Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy Me

I have been super busy with sewing lately. Well I can’t really say that I have only been working on sewing, because I have really only spent about 10 hours in the last two weeks sewing, I have just managed to get a lot done in that time period.

I made a total of 18 burp cloths. These are super easy to make. They only require some scrap flannel and the pre-folded diapers. I bought the Gerber 3 ply diapers because I wanted them thick and white otherwise I would have just bought the organic diapers from Simple Cloth.

  • Wash and dry the diapers 3-5 times on hot before using.
  • Measure the thick section of the diaper length and width and add 1/2” to the width (mine was 14”x16”)
  • Cut your flannel pieces to that measurement
  • Iron the seam allowance on width sides for easier sewing
  • Sew the flannel down so that the pretty part is all showing (there is no turning involved here)
  • Finally serged the ends of the diapers to even everything and protect it all from fraying (the ends are typically serged already, your just making sure your flannel doesn’t unravel)

See wasn’t that super easy (if not, let me know and I will make a real tutorial, but you can always Google it and find lots of great burp cloth tutes out there). These were fun because I was able to use up lots of scraps of flannel from all the jammies I make myself.

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IMG_0056 I also made a crib sheet to go with the awesome jungle bumper and dust ruffle I found at Value Village. I found this great fabric at Joann’s that matched all the colors in the bumper, but it was $7/yard. I am normally not picky about prices for fabric, but I needed two yards and $14 for a crib sheet is ridiculous. I decided to use my 40% off coupon to help with the price. When I got home I realized the lady at the cutting counter only rung me up for 1 yard of fabric rather then the 2 yards I had gotten, so I guess this sheet only cost me $4. I was going to call and let them know, but from working at Home Depot I know that they would just say ‘thanks for letting us know, but there is nothing we can do’. So I just accepted my stellar deal. The sheet was easy to make, but still a little annoying, because the tutorial I used wasn’t super accurate. I finagled it and made it work though. I probably won’t be making anymore sheets, because they really aren’t that cost effective, I just got lucky.




I broke out my WIP basket and decided that I wanted to make everything in it before starting any new projects. Here was the first of that endeavor, a brown corduroy market tote with butterfly fabric lining. I made it with brown polka dot ribbon for the size adjusters. Nick said this was my ‘grandma Mary Poppins’ bag because it is so big and the fabric reminds him of an upholstery bag.IMG_0122IMG_0119











The next project in my basket was this Hawaiian print and denim bag for a friend. She had tons of fabric to make various things with, but she doesn’t know how to sew, so she gave it to me to make things for her. She didn’t really like this bright fabric so I decided to ‘hide’ it as a lining to a very simple tote bag. This bag would be great for groceries or a trip to the lake.  IMG_0129

I also needed to finish the Tortilla Warmer that I had started at an ASG meeting back in April. My mom and I were sharing a sewing machine so rather then finishing mine I let my mom work on hers mostly and I would finish mine when I got home. Well I just finished it! IMG_0124 IMG_0123









Another 3 projects in my basket were these singlet shopping bags. One of them is for a friend, but the other two have been cut for well over a year just waiting for me to tackle the handles. The handles on these are very cumbersome to make and I dread doing. Well I figured out a really quick way to make them (as long as you don’t mind a little serged edge showing. The original has a gusseted bottom, but I didn’t like that because you can’t put as many groceries in the bag, so I excluded that. Apart from the Hawaiian print for my friend the fabric is from $0.50 bandanas that I had found at the store. I love it when I can make things, and they are actually cheaper and better then what you can get at the store.IMG_0131

The final project I finished from my basket is this super easy tote bag with a log cabin square in the center. I had intended to send this off with a swap package, but ran out of patience with the colors. I can only handle so much of the same fabrics.IMG_0126 

In addition to all of this stuff I finished, I completed 4 baby washcloths, 1 bib, and 3 swaddling blankets. I didn’t take any pictures because there is nothing spectacular about them and I put them away before getting around to it. I still have 3 projects in my WIP basket to work on, and I want to finish those this week so I can complete a total of 100 projects for the year so far. It is so hot here right now that I don’t want to really do anything, but sit in front of my AC unit in my bedroom, so we will see what all I get done this week. So, I sew.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Some projects I have done

  I have done a lot of crafting in the past couple of days. I finished some stuff from my list and some extras.

Here is the 12 x 12 calendar. I can change the paper in the background to match the season or monthly holiday. I am using some window markers that I bought a long time ago to write the days and the month onto the plastic calendar cover page.


I also made these children’s closet organizer hangers. I found some wood pieces at the craft store and had Nick cut the holes into them for me. I then painted them and mod podged paper to them. I printed out the ages onto clear address labels and stuck them on. I found these animals at the craft store and thought it would work perfectly with the jungle theme I have going on in the baby’s room. The sad thing is Nick put the holes a little to low and they don’t fit on the closet rod, so Nick said he would work on lowering the rod for me to use them.


