hem onto the bottom of the skirt (by folding up twice and then stitching):


My little one tried it on, but it was very slightly too big on the waist and was falling too low, so needed some elastic in the waist…This was fairly easy : all I had to do was use my seam ripper to make two small slits at the back of the inside waist band..just before the side-seam, and insert some elastic (an inch or so shorter than the length between the two slits)…

image image

…and then I sewed the elastic  at each end (into each side seam)…all done! Poppy Jr was pretty happy with it too..only 4 years old but already she can’t have too many clothes 😉



I have just started to refashion the top half of the dress into a maternity top for myself…will keep you posted on how it goes! 🙂


Baby Boy Applique Bodysuits

I have been looking forward to trying some applique on some baby bodysuits..and as a friend has just had a baby boy I thought now was a great time to try it out!

As much as I like boats and cars and the colour blue..I do find it a bit boring that pretty much all baby boy clothes in the shops consist of just these…what about the colour yellow or green? what about cute little animals? Seems to me baby girls clothes seem to have a lot more variety?!

So I decided to use some applique designs that were a little more unisex (although I still ended up using mostly blue..but to be fair I had got hold of a pack of patchwork squares which I was planning to use, and the best patterns were mostly blue, honestly!).

The internet is full of great applique designs you can use as templates..the elephant and bird seem to be more common, although I got the cute deer design from Molly and Mama, along with a useful tutorial for How to Applique.

All I needed for this project was:

  • A 3-pack of plain body suits in the required size;
  • Fabric for the Appliques;
  • Applique design templates;
  • Heat fusible webbing (paper backed)..or any hemming web if the design is not too complicated!
  • Applique anti-rub backing fabric;
  • A sewing machine with a colour co-ordinated choice of thread.

1. First I got my paper applique design templates (always worth keeping for the next time!) and used them to draw the design on to the fusible webbing (shiny paper side).

2. Next I dry ironed the fusible web template on to the wrong side of my chosen applique fabric, and cut around the pencil outline ..I then peeled off the backing paper and I had my applique fabric pattern ready to go…

3. I then ironed (under a damp tea towel/cloth) the fabric applique pattern on to the front of the bodysuit, and repeated with the other two templates.


4. I then zig-zag stitched around the edge of each design (this always takes way longer than i expect it to, as I keep missing the edge in some places and have to go back over that bit ;)).

5. Finally, I ironed on some applique anti-rub backing fabric to the back of each design:

And here are the finished baby bodysuits..ready for the next baby boy to arrive!.. 😉


Baby Bib

Making a baby bib is a great way to use up some scrap fabric / off-cuts (recognise the fabric from my baby shirt dress and the pocket T-shirts projects?).  I have been meaning to make one for ages, and they make great presents for new babies, you can never have too many! 🙂

Homemade Baby Bib from Poppysews.com

To start you will need the following:

  • Some toweling fabric or other backing fabric e.g muslin (wash cloths will do and are very cheap to buy)
  • Material off-cuts that can be used in combination for the front of the bib, and also some for the applique.
  • Bias binding (not too narrow as it gets tricky to apply to the edges for this project!)
  • Velcro or a snap-fastener
  1. First step is to draw a template for the bib on some paper. For this I used an old baby bib to get the size right.image
  2. Next I sewed together the two pieces of front fabric (right sides together for the sewing…)
  3. Then I used the stencil to draw the bib outline on both the front fabric and backing fabric, which I then cut out.
  4. At this stage you will need to apply your applique pattern to the front fabric (if you need a tutorial on applique try this one from Molly and Mama.image
  5. Now baste the front and back fabric together (using a long stitch). image
  6. Now you can start to apply your bias binding. I used a home-made bias binding that was a little too narrow, as it got difficult in places to fix it on neatly (hopefully you can’t see those imperfections in the finished bib photo! :)). I like this tutorial from smashedpeasandcarrots for applying bias binding if you need one for this stage.

7. I did the end of the neck piece as shown in the photo’s below., cutting 2 or three scores in the bias tape to help curve it around, and folding in the edges both sides, and pinning (I was winging it tbh, there was probably a much better way of doing, if you know what it is please let me know for next time!)

8. Nearly finished…now all you need to is attach you snap fastener or velcro, and there you have a pretty (and very absorbent!) home made baby bib 🙂

Homemade Baby Bib from Poppysews.com

Note; I know, I know, there is a not-so-nice join in the bias binding part way around…I ran out and had to use another piece (another lesson learnt :))


Baby Shirt Dress

Got a shirt that has worn out on the cuffs or sleeves but otherwise fine? (no? My other half always seems to! Although in this case it happened to be a second hand shirt I picked up once but never looked right on me)..anyway they make the perfect base for a beautiful shirt dress:

Homemade Baby Dress (Shirt Refashion) from Poppysews.com

And the best bit about it is the buttons and buttonholes are already done for you…as is the bottom hem (nice :))

Its fun because you can personalise it so much- with different bias binding (this was the first time i started doing bias binding and I love it!), and different applique designs….

I first got the idea from  alldaychic, although as you can see from my finished dress, I changed it a fair b

1. First you need to know what size you’re aiming for..(in my case it was for a 0-3 month        old), then you can use a guide such as  this one at Burdastyle.com to work out roughly        what   width, length and neck size to do, or this guide for armhole depth from    polkadotchair.

2. I then roughed out a pattern on some paper, and when i was happy with it, i used it to            cut out the actual dress (front and back piece) from the shirt.

3. Next sew together the tops of the dress as shown (following with a zigzag stitch on the        seam to stop if fraying)….

4. Then you will need to attach bias binding to the neck line (with the buttons open).          great tutorial for attaching bias binding is from smashedpeasandcarrots   (If you want to make your  own, which is great for getting a pretty patterned binding, I found loads of tutorials on you-tube and pinterest.


5. Next attach the bias binding to the arm holes (using the link above as a guide as to the  arm hole depth,if needed). Make the bias binding go a tiny bit over the edge of this depth (then you  can sew it in in neatly to the seam).



6. When the arm hole bias binding is all complete, sew down the sides of the dress, leaving a 0.5 cm or so seam allowance, and zig-zag stitch the seam:



Note: I replaced the original chunky men’s shirt buttons with cute little pink ones….

7. Nearly finished! Now for the applique on the front. First i cut out an applique heart  design on to some paper, and checked it was the right size by placing it on the front of the  dress..I  then decided three of them in a row at the bottom of the dress would look best in  this case.

8. Then I  cut out the applique patterns from the fabric using my  paper outline, pinned  them into the correct positions on the dress, and used hemming web (seems to be loads of  different names for this stuff! but its amazing…) to fix them in place.

9. Finally, i carefully zigzagged stitched all the way around each heart, and I had my            completed baby dress!

Homemade Baby Dress (Shirt Refashion) from Poppysews.com

I can’t wait to try another design for one of these dress patterns, all I need is another cast-off shirt! 🙂 (Worth keeping an eye out in the second hand stores for shirts that could be used for this project).  I’m already thinking a cute pale yellow or white dress with ducks applique on the front…will keep you posted in a future post!