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Surviving Disney August 7, 2011

Posted by Judy in babywearing, Diaper bag, Musings.
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It’s quite possible that we are the only people crazy enough to take 3 children, all under the age of 4, to Disney World on vacation. In fact, I’m quite sure of it, given that we saw very few people with small, small children. There were a fair number of infants (under 12 months of age), and quite a few 5-12 year old, just not much inbetween. Given that information, you’d think the number of strollers would be limited. Well, you’d be wrong. I couldn’t believe how many strollers there were! There was a combination of strollers that people owned as well as a plethora of the rental strollers offerend by Disney. The really surprising thing was the number of big kids that were riding around in the strollers. When I say big, I don’t mean 4 to 6 year olds. In a place like Disney, little legs can get quite tired. I’m talking kids that were 8, 9, 10, sometimes older. It was pretty silly seeing these kids smooshed into the strollers, and even sillier to see their parents struggling to push the heavy load! Ha!

Anyway, we were not among the masses that had a stroller. I suppose there were times when it might have come in handy, as in, it might have been nice to have a place to set out stuff. But most of the time, it was so much easier to not have to keep track of a stroller, especially having to park it and retrieve it before and after every attraction. I just don’t have the patience for that.

So, I bet you are wondering how we managed to transport all three children (yes, all three got transported as the 4 year old suddenly decided that it was “too faaaaarr!” to walk even 10 feet) plus a diaper bag and water, etc. I bet some of you have already guess it . . . . . . .. baby carriers. We took a little stash. DH took his favorite preschool-sized mei tai (MT) for the older two and the infant-sized MT for the 12 month old. I had more, I don’t like to be limited to just one or two, what can I say. I took along a soft structured carrier (SSC), two wraps and then two water wraps. Let me tell you, all of the carriers got a workout. At any given time, I had at least one babe on me, and DH was almost always wearing one babe on his back and carrying the other babe in arms in the front. We got a good workout that week, especially DH!

“But wait!” you say. “What about your stuff? Where did that go?”

Well, the first day, since we weren’t sure how it was going to go, we had wayy too much stuff. We had the two toddler backpacks, which seemed like a great idea, until the 2 and 4 year olds decided that walking was overrated. So then DH was stuck carrying their backpacks, PLUS his own backpack which was filled with books, water and other entertainment for the babes in case they got bored. So yeah, the first day wasn’t so good. Thereafter, we just stuffed what we needed for the older two into one of the toddler backpacks, and DH would carry that. I carried the stuff for myself and for the infant in my tricked out babywearing diaper bag. I stayed up until 4am the night before leaving on vacation making it. My mom, being the rockstar that she is, stayed up with me. (Thanks, mom!) It was totally worth it, though. It was really nice to be able to have a diaper bag that didn’t get in the way of wearing the babes.

Sooo, there you have it, that’s how we survived Disney: a small stash of baby carriers, a toddler backpack, and a tricked out diaper bag. Would I do it again? Hmmmmm . . . the jury is still out on that one!

Best diaper bag yet! September 25, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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About two weeks ago I finished The Studio Diaper Bag™, and I’m LOVING IT!  Maybe I like it best since it’s the first bag I’ve made with “real” fabric. . . . as in, not old sheets from Salvation Army.  I probably should have made a test run bag, since I did have some changes I’d like to make, but by and large, it works just fine.

I decided not to make it attachable to The Moored Purse™ since it was big enough to fit the essentials in the bag.  It’s just the right size for a quick outing, like going to the grocery store or library or something.  I also finished the “real” version of The Bungalow Diaper Bag™, but you can read about those adventures here.  It turned out to look quite nice, and works like a charm, it was just a major drama getting it to the completion point.

Anyhu, here are some pics of The Studio Diaper Bag™

Just enough room and pockets for a short little outing

Just enough room and pockets for a short little outing

Serious snaffu! September 22, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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I’ve been working on The Bungalow Diaper Bag™ for the past two weeks, and ran into a MAJOR snaffu with the Peltex.  Apparently I bought the kind that has glue on both sides, nifty, just not what I needed.  I kept having to modify my sewing directions, and every time I’d modify, something else would get thrown out of whack!  So first I figured I could fuse the Peltex to the lining, sew in lining pieces together, then sew the fabric together, then fuse everything together.  Then I realized that once the pockets were sewn in, it would be tricky to fuse.  So I decided to fuse the lining and fabric first then sew the pockets.  I was patting myself on the back for how smart I was when I realized that thanks to my “good idea”, the stitching for the pockets was going to show on the outside of the bag . . . not in the original plan!

