So I've been on a bit of a sewing bender, drunk on the moderate success of the quilt, which hasn't fallen apart yet. Still floundering around at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy, my first need was Somewhere to Put the Baby Down without him falling over and cracking his head on the kitchen tiles. He's sort of sitting up now, but falls over in all directions at once quite a lot. I tried precariously balancing small piles of cushions around him, but they seemed to slide out of the way all the time, and were a bit of a pain to carry round if you needed to leave the room and answer the door or whatever. So I thought a big cushion was the answer. In my mind's eye I had a doughnut-shaped cushion so you could sit him in the middle and the soft outer padding would catch his head when he falls. I went to my local parenting type store and was horrified to find that you can't actually buy the thing I had in my mind. You could buy a similar sort of thing, but it had flashing lights and played tunes and cost about 70 quid. All I wanted was a big cushion dammit! Preferably not bedecked with anthropomorphic animals that were smiling far too much. In fact I needed to get out of the shop quickly as it was full of screaming kids being dropkicked around and my blood pressure was rising to dangerous levels. Was I going to have to make the thing myself?
Yes, yes I clearly was, because the idiots in the shop had completely failed to make a product that exactly matched my mental image. So back home I went.
In a separate incident, earlier that day I had been trying to get rid of some manky old bedding in a non-landfilly way, and had put it out for the charity collection. I'd put it in the porch out of the rain, they hadn't noticed and had driven past. I had even run out of the house and chased them halfway down the road with it, but it was a bit of a charitable fail. (Not that it probably was something they would have been pleased to receive - yay, manky bedding! But I felt better doing this than cramming it into a wheelie bin). Slowly the seed of an idea began to germinate in the arid desert of my brain. A couple of hours later, I stood, scissors drawn, thread hanging out of my hair, triumphant over my big doughnut cushion. Sewing rocks. I had calculated the necessary radius of the cushion as slightly more than the head-to-arse distance on the baby. (Possibly there is a better name for this measurement in tailorland, but I am not aware of it). Then I cut 4 c-shaped pieces out of a double sheet, sewed them together to make a big round tube. Turning this right side out, I ripped open two of the old, mingingly stained pillows and pulled out the stuffing. I used polyester pillows - feather and down ones would, I imagine, have made something of a mess, and maybe got the dog overexcited with dreams of avian carnage. Inside the pillows the stuffing was just one folded sheet of wadding, so I pulled handfuls off it and crammed it into the tube so that my cushion was stuffed sort of evenly. Well, maybe a tad lumpily. Once stuffed, I sewed up the seam to join the tube into a doughnut shape, handsewing the last bit.
Then I made a removable, washable cover, as the child who sits on this cushion is a bit like Monsieur Creosote. I had to spend some money on this part which was a shame. But 15 quid got me a single duvet cover, which was exactly the right width, and I could cut the poppers off the end and sew them around the edge, so it's really easy to take on and off. Which is lucky, as it has already been washed about 999 times. I have to say it's been a really useful thing, only cost 15 quid and a spool of thread and it only took about 3 or 4 naptimes to make. And the dog is already eyeing it up as his next bed once the baby has tired of it. So there you go, feel free to borrow Rubbishseamstress's thrifty idea! (Disclaimer: no responsibility taken if your child manages to fall over on it and brain itself)
The baby seems to find it hilarious when he falls over (and doesn't brain himself).
In other sewing adventures, I made a hooded baby towel from a tutorial on the purl bee, as the wee man seems to have outgrown a lot of his tiny wee newborn towels. This was a nice easy project I thought, it didn't seem too difficult to sew the towelling. The binding was just some polycotton I got from my local fabric store, along with the towelling. And I am using the leftovers to make bibs. Yes, it is getting a bit embarrassing now, the poor child is constantly modelling things his mother made. Someone asked me the other day if I had made his pram too. I'm not even sure they were completely joking.