Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Sewing!

I had to cram in a lot of sewing just before Christmas because of that power outage. The bibs were pretty much the same as the other ones, but different fabrics. Four were for my nephew, one for Elijah, one for an order and that purple one snuck in a picture again. I like the green stripe with the animal prints. I made one reversible, and one just animal prints to have a matching green one later.


Time: 10 minutes at most
Cost: $0.50 (Jo-ann's Black Friday sale)

I was really satisfied with the look of this scarf for Eve. WAY CUTE! I used a rotary cutter, and it made it so fast to make. In retrospect, I should have made some more to give away for Christmas.

Doll Cloth Diaper
Time: 1 hour
Cost: $0.75

I love this little diaper. It was still time consuming for a normal projects, but fast for a diaper... and so, so cute. The are lots of nice features not found in other doll diapers I've seen. It has double sided aplex tabs, so you can roll it up, elastic in the legs, some pretend doo-doo and pee-pee, and there is a 2 layer fleece "soaker" inside, giving it a little thickness. Definatly cute.

I also made a container of fleece wipes to go with it. If I sell these, I'll make a printable label so it will be quicker.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Elijah's 1st Birthday & Quilt

The top quilt is the one I made for Elijah, and the bottom is one that my mother-in-law had commissioned for Eve. The cupcakes make me hungry every time I look at them.

Time: Been in the works for over 10 months.
Cost: Who knows, it should have been more... next time, I buy extra fabric!

So I was chugging along decently with this quilt, until I got to the heart border and realized I didn't have enough fabric to do it all. No prob, just go buy more, right? Well Ben Franklin's Crafts doesn't really have stocked selections... you get what you get (or don't get enough of!) So skip ahead 7 months and I realized the night before his party that I was planning on giving it to him for his birthday. Luckily, I was able to salvage enough fabric (barely) for the frill, and I just skipped the hearts. Of course I messed up cutting the backing and had to piece that together too, which too an added hour to figure out how to get enough fabric and still make it look nice. I think it turned out okay, but I'm glad to have that over. I like that it looks more boyish without the hearts, but I really wish it was bigger. I used 80/20 cotton batting and I still have to do the actually quilting, which I was going to do by hand, so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ice Storm

Time: 2:00 AM 12/11/08 through 8:00 PM 12/15/08
Cost: The cost of the food in our fridge minus savings on electricity.

These are pictures from the ice storm that his New Hampshire pretty hard. That ice was really satisfying to crunch! We lost our power just before my parents drove up from Louisiana to stay with us... So I wasn't able to vacuum the house (Eve had gotten playdough all over and cheerios were smashed into the carpet from while I made those 3 orange diapers) or do any almost any of the cleaning/fixing up I wanted to do. Plus, I was planning on doing my Christmas sewing that weekend. And we lost a lot of our food.

But I did have a lot to be thankful for. We had heat from our landlords generator, and our stove was gas. We had food to eat and it was kept cold on the deck (until the last 6 hours of the outage, in which it hit 59 degrees- of course). We had disposable diapers on hand because of Eli's rash, our laundry was done and the cloth diapers had made it into the wash. Even most of our dishes were done (when does that ever happen?). We could charge our laptop/toothbrush/DS at Jon's school, and later we were able to hang out at a friends house who got power, and little later, internet. And most fortunately, the power came back on two hours before my parents got there!!! I vacuumed and cleaned (and put back the surviving food in the fridge) like a madwomen.

Still, it messed up their visit a bit. I was going to look up events to go to while they were here... I was going to get the sewing done, and I was going to have food they could eat on hand (rice/soy based foods for my mom and vegitarian foods fo my sister). So, besides the fact that they were bored, neglected and hungry, the visit went fine :) Oh well, at least now (Jan 1st) I'm starting to get caught up with everything.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snapped One-Size Diapers

Time: 2-3 hours per diaper (estimated, I did each step together)
Cost: ~$5.00 per diaper
Pattern: It's a mix of the different styles of pockets diapers I own already.