Then I realized that I’d forgotten to attach the magnetc snap BEFORE fusing the fabric and lining.  Yep, you guessed it, you can see the ugly part of the snap on the outside of the bag.  I ran into sooo many problems, it took me many more hours than it should have to finish that bag.  It’s done now, and it’s actually really nice looking, just not what I had in mind.  It’s pretty jury rigged, but it works.  If I ever make any of these to sell, I most certainly WILL NOT use Peltex 72 (that’s the fusable on two sides interfacing).  Live and learn, I guess!

Now I’m trying to figure out how or if I can use the Peltex on The Chateau Diaper Bag™ without throwing that whole design into a tizzy.  But that’s a problem for another day!

It’s finally finished September 2, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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So I finally finished The Chateau Diaper Bag™ last week and we testing it out this weekend.  Of course, I will be making several minor changes, but by and large, the design is going to work.  Yipee!  It’s pretty much an enormous bag, but it fits pretty much everything you’ll need for an all day outing for cloth or disposable diapering for not one, but two babies!  An honestly, I’ve seen some pretty big diaper bags online, so this one fits right in.  The finished dimensions are 18″ wide x 12″ tall x 10″ deep.  And of course, there is a spot on the front where The Moored Purse™ can be, well, moored.  I love all of the pockets so that things don’t get lost in the recesses of the bag!  DH says it’s quite comfy to carry, since it’s a messenger style bag. (more…)

Will the revisions ever end? August 22, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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So I’ve been using the new diaper bag (previously known as the 3-hour bag, now known as “The Bungalow Diaper Bag™”) for a few weeks and it seems to be working out great. I’ve made a few revisions to make it more useful, we’ll see how that works out.

The purse, on the other hand, (formerly known as the attaching purse™, now known as “The Moored Purse™” ) is a totally different story. So far I’ve made two practice ones, which turned out quite nicely, but I keep coming up with more and more changes to make. So I ask, “will the revisions ever end?!?!” *sigh* I guess that’s part of the design process, right?

Speaking of designing . . I’ve come up with a design for another dipe bag. Originally, I had The Micro-Studio Diaper Bag™ as the smallest bag to be used for a quick little outing. Well, I’ve decided that is only good for a super quick outing, as in a, “just-running-to-the-store-to-buy-eggs” type of outing. So I designed a bag for the times when you’ll be out longer than just to buy eggs, but not so long that you would need The Bungalow Diaper Bag ©. It’s basically built off of the same pattern used in The Moored Purse™, but a bit bigger and with changes in the pockets. I’m calling it, The Studio Diaper Bag™. I have yet to actually make it, but I’m hoping that with all of the “experience” gained from the other bags, this one should go smoothly . . .wishful thinking, I know!

I’m about to start the practice run of the largest bag in the set, The Chateau Diaper Bag™. It’s going to be large enough to fit everything you’ll need for an all day outing with two little ones . . .at least, that’s the plan. We’ll be testing it out this Sunday (with just one LO, #2 has yet to make it’s debut!), so I’ll let ya’ll know how that works out.

Well, the only way to make progress is to actually start . . .wish me luck on the Chateau practice run!

Super organized purse tutorial – aka “the attaching purse™” August 4, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects, Tutorials.
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I finally finished it, the tutorial for my “attaching purse©”. I’ll admit, it’s a long tutorial with lots of pics, and some parts probably seem complicated. It’s not as beastly as it seems. I’m sure there is a MUCH more efficient way to both make the purse and write the tute, but I’m an amateur and it’s my first tutorial =)

The finished purse will measure 11 x 7 and is 3 inches deep. It has four pockets, I use them for cell phone, lotion, chapstick, and keys. There’s room for a wallet (I made mine using this tutorial with a few revisions) and sunglasses. The loops on the back are so I can attach it to whatever diaper bag I happen to be carrying around. The strap is used when I’m on my own – senza babies and diapers – just me and my purse!

