Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sewing Projects: Cloth wipes and swiffer cover

Summer and I also decided that the babies shouldn't be the only ones getting their most delicate parts wiped with soft flannel! I looked into buying some family wipes but decided, Nah, I can make them! I didn't even look up how most people do it. I knew most were made with sergers which I  don't own. I decided to not even fool with the sewing machine at all.  I bought a half yard each of two different, but coordinating fabrics. Instead of deciding ahead of time a size, I divided the fabric in half one way and in thirds the other. After squaring up the fabric, and joining two pieces together, they ended up being roughly 5 1/2 X 8.  We are only using them for #1 so we didn't need them to be big.  Plus they ended up being a good size for the napkin holder I ended up buying to keep them in. I joined three sides together inside out using a running stitch. Flipped it out pressed it, then closed the open end with a blanket stitch. They've been washed and dried several times now and are holding up great! BTW... If your wondering we were already keeping the diaper pail in the bathroom near the toilet so this is not a hard transition. We have switched our regular TP to 100% recycled, White Cloud.

I got some birdseye cotton unpaper towels (napkins). I also bought two packs of microfiber clothes for regular cleaning. It came with one for glass, stainless, bathroom, and wood. I decided to turn one of the wood ones into a cover for my swiffer.

I'm feeling cheaper... I mean greener by the minute!

Sewing Projects: Pillowcase dress

All of thissewing going on prompted Summer to want to learn to sew. After my next prenatal I headed back to the fabric store. I had seen a friends little girl wearing a pillowcase dress and had seen them on etsy. I thought this would be easy. I looked through pattern books and found the easy sew section in simplicity. These were only 2.99. I got one for the pillowcase dress and another that had dresses with short sleeves and a purse. It really was very simple. Summer sewed the front to the back with the machine and used a basting stitch on the contrast band before I attached it.  I could've gotten by without the pattern but if I hadn't I wouldn't have known to get bias tape for the armpits. This was the only semi hard part. And of course my inferior sewing machine kept messing up making it frustrating. I ended up doing the second one by hand and it turned out better! I gave the machine one last shot on the neck casing and then gave up on it and finished the bottom by hand. Of course machine sewing with a good machine would be faster, but I actually ended up enjoying the hand stitching. I could curl up comfortably on the couch. It was quite therapeutic. Scott gave me the green light to buy a new machine but I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sewing projects: Wraps

I've already blogged about this wrap once but I wanted to tell the story behind it as well. I went online to buy a gypsymama wrap. I ordered from their outlet which ends up being either a return or demo but saves you $20. I then started talking to a friend about it. She was saying that it was still out of her budget so I suggested she go on and look at the homemade ones. Why didn't I think of this for myself? I started looking too. Then I came across an article about how to make a wrap and found out the type of wrap I was getting (gauze) doesn't fray too much so you don't have to to anything to the hem unless you just want to. About this time I started kicking myself! The next day I got an email from GypsyMama telling me the wrap I ordered is no longer available. It must be a sign... Praise God. So canceled the order and went to the fabric store. They had some gauze 30% off but not a huge selection. Basically it boiled down to solid turquoise or fuchsia. Since I don't know what I'm having, I choose turquoise. Plus I knew I wanted to split the fabric and give one to a friend who is having a boy. I was hoping to find a striped pattern, this seemed really plain and boring. So I started looking at other fabrics that I could use to make a pocket on the wrap. It would mark center and be useful! I decided I would try to put a zipper on the pocket as well. I spent all of $30 and jad enough stuff to make two wraps with pockets. When I got home I started looking at my ring sling that has a zipper pocket on it. Then I started thinking about the pillow blanket my mom made my son. I thought it would be neat to be able to store the wrap inside and make kind of of a pillow out of it. So I had to make sure the inside if the pocket had a finished lining. This was the result.

 I decided I wanted a short wrap too, mostly for doing the Hip Cross Carry later on (when I'm not preggers). It ended up being a tad bit shorter than I wanted. I wanted this color because we are going to Myrtle Beach shortly after the baby is born and I am going to be doing some beach photos. Ive got a lot of ideas for this wraps versatility! I wanted 4 yards but they only has 3 and 5/8ths left. Luckily I'm tiny! I tried to do a regular rucksack with Raiden but he never cooperates for it. I decided to try a Short Cross Carry and then maneuver him onto my back. This was attempt number 2. The first time I tried the knot was too far around my back so I couldn't adjust it. It was also a little hard not to get my shirt all twisted.  Once I got everything situated though, it was quite comfortable for both of us! I should also be able to the Kangaroo Carry with it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

1st Sewing Projects: Diapers and Such

We made the switch to cloth diapers around the same time we cut satellite. It was more of an effort to save money in the long run than being "green". The fact that it's good for the environment is a bonus! And my babies bums! Anyway, the prefolds that I have are just a little too long for the Raiden so I'd have to either fold it in the back or front. This is fine during the day but a night when I have to add doublers it was just too much bulk. I thought about buying fitteds but didn't want to spend more money. I started thinking about what I could do with my prefolds. I got out my scissors and a needle and thread. The covers hold the diaper in place so I don't have to fasten them but trifolding is a little narrow and fat and you can fold in half because the padding goes through the center and it would be too wide anyway. I cut some off the length then folded the sides in and stitched them together at the width I wanted. Trimmed off the excess, and sewed up the raw end, turned it (inside out/outside in) so the seam was inside. I couldn't get my sewing machine to work so I did it by hand. I left one end open so i can put doublers inside.

I had bought a wool cover for nighttime but really didn't like the fit of it. I came across an article about upcycling wool sweaters to make pull up type covers. So I dug in the closet and found an old one of Scott's that was 100% wool. Here I go trying to be frugal again and being green in the process.  The pattern is simple, cut a triangle from the waistband, bring all the points together at the center of the waistband, sew leaving the holes open for the legs. Then I used the neckband to make the cuffs for the legs holes. Simple. I then decided to make longies out of one of the arms. These are like a diaper cover a pj bottoms in one. I cut straight across from the armpit. Split the seam starting at the wrist to the desired inseam. I laid it so it was centered and cut through the other side. Stitched up the inseam and made a casing in the waste for a drawstring. Wah La!
But now I have another problem. I have to be able to fasten the diaper in these type covers.  First I just snipped the seam on one of the inserts I made that I didn't close the end on and cut wings. Then I fasten with snappies. This works fine but I came across another article on turning a prefold into a fitted so I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a new sewing machine but got a cheapy at Wal-Mart and it hasn't been particularly useful. So this is a combination of machine and hand sewing.