While I was pregnant I wanted to create something for when my Little Button was born that she would cherish for a very long time. With the help of my craftspirational mother-in-law, we made this rainbow quilt. It’s from the beautiful ‘All Sewn Up’ book by Chloe Owens (which the Little Button Diaries highly recommends). I love the colours and design of the quilt, and so does Little Button!
Now that she is big enough for a full-size cot, I decided to use the remaining fabric from the quilt to make a co-ordinating cot bumper. It felt like a sewing challenge initially, but it was fairly straightforward once I knew what measurements I needed.
For this project you will need:
- 15 strips of brightly coloured/patterned fabric
- 1.8 metres of thick wadding
- 1.8 metres of thick ric rac
- 2.5 metres fabric for the back
- Sewing machine
- White thread
- Embroidery pins
- Rotary cutter and mat
Before I began cutting, I measured the three sides of the cot I wanted the bumper to go around, and decided how far down the cot I wanted the bumper to go. My measurements were 45 cm for each side panel and 90 cm for the cot’s back panel.
To make the front of the bumper, cut 15 pieces of fabric into panels. Pin two panels right-sides together and sew them with a half-inch seam allowance (so to get the size I needed, my panels each measured 14.5 cm wide originally). Repeat with all the other panels until you have one long piece of fabric.
Once you have the front panel the size you want, cut another piece of fabric to the same size for your back panel. (As the front is quite ‘busy’ I opted for a plainer, but still patterned, neutral backing.)
To make the ties, cut 8 additional strips of your backing fabric – mine were 8 cm thick and 50 cm long. Fold each strip right-sides together and iron them flat. Sew the opposite edge of the strip, and turn them inside out so the right-side is facing out. You can use the top of a pencil to push the fabric the right way out.
Cut the wadding to the same size as your front and back sheets of fabric. I went for the thickest wadding I could find and used two layers of it for extra protection.
To sew the bumper together, you need to layer all the elements in order and pin them in place before sewing. Begin by placing the wadding down first. Pin the back panel of fabric to the wadding with the patterned side facing away from the wadding.
Lay two ties down next to each other with three-quarters of the ties lying on the backing fabric and the rest sticking up. (This will make sense when you turn all the fabric round once it’s sewn together.) Every cot is different, so you’ll need to space your ties out to match your frame. (I pinned two ties at the start and end of the material and then another two sets 45 cm in from each end.)
Next, pin the ric rac along the top over the ties, and then pin the front panel on top of everything. You want the patterned side facing into the fabric for now, as you will be turning everything inside out in a minute.
Using your sewing machine, sew round the four sides of your bumper, leaving a large gap at the bottom of the bumper, so you can turn everything inside out (or rather, the right way round!).
Now for the fiddly bit! It’s time to turn everything you’ve assembled inside out, so that the wadding becomes the filling, the front and back fabric are on display, and the ties pop out nice and long. Once you have turned your bumper inside out, stitch the hole up using a slip stitch.