Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crib Bumper Tutorial

I didn't die. I felt like I would. I actually managed a self inflicted sewing machine injury and I'm pretty sure I've never cursed more at an inanimate object in my life but....


You see, back when baby Eli was still kicking it in my tummy, I had lofty dreams of a custom crib bedding set. About two clicks on the interwebs later I realized that "custom" is code word for "uber pricey". Now ya'll know I don't do pricey. Heck no, I am not shelling out $200 for some cotton fabric with a bunny on it. Just not gonna happen. I could win that multi-million dollar jackpot {if I played} and I still wouldn't pay that much for something I can make myself. Just can't.

So, because I am not an expert seamstress, I will not even attempt to use fancy sewing lingo here. That being said, I truly feel pretty dang proud of my little project and everything I've learned has come from good 'ole trial and error and watching YouTube tutorials. So my point is that you do not have to have much skill to do what I've done but you will need a sewing machine, a seam ripper and sometimes a shot of whiskey.

I actually made the cording from the leftover DIY crib skirt fabric {which at one point in time took the form of free curtains that came with the house}. Making cording is as simple as finding some rope {or going to buy actual cording at the sewing shop} and sewing the rope into its own little snugly sleeping bag if you will.

You stick your cord into some folded over fabric and pin the fabric down as close as possible to the cord before throwing some stitches down. It helps to sew as close to the cord as possible. I actually released the presser foot of my machine so that I could sew almost on top of the cord. The tighter the fit, the perkier and prettier the resulting cording will be. And since I'm sure these last sentences were about as easy to follow as a hen in a hound's den, here are some pictures!

Since I already had plenty of leftover curtain fabric, I also made all the ties for the crib bumpers. I was originally just going to use grosgrain ribbon and I think that approach is such a huge time-saver that I'll probably do that the next time I make something that requires ties. I'll include plenty of pictures but basically, you cut a piece of fabric to the desired length and at least 3 times the desired width. Fold the sides lengthwise to the center and then fold the entire piece in half again before running stitches along the whole shebang. I also folded in the end pieces for a finished look.

The next step is simply measuring your fabric panels and giving yourself at least an extra inch {I gave myself two} to all measurements. This will allow plenty of seam allowance {that's sewing speak for extra room to turn your project right side out}. After measuring and cutting my fabric I stuck both right sides together and pinned the cording and ties in place before sewing all around like I was sewing giant pillowcase. I left one end open to allow for stuffing my foam inside as well as making future washing as easy as removing the slipcover.

Now, I can't help you with the foam part. Since I had been pricing the purchase of foam for a few months, I knew that would be the most expensive item and I was holding out for a deal. Luckily, I stumbled across an online return at Target {most stores will dramatically discount the price rather than sending the online only item back to the warehouse}. So the take home lesson is to procrastinate and cross your fingers. I found a $54 crib bumper marked down to $12. This would have been an even greater deal if the bumper had matched my decor but alas, I still had my eyes set on that "custom nursery" look. 

I'm feeling pretty smug about the way it turned out. I even sewed the curtains in Eli's nursery out of the same zoo animal print. I'm not Martha yet but a girl can try.

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