For Christmas, my husband gave me a sewing machine. That may seem like an odd present, but it was exactly what I wanted. Now, I had no idea how to use such a machine. I barely knew how to thread a needle! But I desperately wanted to learn how to sew. I got the notion when I was pregnant with LJ last year; I wanted to make clothes for my girls (matching, of course). That is still the goal, but I've come to accept that it won't happen quickly. I have so much to learn!
For the past few months, I've been tackling small projects to get a feel for different techniques and build up my confidence. I've made a stuffed cat (that looked nothing like a cat, lol), wallet, a clothespin bag, a ton of table runners out of burlap (for my sister-in-law's wedding), a bib for LJ, and some reversible fabric headbands for me and C. Oh! And a wool cover for LJ - its super ugly but very functional. Every project has taught me something, and so far I absolutely love learning to sew.
I know about 12 pregnant women right now. Almost every one of my closest friends is expecting sometime this year. How crazy is that!? Many of them are on their second child, so they don't need a lot of stuff. So I thought it would be neat to make them some baby gifts. Nothing too ambitious, but some useful and cute stuff. Some things I obviously need a trial run on, just to make sure they turn out okay and I know what I'm doing. Today's project was a trial run, but it was also something I needed.
I've been needing a diaper changing mat for the diaper bag. For some reason, I've never had one. That was fine for C, but I guess I travel more with LJ, so I've been wanting a mat. The ones in stores have way too many bells and whistles for my taste, and they're so bulky. My diaper bag is pretty small, so I needed something compact. I didn't need pockets and extra compartments; just a flat, clean mat to lay the baby on so I could get her diaper changed. I looked up a few tutorials online and found one I really liked, but today I decided to just wing it and create my own. I'm happy with it, even though its not the most attractive thing in the world!
This was my first time working with vinyl, and I have to say, its not my favorite material. But obviously, a changing mat needs to be able to be wiped down easily, and I saw iron-on vinyl in Wal-Mart recently, so I decided to try that. Adhering it to my fabric was really simple and basically fool-proof. Keeping it aligned with my backing fabric while I sewed the two pieces together was a different story. I'm sure I just need more practice and experience. I used a ton of pins to keep it all in place, but the vinyl was so slippery the fabric didn't stay like I wanted. I made it work, but it wasn't easy and its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
Also, I decided not to use any "stuffing" in my mat. I don't think its necessary, really. Its not like the baby stays on the mat for more than a few minutes. I may add a really thin piece of foam or batting to the next mat, though, just to give it a little cushion and substance. My mat folds up super thin and is perfect for my diaper bag, though, so I'm happy with my decision.