Make, Jane, make!: Fabric Buckets for a Baby Boy


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Fabric Buckets for a Baby Boy

They say that the birthrate for males is declining... you would never know that amongst my friends. As my hubby would say, sometimes it's a real sausage fest at our play dates. And as any shopper for boys knows, the choices available for cute boys' clothes, toys, accessories, etc. just cannot compare to the marketing aimed at little girls. The same goes for when I'm trying to find something nice to handmake for a little boy. For girls you have dresses, hats, purses, boleros, dolls, doll clothes and on and on and on... For boys... well... there's pants and shirts. Okay, I simplify. There's a lot to be made for boys and there's even a great collection of tutorials and tips that can be found at MADE and Made By Rae. So if you're stumped and this project is not for you then you can probably find something at those venerable blogs.

For this project, I wanted something versatile and useful for new parents who had already had their baby shower and their baby. In other words, I had no idea what they needed and they were of no help when I asked, only answering, "You don't need to get us anything."

So I thought and pondered and eventually remembered this tutorial from Ric rac, which I had been meaning to put to use for the longest time. And using the old trick of monograming an otherwise plain item into a more meaningful gift, here's what I came up with:

The outer fabric is quilting flannel (with iron-on medium weight interfacing), the inner fabric is red broadcloth and the wadding is quilted batting. I followed the tutorial for the most part and only diverted to make the little windows which show a bit of the wadding and the fleece alphabet appliques.

The windows were made before sewing the layers together but after applying the interfacing to my doggie fabric. My windows are circles, but you could use any shape that your little heart desires. You need to cut out a circle of lining fabric (light blue) slightly larger than your intended window size and sew it onto the outer fabric (doggies) with the right sides facing. The stitching line is the exact shape and size of your window's outline.

The fabric circle (light blue) sewn onto my outer fabric (doggies), the centre cut out and seam allowance clipped, the window turned in and sewn onto the wadding (white).

After sewing the circle on, cut out the centre of your window just inside your stitching line. Then make small snips perpendicular to your stitching line all around the inside of the cut out... don't cut through your sewing! These little snips will help the fabric bend and stretch when you turn the lining fabric to the inside where it belongs.

Pull the lining fabric (light blue) into the hole and hold it tight while you iron it down. This may be tricky since the lining fabric needs to fold over itself and your interfaced outer fabric. Just work bit by bit and eventually it will all stay inside... or at least enough that you can proceed to the next step.

View from the front and the back: the lining pulled through the hole and folded/ironed down.

Place your outer fabric with the completed peek-thru window onto your wadding and sew all around the circle to attach the two layers together. Alternately, if you didn't want the wadding to show through and wanted to attach some other cloth or decal to the window, you would sew that on instead. Cut out your monogram letters (mine are red fleece) and applique them to the window fabric in whatever manner you like. I used a really rough zig zag stitch cuz I thought it looked cool :)

And presto! Personalization of generic fabric bucket done. Hope that JML's mom and dad can find a use for these multi-purpose buckets...


  1. Love the little windows with the monogram inside jane - they look fantastic, you have taken them to a whole new level.

  2. Thanks Jodie, couldn't have made them so quickly and with such nice finishing without your help :)

  3. These are adorable Jane!