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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bundles of Baby: Double Duty Diaper and Wipes Case

We have two kiddos in diapers at this point.  Not ideal, and not what we were hoping for, but the three or four times we tried potty training Little Monkey didn't even notice (let alone, care) that he'd wet his big boy undies.  And potty training is exhausting even when you aren't hefting around an extra 15 pound belly.  So, we decided to wait.  But that means double the diapers.  Ugh.  I have never really been a big fan of the diaper bag.  It's so gigantic and I'm already trying to wrangle a wiggly two-and-a-half year old and a baby in an infant carrier.  The diaper and wipes cases are nice for quick trips (you know, like when you're out of milk and there's a cake waiting to be mixed... or infant ibuprofen and your kiddo has a fever of 103...oh, and My Mr Right is out of town, of course), it's a grab and go.  But with two kids, we needed something a little more hefty (and with a little more room...)




Here's the How:
Ok, sorry I don't have many photos of the process.  I lost the battery to my good camera and the camera on my phone was suffering some serious lag issues (like ten seconds to take one photo... and no one can hold perfectly still for ten whole seconds, so a lot of the ones I took were really blurry).  Bear with me and, if you have questions, leave a comment.  I'll get back to ASAP with more explanation that will help you understand better.  It's actually fairly simple, but sewing is kind of hard to explain.  If you can't figure it out, let me know.

Supplies-
- 1/3 yard outer fabric
- 1/3 yard liner fabric
- Velcro or other fastener (you'll need a set of two pieces)
- Thread
- Scissors
- Sewing Machine

Directions-
1.  Cut out your pattern.  I included one below that you're more than welcome to use.  I ended up making mine a little bigger so Little Monkey's size 5 diapers would fit.  The pattern below should fit up to a size 3, no problem.  And you could probably get a few size 4's in there too.  It's two pages.  You'll have to print and tape them together.  The first should be the size of an 8.5x11" piece of paper.




2.  Pin one of the liner pieces to one of the outer pieces, right sides together.  Repeat with the other set.  Stitch as close to the edge as you dare (I did about a 1/8" seam and then put some Liquid Stitch on the seam to help it hold) around three sides of the pouch.  Doesn't matter which three sides.  Snip your corners to reduce bulk and turn your pouches right side out through the side you left open.  Stitch up the open side.


3.  Lay out each piece of fabric.  Fold the pieces so they create pockets.  Determine where you want your fasteners.  You'll have to put one half of the velcro or snap or whatever on the pointy top part.  Then fold the flap down and mark where it hits on the bottom part of the pouch.  Unfold the pouch and pin the other half of the velcro to your mark.  You only want to sew through the one layer, not both or your pouch won't open.  Sew your velcro on.  Repeat with the other pouch.


4.  Pin the top halves of your pouch pieces together with the outer fabrics touching.  Fold the bottoms of the pouches up to create the pockets, like you did in the previous step.  Double check that your closures still match up.  Sew as close to the edge as you can around the sides and bottom of the pouches.  I ended up with about a 1/4" seam.  My sewing machine and needle weren't quite up to the job of sewing through all 8+ layers of the fabric, so I had to sew on the inside of the previous seam.  For this reason, my pouch ended up being a little short for the size 5 diapers.  They still fit, you just have to kinda scrunch them up on the end.  I already enlarged the pattern a little, so you should be ok.



5.  Fill the pouches with diapers, wipes and other diapering accouterments.  Bask in knowing you're ready to run out the door, should the occasion arise.  Just don't forget to grab your supply bag.  Or keep it in the car, for those times when you do forget.




* If you'd like the pocket between the pouches to close (to store desitin, powder or hand sanitizer, sew one half of a strip of velcro (or a zipper) across the back side (on the outer fabric) before step 4.  I probably would have done this if I'd thought about it before I sewed the two pouches together.  Alas, pregnancy brain strikes again.  *
   


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bundles of Baby: What to Take to the Hospital

When I was pregnant with Little Monkey, I read all the books and searched endless lists of what to take to the hospital.  There were all kinds of ideas, so I packed a nice big bag of things to do.  Now, every woman labors differently.  While in L&D last time, there was a wide range of reactions to labor.  The lady that delivered in ten minutes and acted like she was there for coffee, the woman with the TV turned up loud enough for the entire floor to hear, and the screamer.  Whoa.  It was a hopping joint that day on the L&D floor.

Back to that big bag... I didn't use a single thing in it.  My contractions were mainly in my legs and it felt like I was being drawn and quartered.  Not even U2, Maroon 5 or Depeche Mode could make me forget some invisible source was trying to rip my legs off.  But, that epidural was magic medicine.  Even after that, I didn't feel like a rousing game of Sudoku.  I'm a silent sufferer... basically, I just laid there and wanted to die.  And there sat my bag, in the corner, completely unused.

