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!


aDORable. Love love love it. When somebody learns to read by looking at those pages, she'll remember the pictures and the textures her whole life. Beautiful!

That is so, so beautiful! I must check out that book. It looks fabulous!

Maryellen Quarles says: May 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

All I can say is "wow!" I often wish my children were just coming to me now so I could use your ideas and inspiration for them. And then I see something like this and it blows me away (and that's when I say "phew!"--as in, I don't think I could ever match the cuteness or craftsmanship!). You are amazing.

This book is SO ADORABLE! I am completely in love with it and now aspire to make one for my future children. In reality I'm quite aware that it would take a non-trivial amount of time to make though! Really beautiful color choices and shapes. :)

I love this! What a treasured heirloom you have created! So very sweet...:)

Have a happy Friday!


LOVE that book. Your little girl is going to be so blessed!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Sending happy thoughts your way,

What can I say? Cutest thing ever!!! You are such a talent. Thanks for the daily inspiration.

I imagine you reading this aloud to a tiny girl in your lap and I get choked up just thinking about it.

There is so much love on those pages.

cupcake61 says: May 28, 2010 at 01:33 PM

LOVE THIS...there you go...inspiring me again.

Eeee! This is so, so precious, Alicia! Such incredible handwork you do, my friend! You know what? Finn "woofed" like a dog for the first time when we were reading this book together. He just went "woof" and I about fell to the floor. I'm sure your perfect version of Clover will elicit the same response one day from your little lady!

This is so, so sweet. Just lovely.

I absolutely LOVE this. Very nice book. Just gorgeous!

Beautiful and thoughtful. I adore it!

Look at all the wonderful skills that you and Andy will pass down to your daughter. Really a beautiful book.

ellen kelley says: May 28, 2010 at 02:19 PM

Lucky little girl. The book is beautiful and filled with love.

Oh my gosh, that is the sweetest thing I have ever seen!

Vicki K says: May 28, 2010 at 02:42 PM

How beautiful, Alicia. All the details are so pretty - I like the chain stitch on the rug on the "baby" page. It gives it the feel of a braided rug.

WHAT an adorable book! Lucky little baby! :D

ack, you did such a great job! every page is just perfect! makes me want to throw up my hands and smile too :)

What a gorgeous book! I can't get over how beautiful it is!

Sharon D says: May 28, 2010 at 03:12 PM

Oh my gosh! Your little Clover picture is the cutest thing ever! I love the whole book--main images and fabric backgrounds too!

This is absolutely beautiful, Alicia.
Your lucky baby is going to have so many wonderful things to look at and
to wear. She will be fortunate indeed!

Oh, my goodness--I squealed with glee when I realized you'd made my book for your to-be-baby! You've done a beautiful job, and I love it with the hem turned under on the fabrics. And the Clover-esque doggy? TOO GOOD.


melinda says: May 28, 2010 at 03:30 PM

This little book is so sweet, and I love the pup page! Your little one is going to have lots of precious treasures to hold onto as she grows. :)

That is the most beautiful craft project I have seen for some time. Thanks for sharing it. Like you I am a bit of a couch-potato crafter which is why I favour knitting and hand-sewing over the machine!

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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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.