Simplicity 8568 – Baby Nest Sewing Pattern Review

If you have read my previous posts you will know I am expecting baby number 3 (my third girl) and haven’t really needed to buy many new baby items. With the first baby I felt bombarded with product advertisements for all sorts of gizmos and gadgets that the baby needs, when realistically most of them you don’t end up using often, if at all.

I have always had my eye on the Sleepyhead. They are expensive, but apparently babies love them. They are not suitable for babies to sleep on unsupervised due to risk of suffocation, but they look comfy for supervised daytime napping or for having somewhere soft to lay the baby down when I am playing on the floor with her sisters.

During a Pinterest search, I came across several free tutorials for making your own baby nest but never got round to making them. Then earlier in the year, Simplicity had a half price sale on patterns so I stocked up on a few and added 8568 with the thought of potentially making the changing mat or baby nest. I never actually got around to making either before our stuff was packed up and shipped. When my machine arrived in South Africa I decided I wouldn’t unpack it until the baby arrived, but a week before my due date I had a change of heart. I decided I needed to make the nest before the baby came (I blame those hormones).

I had some Alexander Henry fabric in my stash that I loved and just couldn’t decide what to make with it. I purchased it from online fabric retailer Fondant Fabrics. Unfortunately they no longer have it in stock and I can’t see it for sale anywhere else at the moment. The print is called Kendi Safari, in the Indigo colourway, featuring lions, giraffe, elephants and zebras. I actually had 2 pieces that I had purchased on separate occasions. One was one metre and the other 1.5 metre. The pattern pieces are large for this. There is the main body, cut twice for front and back and some binding cut on the bias. The smaller piece of my fabric was not actually long enough to fit the pattern piece. Luckily the print of the fabric is busy, so I used the smaller piece for the back and added on an extra piece of fabric to the end so the pattern piece would fit. I don’t think you can really tell.

The pattern calls for the back and front to be cut from different prints/colours but I wanted the same all over. There is a mattress in the middle of the nest and the pattern calls for ½ yard of ½” thick upholstery foam. As well as ribbon and polyester fiberfill for the outside rim of the nest. I had none of these additional extras in my stash. I hadn’t purchased them before I moved as I didn’t think I would get round to making it. I had no idea where to get these items in South Africa but was fortunate enough to stumble across the Metro Lifestyle Centre (see previous blog here)  a couple of weeks ago that was an Aladdin’s cave of fabric and notions and decided that was my best place start.

I didn’t actually think I would find the upholstery foam in this shop. Next to the fabric shop there was a furniture shop, also part of the Metro Lifestyle stores, that advertised a re-upholstery service so I enquired whether they sold the foam there. Turns out they didn’t but if I went to the shop next door (also part of the Metro stores!) which sold curtains and appliances, I could find some there. It wasn’t obvious that they sold the foam and I had to ask but the very helpful member of staff showed me what they had and I purchased exactly what I needed. They also sold the fiberfill and a quick trip over to the fabric shop to purchase the ribbon.

By this point I had purchased everything I needed and cut out my pattern pieces and it was 2 days before my due date. Nothing like a bit of time pressure! The pattern comes together really quickly. There are no tricky parts and the instructions are straight forward. The mattress is cut from the ½” thick upholstery foam, but I felt this wasn’t thick enough. I think most people would use a nest in a large cot on top of a mattress so in this case it would be fine. However, I am often playing whilst sitting on the floor with my other two girls so I wanted something that was thick enough to place on the floor. I decided to cut another mattress layer, so my mattress was 1 inch thick in the end. I had to trim the sides slightly to get it to fit and the middle is much more bulky than intended but it feels comfortable.

There is a piece of ribbon that is threaded around the whole nest through the binding with the ends out at the bottom so the nest can be tied closed. When I went to purchase the ribbon I forgot to take the pattern envelope and in my head decided that 2 metres would be more than enough. I was wrong. The pattern actually calls for 4 yards. I did not want to take another trip to the fabric shop for a piece of ribbon. Instead I found some purple webbing in my stash, but only 1.5 metres. I threaded the purchased ribbon through the binding and then sewed the webbing to the ends to make it longer. I love stash busting!

I am really pleased with the finished make. It’s not perfect, pregnancy insomnia and two children under 5 mean my concentration and attention to detail is non-existent. But it’s comfortable and soft and my other children have had fun changing their dolls nappies on it.

This would make a great present for mums to be, obviously with the advice to only use supervised. I used fabric in my stash so hardly cost me anything as the foam and filling were cheap. A very cost effective make compared to the shop bought versions.

I’m writing this post 4 day overdue and still no signs of baby making an appearance any time soon. Both previous children were 8 days overdue so I’m not expecting anything at the moment. I will hopefully get some cute pictures of baby enjoying the nest when she’s here but for now, these pictures will have to do.

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