Double oven mitt – Free downloadable pattern

My step mom, she knows how to bake. And she does it a lot (and when I say a lot, I mean a lot). All that baking had worn down her oven mitts, and the need for new ones got bigger every week.

dubbele ovenwant

I started my search for fabric, and landed on an old skirt of mine. One I had once made myself several years ago, and that I hardly ever wore. I used it to cut the bigger parts (pattern parts A). Because the fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut part A as 1 big part, I used a seam in the middle.

recykleren

For the smaller parts (pattern part B), I used leftover cotton. I cut little squares of 7 by 7 cm, and quilted 4 rows of 5 squares each (by hand, since I was able to combine that part of the work with a baby sleeping on my chest). When finished, I used pattern part B to round down the corners.

dubbele ovenwant

I finished the edges using binding. I also added a little loop, so the mitts can easily hang from a hook.

dubbele ovenwant

Would you like to make a similar pair for yourself? Then follow the instructions below.

What do you need?

  • Fabric that can take a beating (and some heat), such as cotton
  • Lining
  • Insulated lining
  • Binding (2 metres should do the trick)
  • Contrasting thread
  • Facing
  • The pattern

How do you make it?

  1. Print the pattern without scaling. Measure the test square to check if the pattern has the correct size.
  2. Fold your fabric and draw the pattern pieces as follows:
    • Pattern part A: 2 times at the fold
    • Pattern part B: 2 times on double-folded fabric. In total, you need 4 parts of part B, 2 left sides and 2 right sides.
  3. Add 1 cm seam allowance for each part, and cut your fabric. You now have 2 larger parts, and 4 smaller parts.
  4. Fold your binding, and cut pattern part A once on the fold. Do the same for the insulated lining. You don’t need to add any seam allowance.
  5. Stack all parts that were cut from pattern A as follows:
    1. The outside of the oven mitt in fabric, with the right side of the fabric facing down
    2. The insulated lining
    3. The lining
    4. The inside of the oven mitt in fabric, with the right side of the fabric facing up
  6. Clearly mark the side where the insulated lining has been added. It’s important that you keep this side on the outside, the side that takes most of the heat.
  7. Quilt everything together using a pattern that you like. I chose squares and drew lines on 4cm distance and 1cm distance.
  8. Take 2 smaller parts – a left part and a right part – and iron the facing on the wrong side of the fabric.
  9. Place the 2 smaller parts with facing with the right side facing down, and place their counterpart without facing on top, with the right side facing up. Sew together with a large stitch.
  10. Add binding on the inner side of both parts (i.e. the right side).
  11. Put the smaller parts on top of the larger parts, with the right side facing up. Make sure that the rounded corners are on top of each other, and that the part with the insulated lining is at the bottom. Sew together using a big stitch.
  12. Create the loop by cutting a piece of 10 – 12 cm off the binding, folding it lenghtwise, and sewing it together, also lenghtwise.
  13. Define where the middle of the oven mitt is, fold the piece of binding over, and pin down as a loop.
    dubbele ovenwant
  14. Add binding around the oven mitt. Start from the middle, from the opposite side of the loop, to avoid having too many layers on top of each other.
    dubbele ovenwant

Done! Time to start baking!

Or, if you don’t feel like baking, you can always use this mitt to hold your remote controls. Pretty handy 😉

Cuddly baby swaddle blanket

If you follow me on instagram, you may already know, but here on the – slightly neglected – blog, I hadn’t mentioned it yet: the Abfabulies home has welcomed a new occupant. A little person. A little son. A little brother for our big brother.

Little people, sons and brothers deserve cuddly projects. That’s a fact. So I got out my Stof voor durf-het-zelvers book to get started on the baby swaddle blanket.

Stof voor durf-het-zelvers - Vlinderdeken

Unfortunately the book didn’t mention how much fabric I needed to make the blanket. So I asked Google. And while my question on how much fabric I needed remained unanswered, I did find some feedback. Some very different feedback. Some people thought the swaddle was a quick and easy project, others though the explanations in the book were very high level, resulting in questions and problems while sewing. I got a bit scared at that point. My seam ripper and I, we are the best of friends, but it doesn’t mean we have to see each other all that often. Just knowing that it’s there when I need it, is more than enough for me.

