Baby's First Book

comments: 160


While I was working on the book list last week (I haven't forgotten about it, it's just taking a long time to put it together), I remembered that there was one book I'd been wanting to make that wasn't exactly on the list!


This is the Baby's First Book project from the totally beautiful book Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist by the super-talented and sweet Meg McElwee. Meg is an amazing designer. Everything she makes is modern and warm and fun and so pretty. I'd actually bought this book a couple of months ago with the intention of making the Blossom Blouse first, or maybe the Petite Artiste Smock (adorable), but since I was watching sixteen episodes of Chuck in a row and didn't want to leave the sofa, and haven't yet figured out how to sew with a sewing machine in my lap (working on that), the hand sewing won out. Applique is not something I do very often (though a million years ago, these felt photo albums were part of my little product line), but everytime I sit down to do it these days I love it. Such it was with this project, which I realized was actually designed and contributed by the equally amazing Melissa Crowe of Checkout Girl. Her work in felt applique is simply beautiful. It's amazing how evocative those little pieces of felt can be, isn't it? Beautiful. I thought this soft book was just the sweetest thing ever. Here's my version:


I thought about doing it in brown, like our real house, but I thought a little pink Parisian-looking house would be cuter.


I did make the puppers look like someone we know, though. Mwah, Puppers!


And the kitterses. The Bee is sitting straight up, and the Vee is lying down, just like in real life.


There's the tree.


Birds! These look like my mom's canaries.


Such a cute boat.


Happy little fishy.


Happy baby!

I am so happy with this little book! When I was done I threw my arms up and smiled just like the happy baby. I can't tell you how much I loved working on this. So much. For such a small book, I would say this is not a small project — but that just means you can really get into it. There is a lot of prep work involved in a project like this — gathering up a lot of fabric, copying and cutting out the patterns from so many different pieces of felt (by the way, the felts I have been using for many years are wool/rayon blends thatI buy wholesale from a company called National Nonwovens. They sell some of their felt at a few of our local retail fabric stores here in Portland, and I believe that Prairie Point Junction's Wool Felt Central carries the whole line of their colors, as well). But if you can just take your time and enjoy that part of it, it is SO very worth it. Because I truly loved the stitching part, and watching each picture slowly come together was pretty magical. The directions were wonderful. I used different colors than Melissa, and wound up turning under the edges of each picture and appliquing (sp?) it to the page by hand with invisible hem stitch instead of machine zig-zag as she did in the book (again, didn't want to have to sit the machine), so that's a bit different, but otherwise my version is almost exactly like the one in the book. (I will make an embroidered bookplate when the baby arrives, too. :-) Thanks for such a wonderful project, Meg and Melissa. I felt really proud of myself when I was finished. I think the baby will really like this!


Very cute. I love it. It looks beautiful.

This is absolutely delightful. I'm sure it will become a real family treasure. Great post. :-)

That is beautiful! I like hand sewing and keep looking at this book. Someday I'll get it. Have a great weekend!

LOVE it.....The colors...the designs....everything. What a beautiful book for your soon to be baby. And it will be cherished for years to come. So happy for you!

It does look a time-consuming project but look at the results!!! The entire thing is absolutely perfect and just as charming as charming could ever be!....Oh, and the Puppers...she looks just like Clover Meadow!

Wow.. what a beautiful little baby book! Inspiring!

so adorable!!! i have been wanting to make a baby book - i just need to buy some felt:

Oh that is a lovely,lovely project

That is such a special project bound to become a keep forever heirloom. Wonderful job, little mama!

It's only fitting that your baby's first book should be hand made, and by her mother no less. I hope you remembered to stitch your signature or maybe the word "Mama" on the back. Or maybe a small dedication like "For (insert her name) from Mama, with Love" then add her date of birth once you know it. Your felt book is so precious it makes want to swoon.

That is so cute. Love the fabrics you used in the background on each page!

I agree with Gabi, make sure you sign it! It will be such a treasure for her when she grows up.

Your book is so cute that I almost want to have another baby, learn to sew, learn to applique, figure out what the heck a "blind" stitch means, etc. etc.

...whoops! I mean "invisible hem" stitch.

Absolutely beautiful. I love every stitch. xoxo

Oh! That is too cute. Little clover. Divine.

I love your book so much! I am a great admirer of Melissa Crowe, too.

Oh that is so lovely, what a great thing to do. This is going to be one very lucky baby! I think the picture of Clover has to be my fave.
Happy weekend.
Hen x

Oh my God! This little book is gorgeous :) I love every page, specially the "Clover's page", so nice!

that is a beautiful book. the baby is going to love it.
i also followed the link to the ones you used to make and that little chick with the parasol is adorable
have a beautiful weekend. sending some sunshine...

Very well done. Love all that handstitching done with love. (And love the puppers and the kitterses in there too!)

Laura A. says: May 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Exquisite! It makes me so happy to see that. May it be handed down and loved by your future great grandchildren and their corgis.

I LOVE the baby's first book! It's absolutely gorgeous. xxx

I always wanted to make one of those! I love your patterned fabric accents.

That is absolutely adorable. What a wonderful job you did on it!
In other news, I thought of a quirky TV series that I really liked back in the 90s. Northern Exposure. You might like it!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at