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Jan. 27th, 2008

baby horrors

(no subject)

Here's pictures of the bag I designed. I took elements from a couple of different places, then added tie handles. I don't know about you, but I *hate* it when handles cut into my palm and having a bumpy tie to hold onto will probably help with that a lot. Plus it looks cute!
This is all from scrap fabric, and it's not to scale or anything. If anything, it's probably about 4" short width wise and about 6" short depth wise. But it was pretty fast and easy to sew. I'll have to make up a paper pattern with a paper bag or something, so I can cut out a lot at once.

I also got my sewing room WAY more organized. I still don't have things all separated, but at least now, even if the elastic, trims, wood dresser knobs etc are all intermingled, at least they are in various see-through boxes, and up on shelves. I've got ideas for sewing hanging bags to go on the wall, and I want to go find my drill today (I have 2, a cordless that needs to be charged and a corded. Both hiding in the garage somewhere, and who knows where the bits are)

So the floor is vacuumed, things are more easily found. I also put the desk up on bed risers LOL, now I don't have to hunch over to reach it, or bang my knee on the drawer. It's heavy steel, so I didn't want to get a new one, since this one doesn't shake now matter HOW fast I sew.
I'm not happy AT ALL, with my cutting area. It's to low to the ground, I have to hunch over to reach it. It's on sawhorses as you can see from the picture, with plywood as it's base. (I covered it with an old curtain) I've got the wood outside to make myself a GOOD cutting/layout table. One with the right height for me to not have to hunch over. I'm thinking rib high on me. and Long enough and wide enough to do more than just a *little* better good than the iron board as a cutting table.

Morgan, wants to change rooms again. We had her in that room right after Diane moved out, and the girls needed to be close to adults. But now that the girls don't live here anymore. It makes more sense to have Morgan in an actual bedroom with a closet rather than an 'office' type room. So that's going to need to be switched over here soon before I get to involved in making the room all mine. I'm going to miss the closet though!

Planning on making more things today. We'll see what is on my list that calls out to me!

Jan. 26th, 2008

baby horrors

(no subject)

I'm finally getting around to posting in here. geesh.

What am I doing lately?

Yeah, that's my list of stuff I need to do. Or have already started and need to finish. Over on the right side of the picture is my sewing to-do-list.

I've been working on making reusable grocery bags, which I'm from now on going to refer to as GGB ie: Green Grocery Bags k?

Before I'd really even started researching bags, a couple of blogs fell into my lap with posts about what they'd done. Two really stand out Wisdom of the Moon's and ok, well something else I can't find now, but I drew a picture of it, and basically it looks like a bodice top. Here's a scan of what I drew:

After reading the pattern in the link above, (I'd drawn the picture before seeing that post) I'd probably do the gusseted bottom, as it's easier and faster than sewing in a rectangular bottom and works just as well (or better, because you don't have to worry about seams giving out on your groceries)

I'm sewing a bunch of different types out of whatever scraps of stuff I have that I won't use for clothing or decor (or did, and am so over it LOL)

So so far, here's links to what I've found, with explanations.

A whole site dedicated to getting people to quit using throw-away bags.

crochet plastic bags - what do you do with all those plastic bags?

GGBS with built in gusset

classic 'green' GGB with handles starting all the way at the bottom

Shaped like an actual paper grocery bag

Curved GGB with padded handle and clip on stuff sack

About.com's paper bag shaped version of the GGB

Pattern has handles INSIDE the bag, so you don't have to worry about them ripping loose and a rectangular bottom


Make a GGB from scraps

Or, buy a bag! This site also offers these statistics on plastic bags
  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
  • According to the American Forest and Paper Association, in 1999 the U.S. alone used 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring 14 million trees to be cut down.
  • According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person.
  • According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.
  • Top Facts - Environmental Impact
  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
  • As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

Oct. 24th, 2007

baby horrors

(no subject)

The projects I could hunt down and take pictures of (some of these are really ollllld)
this is going to be short unless the frumpy one on my jiggling legs crashes, then I will go into immense detail LOL

lots of pictures behind cutCollapse )

Oct. 20th, 2007

baby horrors

(no subject)

Ok, I've been SO bad about posting stuff in here lately. I *like* having this journal, because despite my perfectionist streak. I can go back through here and say to myself *see!* you ARE to making a dent in your to-do projects list!