Stof voor durf-het-zelvers - Vlinderdeken

In the end, and maybe because I was extra careful after having read all that feedback, I didn’t find this baby swaddle that difficult to make. Of course, I did have to use my seam ripper twice. Once because the fabric started shifting while attaching the velcro, and I had accidentally sewn some creases that weren’t supposed to be there. The second time was intentional: I added the whole at the bottom to allow me to use the blanket in the car seat.

Stof voor durf-het-zelvers - Vlinderdeken

By the way, in case you were wondering what that onesie is doing in every picture, it has the word Bärenstark written on it. And I thought it was quite funny, with the polar bears and all. But then it became clear you cannot read it in the pictures. Oh well.

But how much fabric do you need then?

The baby swaddle blanket comes in 2 sizes: a smaller version and a larger version. For the smaller version, 1 meter should be enough. I made the larger version, and then you need at least 1,05 and preferably 1,10 meter. If you are like me and you want to make the larger version while you only have 1 meter of fabric, you can puzzle a bit with the fabric you have. I decided to compose the front of the foot bag from 3 parts, instead of cutting it as 1 large piece. That way, 1 meter of fabric was enough to make the larger version.

Stof voor durf-het-zelvers - Vlinderdeken

Tips

  • I used my serger to assemble the blanket. If I were to make a second version, I would not do that again, it makes it harder to sew into the corners, and getting the corners exactly right is important to get the baby blanket right.
  • I used clothes pegs instead of pins to keep the layers of fabric together while sewing. Not ideal, but better than pins. From what I hear, wonder clips are the answer to this problem, but I haven’t used those yet. Do you happen to have any experience with these? If so, would you recommend them?
  • If you want to use the swaddle in the car seat, check whether you need to adapt the velcro accordingly. Since you swaddle the blanket slightly differently in the car seat, it may be you need to either add some more velcro, or that you need to rearrange the placing of your velcro.Stof voor durf-het-zelvers - Vlinderdeken
  • If you’re planning to use the swaddle blanket inside only, I’d consider to make it without the little hood. Then you can use it as a replacement for a sleeping bag at night as well.

Used materials

  • Inner fabric: long-haired fleece from  the cousin bag
  • Outer fabric: polar bear cotton from my stash, once bought from Juffertje Uil

Halloween and sewing a bat costume in less than an hour

That the kids could come to school wearing a costume, said the note on the class door. That this meant I had about 2 days left to make a costume, sounded the alarm bells in my head.

A quick search on the internet using the terms ‘easy’, ‘diy’ and ‘halloween costume’ showed me this bat costume. And our little boy was up for it too. Phew!

But would it really be a quick ten-minute project, as the post promised? Since I usually need more time than that to lay out my fabric, I figured it would take a bit longer. Would an hour be enough? The test:

  • Measuring up my son: 5 minutes (tip: tv)
  • Finding the right fabric in the stash: 10 minutes
  • Carrying out the instructions and sewing it all together: 25 minuten

Total: less than an hour! Score!

Batman masker Batman masker

Since it all worked out nicely in so little time, I decided to add a mask as well, based on this pin. I used 2 layers of black felt, which I sewed together using contrasting yellow. Not my best idea, since it was getting late, and it was getting harder to see what I was doing. So yeah, the stitching is rather crooked. Not that my son cared. He just wanted to get to school dressed like a bat.

Batman masker

So, wings – check, mask – check. Only one little problem left… The wings are worn like a cardigan. To make the look complete, you need to have a simple black t-shirt. Something I didn’t have lying around, since all plain t-shirts are decorated with heat transfer as soon as they come into the house. Hence the cars on the t-shirt in the picture. So last Friday, before he left for school, I put my son’s t-shirt on backwards. Perfect b(r)at.

"Batman

Mission Halloween: accomplished!