I think I found a keeper! I've been working on modifying my diaper patterns for a while, and I finally found one I really like. The 'sky' blue diaper I made with my first pattern, and I didn't really like it much. The upper snaps were too close together at the top, not close enough to the top of the diaper and made Eve complain that they hurt. Plus the OS rise snaps made the diaper too small, as did the tightness of the elastic I used. I changed the snaps placement for the next pattern, added in a middle OS column, and made the whole thing longer and the tabs wider.

The pictures show the three rise setting. The smallest orange diaper and the blue one are on the same settings. You can see how the orange one is much bigger with all the changes I made. Elijah's (11 months) snap settings are on middle orange one and Eve's (3 years) is on the largest. All of them are shown stuffed with one insert.

The three orange ones were made in (almost) one night with the new pattern. I used swimsuit elastic, melon PUL and buttersuede (I can't wait until I get my CuddleDry Microfleece in). The orange snaps are from Serena's notion supply. It's one of her custom colors and match much better than the store-bought melon diaper's snaps I have here. I really liked using white snaps at the top and colored snaps on the body. It's less confusing to 'newbies', it makes it harder to see the OS snaps (which I never really liked the look of) and I really like how the contrast of white brings out the bright colors.

Conclusion: 4 down, 16 more to go! (AHH!!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fitted Diaper

Cost: Probably about $4
Time: 45 minutes (I was in a hurry and I did a sloppy job)

I made this diaper because Elijah was having terrible diaper rash. His skin was peeling and he was in a lot of discomfort. I was trying to let him go without covers, but I mostly have pocket diapers. I only had two other fitted diapers and I was sick of pinning pre-folds on him, so I made this one to add to my stash.
The diaper itself is cute, but sloppy. My serging was terrible, and I don't think I used enough leg elastic. It has blue flannel outside, and tan inside, with 2 layers of Zorb for a soaker.

Unfortunately, it didn't help get rid of the rash. It was turned out to be a different kind of rash, caused by the cloth diapers only. Disposables have cleared it up fine. It's been a month and I still haven't gotten him back into the cloth, which worked perfectly because we would have had to put him in disposables soon anyway: We had a 3.5 day power outage, followed by a week of family visits, Elijah's birthday, and traveling to my grandparents for Christmas week, followed by Eve's birthday. (If you can't tell- I backwards date these posts, so I have a record of when I actually made the items) Anyway, I really need to troubleshoot the problems soon, so I can get him back in cloth. Suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Leather Boots

Cost: ~$2.00
Time: About 2.5 hours, including drafting and fitting the pattern
Pattern: I modified this pattern on TackyLiving

I made these boots for Elijah. His poor little feet are so cold because he always pulls off his socks. I still don't really like using hard soled shoes for babies/toddlers, and I didn't want to pay $12 (again) for leather shoes he's going to outgrow at the end of the season. So I bought some leather... I was planning on making completely leather shoes for the fall following the above pattern, and I did make one, but my sewing machine started skipping stitches and then while I waited to have it fixed I lost the top piece of the second one. I haven't made a new one because I'm still hoping that I'll find it. Anyway, enough background...

These shoes have leather soles, microsuede outers and are lined with sherpa, everywhere but the soles (I may serge and hand sew in a peice of sherpa down there later to cover up the seams). I used the soles from the pattern above, modified the front piece and completly made up the back one. They both close with some touchtape (velcro) in the back. The first shoe I made sort of pulled of easy without socks on, so I put some elasic in the lining of the second one and that seemed to fix it.

As for the materials: I bought 2 bags of leather in Hobby Lobby in Louisiana, so I used one of those peices. The sherpa I got at a garage sale, so I don't know too much about it, exept I can tell it's not polyester. The mircosuede is actaully leftover fabric from our awesome rocking chair cover (thanks again mom!), and that was from the clearence flats in Joannes.

Conclusion: Love them! I wouldn't mind making these to sell or for gifts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doll Clothes

Time: about an hour
Cost: I used scraps, but less than $1 I'm sure
Link: Operation Christmas Child if you don't know what it is.

