Thursday, December 25, 2014

Naptime Crafting: Gender Reveal Style!

We secretly found out our baby’s gender back in September!

We waffled about it a little, and then I got so serious about not wanting to know that I even cried. Eventually though, I started to feel guilty about that. Ryan had been very much excited and on-board for a surprise the first time around, but he said the whole time that he’d like to find out with our second child so we could have both experiences. I had agreed the whole time so it seemed pretty mean to change my mind now. We talked a lot about him finding out and keeping it from me (I actually don’t think this would have been a problem at all! I told him just to frequently call the baby the opposite of its gender so that when he did slip up and blurt out the correct one I wouldn’t notice) but he eventually decided he didn’t want to find out unless we were doing it together. I finally figured out what was wrong with my sewing machine around the same time and I ended up deciding just to do it. Not only because of my guilt, but also because it would be exciting to know whether I should be making dresses or overalls.


We announced it to our families today. We sent out little tiny Christmas gifts that were not to be opened until this morning. Inside were two small, laminated Christmas ornaments. One was a picture of our little guy in a Santa hat and the other was an ultrasound picture of his sister with a pink Santa hat (added via PicMonkey) on and the words “Baby Girl Bell 2014” below.

(Printed wallets at Walgreens, taped them to cutesy craft paper, had them laminated at a local shipping store, used Christmas ribbon from my stash which was purchased from a local store last year in Ogden, Utah)

To be completely honest, I absolutely hate knowing the gender and will never find out again! BUT I have still made sure to take advantage of the fact that I do know this time around and have made a few fun little goodies in the meantime… like dresses!

(pillowcase dress made using this tutorial, gingham fabric from a thrift store, pink fabric + bias tape + strawberry applique from JoAnn // reversible a-line dress made using this tutorial, both fabrics old ones from my stash)

I also tried to make a onesie dress using this tutorial but have nothing to show for it now… the worst! I had a lot of trouble making the skirt’s gathers, maybe because I was using very cheap thread? My thread kept breaking, even when I was very slow and gentle. (Most of the toddler pajama pants I’ve found use this same technique so I’ve been afraid to even try any yet!) I finally went ahead and made the skirt sans gathers but it ended up being a crooked and too-tight kind of pencil skirt I didn’t think would fit over her shoulders.


I tried to seem-rip it out and start over but ended up ripping a big hole in the onesie! So I’ve tabled it for now and am going to try it again soon, but with a different fabric and by just cutting off the bottom part of the onesie to avoid that big hole.

Also a few miscellaneous accessories!


(I’ve already talked about this stroller quilt here // I’m working on a gray sweater (actually in size 24 months just in case it takes me a long time, and so that both children can wear it if it doesn’t!) from this loom knitting book. I’ve never made a sweater before, although it claims to be one of the book’s EASY patterns. I’ll let you know once I get to the sleeves if I agree! I only work on loom knitting projects on the nights we watch a show/movie so they tend to take me a while, but If I do finish it quickly, I’ll probably make another one in a smaller size. // I made a doll for my sweet pregnant friend’s Christmas gift (right) and I’m making a matching one for my own daughter, but her blanket will be made using fabric that came in the bundle for the quilt’s patches. Also, my grandma recently sent me some yarn that was in her mother’s stash so I am DEFINITELY making its hat out of that and I’m so thrilled that it’ll have even more special meaning that way! The doll is actually a sock doll and it was made using an idea I had in my head mixed with inspiration from this book, this book, this book, this doll and this doll.

I have found that the dolls are my favorite. I can’t wait to make a “big girl” version someday! I like the finished result of a quilt, but the act of making it is kind of tedious and frustrating to me. The dresses are so-so to me for now, but I can tell I’ll just love making them as I get better at them. The reversible dress was my favorite of the three and I definitely plan to make more of that style eventually. I don’t really wear pants, just dresses, and I pretty much planned to just dress my little girl in dresses at first too. In my mind, she would have a few store-bought dresses (mostly just what I’d “purchased” for free during my first pregnancy* and whatever any family/friends might send her), but would mostly just have a closet full of handmade items. Now that I’ve made a few though, I realize that’s a pretty unrealistic expectation for such a novice seamstress! We DO still like the idea of only handmade dolls though, now that we’ve learned more about what goes into all the store-bought versions.

Our families seemed to be split down the middle on their gender guesses the first time around. Ryan and I were both convinced we were having a girl, and I was so convinced that I actually double-checked when he told me we had a son. This time around was a little different. Ryan, my brother and I were all convinced we were having a boy. Everybody else guessed girl. We’ve decided to not even bother guessing next time! ;]

*Since we didn’t know what we were having the first time around, I bought gender-neutral items… solid onesies and gender neutral pajamas, mostly. I figured we’d buy most everything else once the baby actually got here, but every once in a while I’d find a great deal that got me a new baby item for $1 or less and I’d stock up on boy AND girl outfits. I’m glad I did! I mostly found deals using clearance racks combined with coupons… specifically Kohl’s cash my mother-in-law would sometimes send us after her shopping trip, Target’s online coupons, (and now they have Cart Wheel on top of it, even better!) (you can also use your Swagbucks for free Target giftcards!), our Shop Your Way rewards points through Sears,  and the very rare but wonderful $10 off $10 coupons from Kohl’s, JCPenney and Macy’s.

*This post may contain affiliate links

In other news, I still need about 50 more females to answer my 1-3 minute survey on marriage/parenting for book research. It really is 1-3 minutes long, I promise! It’s completely anonymous, even to me, and it asks general questions that don’t require you to be married OR a parent. I am hoping to compile answers from women of all ages and backgrounds, so please don’t feel like your answers aren’t important if you aren’t married or don’t have children!


  1. Those dresses are precious! Congrats!

    1. Thank you and thank you, Jessica! We appreciate it! =]

  2. Yay for baby girls!! Handmade items are definitely the best. Some of my favorite clothes from childhood are ones my grandma made. I remember picking out the fabric and feeling so fancy as she 'fit' me. Most of my items were store-bought, and I think that made me appreciate the home made ones even more!

    1. That makes me so happy!
      I still very specifically remember some of the things my grandma made for me, like a nightgown that matched my doll's and several costumes. So hopefully my little girl will feel like they're extra special too!

  3. Congratulations to you and your family sweetie! Can't wait to read all about her!