Saturday, May 12, 2018

How I Cloth Diaper 2.0

Spring has finally arrived in North Dakota!  Last weekend was so beautiful and we made sure to spend a bunch of time outside both at the park near our house and in our backyard.  This weekend is a little cooler but we still got some good backyard time today.  Today I wanted to write a post as an update to my original post on cloth diapering.  In this post I will share all that I have learned in the past year and 8 months since I wrote that original post. 

When I wrote that post we were only 3 weeks into our journey with cloth diapering and I am now happy to report that we made it through the journey which is almost over for my 1st and have successfully been on that journey for the past 4 and half months with our 2nd. 

Somethings have changed quite a bit and others have not changed at all.  My diaper of choice for daytime is still the 4.0 or 5.0 bumgenius pocket style diapers. 

Nightime Diaper Solutions

As my oldest grew however those diapers didn't really cut it for nighttime use.  I tried doublers including hemp ones to add absorbency but it still wasn't enough.  I tried Best Bottom diapers which have snap in inserts for awhile but they weren't my favorite.  I still use them from time to time though.  A friend of mine whose son was a heavy wetter told me about Grovia O.N.E.S and that is now my nighttime diaper of choice.  They are so awesome but are a little bit pricier than others.  I'm glad we have them though because my 7 month old is a much heavier wetter than her older sister was so she is already using the Grovia O.N.E.S at night. 

Wash Routine

One big change to our cloth diapering since that last post is the wash routine.  This is one that I wish I would of changed much sooner.  My biggest advice on this subject is to find a wash routine that works for your washer and the water that you have in your town.  The website Fluff Love University is the most awesome resource for figuring out how to wash and care for your cloth diapers.  I didn't realize that we had hard water and I was washing our diapers completely wrong for over a year.  My oldest started getting rashes all the time that would go away when she wore disposables for an extended amount of time.  The diapers had also developed a barnyard smell that never seemed to go away.  I ended up having to strip the diapers which you can also read about on the Fluff Love University website.  I now have a completely different routine and I use good old Tide in the powder form now.  It works great and the diapers no longer smell.

Spraying Diapers

When I wrote my original post on cloth diapering we were quite a long way from having to spray diapers.  I bought a diaper spraying when Lyla was about 5.5 months but didn't end up having to really use it until she was about 7.5 months.  Lyla only ate solids at dinnertime until about 8 months.  I tried to feed her at breakfast time before then but she always refused.  Because of this her diapers really didn't end up needing to be sprayed for awhile.  Ana has been eating 2 meals a day of solids since about a month ago so her diapers needed to be sprayed much sooner.  I really recommend having a diaper spray for when your child starts solids.  Some deem it unnecessary but I find it useful.  It is also great for cleaning off blowout clothes from daycare and has really come in handy during potty training as well for when Lyla has an accident. 

Extra Absorbency

Like I mentioned earlier, Ana is a much heavy wetter than Lyla.  She just pees a lot I think.  In the hospital almost every time we changed her wet diapers she would pee when her diaper was off.  It happened so much that we had to have the nurses bring in extra bassinet covers several times while we were there because we kept running out.  Flour sack towels are a solution for lots of people because they are absorbent, natural, dry quickly, and are cheap.  I bought 24 of them from Target.  I don't feel like taking the time to fold them every time I wash them so I decided to sew them into inserts.  The drying time will be a little longer but should still be pretty fast.  I used this tutorial to make the inserts.

Replacing Elastics

Overall my diapers have held up really well but many of them had elastics that were really shot.  Because of this I couldn't really use them on Ana because she had much skinnier legs than Lyla did.  The elastic on the bumgenius diapers is actually pretty easy to replace, it's just tedious.  It took me a good 2 months to finally finish all of them because I only did a few at a time.  This video tutorial really helped me.

Cloth Trainer

Many of the cloth diaper companies make cloth trainers as well.  They cost about as much as a cloth diaper though and I couldn't justify spending that much on something that would be used for such a short period of time.  For day training I did naked training with Lyla and then I went straight to underwear after that.  She still isn't nap or night trained so she wears pull ups for nap (although she hasn't worn a pull up for nap at daycare in a few months and has only had a handful of accidents) and up until recently Grovia O.N.E.S at night.  When Ana started needing the Grovia diapers I decided to try to make a few cloth trainers.  I used this pattern called Sanity Saving Training Pants.  

