Tote Bags are here!

Just in time for summer, Free Rose is proud to offer oversized, reversible tote bags with a hidden water resistant inner layer. Use them as a large purse, travel bag, diaper bag, beach bag-so many uses and you’ll always be stylish!

What makes them even more exciting for moms of young ones is that our pouch slings fit perfectly in either of the two oversized pockets And to make sure the most important small things don’t get lost, a snapping loop is included to keep track of your keys, or even a pacifier! This bag retails for $26.

Check the Etsy store for in-stock bags.   The Pouch Sling and Tote Bag combo shown below is an example of a beautiful custom set, and a  steal at only $50 for the pair! Custom orders are encouraged, and requests can be made by completing the form in the “Contact” tab above. Many fabrics and color combinations are available, please contact me for availability.

Upcycled Children’s Pants or Longies

This is a great project for anyone with an hour of free time. If you cloth diaper, you can make these out of a 100% wool sweater to use them as longies! And even if you don’t cloth diaper, use this tutorial to make a quick pair of pants out of an old sweatshirt (or even a T-shirt!).

Supplies: One sweater, Stretchy pants that fit your child (to use as a pattern, Scissors, Pins, Thread, Sewing Machine, Serger if available

These easy upcycled baby and toddler pants are made using the neck of a sweater as the waistband, eliminating the need for elastic and providing a comfy seam free waistband.  When choosing a sweater, measure your child’s waist and and find a sweater with a similar neck circumference.  The sweater pictured has a thick 2” band collar, a turtle neck would make for a cool fold-over waistband; I even made a cool button-fly pair using a button up, collared sweater! A close knit is also helpful so that it will not unravel while you work with it.  Any fiber content will do; I used 100% Wool so that mine could double as a cloth diaper cover. Here we go!
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Step 1: First, you will need to lay the sweater flat and inside out (right sides together).
Step 2: Then fold it in half with the front of the sweater to the inside, making sure it is flat and smooth.  Since a collar naturally dips to the front, we will be doing all of our measuring based off of the larger back seam.
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Now, fold your childs pants along the middle with the front to the inside, making sure they are smooth.  Below you can get an idea of where  we are going with the patterning.  Moving on to measuring and cutting…

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Step 3: Measure the outseam of your child’s pants (this is the seam that runs from the hip to the ankle). Add 1” for a hem allowance.  Using a ruler and that measurment, you will want to measure from where the collar meets the shoulder, down into the side seam of the sweater. You will need to add a 1/2” seam allowance.  I used a cutting mat, clear ruler, and rotary cutter, so I could measure my outside and seam allowance at the same time, it makes things much faster, and keeps your sweater lying nice and flat while you finish patterning!
*I measured 18” from the bottom of the collar for my approx. size 18-24 M pair.

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Cut along your out seam, this removes the sleeves from the sweater.  (Set them aside, you can make a second pair of pants from them too!) We are halfway done!

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Step 4: Now, go back to your children’s pants, and measure the center back seam, from the center of the crotch (where all the pieces meet) to the base of the waist band in the back.  Return to the sweater, and mark that measurement-starting at the base of the collar (where it meets the body of the sweater), adding 1/2” for your sean allowance. *I measured 9 1/2” for mine.

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Step 5: For the next step, you’ll need to lay your child’s pants over the sweater, matching the crotch of the pants to your 1/2” above your measurement and the outer leg seam with your cut edge.
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Trace or cut along the inseam and hem, adding seam allowance (1/2” on inseam, I did a 1” hem so I would have extra to lengthen the pants later.)

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Step 6: Pin the 2 seams together on your garment. (Quick sewing tip: Pinning perpendicular to your seam allows you to easily stitch right over your pins!)

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Thread your machine and set it to a tight, smaller than average stitch to prevent the knit from unraveling, a stitch length of 2 should generally work. Sew seams together, being careful keep your knit from stretching.

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* If you are making these as longies for cloth diapers, you can easily add a soaker layer to the front and back before stitching the inseam.  The scraps from between the legs would work perfectly.
Your raw edges will need to be finished to avoid unraveling.  I used a serger, but a medium zig-zag along the edge would work also.

