Sunday, October 25, 2009

Easy Baby TShirt Applique

This project was so easy that I feel bad calling it mine. But I did it, and it is an original, so here goes:

I got a long-sleeve white t-shirt on sale and thought it was a good quality shirt that would be fun to customize. My son has some t-shirts with a square of fabric in the drool zone, and I like them because they add another layer of absorbency before the shirt is too wet to keep wearing.

So-- all I did here was take a square of fleece and sew it to the middle front of the t-shirt using a wide and long zig-zag stitch and making sure one side of the stitch hit the fleece and one hit the shirt. I used fleece because fleece doesn't fray. If you would do this with a fabric that frays, you'd want to press under a hem on all sides before doing the applique.
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Reusable Produce Bags

In trying to live a "greener" life, I notice that our grocery shopping trips use a lot of plastic and a lot of packaging. I have been trying to buy less produce that is packaged (ie Trader Joe's-- which I LOVE for other things) and trying to buy our produce from a local market called Monterey Market that sources many organic local farms. It has been very eye-opening to learn what is seasonal and to try and cook more seasonal local fresh veggies. I have found they taste better and are cheaper.
But I digress. We use the plastic produce bags for kitty litter, but seem to have extra. So, after reading about them in "Sew & Stow" by Oppenheimer, I decided to give re-usable produce bags a try.
To make these, I used an old sheet. I cut it into pieces that were mostly 21" by 15". I hemmed the long edge and then folded them and made an inner seam and turned them inside out. I made a LOT of them, and some were smaller (hey, for chilies or something).

We took them to the store and used them this weekend. They worked fine as we were going around the store. When we got to the checkout, they also worked fine, although some had gotten wet from other produce that hadn't been bagged. Unloading the cart went a lot quicker than usual, because I bagged more than I usually do (I often just put loose items in the cart to save on bags). The checkout lady didn't flinch, and just peeked inside each bag. The bagger took a little longer because he had to look inside the bags to see what was delicate and what wasn't.

When I was checking out, I saw that they had re-usable produce bags for sale. They were mesh and had drawstring closures. They were 4 for $10. The mesh would be nice because they would probably dry faster, and you'd be able to see what was inside.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bikini with Boy Short Bottoms

So if I am making the baby a bathing suit, why not one for mama?

Well, it is actually a bit harder than it looks. I think it would have been easier had I chosen a color of fabric other than white. With white, I was concerned about not only the cut, but making sure it was not see-through... probably not the best choice for a first pass.

So, to make this, I traced a bikini top I had and underwear that I liked the cut. I traced them onto white paper and then added a seam allowance. When sewing, I used two layers of fabric for each. On the inside of the bikini top, I attached the straps using a box stitch (like you'd attach straps to a bag). On the bottom, instead of using underwear elastic, I folded a piece of swimsuit fabric in half and stretched it to fit (like when making baby trainers or pants).

I am happy with it BUT it takes way too long to dry. It would be better to use a liner material of some sort instead of two layers of swimsuit material. Had I done this, the pineapple pattern wouldn't be showing through from the back to the front like it does now. Also, I made a casing for the bottom strap of the bikini after turning and topstitching. I ran into a bit of a problem with the curve bunching the fabric. If I'd do it again, I would lace the bottom strap through-- between the layers-- and topstitch to form a casing instead.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Favorite Baby and Early Toddler Books

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Free Pattern Baby Boxers/ Trim Shorts

These trim shorts can also be used as stretchy baby boxers. In this photo, the sage ones are made of bamboo and the striped ones are made of stretch cotton/ lycra.

To make them, download the pattern: Trim Shorts. Instructions are on the pattern.

Please let me know how this goes! This is my first attempt at digitizing a pattern (I used Visio and a ruler) and sharing it. Feedback is appreciated.

I did a post in September 2009 about these Baby Boxers as well.

Note for all you bloggers out there: I just embedded the pattern link using Google Docs (here is how) and changed the name using these directions. How cool is that! Pin It

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Favorite Early Parenting Books

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My Favorite Pregnancy Books

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