DIY Mexican Blanket Cushion Cover

Tomorrow is the first day of June (what?!) and soon Summer will be in full swing. So I thought this would be a good time to share a simple project idea that would be the perfect addition to your patio or home and add a pop of colour for the warm days ahead. And what better to do this with than a vibrant Mexican print? I keep seeing beautiful Mexican- inspired rugs and decor on Instagram and Pinterest, and this DIY is a fun way to incorporate it into your home just in time for Summer. 
Basic cushion covers are quick and easy to make even if you don’t sew a heck of a lot and are a great beginner sewing project. My Mum recently gave me her old sewing machine and I’ve been enjoying trying it out for some simple sewing projects like this one. I found the fabric I used at one of my favourite thrift stores but you really aren’t limited with the fabric you use, just consider how much wear and tear it will receive and choose a fabric accordingly. Once you’ve got your fabric, you will need to measure it and then cut it out. You could do this with scissors or you could purchase one of the best fabric cutting machines. That would help you to cut the fabric perfectly, giving you a better end result.

While I had my patio in mind while making this, it’s ended up being a fun addition to Liam’s room (see photos at the end of the post). It’s a quick and easy project, and perfect for adding a fun pop of colour. See below for the how- to. 

Materials:
– fabric*
– measuring tape
– fabric chalk
– pinking shears
– pins
Optional:
– seam tape (if you want to make your seams a little more durable and/ or you use fabric that frays easily like the one I used)
– buttons/ zipper 
* you will need enough to cover your cushion with 1″ seam allowances on all sides, (my cushion was 15″*15″ so I needed 2 pieces that were 17″*17″ with seam allowances). 

Directions:
1. Measure the cushion you want to cover to make sure you get enough fabric (remember to add 1″ for seam allowances on all sides- increase this if your cushion is really full/ firm).

2. Decide on how you want the pattern on each side (do you want the pattern centred, going in a certain direction, etc) and measure/ mark your fabric accordingly. 

3. Snip snip snip! Use pinking shears to cut the fabric.

4. Place the fabric right sides together and pin along the  edges. Allowing for 1/4″ seam allowances, sew around each side, reinforcing the corners by backstitching once or twice. Leave a 3- 4″ space un- sewn so you can turn the cushion cover right side out.

5. Flip the cushion cover right side out.

6. And voila! Pop in your cushion and sew up the hole by hand to finish it off.

I love how the cushion cover turned out and think it’ll be a cute addition to Liam’s bed when he’s older. For now it’s hanging out with his favourite stuffies in his room. PS- yay for easy distractions (sunglasses) to snap some photos!

DIY: Christmas Stockings

I’ll admit it: I’m picky when it comes to selecting decor for my home. I like a mix of classic & contemporary elements so it feels well- styled & cozy; pretty but not so delicate you ‘re afraid to touch things or sit on the furniture. Since this is our first Christmas in our home, I had been toying with the idea of whether to buy or make my own own stockings. I started looking as soon as the stores had their Christmas stock (it’s embarrassing how early I started looking!) and since I wasn’t able to find some that I liked in the price range I was hoping for, I decided the DIY route was the way for me. 

While I have some basic sewing know- how, I lack in the sewing equipment department; plus my skills are a little rusty. Luckily, I have a sewing savvy friend who not only helped me find the material I needed to make stockings (and helped me cut & sew them!), she organized instructions & a pattern so my readers can enjoy their own Holiday DIY glory! I ended up making two sets: one silver/ grey and one red (see what I mean about contemporary vs classic? Plus Will requested red when he saw that I was doing a non- traditional colour) ;). You'll see both versions below.



Please note: All seam allowances on this pattern are 1.5 cm or 5/8"


Instructions:


Before starting either embroider the name on the stocking or cut out felt letters and sew them down. We used "Allegro" font, size 140 for the names (alternatively you could attach felt letters with fabric glue after the stocking is completed).



Step 1: Cut out the stocking boot & hanger out of velvet; cut the stocking cuff out of fur. 

Step 2: With right sides together, sew the stocking boot all the way around leaving the top open;  

serge or zigzag raw edge. 

Step 3: Flip the stocking so that the right side is now outwards and gently press the velvet with the iron. If you have one, use a velvet board or a fluffy towel to iron (this way you will not damage the velvet pile- whatever you do do not touch the iron directly to the velvet).

Step 4: With right sides together sew the small end of the stocking cuff together. Serge or zigzag the raw edge. 

