18 Dec 2014

'Koeka' inspiration for diy nursery accessories

I already shared my first knock-off project for a Koeka item yesterday and there is more to come!
Koeka is a brand from the Netherlands, and was set up in 1998. They have blankets, changing pad covers, mats, bedding in their collections, but also clothing items and accessories. Their simple but chic signature style is easy to recognize. Although the prices are high the items are easy to reproduce as well if you are handy with a sewing machine.
Take a look at their lookbooks for more inspiration!

Their 'Amsterdam' ad 'Antwerp'-style products have a soft, cotton waffle (or honeycomb) fabric in combination with a matching velour or bath-towel fabric. The edges are finished with recognizable, decorative zigzag-like stitches (which i.m.o. can be easily replicated by using simple blanket-stitch or a closed blanket-stitch)
A few of the items I like:

baby blankets:
These are made of two layers: waffle cotton + teddy or waffle cotton + cotton flannel fabric:

Below is the reversible 'Amsterdam' playpen-mat, again with waffle cotton and bath-towel  fabric:

changing pad cover:
For their 'Amsterdam' changing pad cover they use the cotton waffle fabric or a knitted base in combination with a cotton bath-towel fabric for the middle section:

This one below is the 'Valencia' cover, knitted cotton, again with bath-towel fabric:

An easy-to copy toy-bag for the crib or bed:

17 Dec 2014

diy: hot bottle cover - 'Koeka Antwerp' kruikenzak knock-off!

Now that I'm finally on maternity leave I have the time to finish my list of baby-related sewing projects. The first one is making hot water bottle bags!
In The Netherlands, you need to purchase two, stainless steel hot water bottles for the baby's bed, to keep the temperature warm and comfortable during the first weeks after birth.
Metal bottles seems odd and old fashioned, but when handled properly, they are safer to use than the rubber ones: there is no risk of tearing, leaking,  and they stay warm longer. I've got mine second hand, from a friend.

Of course, the bottles can't be placed in the baby's bed without a cover. You can buy all kinds of bottle bags, from really cheap and simple to quite expensive, like those of the Dutch brand 'Koeka'. Their 'Antwerp' series of baby textiles features waffle cotton with blanket-stitch edges.
Unfortunately it is a fashionable, and expensive brand. Their hot water bag above costs 16 euros (!) a piece. Making my own knock-off version was an easy choice. I also added an extra bathtowel lining to reduce the heat on the outside a bit. Im really happy how my hot-bottle covers turned out! They costs about 3 euro's and some left-over fabric. (The piece of bathtowel was a leftover from my baby badcape project, the cotton waffle fabric was a sample which I've got for about 1 euro)


First I made the two layers. The inner layer is stitched to a width of 13.5 cm, with the seam allowances on the outside. Clipped the corners and pressed the seams open.
Then I made the outer layer from the waffle cotton (which I prewashed and put in the hot dryer to let it shrink as much as possible). For a snug fit it is just slightly larger than the inner layer: 14 cm wide.

The layers were assembled with the seam allowances between the two layers. (the bathtowel layer with the s.a. on the outside and the outer layer with the s.a. on the inside.
Before doing that I added a little crochet flower embellishment (about 9 cm from the bottom up) I used this free crochet flower pattern.

Since I love handsewing and my bathtowel layer was a little shorter than the other layer I hand-stitched the edges (bonus: the stitches are not visible from the outside) Before stitching I've put a bottle in the bag to make sure everything was pulled tightly and was free of wrinkles.

I stitched the two layers together all around, went a few times over the upper right seam to strenghten it, and then cut only the waffle layer open between the stitched lines to place the 50 cm long twill tape:

As a finishing touch I added a blanket stitch edging with white embroidery thread:

They are cute, right?

16 Dec 2014

a few practical baby-projects: fitted sheets and badcapes...

A few projects I've been working on:
4 fitted sheets for the crib (the sizing is odd, so there are no fitting readymade sheets available anyway). The first one I made had elastic casing all around but I didn't like the fit, so I changed to two elastic casings at the shorter ends. The fit is much better!

2 playpen mattress covers: upcycled from an old IKEA sheet. I dyed it in a grey color and added an elastic casing the same way I did for the fitted bedsheets:

I made two badcapes from IKEA bath towels. Surprisingly, the cheapest  IKEA bath towel 'HAREN' is really soft. I payed 4.99 euro's for a large, 100x150 cm one. (The finished size of the badcapes is 80x80 cm) The trimming is made out of left-over stash fabric. For the badcape there are lots of tutorials on the internet, I used this one. I wasn't really precise when cutting the bias tape and just ironed it (approximately) to size.

13 Dec 2014

Owl pram spanner: finally finished!!!

Finally enough time and light to finish my pram-spanner project!
I hate the dark mornings and early dark evenings during these months, since I prefer daylight to do anything else than knitting...
I used little amigurumi hearts instead of the leaves the pattern suggests and love the look!
Pulling the elastic rope through the owls was not easy but I managed. Also, I had to widen the opening of the wooden beads but other than that had no problems.