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


  • 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

Baby’s learning-to-sit pillow

I’ve already forgotten at what age baby’s learn how to sit, but what I do remember, is that they do so gradually. Gradually, because they can just sit there, and then the next second they tumble over. Hard. Gravity punches them right in the face.

In daycare, they had a solution for that: a special pillow. It looks a bit like a breastfeeding pillow, but more fun. So I decided to make one myself.


Finishing a project before I start a new one is not exactly my cup of tea. I try, I really do. Anyway, in short, I only finished the body of this pillow when our little guy already knew how to crawl. And I only finished the details when he was already able to walk. Trying to get him to sit still is our main issue now.

Blijven zitten

The original idea was that it would look like a caterpillar. But a ssssssnake seams to be the bigger favourite here.

In its tail, I added a sweet wrapper, so it rustles when you crumple it. I saw this at Hilde@Home.


The pattern part for the tail can also be used to sew a whale.


Moby Dick.

Moby Dick

Or emo whale.

Emo walvis

Or even a monster.


So, I finished it in the end. But maybe I should give myself a head start and start drawing up our little man’s driving licence cover…


Hema hack

Our little guy is not that big a fan of sleeping bags. They prevent him from standing, walking, and most of all running. Something had to be done.

The answer? Take a Hema sleeping bag, and convert them into sleeping trousers as follows:

  1. Measure the lenght of your toddler’s leg on the inside. This is the hardest part of the whole hack.
  2. Take that lenght, and add some extra centimeters to allow movement. 5 to 10 centimeters should do the trick.
  3. Indicate the leg lenght on your sleeping back, measuring from the bottom.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  4. Measure the lenght of your toddler’s back.
  5. Indicate that lenght on your sleeping bag, measuring from the top of the neck. Make sure that the indicated leg lenght is not higher than the indicated back lenght, or your sleeping trousers won’t fit. If this is the case, you’ll need a bigger sized sleeping bag.
  6. Draw your cutting line on your sleeping back, as if the zipper would go all the way down.
  7. Cut from the bottom up until the indicated point.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  8. Secure your zipper by sewing through the bottom.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  9. Cut the zipper.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  10. Pin the inside leg seams on top of each other. Make sure to pin the sipper in between the seams as well.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  11. Sew the inside seams, starting at the bottom of one leg and going all the way to the bottom of the other leg, securing your zipper as you go along.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek


Hema hack - Slaapbroek

Want to go the extra mile? To make walking with sleeping trousers easier, you can open up the bottom seam of both legs, so your toddler can put his feet through. Use ribbing to finish the hole. You can do so as follows:

  1. Rip up 11 centimeters from the bottom seam of each leg, starting from the inside. This leaves you with a hole that has 22 centimeters circumference. Double-check whether your toddler’s feet fit through the hole.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  2. Cut 2 pieces of ribbing with the following measurements: 18.5 centimeters wide and 12 centimeters high.
  3. Fold in half along the width, than fold in half again across the lenght.
  4. Sew the sides on top of each other, using a 1 centimeter seam.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  5. On your sleeping trousers, divide the foot opening in 4 and indicate these parts on your fabric.
  6. Measure the width of your ribbing and divide by in 4, indicating these parts on your ribbing.
  7. Pin your ribbing on the legs, good sides facing each other.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek
  8. Sew.
    Hema hack - Slaapbroek


Hema hack - Slaapbroek

Baby bibs

Some time ago I saw Emma & Mona write about these baby bibs. Exactly what I needed.
When you have a baby, you learn all kinds of stuff you would never have guessed about babies. The amount of drewling, for instance. “Teething” is what everyone then says. Sure… All I know is that I just need to pour some soap in it, and I have enough to clean my house.
Baby bibs
Anyway, baby bibs were the way to go. I went for a cardboard pattern immediately (I knew I needed the big guns), and made a whole heap of them (and I still don’t have enough). Drewling in style, not too shabby.

Baby bibs
And he can always rob a bank with them too.

