I'm hosting a baby shower for co-worker Molly and in typical Dawn E. Girl fashion wanted to set the stage for a most heartfelt shower by creating a special crafted-by-hand invitation. When Harleigh was little and had a sleepover birthday party, I made invitations out of fabric that were sleeping bags. Inside the bag was the invitation, and at the top of the invitation was a drawing of a little girl from the shoulders up. That peeked out of the sleeping bag. They were adorable. Even had little flannel pillows. For Ali's bridal shower I made the apron invites. And for Sherry's bridal shower the seersucker pocket invites. If you can't tell by now, I'm a big fan of using fabric and even sewing on paper (see my business cards here).
And so I entered into this invitation brainstorming with fabric and sewing a gimme. And came up with using actual baby clothes to create the envelope, with a paper invite inside with a sewn-on fabric backing and ribbon trim. What sweeter way to open an invitation than to undo baby buttons or snaps.
I started off buying thrift store baby clothes. Found out that sleepers work super well and that clothes with gathers work OK but don't create quite the same even seams. Once I had amassed the clothes (and I tried to either go on "1/2-off on clothes"days or took advantage of "1/2-day off on a certain colored tag" days), I carefully cut off the tags on the inside neck, then I created an insert for sewing the outfits into "envelopes." I cut a piece of foam core into a 5 1/4" x7 1/4" rectangle, which when inserted into the piece of clothing (and pinned down to hold into place — I just took two or three straight pins and pushed them straight down through the fabric, into the foam core), was easy to sew around. In fact, the lip of the foam core created a super easy guide for the presser foot.
Sewing done, template removed, and fabric turned to its right sides, I now had the "envelope" done. Onto the invitation. I printed them out on a nice velvety matte stock and cut them out to size (5x7). Putting them aside, I turned to the backing of the invitation.
I knew I wanted to back the invites with fabric and have a slight overhang, trimmed with pinking shears. With the overhang a must, the fabric backing had to look good from both sides, so I used fusible web by-the-yard to adhere fabric, creating large pieces of fabric pretty on both sides. Cut those into pieces 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 and sewed the paper invites to the individual sheets (I used double-sided tape, just two small pieces, to hold the invite onto the fabric. The fused fabric proved to be a little on the stiff side, which made it super easy to sew with. Once the invite had its back, trimmed the fabric with the pinking shears.
Glued a ribbon onto the top of each invite and stuffed them into the "envelopes," "sealing" them by buttoning or snapping the outfit closed. Half of the invites will be distributed at work, so an outer envelope is not needed, but for those to be mailed, I'll wrap them in tissue and stuff them into a cardboard mailer.
What fun to make these!!!!!