"Batman

How about you? Do you finish your costumes weeks beforehand? Or do you thrive on last-minute stress? Or do you skip the whole Halloween thing completely (and if so, what’s your secret)?

Cisse shorts

It was about time to sew some pants again, here at the Abfabulies home. I’d had the Cisse pattern from Zonen 09 lying around for quite some time now, and now was as good as ever a time to start using it.

I went on a fabric hunt in my own stash, and I found some petrol blue ribbed velvet.

Originally, I planned to sew long pants, but when it turned out that I would have to be pretty precise if I wanted to use this fabric, I chose the safe way out: a short version.

While searching for fabric, I also came by my stash of binding. The fluorescent green that I used before when I made our boy’s school backpack drew my attention, and I added some in the pockets.

Cisse - Zonen 09

And in the side seams.

Cisse - Zonen 09

And while I was at it, in the back seams as well.

Cisse - Zonen 09

In between, I also bought a Silhouette cameo. Since then, I’ve been pushing quite some heat transfer through it, but I’ll show the results of that in another post. In my heat transfer stash (really, I need to work myself through all these different stashes) I also found fluorescent green. I was starting to recognise a pattern here! I used the Cameo to cut some stars, and pressed them on.

Cisse - Zonen 09

Since 3-year olds aren’t usually that handy yet with buttons, I used elastic and jersey instead, as I had done before when I made some Jacob pants and underwear. Never change a winning team!

Cisse - Zonen 09

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any fluorescent jersey, so I took a slighly less bright green version. I attached the elastic inside the jersey to the fabric as well, to avoid that it would start curling inside afterwards. Time will tell whether that was a smart move or not.

Cisse - Zonen 09

It took me quite some time to finish these pants. I copied the pattern in February already, and I made slow progress since. Not because it’s a difficult pattern, but simply because, well, me. But I don’t regret this slow progress. In fact, taking my time resulted in more precise finishing, less mistakes being made and a better eye for details. Maybe I should work this slow every time I make something.

How about you? What does your finishing usually look like? Better not to look at the inside of the garments you make? Every stitch done perfectly? And no lying 😉

Upcycling towels – Here’s how you do that

Towels live forever, in this household. Well, almost forever, that is. The old towels that I took with me from home when I went to live on my own moved along with me through each stage in my life. Now and then, one doesn’t make it. Depending on how it ends of this one, it sometimes gets upcycled.

That’s what happened to my old Minnie Mouse towel. Once, in a past life, that towel survived many swimming classes. Once, it was white, with a very nice Minnie Mouse printed on it. Over time, it became more grey, and Minnie started to look a bit dishevelled. The edges started fraying, and it was clear Minnie wasn’t going to be able to go on much longer. Unfortunately, I have no pictures to prove this, you’ll just have to believe me (although it wouldn’t surprise me if my mum would be able to dig one up after reading this post)

Feeling only slightly melancholic, I took out scissors and ruler, and started cutting. Squares and rectangles. I overlocked the edges of each single one, and tada:

b-minnie

  • 7 makeup removal pads
  • 3 cleaning rags
  • 21 cheeky wipes

And one added example of cutting up a towel with print? You can always claim it’s a puzzle afterwards.

b-minnie2

How about you? What happens to your towels when they start fraying? Do you recycle them, or do they go somewhere else?

b-minnie3

Operation Save Our Sofa – Mission completed

I finally did it. I finished repairing the sofa. And it ‘only’ took me about 2 years.

Previously, on Operation Save Our Sofa

When we had only just started renovating our house, I accidentally got two sofas, free of charge. We used them for a couple of years, but then the fabric started to wear out. At that point, I decided to make a new cover for both of them, instead of buying a new one.

I started with the pillows, and I added piping, using Oontje’s tutorial. After that, it was time for the cushions. First the ones from the smaller sofa, then those of the larger sofa. And then it got quiet.

Where did it end?

I finished the cover for the smaller sofa first. When hubby, who had had his doubts about the whole project, saw the results, he realised upcycling has quite some benefits, and that we could use these sofas for a whole lot longer before we would have to buy a new one. He got so convinced, that he decided to cut one of the arm rests off, so that we could turn two sofas into one corner sofa.

bcollage

To be honest, when I saw him arrive with hammer and saw and started ripping the fabric of the arm rest, I may have thought we might end up having to run to Ikea after all.