I'm definitely not going to go into the business of making cloth diapers or trainers but these do look pretty cute and do the job.  I got the PUL fabric from Diaper Sewing Supplies.  I really had to fiddle around with the waist and leg openings and I still don't like how baggy these are in the front but they work. 

That space kitties fabric is my favorite!  Funny story is that I had this fabric draped over her chair at the dining table for a couple of months until I trusted her not to have an accident on the dining room chair.  She randomly asked me a few weeks after I had removed it where her kitty one went ha ha.  I also made a pair with red fabric with white polka dots for my Minnie Mouse loving girl and I have one more print that isn't shown here because I messed up really bad on that pair and need to start over. 

Well that is all for now!  Next time I will be sharing some decor projects with you either in the family room or the living room depending on which one I finish and put up first!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Giant Sewing Studio Pegboard

I can't believe it has been a year since we put our house on the market and went searching for a new house!  At this point in time last year I was nervous about finding a house since our house sold in 24 hours and we had a time limit of about 3 weeks to find a new one.  We saw several houses in the beginning that could of worked but we would of had to compromise on some of the things on our wish list.  This time around I didn't want to compromise too much because I knew that I wanted this house to be our forever home.  I'm glad we stuck it out even though our offer on this house got accepted with less than 24 hours to spare!  One thing that I really wanted in our new house was a dedicated space to sew and craft and this house has the perfect space!  Here are some before pictures of the space.

This little room is right next to our family room in the basement which is perfect because I plan on the family room being a play space for the girls.  Another great thing about this room is the storage!  Those built in cabinets are perfect for storing away many of my craft supplies.  In the last picture you can see the other side of one of the ugliest accent walls I've ever seen!  Here's what it looks like from the other side.
When I saw the listing for this place I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of this wall.  But despite this ugly wall I knew that the rest of the house is perfect.  Someday we will get rid of that wall but for now it is a good conversation point when people take a tour of our house!

I'll talk more about the rest of the things in this room in a future post but today I want to focus on the pegboard wall.  After painting the room, we got to work putting up the pegboard.  I purchased these pegboards from Home Depot.  It would of been cheaper to buy one continuous piece of pegboard but these are nice quality and I thought it might be easier to hang four smaller pieces than one giant one.  I also purchased 3 pieces of 8 ft long one by twos, wood screws, and 3 pieces of 8 ft long flat crown moulding for the frame.

I didn't take any pictures of the hanging process but it was pretty simple.  We found the studs and screwed the one by twos to the studs (one at the top and bottom of where we wanted the pegboard and one close to the middle).  Then we screwed the pegboard panels to the one by twos.  Finally I cut the ends of the crown moulding pieces at a 45 degree angle with a miter box and saw.  I had to cut one of the pieces in half for the sides of the frame.  We used a pneumatic nail gun to attached the frame around the edge of the pegboard.

I was originally going to leave the pegboard white but I loved this wall color so much that I didn't want to lose so much of it behind the pegboard so I painted the pegboard to match the wall and then painted the frame white.

The hardest part of this is figuring out how to fill it up with stuff now that it is on the wall.  I bought an assortment of pegboard hooks and accessories to hang my tools and shelves and such.

I found this little letter board at Hobby Lobby.  It came with white letters but I also bought some smaller blush pink letters from Amazon.

I found this pink wire shelf/bin at Target.  I couldn't find it online to link it but it is from the Pillowfort collection.
It is so nice to be able to easily reach for my tools while sitting at my desk but also not having them on the desk and cluttering up my workspace.