What did I wish I'd had?  How about:
- Shampoo
- Conditioner
- My Boppy Knock Off (for feeding times)

- Lotion
- My Contact Lenses (I had a pair of glasses, but I like my lenses so much better)
- Sleep Mask.  (We had an incredibly obnoxious Nursery nurse that came in every two hours during the night, flicked the lights all the way on and spoke at the top of her lungs, in case we were hard of hearing or something.  No one slept... until she went off her shift.  Those little plastic blinds just don't block out much light.  We went home ASAP.)
- Snacks.  My hubby was starving the whole two days.  And seriously, how many fruit cups can you eat before you never want to see another one again?
(Via)

- Comfy nursing bras.  I used my nice ones the first few days and, oh my goodness, once my milk finally came in, they ended up being a little too supportive.  I liked the sports bra style of nursing bras better the first few days.  There are no words for the pain of engorgement when your milk first comes in.
- Breast pump.  My milk took almost a week to come in.  Apparently, somewhere my biological clock missed the "make milk" memo.  We had to feed Little Monkey something so he had formula the first few days because I had nothing to give.  That little delay in milk production caused so many problems with breastfeeding.  I wish I had just pumped the whole time.  Usually, you can rent pumps from the hospital, but they didn't have any available.  This time, I will be taking my pump... just in case.
- Breast pads.  I didn't need these in the hospital, since my milk took so long to come in, but they were for sure a necessity after it finally did.  No one wants to be drippy... and it's just awkward to be sporting the "wet t-shirt contest" look when visitors show up.
(Via)

- Undies.  If you aren't a fan of the mesh undies the hospital gives you, take your own.  I personally liked the mesh ones because then I wasn't ruining any of mine.  I'll admit I wore them for a few days after coming home too.  You already feel like you're wearing a huge bulging diaper, the mesh undies lessen some of the bulk.
- Comfy clothes to go home in.  Your body goes through some serious trauma during labor and deliver.  Don't try to wiggle back into your pre-preggo jeans.  Things will be sore.  I wore yoga pants and a tee shirt home last time.  This time, my outfit will be along the same lines.  Besides, you'll still have that belly for a while.  Ugh.  I know.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.  I sent my mom to the store as soon as she'd handed the baby off because I soo badly wanted to brush my teeth.  Labor and delivery is one of the most disgusting things I've ever done.  I felt so gross, I just wanted something to be clean.

(Via)

- An extra bag.  We got soo much stuff from the hospital, it was a little difficult getting everything out to the car.  Our Nursery discharge nurse was awesome and totally hooked us up with extra blankets, hats, formula, diapers and bottles.  Then we had all the paper work too.  And all the stuff we'd brought with us.  It was definitely an armful.
- Manila envelop.  For all that paperwork.

By the way, with all the complaining and whining I've done about wanting this kid out, you'd think I'd have my bags already packed, right?!  Well, at least I have a list I can direct My Mr Right to when I wake him at at 3am with that "It's TIME!"

What are your must-haves for the hospital?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bow Tie Onesies

I haven't had a chance to sit down and actually write out a tutorial for this yet.  But, I had to share.  I made these for a friend who had a little boy back in January.  Actually, he wasn't so little... over 9 pounds!  My original plan was to give them a newborn sized onesie and a 0-3 months size.  He could use both onesies with all the bow ties.  Alas, he was WAY too big for the newborn onesie and only got the bigger size.  Hopefully, I'll have the time to sit and write out a tutorial soon... until then you can get them in my Etsy Shop... or just wing it.





Thursday, February 23, 2012

Weekend Wander #69

Hey, everyone!  Welcome to the party.  It's been a busy week... hope yours has been productive and you're ready to relax.  Let's get right to the good stuff!  Show me, whatcha been doin'?



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bundles of Baby: Boppy Knock Off

I made this while pregnant with Little Monkey, so I don't have a lot of process pictures.  There are lots of mommas that swear by the Boppy.  I was all for it.  Until I saw the price tag.  When we were looking at these, we had a great big long list of baby stuff we needed and didn't have an extra $30 for a Boppy.  So... I made my own.

Here's the How:
Supplies-
- Pillow.  I bought a two-pack at Wal-Mart for $5.
- Scissors
- Sewing Machine
- Thread

Directions-
1.  Cut one of the sides of your pillow open and pull out all the stuffings.  Set aside, you'll need it later.  Decide what shape you want your supportive pillow to be.  I made two pillows (what else was I supposed to do with the other pillow?), one was a donut-shape and the other was a blocky U-shape.

2.  Cut the pillow casing to your desired shape and stitch it up.  Leave a hole that you can turn the pillow through as well as stuff it.  Go ahead a leave a decent sized hole to make things easier on yourself.