But hey, it worked, and we now have a corner sofa, with a new cover. Who would have thought we’d ever see the end of this?

BIMG_0037

In theory, I should make one extra cushion, to cover the part where the armrest has disappeared. But it’s a perfect match for one of the Ikea pillows we had lying around. And our boy loves to nest himself in that tiny spot. So for now, I’ll just leave it as it is.

And what have we learned?

This is one of those projects you do once, and never again. Please remind me of this should I ever have an idea like this again.

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How about you? Do you ever start a project and afterwards wonder what you were thinking? Or do you know yourself a lot better than I know myself?

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An owl backpack for Jules

A couple of weeks ago, Jules the class doll came over to spend the weekend with us. Our boy was very happy about that. I a bit less. I’m not that fond of class dolls, to be honest. They tend to bring some Sunday evening stress.

Sunday evenings are not my best time, to be honest. The trash needs to be put outside, the week needs to be prepared, stuff needs to be put ready, and there’s quite some laundry to get through. Add a class doll diary session to that list, with pictures, and I go a tiny bit crazy. You see, most of the time, it’s only at that point in time that I suddenly come to the conclusion that we are very low on printer ink, that for some reason my pictures are not syncing to the cloud, or that the photo paper has been curled up for quite some time and simply does not want to go in that printer (if I’m lucky enough to have some photo paper lying around). While I’m trying to solve these problems, I hear the minutes ticking by, laughing at me, pointing it out that I will be losing sleep over this, and that the alarm will sound loud and clear in the morning.

But anyway, it was our turn to drag Jules along. And our boy did like that. So when we went out to get some new shoes, Jules joined us. All dressed up, we left for the city centre.

When we parked our bikes, Jules was still wearing his backpack. When we arrived at the shoe store, he wasn’t anymore. An immediate search party could not save us, the backpack was gone. Did I mention that Jules’ cuddly toy was in that backpack? I could feel the Sunday evening stress coming up already, even though it was Saturday. How on earth was I going to explain this to the teacher? How was I going to compensate?

So I started sewing a new backpack. And because Jules is the class doll for the owl class, I decided to make an owl theme out of it.

The concept of the backpack is simple: a string bag.

Uiltjesrugzak voor Jules

Uiltjesrugzak voor Jules

Straps on the back.

Uiltjesrugzak voor Jules

And a flap with an owl head.

Uiltjesrugzak voor Jules

I added a kamsnaps button, but I fear that wasn’t a good idea. I don’t think the fabric will be strong enough to cope with toddler strenght. Fingers crossed.

And the cuddly toy? That was replaced by a little owl. I still had a few of those lying around.

Uiltjesrugzak voor Jules

Do you ever have the class doll over as a guest? If so, how do you deal with it?

To Pim – Pimmed – Pimmed

As it goes with toddlers, they can grow a size overnight. And most likely, that grow spurt will occur right before you leave on holiday, so that all of a sudden you run out of fitting shorts.

Insert – what else – Zonen 09. Pattern: Pim.

Because I had to move fast, I went for the simple model. No pockets, no loops. And since a simple version goes very fast, I made 3.

Zonen 09 - Pim

Pim really stole my heart. The shorts are rather – well – short, and that’s what makes me go all melancholic about them. They show me that my boy is growing taller and taller, but they also show me what’s left of those cute baby buttocks that I love to squeeze.

Zonen 09 - Pim

Yes, you are reading it right. I turned into my own grandma.

Nothing left for me to say than Pim for the win! I’ll be aiming for more of them next summer.

Fabric

  • Orange-brown nicky velours: from the cousin bag
  • Moustache fabric: Ordered online, but I can’t remember where
  • Blue fabric: Juffertje Uil

New cover for our cargo bike seat – With free pattern

When our little boy was born, we bought a cargo bike, for all kinds of practical reasons. Our bikes were the fastest means to get to and fro, and with that cargo bike, we could add baby seat and all. At that time, I still had a company car, but sometimes weeks went by that I didn’t use it.