A lot of my storage solutions for this pegboard came from either Target of Ikea.  These Ikea Skurar votive candle holders are perfect for holding various tools and they are so pretty.  By the way, I can never remember the weird Scandinavian names for Ikea stuff.  It took me so long to find the link to these because I couldn't remember what they were called.  I also have a few sizes of the plant pots from the same collection.  I'm using the smaller size Skurar pots on the pegboard and I have some larger sized ones hanging on the pegboard.  I have 4 of these Bekvam spice racks on the pegboard and I intend to buy more.  
Most of them will be used for ribbon and trim storage.  This is the BEST solution that I have found for ribbon and spooled trim storage!  In our old house I had my ribbon spools on a tension rod in the closet.  It was a pain to remove the spool though when it ran out because I had to take a bunch of them off in order to get the empty one off.  This works so much better because I can still pull it out to cut pieces but it is a breeze to remove them when they are empty.  I actually bought these spice racks to turn into little bookshelves in my daughters' rooms.  I'm glad I never got around to putting them up because this is one of my favorite storage solutions on this pegboard!
I found this little wooden crate in the aisle with unfinished wood projects at Hobby Lobby.  Those two boxes are a Kate Spade watch box and a Michael Kors watch box.  In the Kate Spade one I store my pattern weights (side note: I have searched all over for the Kate Spade watch that came in this box and I hope to find it soon or I will be very sad.  It is a black watch with pave cat ears around the watch face and I love it so much!).  I have needles and my other sewing machine feet in the Michael Kors box.  I found that little odds and ends container in the Target dollar section and I love that it is blush pink and has that light wood lid.
These floral buckets were also from the Target dollar section.  When I first found them there were only 2 of the floral ones left.  After putting them up on the pegboard I loved them so much that I knew that I needed more.  I checked that dollar section every single time that I went to Target for a month straight and was finally rewarded by finding 3 more.  A few are empty right now but the others are holding pom pom trim, elastic, and some other trim that I bought by the yard recently.

I took this little fabric and lace garland off of my daughter's teepee:
Photo credit Exposures by J. Linnea

I printed my Etsy shop logo on some printable heat transfer material and ironed it onto some linen fabric and then added some lace trim.  I'm so excited about this pegboard and my sewing studio.  It has been so much fun to sew in this room!  
I've also been busy working on the family room that is right next to this space.  Over my Easter break it got a new coat of paint and now I am working on a few fun decor projects including a way to display/store children's art, a fresh look for the benches that were on the porch at our old house, and a really cool decor project involving wool felt pom poms and paper mache letters.  I am also slowly working on some sewing projects related to cloth diapering so I hope to have an update on cloth diapering with those projects soon.  Also here is what I have been working on lately:
You can read more about the pattern and tutorial that I used for these bibs in this post.  And here's my now 7 month old cutie rocking the bib on the left:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Teacup Cactus Pincushion

 Hello!  I'm making an effort to actually get more than one blog post in during the month of April.  It actually wasn't too hard since all I had to do was edit a few photos that I had already taken.  I'm excited to share this fun tutorial with you today.  I've wanted to turn one of my vintage teacups into a pincushion for quite sometime but I had been seeing some adorable succulent and cactus pincushions lately that really caught my eye.  Then I had the brilliant thought to combine the two and I love how it turned out.
If you have been following my blog for awhile you may remember this post about planting succulents in teacups (so this is my first time at the teacup succulent rodeo ha ha).  For this project I decided to use my favorite blush pink and gold teacup and saucer that a friend gave me several years ago.  It goes great in my sewing studio as I have a bunch of blush pink accents in the space.  I started by gluing my teacup to the saucer with hot glue.  Next I measured how tall I wanted my succulent to be and found a circular object that was close in diameter to that measurement.  Then I grabbed a piece of green felt and drew 6 circles on the felt.
Next I cut out the felt circles with pinking shears.
Then I placed two circles together and sewed around the edge leaving about 2-3 inches open at the bottom.  I repeated this step with the other 4 circles.  I used my sewing machine for this step but you could hand sew them too.
Next I stacked the 3 sewn pieces on top of each other and hand stitched a straight line down the middle of the stack.  Make sure all of the open parts of each piece are lined up with each other before you sew them together.

Next I filled the cactus with steel wool (you could also use filler that you would use for stuffed animals but I thought the steel wool would help to keep the pins sharp).
Finally I found some black felt and cut a strip and cut it like grass for a kids art project (does that make baby/mommy brain can't seem to think of better words to describe that today).  I placed a little dot of hot glue on one end and rolled it up and placed another dot of hot glue on the other end to make the center of the flower.  I apologize that I didn't take a picture of that step.

Then I freehanded the flower and cut out two pieces from pink felt.

