Saturday, April 30, 2011

{Portable Growth Chart}

This idea is just genius in my opinion! (So no...not my original ha!)  After living in the same house for over 9 years, we've had 2 moves in the last 3 years. They turned out to be for the best, but one of the things that bothered me when we left our first house was our primitive growth chart. That sweet strip of masking tape that we used for a growth chart for the first few years of my daughter's life seemed to be at an end. When we moved from that first house 3 years ago, I painstakingly pulled that masking tape off of the linen closet door and ever so carefully placed it on a long piece of newsprint to lovingly store in her baby book.
Then during the first move I thought I had lost it, and cried for 2 days. Then I realized I had stored it safely and from then on tried to think of something that would allow us to keep a growth chart (I have such a soft spot for them, can't you tell?), but still make them mobile.
About a month ago I came across this WONDERFUL idea over at Moda Bake Shop. This is such a terrific idea! I thought not only of our family, who is hopefully in the same place for many years to come, but also my sisster-in-law, who is military and moves every 2 years. I also have never worked with a jelly roll before, but thought this was a good excuse to try one out!
Then I saw the price of a jelly roll...$40. WRONG-O! Soooooo not making a growth chart for $40+. So I thought on it for a few weeks and came up with my own solution, using scraps and some slight changes. The original tutorial is here, but I did complete mine differently with a few steps altered. I'll try to pass my changes along, but if you have questions, please email me! :)
Here's how mine turned out:
-72" from top to bottom, but you would make this according to your child's potential growth
-Center strip is 5" x 72" - I used leftover lining that I had from curtains I recently made. I had to piece about 5" onto the bottom, but otherwise, it was one long strip
-Side pieces are cut scraps, 3 sections on each side measuring 4" x 24" each
-My backing is the same fabric as the center strip, 13" x 72" to cover the whole back
-I used heavyweight fusible fleece in between, about an inch or so smaller on all sides.
-I used a strip of heavy grosgrain ribbon for the hanger. My only mistake here was that I should have placed the ribbon out farther to the ends.Not a biggie, but I did end up tacking the corners down when I hung it up, so they didn't fall forward a little. I will change that on the next one!

*You can make your side pieces any size you want, depending on what scraps you have or what fabric you are using. I came up with my side strip measurements based on what I had.

1. Sew the 3 pieces for each side together to make 2 long strips (mine were 4" x 24" ea.). - OR- however you choose to make your side pieces.
2. Sew those 2 long strips to each side of the center strip, completing the front side of the chart. Press all the seams down (my least favorite part!).
3. Iron the fusible fleece to the back of the front piece.
4. Cut your back piece to size, about 13" x 72" for mine.

Here is one way I altered the original tutorial... by eliminating the binding for the edges. 
5. Place front and back pieces right sides together. Pin your strip of ribbon where you want it, making sure the ribbon is lying between the pieces when you sew. Sew the chart on three sides, leaving the bottom open.
6. Turn it right side out, fold under the edges on the open side, and top stitch it closed. Then top stitch around the rest of the chart for a finished look.

 Done! :) Then I carefully laid out my original masking tape growth chart and transferred the markings/dates to the new fabric chart with a fine black retractable Sharpie. We can now take this easily with us wherever we might move (hopefully many years from now!), just by rolling it up. It's something that we can keep always, and that's my favorite part. (Wait...not spending $40 on the jelly roll is my favorite part!) Don't get me the jelly roll look and the idea, but I needed something a little more budget friendly.

Is this possibly my first tutorial? I'm not sure, but it feels like it. :) If you have any questions about how I made this, please email me and I'm happy to clarify! I'll be making 2 more of these in the coming for my SIL who is military and has a 3 year old son, and one for my little sister who is expecting her first child this summer. It only took a couple of hours at the MOST, and this one actually cost me nothing since everything I used was on hand.

How do you like it? I'd love to hear what you think!
Thanks for dropping in!


  1. Hi, Deanna! I'm admiring all your creative posts here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

  2. This is such a GREAT idea!! Thanks for linking @'Sew Cute Tuesday'! I'll be featuring you tomorrow, so be sure to stop by and grab a 'featured' button!


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