I sewed up 5 baby bath towels in various colors and sizes. I just cut various size squares of terry cloth and flannel for the hood, then serged it all together. I think I might add bias tape to the green ones later, but I don’t feel like doing that right now, they are just for me so perfection is not required.


I cut up some towels that I had sitting in my craft room to make 16 reusable baby wipes/washcloths. They are really simple, just 8 x 8 squares of towel, serged together. I didn’t want to go fancy on these since there purpose is to wipe poo from baby’s bottom.


I also cut and ironed 18 burp cloths. I just need to sew them onto the pre folded diapers. I am waiting for those to get washed about 4 times first so they are all shrunk down to size.

This weekend I will be by myself so I will work on the cloth diapers that I have fabric for and hopefully finish those. I really want to make some bibs, booties, and washcloths from all my scraps that I have accumulated. I want to use up some of my yardage though too, so I need to find projects to do that with. So, I Sew.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cloth Diapers

I went down to the local cloth diaper store Simple Cloth and registered for a ton of great products from her. I also want to try and make some of my own diapers. I did the calculations and here is what I have:

The info I used was that a child uses 70 diapers per week for about 2.5 years (130 weeks). Also here are some great comparison websites:

http://verybaby.com/dollars ( I used this the most)


  • Lifetime cost of Diaper Service – 130 (weeks) x $18.00 = $2340 + 12 (covers) x $13.00 each = $2496
  • Lifetime cost of Disposables – 9100 (lifetime amount of diapers) x $0.25 (average cost of one diaper) = $2275
  • Lifetime cost of Home Laundering Pre-fold Diapers – $0.15 (average detergent per load) + $0.95 (average electricity usage per load) + $0.20 (average water cost per load) x 260 (3 loads of laundry per week) = $338 + 12 (covers) x $13.00 each + $180 (cost of pre-folds) = $830
  • Lifetime cost of Home Laundering Ready Made Pocket Diapers (The ones I prefer of most like disposables) - $338 (diapering lifetime home laundering cost) + 24 (one size pocket diaper) x $18.00 each = $770
  • Lifetime cost of Home Laundering Home Made Pre-fold Diapers - $338 (diapering lifetime home laundering cost) + 12 (covers) x $7.00 (fabric and notions needed) + $180 (cost of pre-folds) = $602
  • Lifetime cost of Home Laundering Home Made Pocket Diapers - $338 (diapering lifetime home laundering cost) + 24 (one size pocket diaper) x $10.00 (fabric and notions needed) = $578

I figure that Nick and I will have 2 kids, so the price doubles for Diaper Service and Disposables. For all the other options most of the diapers can be reused (I have heard you do have to invest to buy about 12 new Pocket Diapers with your second child), but the covers and pre-folds all can be reused.

Based on my calculations (which are rough, but good estimates) I can save about $4250 over the life of two children if I make the Pocket Diapers myself. Of course we will probably mix and match different types of diapers and home made and store bought, but for that kind of savings we can do that. Nick and I are also thinking of the “green” savings will have by cloth diapering and that is 18,200 less diapers in the landfill (which never deteriorate).

Since seeing these numbers I have already bought the pattern and the first batch of supplies needed to make my first 3 Pocket Diapers from Kayla’s Cloth Kit. Her site has great kits that include everything you need to make 3 one size fits all Pocket Diapers. You can customize what colors and materials you want, also if you need the pattern or just the notions. While working on this post I got the pdf pattern link in my e-mail, so now I can make some mock ups before the precious fabric arrives. One thing that I like about Kayla’s Cloth Kit is that she allows you buy the license to sell the diapers. You just make one and send it to her and if it is up to her standards she will allow you sell unlimited amounts of her diaper for just the cost of her labels and the license fee. What a great way to make a little extra cash.

I can’t wait to get the fabric and start making my own. So, I Sew

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I got a few things done.

The other day I cleaned up my craft room so it was easy for me to use again. Then I went shopping for some basic onesies to decorate. I ended up with 7 completed onesies and I am quite proud of most of them.

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The first three I painted using some stencils and the other four I did iron appliqué. I chose not to sew these appliqués for pure ease of making them. The baby doesn’t get to wear them that much anyway.

Yesterday I went to Simple Cloth in downtown Olympia. They sell everything you could possibly need to cloth diaper you baby. I got so much information from the owner. I now know exactly what I want to do use and how many I need. She was giving me prices of a cloth diaper investment and I was a little surprised, but realized how much I could save from not using disposables, also they can be reused from child to child. The investment would only be once for a lifetime. I think I could even make them cheaper, but I might have to do some research. I haven’t really found a pattern that I like for diaper covers yet, so we will see.