Baby bibs
Materials used

  • Outside fabric: all kinds of left-overs
  • Inside fabric: flannel from Hema
  • Buttons: Kam snaps, regular ones and stars
Baby bibs

Bucket hats

She’d been hiding for a while, but now at least we know she’s still there: the sun. And whenever there’s sun, some protection is needed, especially for the smallest among us.
The one we still had here at home was one from last year. And while it was too big at that time, it’s getting too small now. Time for a new one!
I based my version on the Oliver + S bucket hat pattern. Reversible, so I actually made 2 hats.
I added straps, so I can secure it tightly, saving me the trouble to stop cycling and run after the thing. To keep the hat reversible without there being straps in odd places on the outside, I left holes on the side, between the brim and the hat. That way, I can easily pull the straps through so they are on the right side.
To avoid pulling the straps through completely, I just folded the ends a couple of times.
Now I can choose between a tiny gnome or a toad stool.

Geek alert!

As a child, I was ever so slightly (hahaha, ever so slightly, she says!) addicted to my Gameboy. I told you about that before. What I didn’t say back then, is that my addiction wasn’t limited to that Gameboy. Hypothetically, for instance, it might just have happened that I told my friends while out and about that I really had to go home and get some sleep. While in fact, and this is still very hypothetical, I went home to play Sonic Heroes on my PS2 until the early morning hours.

So when I was about to tackle some more onesies, I thought, let’s get those old heroes involved.

So Sonic is there.

Geek alert

And Spyro.

Geek alert

And Mario and Luigi, of course.

Geek alert

And to limit the geekiness a tiny bit, I also made another Lada lover, so my little boy can go hit the town with his uncle.

Geek alert

And what have we learned?

  • Transfer paper isn’t that ideal for onesies, the drawings do crack pretty easily. But of course you can also call that a vintage look.
  • If you  don’t have any baking paper lying around(and you are lazy as me), don’t just use the paper wrapping around the chocolate to iron your drawing on. You may just transfer the glue as well and make spots that can’t be removed anymore. And then you have to hide that fact by placing another onesie over it.
Geek alert

So. Anyone else suffering from hypothetical addictions?

Geek alert

Baby stamping

Another baby, another stamp.
And this time I had planned it better.
To make it look more complete, hubby found a piece of wood to attach to its back.
But alas, no glue in the house. So we used TEC7 instead.
See, it does pay to live on a semi building site. That piece of wood isn’t going anywhere, ever!
When I’m making a stamp, I feel pretty clumsy. As if I can slip any moment and ruin the whole thing. A bit like Homer repairing Marge’s camera (sorry, I could only find a German version).

Happy Saint Patrick’s day!

I’m a baby clothes magnet. Seriously, they come flying to me from every direction. From cousins, friends, friends of friends. Super handy, and they are all adorable. And once in a while, one of those pieces is even cuter than all the rest. Like this cute retro Småfolk overall.
Retro broekje
I loved it so much that I was determined to draw a pattern for it. I already had the retro fabric, I won it last year from Ottobre. Isn’t it just perfect for Saint Patrick’s day?
Retro broekje
And so it happened. Slightly slower than I had planned, though. My son was size 62 when I chose this fabric, but now he’s getting very close to 74. Which meant I was short of fabric, all of a sudden.
Retro broekje
To solve that problem, I cut the shoulder straps and added elastic bias binding. The same I’d use to finish the shoulder strap edges.
Retro broekje
I didn’t sew the inside edges of the trousers closed, but I used press buttons instead. This should make it easier to change nappies (the original version didn’t have these, so I had to get the whole thing off all of the time). Unfortunately, I only had supermarket press buttons lying around, the kind you have to sew on, and they aren’t the best quality. They open really easily, so that may pose a problem once my little guy starts crawling.
Retro broekje
It was the first time that I used elastic bias binding (I always thought it quite confusing, fabric in tubes), and it was also the first time that I used my serger to get a project together. And I must say, it went really well, mainly thanks to Mamasha’s tutorial.
Retro broekje
I still have other Ottobre jersey fabric lying around that I won then. Maybe I should start making some t-shirts for my little guy soon enough, before he gets too big for that fabric as well. Although he still has to grow into these trousers as well.
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And in his bike.
Retro broekje
And to all those cousins, friends and friends of friends I’d like to say: please keep those baby clothes coming. I am and will be grateful into eternity.
Retro broekje