I made some clothes for the doll I was putting in our shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. The clothes I bought at the dollar store was too big. It just started with a dress, then I was going to make a matching diaper cover, but I made it too small, so I made a diaper instead... Then I made a coat, and of course, she needed a matching hat. I stopped there before I went really crazy with it, but socks would have been pretty cute too. The doll was a nice find. That's the kind of simple doll I really like; only $3 at target, too. This is only the second time I've sewn doll clothes, but it is definitely satisfying.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Bibs!

Cost: $0.56 each
Time: ??, but I know I spent way too long on the purple one.

More bibs! The top two bibs were made for my cousin's baby. The purple one was supposed to be for her too, but I didn't like it enough. The one with big flowers I made for Eve.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baby Legs

Cost: $1.00- $2.00 (I don't remember!)
Time: 15 minutes at most, even with seam ripping a mistake
Pattern: BabyLegs (Although I skipped step's 2-4 for a looser cuff)

Here are the first pair of homemade babylegs I made. They were from a 2 pack of kids socks I bought at Walmart. Very quick to make!I just wish it was easier to find cute (especially for boys) inexpensive knee socks. I used a serger and it went very quick. They match Eve's brown dress very well.

Conclusion: I love them! Quick and easy to make. I will definitely be looking for more socks to make some more.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Cost: $0.56 each
Time: 1 hour to cut and sew and snap both, with lots of kid interruptions in there

This is my first attempt at making bibs and I really like it! They were easy to make, the came out cute, and were cheap! They made from two layers of flannel from Jo-Anns. The car is another flannel print I cut out and sewed on there, but it doesn't look as good as it does in the picture so I'm not sure I'll do that again. Maybe with a solid color. I put stitching around the giraffe in the front, but It doesn't really do much of anything, so I think I'll use a brighter thread next time. I still think they look great!

Friday, October 10, 2008

One-size Diaper and Diaper Pail Liner

Cost: ?
Time: ?

This is the first One-size Pocket Diaper I got to make with my snap press. I used ocean PUL outside and buttersuede inside. I used lastin instead of elastic and I don't think I like it much. Plus I put the TouchTape on the front too high, oh and I meant to put blue snaps on the front... But even with those problems, I still like it! It still looks good and it worked! Yea! Jon doesn't like the touchtape much, he says it too strong, but I think it'll get better.

Diaper Pail Liner
Cost: $6.08 : $5.74 for the PUL and $0.34 for the elastic
Time: 3o minutes

This was pretty quick to make, although I didn't count the extra hour I had to spend when I cut the first pattern wrong and had to try to figure out how to salvage the material. I made it square on the bottom, which turned out really good and fits our diaper pail really well. I used leftover waistband elastic (from the shorts I sewed for Elijah) around the edges, but I should have used FOE. I didn't even think of it at the time (again, thanks mom!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Sewing Machine is fixed!

Cost: Not sure. The fake minkee was leftover from making my boppy cover a while back.
Time: Also Not sure. It took forever it seems, due to all the sewing machine problems.

This is the first project I finished with my repaired sewing machine. It was a going to be a diaper for my nephew, but he was born too big to wear it, so I never finished sewing it. I was so glad to get it done, I only had the topstiching left. Before I had the sewing machine fixed I could only get about 1-2 inches done before a thread snapped, or all the stitches started skipping or the thread came off the bobbin tension holder. It was very frustrating. But now... I got it done in one try! Yea!

It is a pocket diaper, with buttersuede from Hancocks on the inside. There is a hidden layer of white PUL behind the light blue Minkee. The minkee is acutally a rip-off version at Jo-Anns, and it has blue stars on it, but is still very soft. I used Aplix fasteners and I think 1/4" elastic on the inside. For the tabs, I used baby blue PUL that were scrap from some of the diapers my mom was going to make.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Snap Press Bibs!

Cost: Snaps are $.06 (for the 4 parts that make a snap) and the press, dies and shipping from china were about $79
Time: about 2 hours (mostly seam ripping!)

My Snap press arrived last Saturday! I bought the snap press to make diapers, but my first project was replacing all the worn velcro (and annoying ties) on our current bibs. Turned out, this was a great learning project! I got used to how to set up the press, remove mistakes (drilling them out), and what sort of pressure I needed to apply to make them 'stick'. I was able to do 12 bibs total, and I think I have about 8 more that require sewing to remove the velcro.