3.  Stuff your pillow.  I used all the stuffing that was in the pillow to begin with.  In the U-shaped pillow, I wish I'd stuffed it fuller.  It was great at first, but flattened after a while.  The donut-shape pillow was a little fuller than it needed to be.

* Also, the donut-shaped pillow is a little small.  And, I'm a pretty small person.  If you want a donut-shape, I would suggest using both pillows to make the one donut-shaped pillow.  I primarily used the blocky U-shaped pillow.  It was AMAZING.

4.  Sew the opening of your pillow shut.  That's it.  Ok, that's not it.  I made removable pillow cases for my pillows so I could wash them.  Which was the best thing ever, because I can't tell you how many times spit up, breast milk, formula and other baby liquids got on these.

This pillow you have to push all the way through the cover, as it opens on one of the ends.  I did the U-shaped pillow with a strip of velcro on the long side.  It was WAY easier to get the cover on and off.  Which  made washing it not a big deal.  The circle shaped pillow didn't get washed as often...

5.  To make the covers, I just traced around the pillows, added some seam allowance and sewed it up.  I used velcro to seal the covers over the pillows.  It's not super pretty, but it's definitely functional.  And $10 bucks for two Boppy knock offs vs $30 for one Boppy without a cover.  I'll deal with the imperfections.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Post: Personalized Ribbon Taggie by 19elephants

Today, I have Beth from 19elephants here to give you a fabulous tutorial on a great personalized baby gift.  Beth has some great stuff on her blog and I highly recommend you head over and say hi... after you check out her fun tutorial, of course.  So, let's get to it!

__________________________________


Hi!!  I am Beth from 19elephants.  I am so excited to share with you my tutorial for a Personalized Taggie Lovey.  I made my first taggie lovey when my daughter was 4 months old.  She LOVED playing with and chewing on the tags on her toys.  I had seen taggie lovies before, so I decided to try to make one.  I couldn't resist adding a personal touch and putting my daughter's initial on her lovey. 


She still loves to play with it, and I have enjoyed making more taggie lovies for baby gifts.  I always like to give a gift that is handmade, and I love that this is a gift that the new baby can use early in life.  I also love this project because you can put so many personal touches on it, and the possibilities for color choices are endless.  You can also use as many or as few different colors and kinds of ribbon as you want.  This is my first tutorial, so I hope it is easy to understand, and that you have as much fun making your taggie lovey as I did making mine! 
First, let's gather our materials

You will need:
*Cotton Fabric measuring 11" x 11"  (I chose dark blue)
*Cotton Fabric measuring 8" x 8" (This is for your letter.  I chose lime green)
*Soft Material measuring 11" x 11" (I chose a micro fleece in light blue.  A minky material would work great, but I don't have access to a store locally that sells minky.  Any extra soft material will work)
*A stencil for your letter.  I simply chose a font I liked, made it the biggest I could to fit on one page, printed it off, and cut it out.
*Crinkly Material measuring approximately 11" x 11" (optional).  I used an empty plastic wipes container
*40 pieces of 4" ribbon.  I like to use a variety of textures and colors
*Coordinating thread (I like to use a color that will coordinate with the color of my letter)

Iron your cotton fabrics.  Cut your large background piece and fleece piece to 11" x 11".  I like to use my cutting board and rottary cutter, but scissors work just as well. 

Using your stencil that you have made, trace your letter on the BACK side of your smaller piece of fabric.  **Make sure that you trace your letter backwards, so it will be correct on the right side of your fabric.  This is not as important when using a letter "A" like I did, but this is obviously very important when using a letter like "B."  I simply held down my stencil, traced around with a pen, and then cut it out.  Place your letter on your square of fabric where you want it and pin it down.  I like to place my pins in the middle of the letter, so I don't have to worry about removing them while I sew down my letter.

I have very little experience with sewing applique, but this is a pretty simple project to start with.  I use a zigzag stitch.  You do not need to backstitch when sewing on your letter.  We will pull our threads through to the back and tie off when we're finished.  This gives you a nice even stitch around your letter.  When sewing around the letter, keep the right side of your stitch just past the outside of your letter.  You want your stitching to be almost exclusively on your letter (on my green fabric).  Make sure that your needle is in the down position when turning corners.  To keep your corners nice and neat, sew until your needle is on the right side of your zigzag stitch, turn your fabric, and keeping sewing.  When sewing around both a straight part of your letter, and a curve, keep your foot in a straight line.  This will give you even stitches.




When you come back to the beginning of your letter, do NOT backstitch.  When pulling your threads, hold them down against your fabric to prevent your stitches from pulling.  You can either thread a needle, and sew your threads to the back of your project, or you can use a simple trick that I like to use.  Turn your fabric over, and on the backside pull your threads.  A small loop will form.  Using the backside of your seam ripper, catch the thread and pull it through.  Tie your threads together several times.  Clip your threads.  You will now have two knots.  Don't worry, no one will ever see this part of your lovey.