Projects lately.
I'm sewing Kaia a dress. It's got red/black plaid on the bottom half and a black bodice top. Putting ribbon around the 'waist' of the dress that says something like 'ghosts, goblins, witches' it's black ribbon with red writting. I was GOING to embroider something cool on it. But I can't find my freakin HUGE bag of embroidery thread with about every darn color ever made (that I got for free at Airman's Attic bless them). *sigh* ok.
Going to make little pants that go with it too. And probably 'Franny Panties' is what we call them. You know, bloomers with ruffles on the butt. Probably punk out the pants with a pleather 'ribbon' I have that has ready made silver grommets in it.
I'll get pictures of that later.

Kaia's blown through most of her pocket diapers. She's almost too big for them now. If they had snaps, they'd still fit her (as the medium fuzzy bunz I used to model them after STILL does fit) so I've been fixing up her prefolds that I sewed into contours, and adding elastic to the legs. Wulf loves them, because unlike the prefolds, he doesn't have to mess with folding them. So of course, just for him, I added plaid to the outside of them. Washed them, and whoops, discovered I probably should have sewn down the prefolds, as they bunched in places. I also added more soaker to the middles of the prefold/contours. I was told that baby's usuallly quit wetting so much after they aren't newborns anymore (Morgan was toooooo long ago, I forget cloth diapering then) but Kaia's JUST as bad, and soaks even more than she did. She's also got a really low rise, and a really TOAD type figure. RE: tiny waist, huge belly, fat thighs, skinny calves. hehehe. So she needs loooong tabs on her diapers. Fixed all that with the plaid over the prefold/contours. I'll take pictures of those tomorrow. I'm lazy today cuz my arm is hurting.

So Wulfs 'moby' wrap and his kilt I sewed. Plus a few other pics of recent projects (like in the last month or so)

Ok, munchkin is making I'm waking up noises....

Sep. 9th, 2007

baby horrors

Manly crafts

So Wulf and I went grocery shopping yesterday. Normally I wander around with Kaia in the teal-fairy 'moby' wrap I made (I've decided to sell the pink one, I'm not much of a pink person, skulls or not).
However, yesterday, I was two days out of surgery from having my tubes cut and burned so Wulf was carrying her (he loves to do that, he struts and does his proud papa look LOL) He started getting kind of tired though and she was really wiggling wanting to look at everything. So he asked if the wrap would fit him. (It won't he's too tall.) I told him it'd be really easy to head over to the fabric section and see if they had some stretchy-ish fabric that would work for him.
We walk up and 'lo and behold! they had OD green slightly stretchy twill in the dollar a yard rack! Oh man, the joy on his face when he realized I could make him a manly wrap LOL. Then as we head towards the cutting table we see. *gasp* USMC marpat (Marines digital camo for those not in the know) with the EGA (Eagle Globe and Anchor mark) on it. Meaning it's FOR REAL Marpat, not a cheap knock off and it's 3.94 a yard! Pleadingly he looks at me, I grin and him and say 'want a kilt'.
Oh the beaming. I'm giggling just thinking about it.

So today I cut the OD green fabric
Here's Kaia 'helping' by being cute and distracting me
Cutie KaiaCollapse )
I realized after I cut it out (duh) that I'd need to wrap it around Wulf while he's wearing Kaia to make sure it fits properly. I know 4 yards at 20 in wide works for ME, but I'm a chubby girl who is 5'2" and he's a wiry guy at 6ft. So I put that aside and started working on his kilt, using another kilt of his to make sure I got the pleats all the way from hipbone to hipbone like proper.
He's going to get home around 7:30 tonight after getting off work, driving immediately to Tallahassee to pick up my boys from the ex and drive back here. That's a lot to ask of him, but he does it cuz he loves us. So tonight he gets a kilt for a thank you LOL.
Here's the start (I'm further along now)
marpat kilt on my kitchen tablesCollapse )
and just for giggles, here's a pic of him say NOOOOOOOoooo don't take that picture wearing his only (for now) kilt.
Wulf in his kiltCollapse )

Jul. 9th, 2007

baby horrors

Homemade baby food

I once worked in a cannery.
Yeah, I was the security guard, but it's hard to avoid seeing what they are doing.
Say peaches. First you dunk the peaches quickly in very hot water so as to make it easier to remove all of the skin.
Then you cut off the bruises, bad bits etc. These go in one bin, the 'good' bits go in another bin, both heading down different conveyor belts.
The bruised and bad bits went to the baby food section.
That was in 1997, so I can't claim to know that some of the major baby food companies still do this, but there were at least TWO major companies that got their product from this particular cannery I worked at in Nor Cal.
Plus have you ever TASTED baby food? Even the apple sauce is bland and tasteless! No wonder little kids grow up and are so food picky, all their food tastes like NOTHING as a baby, so they get overwhelmed when food has taste later on! How on earth do you make apples bland? Or carrots? Weird.