Step 5: With right sides together (fur and velvet should be facing) place the stocking cuff on top of the stocking boot & sew all the way around (think: when you flip the cuff up, it will be the top of the stocking; it should be like sewing in a circle). Serge or zigzag the raw edge. Flip cuff upwards (see photo below).


Step 6: Serge or zigzag the top of the cuff and fold in 1.5 cm; hand sew that edge down so that it will not show on the outside of the fabric. 

Step 7: Fold the stocking hanger lengthwise so the right sides are together and sew along the long edge. Turn stocking hanger right side out (use a safety pin to help speed this process up) then fold in half and either surge or zigzag the small ends together. Attached to the inside of the stocking cuff along the top.



Pattern:
Below is the pattern Celine created for the stockings. If you would like the PDF pattern (which is to size; just print, cut, & paste your pattern together) leave a comment with your email and I'll be happy it send it along for you!

A BIG THANK YOU TO MY FRIEND, CELINE, FOR ALL OF HER HELP & CONTRIBUTION TO THIS POST! <3



Amazing Mom Feature: Amanda Keulen, Blink Kids

Have you ever been at a shower or birthday party and seen a gift you love so much, you ask the giver where they got it? Chances are you have. This week’s Amazing Mom, Amanda Keulen, was making items for her kids & as gifts and had so much interest she realized she had a lucrative business at her fingertips. And so Blink Kids was born! Starting out selling at craft fairs, her products are now available online (check out her website here). If you believe yourself to have a possible business venture that could work and it requires you selling things over the internet like Amanda has done, you may find using an eCommerce platform such as the one FastSpring offers, for example, could be very beneficial in the helping of getting your online shop its first sale! Getting your first sale can be difficult though, just as Amanda will be able to tell you. It’s hard to compete with bigger retailers, however, when you have good products, you’re likely to bring the sales in. Once all the sales do start coming in, it’s important to be prepared for all of the online checkouts. Sometimes, it can be difficult to choose which software to use for this, which is probably why many businesses seem to struggle choosing between samcart vs clickfunnels. It’s important to research all of the options and then make the decision based on your products and business. Hopefully, your business becomes like Amanda’s!
If you love quality, hand- made (and local!) products, Amanda’s are the kind of sewn goodies that you’ll love to give as gifts and probably want to keep for yourself (ahem, how about getting that holiday started and support a local Mom in the process???). Using bright patterns & fabrics, Amanda’s creations are perfect accents for your home or cheerful gifts for little ones. Read on to learn more about this Amazing Mom…
Amazing Mom Amanda!
1.
What kind of products and/ or services do you offer?
I sew items for babies, kids, & Moms. Baby items: blankets, bibs, burp clothes, binky clips, toys etc; items for
kids: aprons, bags, pillows, games, costumes, hair accessories etc; and items for moms or around the home: nursing covers, pillows, blankets, aprons,
bags and more!
2. What
is the price point?
My pricing
is very affordable most items are under $30. Some of my more time consuming
blankets are priced a bit higher $40-$60.
3. How
long have you been operating and how did you start?
I have had
this business for 3 years now. I started at local Christmas craft fairs and
then eventually started selling online as well.
4. How
did you decide what to do?
I have
always been a sewer and once I started having my own kids I was making various
items for them, and for their friend’s birthday party gifts. Other’s would ask where I got them from and
when I told them I made it, they asked, “Can you make me one too?” The more
people that asked and actually liked what I made encouraged me to start selling
these products.
5. What
is your favourite part of what you do? What is the biggest challenge?
My
favorite thing is to create new items and then watch my kid’s (and their
friend’s) reaction, to see if they actually like what I made!
My biggest
challenge is everything online! Starting a website and doing all the social
media sites is not my forte. Fortunately I have recently hired someone who does
love to do all that, so I can focus on my sewing!
6.
Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?
Do what
you love! I never thought I’d be able to make a business out of my hobby, but
I’m so glad I did because I LOVE sewing in my studio. I’m so passionate about
what I do. Also network!! Finding support from other’s that have a similar
business as you can be very helpful to bounce ideas around, ask questions and
hear other’s success stories!!

Check out below to see some of Amanda’s beautiful work!
If your lil one loves those taggie toys…

Perfect for a nautical themed nursery!

Amanda has offered a beautiful apron up for grabs (a $25 value!) to The Pampered Baby readers!
How cute would this be to give for Christmas?!
There are 3 ways to enter:
Leave a comment about your favourite holiday baking, and/ or Like The Pampered Baby & Blink Kids on good ol’ Facebook.
😉


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