Conclusion: I really like using the snapped bibs. They are way easier to put on, the kids can't take them off, and now I can wash them with any other clothes without having velcro come apart and get stuck to everything.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cassie's Mei Tai

Original Mei Tai

With Modifications

Cost: ~$15
Time: 3-5 Hours ( A lot of time is actually spent sewing)
Pattern: A combination of Beth's Mei Tai, Jan Andrea's and the Frankencozy

I made a combination of the three patterns listed above. I may post some pictures of the pattern and call it my own, because I changed so much of the patterns. It is most like Beth's Mei Tai with a smaller body sizing ( 16" x 26" with a 6" sleeping hood). However I put the bottoms straps completely perpendicular to the body like Jan Andrea's pattern. Also, I used wide straps, pleated at the top, that taper down to the point where I tie them ( invented due to a fabric short-sightedness, but I do like it like that). Another modification was that I left the sleeping hood 'open', so it doubles as a storage bag. Probably my best modification.

In this picture, you can see there are no straps on the sleeping hood and I didn't finish sewing the tails of the straps. I have a snap press now, so I'll probably use those to attach the ends straps to the sleeping hood. Oh and in the picture I'm wearing it wrong, the tie is supposed to be around his legs, I figured that one out pretty quick. :)

Well, I originally posted a very unfavorable conclusion to this Mei Tai... but that has changed. I didn't like it because it was too big for him, and I only wore him in it on my back. Here's my Orginal Post:

"It's too big for him. His legs can't bend and have to stick straight out. And, it's hard for me to feel comfortable while holding him. Also, I do the criss-cross of the straps in the front and they really squish me! And they look wicked funny when I'm wearing it. And my back starts to hurt about as much as it does with the snuggli backpack carrier! I really hoping this carrier would be the solution to for Elijah getting too big for the pouch, but it hasn't been great."

Well, I fixed the size issue. I put in pleats at the bottom of the body so its smaller and his legs can bend. It also created a tiny 'seat' for him.

So, I was originally planning on using this carrier as a replacement for a backpack carrier. You can see that it didn't work well for me at all, and I still have those same problems... But, as a front carrier I really like it! It's easy to get him in it and I can go for a long time before I start to feel it. Plus, I have successfully nursed in it while walking through a mall :) With a tanktop and button-up shirt to cover my sides, no one could tell. He's currently 10 months and I've been using it as a front carrier for about 4 months. It's gotten really comfortable and easy to use.

Would I do it again? Yup. I use it all the time now. I would like to change the body styling though to bring the top of baby in closer to the body. Maybe a future project!

(EDIT: I have a new Mei Tai!)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Baby Pouch

Cost: ~$7 per sling
3 Hours (1st one), 1 Hour (2nd one)
Jan Andrea Pouch Pattern


This is the first project I wanted to post, my baby pouch. I made this a quite a few months ago when I was pregnant with Elijah. The outside fabric is twill, and the inside is just a quilter's cotton print. I made this from Jan Andrea's Pouch Pattern (see link above - it's free!), with no padded rail. The fabric was $14 total at Jo-Anne's, and I was able to make two matching pouches out of it. It took me about 2-3 hours to iron, cut and sew the first one, and about 1 hour for the second one. I had to use tan stitching for the front so it doesn't look great in the picture, but I think I fixed it later with a nice matching brown thread.

I really enjoyed this while Elijah was a newborn, but I did find it slipped down on my shoulder too much while he was laying down. So I made another sling, one with a little deeper of a pocket, so that it would be a little tighter on my shoulder. It helped a bit, but he started sleeping more upright anyway, so that helped a lot more. He loved this sling as a newborn and could *almost* always be calmed down in it.

But... once he hit 3 months he was just getting too big to use it in very many positions. He wasn't big enough for using it on the hip (and I never put the padded rail in), he was getting to big for me to carry on the front all the time and he would have to be crammed in funny to look around in it.

I put in some padded rails on one, so it easier on him. It helped a bit, but I think this carrier is best suited for us for quick trips, like to the mailbox.

I'm really happy with them! For $7 each, it was worth it! It was cheap, easy to make and really helped during that tricky newborn stage.