When I glued the flower pieces to the cactus I placed the top piece so that the petals lined up with spaces between the petals of the bottom piece.  Finally I glued the stamen piece in the center of the flower.

The final step was just to add the pins.  I think it is so cute and love having the saucer underneath to hold little items like small safety pins, a few of my labels for my Etsy shop items, and my little embroidery scissors.  

Next time I write a post I will be very excited to share my sewing studio and my giant pegboard with you.  It is quickly becoming one of my favorite spaces in this house!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sewing for Baby: Booties, Bibs, and Blankets

Man life has been busy.  It seems that I can only manage a post or 2 every month.  I've been busy with many projects lately but I haven't had much time for blogging about them!  Today I've managed to find some time to write another post in the Sewing for Baby series that I started back when my oldest daughter was a baby.  I have not one but three fun sewing projects to share with you today!  First up is my favorite thing to make lately: baby booties and shoes.  The pattern that I used for all of the examples in today's post is Maggie's Stay-on Baby Booties by Beautiful Pie Shop.  I've had this pattern for a long time but never tried it until a friend wanted some stay on type shoes for her daughter.  

I made my first pair for her using gray fleece and flannel lining.  I love this pattern so much.  It is easy to follow and they are really fun to make.  Plus they really do stay on!  I love them for my youngest because socks never stay on her feet and she is always pulling her carseat cover off of her feet.  I no longer worry about her little feet freezing!  I love making them so much that I now carry them in my Etsy shop The Petite Seam.  They can even be made without the cuff which you will see in a few of the photos below.

And here is my sweet baby girl modeling them in her 5 month photos (she is over 6 months now!)

 The next project is one that I have yet to make more of but I plan to make a lot more of them.  I hope to list them as a new item in my Etsy shop soon but so far I've only made one as a gift for a friend.

I used this tutorial for rounded pom pom bibs from the blog Life on Waller.  I didn't follow the tutorial to a T however because I hate hand stitching so left a small opening, flipped it right side out, then topstitched the entire bib.  I think topstitching makes it look more finished anyway.  The blog also has a tutorial for a fringe bib which I'm going to try next.

My final (or maybe not *wink wink*) project for today's post is a taggy blanket.
This little blanket was so easy to make.  I found some wooden teethers on Amazon but there are also some great ones on Etsy.  I cut a piece of cotton fabric and a piece of minky 17" by 17".  Then I cut a bunch of different pieces of ribbon about 4" each (it was around 32 pieces).  Just make sure you use ribbons with varying textures to make it interesting for baby to play with.   I wish I would of taken a picture of this step but I just folded each piece of ribbon in half and pinned the ends of the ribbon pieces to the right side of the cotton fabric.  For the wooden teether I just cut a slightly longer piece of ribbon and tied it around the teether and pinned that ribbon to one of the corners of the cotton fabric. Then I pinned the cotton and minky right sides together.  I sewed around the edge with a 3/8 inch seam allowance making sure to leave a roughly 2 inch opening. Then I flipped the blanket right side out, pressed, and pinned the opening shut.  Finally I topstitched around the entire blanket.
The watercolor blanket was a part of a baby gift for a friend but I also made one for my baby to go in her Easter basket.  I forgot to take a picture after it was done.  If you look closely you can see the pins in this one because it still needs to be topstiched.  Also that pacifier clip will be a future blog post :).

Finally I have a few more things to share with you that kept me busy at my sewing machine in February.  You may remember that I recovered the glider cushions in my daughter Lyla's nursery (I'm using the same glider in Ana's room now).  You can read more about that here.  Recently my friend asked me to make slipcovers for the glider in her daughter's nursery.  I love how this glider turned out.  The cushions before were a light green.

 I also made a few changing pad covers for her.  You can read more about those in this other Sewing for Baby series post.

Also how amazing is that mid mod dresser that they painted teal!

This isn't all that I've been busy with of course.  I have also been working on a couple of more sewing projects related to cloth diapers that I will share in a future post that will also include an update on our cloth diapering experience.  As far as home improvement projects go I've taken my focus downstairs with our family room and my sewing studio getting paint jobs and some other exciting projects in the sewing studio which I will give you a hint at in this picture.
I will give you a tutorial on how to make that cute cactus teacup pincushion that you see next to my sewing machine in my next post!

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