When you come back to the beginning of your letter, do NOT backstitch.  When pulling your threads, hold them down against your fabric to prevent your stitches from pulling.  You can either thread a needle, and sew your threads to the back of your project, or you can use a simple trick that I like to use.  Turn your fabric over, and on the backside pull your threads.  A small loop will form.  Using the backside of your seam ripper, catch the thread and pull it through.  Tie your threads together several times.  Clip your threads.  You will now have two knots.  Don't worry, no one will ever see this part of your lovey. 



Our letter is now attached to our fabric.  Honestly, sewing around the letter is one of the trickiest parts of this project.  


Iron your project so it is nice and pretty, and ready for all the ribbon.


There are endless possibilities when choosing your ribbon.  I always have a lot of ribbon on hand because I also make hair bows, but this project can be done with two, or ten different kinds of ribbon.  I like to use a variety of textures and sizes so the baby will have lots of different ribbons to feel.  For this lovey I have chosen ricrac, satin ribbon in two different sizes, and grosgrain ribbon in two different sizes.  I like to have a lot of ribbon on my lovies, but you can use as few or as many pieces as you would like.  I used ten different kinds of ribbons in four different colors, and I needed four of each kind, so I cut 40 pieces of ribbon in all.  Cut your ribbon in 4" pieces. 


I like to lay my ribbon out so I can get a visual of what my lovey will look like. 

When making my first few lovies, I pinned each piece of ribbon on my project.  ****IMPORTANT****  When pinning/sewing on your ribbon, make sure the loop faces inward on your fabric.  This way when you turn your project, the ribbon will face out.  I do not want to admit the number of times I have done this incorrectly, and realized it halfway through, and had to rip out my stitches and start over. Fold your ribbon in half and pin your ribbon along your project.  If you are a type A person, this will probably be the method you choose because it will allow you to space your ribbon exactly how you want it to be. 

If you're like me, and you're not someone who thrives on orderly things (I wish I was more Type A, and I'm sure my husband does too!!), you might want to skip pinning your ribbon.  I put my ribbon in stacks in the order I want to sew them on my project. 

Now comes the fun part!!  Using a straight stitch  (don't forget to backstitch!)  sew your ribbon onto your lovey.  You want your ribbon to hang off your fabric about 1/4", and I also sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Don't worry, we will sew over the ribbon two more times, so it will be reinforced, and we won't have to worry about it coming loose and becoming a choking hazard.  Since I don't pin my ribbon, I just add a piece every little bit.  I like the variety and randomness that this gives to the lovey.  Sew your ribbon on all four sides of your lovey.
Tada!!!  Doesn't it look like so much fun?? 

I like to add crinkly material to the inside of my lovey to give the baby an extra little bit of delight.  What baby can resist a fun, crinkly lovey??  I use empty plastic wipe cases that I have cut to make flat.  If you don't use wipes, you can use any kind of crinkly material.  The bag that cereal and chips come in will work just as well.  I would suggest washing it off so your lovey doesn't smell like raisin bran or cheetos.  If you prefer a noiseless lovey, skip the crinkly material.  Lay your soft material with right sides facing.  Then lay your crinkly material on top of your soft material.  As you can see, my crinkly material is not quite 11" x 11".  This is no big deal, you just want to make sure that your crinkly material is 11" in either width or heighth, so it will be sewn to your project, and won't get bunched up with use.  Pin all of your layers together. 

Sew around your lovey, leaving about a four inch gap along one of the sides. 

Turn your lovey, and use a non sharp instrument to poke out the corners.  I like to use a mid sized crochet hook.
Doesn't it look fun???  Wait, we're not quite done. 

Now, using your zigzag stitch, stitch all along the outside of your lovey.  I like to start on the side with my gap so I can take care of that right off.  Simply fold in your fabric, ribbons, and soft material and zigzag stitch over the opening.  I like using a zigzag stitch here for a variety of reasons.  It ties in the color of your letter, it reinforces your ribbons, and it adds an element of fun to your lovey. 




Now you have a super cute, super fun, personalized baby gift.  Enjoy!! 
I would love to see pictures of your finished lovies.  If you have any questions, or there are any problems with the tutorial, please comment below and I will do my best to offer my help.
You can find the lovies for sale in my etsy shop.  Thanks so much!!

__________________________________

Thanks so much, Beth!  Sewing tutorials can be hard to write well.  Isn't this one fantastic?!  And aren't those just too cute.  I might have to go order one for our new little guy.  So, now you should go check out the other cute stuff at 19elephants, as well as all the goodies in her shop.

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