Handmade Gift for My New Nephew

I spent some time this past week making a baby gift for my brother’s newborn baby, Johnny Austin.  He was born on Saturday.  And, he is named after our dad.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  He is no longer with us.  He passed away in 1998 from cancer when my little brothers were only 12 and 16.

Do you make baby gifts?  This is my first time to do so.  I’m not an ooey gooey baby person.  But, this time, I wanted it to be special given the circumstances.


Our dad, Johnny, was a Western shirt and Wranglers man.  This is a photo of him that I worked on redoing (read more about him at that link) so I could make sure all of my siblings had a good photo of dad.


So, I went out and found a shirt at Savers that closely resembled the type of shirt he’d wear.   I cut out shapes and appliqued them on to onesies.  The Texas because my dad was a cowboy living in Texas.  The J on the second one is for the namesake.


With the left over shirt fabric, I decided to make a hug pillow.   A term I made up, but it represents a hug from my dad for the new baby.  The concept can be used for anyone you miss, even a father who travels a lot or boyfriend who is away.  You could even be sure the person’s scent is on it.  It’s perfect for a child to snuggle with.

And, the buttons all unsnap so it’s great for future motor skills.


The bottom of the arms are not stuffed so you can pull it tight and tie it should you want.  It’s great for an older baby to lean against while playing or a toddler to lean against and watch television.

All made from this shirt.


Here are the onesies again.  The pearl button (a signature of my dad’s) is placed over Houston where he lived.


And, the back of the Texas onesie with the name and middle initial.


It’s not perfect, but it’s handmade with love.  And, represents something special.

I got the idea from Michelle at Décor and the Dog.  She made this one for a friend’s baby.


I’m by no means a master seamstress (I’d call myself a beginner for sure), but this wasn’t too difficult.  …Other than the fact that my machine was broken and wouldn’t sew right and so after hours days of working with it, I had to buy a new one.   So, I will post tutorials for each in the next couple of days!

Do you make handmade gifts?  What are your go-to gifts?  Do you sew?  If so, what kind of machine do you use?  I just got a new one that I’m pretty excited about – Brother Innovis 950D.  It will do small embroidery and sewing as well.  The cool things that I’m not used to are that it will cut the thread for you, thread the needle for you, and has over 200 stitches to choose from!  So much easier than my $50 Brother machine I had been using.  Maybe it’s good that it broke in the move.

Hope my brother and his wife like these!  Wish they were from my dad’s actual shirts, but we didn’t have the forethought to save them.

Happy birthday, dad!   Miss you.



  1. those are adorable Kristy! I too lost my father-he passed away 4 years ago unexpectedly -my youngest sister was 16 and she took it the hardest. Im sure sure this will touch your brother in more ways than one.

  2. Such a thoughtful and meaningful gift! The onesies are adorable.

  3. You are so clever! A gift that he will carry with him throughout his lifetime, I’m sure.

  4. Adorable! What a thoughtful gift! :)

  5. Those gifts are so precious and meaningful! What a great gift for your new nephew Kristy!

  6. Kristy, you are amazing!! That is one of the sweetest ideas, ever!! I would do this for those who have passed and as a tribute to those still here. I love it!!

  7. These are just adorable, Kristy! They will have such meaning for your brother. I don’t see a thing wrong with your sewing skills and neither will he. I know your Dad must have that same smile while looking down at this new little one from Heaven. We’ve talked before about me being in Texas so I especially love the one with the shape of the state and the little button, etc. Such a wonderful gift!

    I bought a new sewing machine after having “lost” mine in my last move. :-( Unfortunately, I haven’t used it yet. You are inspiring me to do so! Homemade gifts are treasures to me and I love receiving them as well as giving.

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  8. Those are SO adorable.

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. That is the sweetest and most thoughtful gift ever. The hug pillow, such an amazing idea. The button on the state of Texas, the coolest. You had better be ready for people asking you to make more :)

  10. I love thoughtful baby gifts! Those onesies are PERFECT!!

  11. Oh, Kristy, that was so sweet. I think you posted about your Dad before. I recognize the picture. What a nice name, Johnny Austin. Ann

  12. I love this gift, hope you explained on the card. I know they will love it too. Love keeping daddy’s love present. I need to think of something like this for Kyle’s wedding – for grandparents not able to be there. Love you!

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