One and a half year later, I changed jobs, and this time, no car was included. We used the cargo bike even more (and for those trips that are just too far, we either take the train, or we book a car through Cambio car sharing). Our little boy grew out of the baby seat, and into the toddler seat. It pretty soon became clear that toddlers are not that much in favour of sitting, so the seat suffered.

Peuterzitje

Worn. That’s the least you can say.

Peuterzitje

I decided to make a new cover for this seat. Turned out, it wasn’t even that hard to do.

I took the original seat apart, and I traced the filling.

Peuterzitje

I added 1.5 cm to the basics, to make sure the filling would fit, since it’s pretty thick.

I also added 1.5 cm seam allowance. Most likely, 1 cm would have done the trick, but better safe than sorry.

If you have a seat like this one, I’m sharing the pattern and instructions below.

What you need

  • 1 meter oil fabric
  • 2 pieces of rope or shoe lace that are approcimately 50 cm long
  • Zipper foot for your sewing machine
  • Pdf pattern

Assembling the pattern

  1. Print the pdf on A4 paper, without scaling.
  2. Make two rows with the pages you printed: first row from 1 to 4, second row below that from 5 to 8.
  3. Make sure the pattern lines fit each other nicely.

In this pattern, the seam allowance is included. The outer line is the cutting line, the middle line is the sewing line, and the inner line is the folding line.

Cutting your fabric

Use oil cloth, so you can easily wipe that seat down. Cut the parts as indicated in the pattern: 4 wing parts (part A), and 2 back and seat parts (B and C, cut as one piece).

Sewing

Start with the wing parts (parts A):

  1. Put two wing parts on top of each other, good sides facing each other.
  2. Sew the seams, leaving the short side open.
  3. Clip the corners, and clip all around. If necessary, clip the seams.
    Peuterzitje
  4. Turn the wings.
  5. Add the filling.
  6. Repeat for the second wing.

Next, sew the back and seat (parts B and C)

  1. Put the two parts on top of each other, right sides facing each other.
  2. Add the wings in between, so they are facing each other point to point.
  3. Add 1 of the strings on 1 side already, underneath 1 of the wings. Make sure the string is in between the big parts as well.
  4. Sew the side seams with the zipper foot (so you can easily get past the wings), leaving the short side at the bottom open.
  5. Turn. Prepare for a bit of a fight while you do so.
    Peuterzitje
  6. Add the filling for the back.
  7. Sew underneath the back part, using the zipper foot, on the bottom sew line for part B.
  8. Add the filling for the seat.
  9. Fold the bottom seams for part C inwards. Add the second piece of string on the opposite side of the first one. Sew closed, using the zipper foot.
  10. Fold the seat, so that the back is standing up straight, as are the wings. Sew the wings to the seat part. I did this for the front parts only, leaving a slit, and less room to collect crumbs and such.
    Peuterzitje

And yes, indeed, the text on the fabric is upside down. Just so I’d be able to read it when I’m riding the cargo bike 😉

Peuterzitje

How about you? How do you get around in this world?

Johnny the hobby horse

We had a stick lying around the house. A nice and thick one. One that was asking to be turned into a hobby horse. Not just for the stick, but also for Ronny, our first horse. It was getting a bit lonely.

Sjonnie het stokpaard

Hobby horse number 2, Johnny, was born out of a torn sock. One with a big-toe hole. So I cut out an extra hole on the other side, and sewed some black felt behind it. Now Johnny has 2 nostrils.

Sjonnie het stokpaard

As for the rest, I made Johnny in the same way as Ronny. Except that Johnny has curly hair. That’s because the hair yarn was part of an overzealously knit scarf I made for myself (so long it was getting dangerous to cycle), and that I frogged a bit after it was finished.

Johnny the hobby horse

I guess I could spray some water on to straighten it out again. But where’s the fun in that 😉

Sjonnie het stokpaard

Do any of you ever make clothes out of torn garments?

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