Monday, September 14, 2009

Mama don't sew? The best homemade baby products on Etsy

When I was pregnant with Pooka it was very important for me to make her some baby items with my own two hands. I knit regularly, so it wasn't hard to make her some sweaters and hats. But I wanted to take it one step further and make her a hand stitched quilt. I took a fantastic hand-quilting class at Purl down in Soho, but unfortunately I didn't get in done before Pooka arrived and it sits laguishing away in a bag at the bottom of my closet (some day Pooka!). So if you don't have the time, skill, or interest to make handmade baby products, and neither does anyone else in your extended family, it's Etsy to the rescue! Etsy's motto is "To buy, sell and live handmade" and connects buyers directly to individual sellers of various handmade goods. You can find everything from nursery decor, to clothing, toys and baby carriers. There are also a boatload of sellers creating green and organic products. For today's post I have rounded up a selection of some of the cutest baby items on the site. And the best part is, these products are all reasonably priced, and some are downright bargains compared to what they'd retail for at an NYC baby boutique.

One of my favorite designers on Etsy for nursery decor is Almost Sunday Designs. A friend drew my attention to them when she purchased the adorable Owl Mobile. I'm hoping to order the Butterfly Wall Art and a Birth Date Print. All items are well priced, and it's unlikely that any of your friends will have the same one.

For an alternative to main stream baby carriers check out Lovely Duds 100% organic and Oeko-Tex certified Tie One On baby carriers. They remind me of a Moby carrier, which are fantastic for newborns, but with cute printed panels like the Baby Hawk Mai Tai carrier. They have dozens of colors and fabrics to choose from, and at a cost $45 it's not a huge investment. A mom I know loved this style of carrier for her baby those first weeks when acid reflux was a major problem for her little one and she could nestle the baby against her chest in an upright position.

For quilts with a modern twist, or classic dresses for babies and toddlers in fun hipster fabrics pop over to the All the Numbers store. Check out the Vespa (pictured above) and Reversible dresses, or the beautiful Fresh and Modern Quilt that gives a new take on pastels for baby.

Using cloth or gdiapers? Baby blow out their diaper and wipe out their outfit? You need a wet bag to store the dirty nappies and soiled clothes until you can get home and wash them. They are useful for anything that gets messy while out and about, and I never leave home without one. Sure, you could use a ziploc, but why would you when the wet bags at Monkey Foot Designs are so cute and reusable too! The medium size is perfect for stowing a dirty gdiaper and some soiled clothing. For more than one diaper or larger sized clothing I would recommend the larger bags. Mines been thrown in the washer several times and has held up well. The Icky Bags in the Petunias shop are adorable too!I love the owl applique on this one.

For one stop gift shopping check out the SewnNatural shop, filled with all natural and organic baby products ranging from quilts and burpies to toys and bags. I love the Retro Elephant Toy and Upcycled Duck Baby. The Modern Dandelion Summer 5 piece set would make you the toast of any baby shower, or try the organic quilts.

While searching for an alternative to the satin and tulle style headbands that seem to abound in baby stores I found this one from Billie Brand. I love the simplicity of the design and the incorporation of a covered button in the center of the flower. They even have some made from organic fabrics. If your baby is blessed with plenty of hair (alas Pooka is not) you can try their flower clips. Choosing a color is the difficult part, but I'm leaning towards the Roxie!

The designers listed here are just a fraction of what you can find on Etsy. Pick a search term like "organic baby" and hundreds of products will show up. Or be more specific by searching terms such as "baby sling" or "baby quilt." You may not have Martha in your blood, but if she is in your spirit than look no further than Etsy. There is no better source for handmade goods for the crafting challenged.

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