Note: All measurements are in inches unless otherwise noted.

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And the results are in! August 3, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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I managed to finish the test run of the medium-sized dipe bag this week. I’ve been calling it the 3-hour bag, but that’s not so interesting . . so I’m still thinking of another name. (The new and improved name is . . . “The Bungalow Diaper Bag“) But the basic idea is to use this bag when we’ll be out and about for 3 hours or less. We tried it out at church today, and it worked pretty well. I need to make a change or two, but it’s already in the new and improved plans. Here’s how it turned out:

The inside of the bag

The roomy inside of the bag with space for two wet bags (dipes and wipes), and pockets for paci's, a sippy cup, clean dipes, changing pad and washcloths/bibs. Plus there's still room for books or snacks or whatever in the middle.

The front of the bag.  My test run of the "attaching purse" is on the front"

The front of the bag. My test run of the "attaching purse" is on the front"

The back of the bag with straps

The back of the bag with straps

So all in all, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. (Oh, I should mention that the pattern for the outside of the bag came from the book “Bag Boutique” by Amy Barickman and it’s the Hobo Bag pattern. the design/pattern for the inside came from my brain!!) I need to test it out a few more times before actually making the bag with the nice fabric, but it looks promising!

The other bag I finished is the 1-hour bag — again, needs a more interesting name. (The new and improved name is “The Micro-Studio Diaper Bag“) I didn’t do a mock up of this one since I figured “oh, this will be easy.” Of course, I should have done a test run. I ended up having to jury rig the big pocket because I messed up, so it looks a little wonky, but it works like a charm. Here are two pics:

A simple design with three pockets - sippy cup, paci, washcloth

A simple design with three pockets - sippy cup, paci, washcloth

The side view with the "attaching purse"

The side view with the "attaching purse"

So on to the next step: writing out directions for the “we’re going out all day” bag. (Oh, and coming up with better names for ALL of the bags!) Stay tuned for more fun and exciting info on my diaper bag project=)

Boxing corners tutorial July 29, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects, Tutorials.
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NOTE: found some mistakes here, so the changes are in red=)

Welcome to the “all-the-information-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-boxing-corners” tutorial. I’ve included several different ways to box corners as well as how to design them and have them turn out the right dimensions. I’ve tried to make it clear, but it’s easy to get confused (happened to me LOTS! see Brain Strain and Ready, set, sew!), so leave me a comment if you need more help, okay?!

Let’s start by learning how to sew a boxed corner. (Of course, if you are just dying to know how the algebra works, just click on one of the links below and you’ll magically leap to that section =)

The two main methods of boxing corners are what I’m calling the “cut-out method” and the “folding method”. With both of these methods you can start out with two separate pieces of fabric that get sewn together, or you can have one piece of fabric that gets folded over.
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Well under way July 29, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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And half of the diaper bag project is done. I did a test run of the wallet, learned a few things and will change them for the real wallet. Also did a test run of the “attaching purse”, and learned a few more things that will change for the real purse. But the real victory was that I figured out pretty much everything about the boxed corners. So I’m planning on taking a stab at the tutorial genre and making a boxing corners tutorial and a tutorial for the attaching purse.

The wet bags are done, and they turned out pretty good. Haven’t taken any pics yet, but I’ll have pics of my whole diaper bag ensemble once done. Feels good to be making some visible progress. Continue to stay tuned!

Ready, set, sew! July 23, 2008

Posted by Judy in Diaper bag, Sewing projects.
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Okay, corny title, I know! So the diaper bag plans are finished. Well, I have yet to do the ones for the “we are going to be out and about the entire day”, but all the other ones are done. I kept putting off starting them . . I think part of me was nervous about actually starting. But I bit the bullet last night and started out with the wallet. It turned out pretty good, there were a few problems with my directions, but by and large it turned out fine. I used this tutorial as a reference but made a few changes. When I make the real one, I’ll post pics with my changes.

Now my drama is working out the boxed corner thing . .. having trouble figuring out how much fabric I need in order to have a boxed corner and still have the bag be the dimension I want. Grrrr!! Stay tuned!