Morgan, my 13 yo got homemade baby food because I was waaaaaay to damn poor to be buying the pre-made stuff. Ian and Owyn were conceived after working at the cannery.

So I've done a lot of homemade baby food in my life. And lets not forget my godson Sam, who spent over 8-9 hours a day 5-6 days a week for over a year of his life at my house. All in prime baby food time. But you know, it'd never occurred to Sam's mom that it was easier and less time consuming, PLUS cheaper (and they were pretty broke) to make Sam's food instead of paying a dollar for 2-3 jars of food. When I could make 10-15 jars of food for a dollar.

Then I've found other moms who'd never even thought about making their own food. It's like the pre-made stuff is just so prevalent, that no one really thinks outside the lines unless they were raised that way or have 'hippie' leanings.

So I've amassed tips from the internet, tips from me, recipes, etc and put em all here in one spot so as to make finding the information a lot easier instead of having to give out a billion different links while referring to my bookmarks and trying to remember what's what...

Baby Food Recipes.

About.com's homemade baby food recipes
Baby Dinner (chicken with rice
Mini Meat Loaf
Tiny Tot Turkey
Specific Fruits and Vegetables
Homemade Rice Cereal
First Foods recipes (keep scrolling, ads are annoying but there is good info)
6-9 month recipes (keep scrolling again)
10 - 12 month recipes (again with the keep scrolling)
Homemade finger foods (keep on scrolling)

(that's it for now, I'll add more later when I've got the time, but my butts gone to sleep LOL)

Jun. 21st, 2007

baby horrors

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

I used a medium Fuzzi Bunz, as the basic pattern for this particular kind of pocket diaper. However, I cut the crotch down thinner, made the tabs for the velcro longer and more rounded.(I don't like the triangular shape they use) I made the PUL fabric area for the back velcro about 1/2" wide rather than 1" than they do. Basically I streamlined the process, and made the diaper a bit less bulky. The diapers I'm using for a pattern are who knows HOW old, the elastic is completely shot, it was unraveling, the fleece they use as an inner was crunchy and not soft at all. Considering how much people rave about these diapers, I'm thinking this particular example must have been very very old. But I got it for 3 dollars from a mom on the clothdiapering community here on LJ Basically because I *DID* want to find some examples of very popular cloth diapers and see if I could re-create them with my own twists. (I've got 9 of them now in medium LOL) Oh and if you don't have a serger, you can pretty much just replace 'serge' with 'sew' except in some obvious places where you can just skip the step.

What You'll need:
PUL (polyurethane laminate cloth) in a diaper sized piece
Fleece in a diaper sized piece
2 5" 1/4" wide pieces of elastic
1 5 1/2" 1/4" wide piece of elastic
1 small safety pin

Jun. 12th, 2007

baby horrors

(no subject)

I've spent the last 3 days sewing diapers. The first two days were cutting out a copy cat Fuzzibunz pocket diaper after tearing one apart (I bought it for cheap because it had bad elastic that needed to be replaced.)

Upon looking at the diaper, I realized a few things:
1. The 'fleece' on them sucked. It's thin, not 'fuzzi' at all. And doesn't look like it do much beyond being a layer of cloth (not very comfy cloth in my opinion). Although, I must admit, I have NO idea of the antiquity of these diapers. They could be YEARS old, and have gone through all sorts of kids for all I know..

2. I'd make the long bits that go across the tummy wider and round. Less pointy and triangular.

3. I don't like snaps (that's just personal)

4. The crotch looked kind of wide. But I'll give it a go...

So I cut out 8 diapers using fleece from Walmart. (leftover from jackets I made the kids years ago) Fleece I'd bought from Walmart recently. Fleece from a blanket I bought at Goodwill. And 2 out of flannel from a particularly soft king size pillow case I no longer have the sheets too.

It took me 2 days to sew, because basically the baby kicked so bad when I used the serger that I quickly got uncomfy and had to go walk around for a bit, or find a new way to kick back for a little bit. So they were all done on the first day, but all elastic was done the 2nd day.

Today I made a tutorial on how to make one of these 'fauxzi bums' as Wulf calls em. I finished that about noon but had a docs appt and took a nap LOL.
So I'm gunna post the tutorial in a bit.. But I thought I'd post pics of the 'finished' diapers first. I had to wait for Diane to come back with white thread to put the aplix (ie: velcro) on, and by the time she got back from the store it was steaming hot in the kitchen and I couldn't see sewing anymore. So I'm going to wash them today, then sew on the aplix.
I've also got to go research washing PUL for the first time...

