Aapjes

Short Dutch lesson:
Aape (monkey) – Apen (monkeys)
Aapje (little monkey) – Aapjes (little monkeys)  

A dear, dear friend of mine gave birth last year to a gorgeous baby girl. As any new parent, the dilemma of decorating the baby room arose. In their case, the monkey theme won. As the baptism is fast approaching I wanted to find the perfect present.

For me presents are something with a lot of soul. I don’t like giving gift cards or other general things. I like to personalize them, to find the right thing that speaks to the person, or that at least has something that they truly love.

As my friend had a massive crush on a specific monkey design I thought of making her a baby blanket with … what else but: monkeys!
Due to a hectic schedule I had one single slot available to go to the textile market. I got there so early that half the market stalls were still empty. I got a lot of funny smiles from plenty of people while asking them if they have any prints with monkeys which was adorably funny. But in the end, I did find the right monkey. 😀

Unfortunately my monkeys were not on a really soft cotton, so I purchased a second layer much more softer than initially planned. I made sure that I also had the right thread and an excessive amount of bias tape. Hey, is my first blanket! 😉

I do not have a large experience in sewing. I have done only small things, however a baby blanket seemed to be an easy enough project. I did do my research first and I found a video tutorial that I liked, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

I measured 1000 times as I was slightly nervous. I cut the top layer and started sewing the two layers together. Despite the fact that I knew that when binding a stretchy layer with a non stretchy layer you NEVER use a straight stitch, I did just that. Obviously I had to undo the stitch and start over.

Once I gave up the idea of perfectionism and allowed the blanket to “choose” its own size, the zig zag stitch worked like a charm. I created a grid of stitches to bind the two layers and avoid the finish product behaving weirdly. Once the two layers were together I could finally properly cut the shape and determine the final size.

As I had to first bind the two layers in order to properly cut the final shape I cheated when adding the bias tape. I know, I know, the stitch through the bias tape should not have been visible. However for that I would have had to sew one side by hand, and I hate sewing by hand. I bought a sewing machine so that I would not have to (obviously smaller items like socks and buttons are a different story).  So I fished the blanket by adding the bias take with a slightly denser  zig zag stitch than the rest.

I was so exited about this project that I did not have the necessary patience to take proper pictures. I barely managed to extract myself long enough to actually grab the camera and immortalize the moment. And though they do not give justice to the cuteness of the blanket I am truly happy that I have what to share.
And to better emphasize the earlier point I have to tell you that I sew the whole thing while still damp as I did not have the patience to let the textiles dry completely after they came out of the washing machine (this, together with ironing the fabric, is a very important step, otherwise the blanked can get ruined when washed for the first time due to layers shrinking differently). 😀

This is not a tutorial. I do not have enough expertise and experience to do that yet. It is a little project truly dear to me that I decided to share. If you need experienced advice please feel free to watch the video bellow or any other of her tutorials.

Thanks for dropping by!

Till next time

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