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Step 7: Now onto the last step!!  Before turning up the hem, I like to trim a small corner off of the  bottom of the hem so that there is less bulk along the seam.
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Turn up the bottom of the pants 1” (or whatever seam allowance you added in step 5) and pin.
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Stitch along the raw edge with a zip zag, which will finish the edge and hem the pants in one step, making sure to not stretch the garment as you stitch.  I also recommend using a zig-zag in this step because it is easier to remove if you even need to adjust the length of the pants, and makes it easier to keep the knit flat.

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All that’s left is to turn your pants inside out and say “WOW! That was easy and these are adorable!!”  🙂

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I spent an evening hoping for an action shot, but my son was so comfy in these pants he wouldn’t stay still.

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This tutorial was originally published on Cynspiration.  Check it out for more great children’s crafts and sewing projects.

Child’s Hospital Gown Project

For the last couple of months, I have been anxiously following the recovery of a strong little 1 and a half year old named Noah. Baby Noah was born in 2009 with many anatomical birth defects. He underwent his first major surgery at 4 days old, and last November he had his first open heart surgery. At only 16 months old. This is when I began following his recovery and thinking of him often.

After an ER visit of our own, I realized how sad these children look in the hospital issue gowns; and it occurred to me that if I hated seeing my own child in one for 4 hours, it must be overwhelmingly more difficult to see your child day in and day out in these things. In my own fashion loving way, I had an idea that I hoped would help lift Noah’s spirits during these extended stays, but also give his mommy some of the joy of dressing up her baby boy. I set out to design a few gowns with flair!

I adapted a raglan sleeved jacket pattern so that it was open down the back, and also added a seam along the shoulders to aid in getting it on and off of a bed bound patient easily, using my KAM snap press. Then came the creative part!

I heard that little Noah was a Woody fan (From Toy Story), so the first gown I created is meant to replicate Woody’s shirt, vest, and hankie. I think it came out well, it was the most time consuming but also the most fun!

The other two gowns were much simpler; I used some flame fabric and tough-guy black to create a “Big Boy” gown. Then, using some purple cotton, I appliqued a letter N in the Superman crest across the final gown, to remind Noah of how tough he is!! I wanted to make sure he’d see this reminder of what a superhero he is, so I included a pillow case for him too.

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I can’t wait for his package to arrive! USPS is doing their best to be unimpressive, so a week later here I am, still waiting on delivery. AUGH!

You can read more about sweet Noah at this blog: Pray for Baby Noah. He has had a rough road, and still has many obstacles to overcome, but he has come so far already! Please keep him in your thoughts. I found out a few weeks ago his mother has begun adapting children’s to be hospital friendly, as well as building her own from scratch. She is accepting donations of supplies and sewing time if anyone is interested in helping.

Organic Bamboo Fleece Inserts-In Stock!

I just wrapped up a large batch of organic 3 ply bamboo fleece inserts.  They are each so soft, and finished with a decorative red and orange stitch.  Handling this soft fabric made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside, I felt that the stitching should represent that too.  I’m looking forward to getting these prepped and on my little guy soon.

For those who don’t know, bamboo is sustainable, biodegradable, resists mildew, absorbs better than cotton alone, and is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal!  These are just a few of the positive traits of this modern fabric.

If you haven’t tried it yet, head on over to the Etsy shop (you can click on the Shop tab above) and see for yourself. Single inserts, as well as packs of 5 will be available.  They can be placed against babies skin as an insert, or used in conjunction with another insert as a doubler, such as for overnight.

New items added to the Etsy store!

Today I had a chance to add some great new items to the Etsy store.  First up were three sets of great upcycled cotton liners/doublers for cloth diapering.  We’ve been using some of my own for over a year and they are great, and easy on the environment.

Then I added something very exciting, a new color combination for my Ruffle Bottom AIO Cloth Diapers.  I had a request from a wonderful new customer for a white and blue diaper; I had yet to make that and I loved the results so much I decided to offer it as a regular item.  What do you think? Won’t it be great for springtime?