Cut for a friendly F-list, but diaper pics behind cutCollapse )

May. 30th, 2007

baby horrors

(no subject)

Hey, check out Morg wearing the moby wrap I made LOL, oh the shame and horror she exhibits LOL. She made me cut out her face. I'm soooo mean and even made her stand on the front porch so I could get decent color pics.
That's ok, I bribed her with computer time and she loves me once more...

It's pink striped (gasp!) with skulls (ah, that's more like it) on the outside and a light reflective skull in the middle (hey, if I'm walking down the road in the night, now cars will see me huh?)
I think I'll make the baby a matching outfit hehehehe.
I gots more, but I'll have to bribe The Morg more, so I'm going to wait on it.

baby horrors

(no subject)

I'll add more as I find them, or think of them.... Look for **new, if you check back

ACTUAL diaper patterns you can download and print
62-74 cm (newborn-6 months)
80-86 cm (6-18 months)
The patterns include necessary seam allowances
MamaBird's Pattern for a fitted, AIO, and pocket
instructions for the
fitted diaper
All in One diaper
Pocket Diaper

I've found with the MamaBird pattern that I've needed to lengthen the tabs, and with the Otto Bre design, I needed to make the crotch area skinner. YMMV.

IDEAS, talking about what other people have done, fabrics used, snaps vs. 'velcro', how to get materials for free, or practically free
Confessions of a diaper fanatic materials gotten for really cheaply
You can Sew this Diaper shows how a diaper might look cut out and how to assemble a fitted diaper
Update on the two above sites with tips on sewing, trim, fit etc
Frugal baby patterns (nursing pads, prefolds, menstrual pads, wool soakers, diaper doublers, fleece -stay dry- liners,
How to make contour diapers from prefolds, with measurements
Diaper Sewing Tutorials, with with instructions for fitted, AIO, pockets, covers, doublers, and mama pads
My Free Diaper Pattern, no actual print out pattern, just instructions
Fern and Faerie's, fitted, soakers, and stuffables
Fabrics, links to 'patterns' and other good ideas
Sewing a fitted nappy
Sewing a Pocket nappy with gussets
Faux 'fuzzi bunz'
Fleece Pocket Insert

Diaper Covers
Instructions for sewing a pull on fleece cover, from what I hear, these wick, and leak, fleece is better used as a liner inside the diaper to pull the moisture away from baby.
Easy PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) cover, no actual pattern, but using a regular fitted diaper pattern will work fine
Ultrex cover with snaps, again, no pattern included
Copy of a Mother-eeze air flow cover, again, no pattern included
Fleece Diaper Cover

Sewing Woolen Covers
Baby Bum Sweaters

Knitted Wool Cover (I don't knit, so don't have many of these)
Warm Heart Woolies PDF file
Knitted Liner
Fern and Faerie soaker pattern

Crochet 'longies' (pant soakers)
Crochet Soaker shorts or Pants
Crochet soaker along with sweater and bonnet
Nise's crocheted soaker pattern

Places I've found to buy PUL and other Waterproof material
I'm including price per yard, but not shipping and handling, you gotta figure that out yourself. I've also found that just because the FABRICS price might be good, they might charge ridiculous amounts for S&H, so watch that carefully and do the math
Sewbaby waterproof fabric 8.99 yd
Celtic Cloth 8.55yd
Peak Fabrics Ultrex 10yd
Wazoodle PUL from 7yd to 12yd
A Cut Above Fabrics 9.75 yd to 12.99yd
Sewzannes from 7.99 to 8.75

DIY 'other' baby Useful Patterns
Information on PUL
Making a 'no sew' aka 'Moby Wrap'
Moby Wrap Instructions
Slipcover for a Boppy
Grocery Cart Cover
Nursing Shirts
Zipper Tutorial
(in case you are making a wet bag, diaper bag etc)
Spiffed up Onsies
Making a 'Ring Wrap'
Making a convertible ring wrap
Making a Mei Tei
Make your Own nursing pillow
Sleep Sack
Adding Gussets to cloth diapers
DIY baby bibs
Make your own washable wipes
Getting started with embroidery

Other Baby links you might find useful
ASL signs, most useful with a baby (Ian, Owyn, and Sam STILL use signs occasionally)
Cloth Diapers and Detergents
Diaper Rash Creams and Cloth Diapers

Prefold folds for nighttime diapering
All those Prefold Diaper folds with PICTURES!

Places to Buy Used Diapers
Granola Babies
Bid on Fluff
Diaper Swappers
LJ's cloth diapering community

Other communities for Cloth Diapering
LJ's Cloth Diapers
LJ's cloth_diapering (seems less busy)
BLT diapering
Diaper Sewing and More

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