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The toy library February 8, 2012

Posted by Judy in Sewing projects.
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I was losing my mind.  The toys, there were so. many. toys!  The babes actually don’t have THAT many toys, but I always feel like we are just drowning in toys.  And this was even after I had organized all of their toys into nice little baskets.  Although the baskets made the playroom look better, it also hid the toys, so the babes sort of forgot about many of their toys. At least I’m assuming that’s what happened since I noticed that many of the toys weren’t being used.  

Anyway, so a few weeks ago I decided to try a new idea: create a toy store where the babes could “buy” toys and then trade them in for other toys. The babes thought it was a pretty good idea, but then they suggested making it more like a library, where they have library cards and can check out toys. That sounded good to me, so we got to organizing the toys. The first step was to go through the toys and get rid of stuff that was never used. We agreed to give the toys away to people who didn’t have any or many toys.

Once the toys were separated into “give away”

and “keep” piles, we set to organizing the “keep” toy by category.

We then made boxes for each category and labeled them.

They are now stashed away in DH’s office where the babes will be able to check out one box at a time. Once they are ready for something else, they bring the box back and get a new box. I should mention that there are still plenty of toys in their playroom. All of their kitchen stuff is out, as well as the legos, blocks, trains, puzzles and books. The library toys are just a supplement to the everyday toys.

We’ll see how it works out.

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Baby steps November 7, 2010

Posted by Judy in Sewing projects.
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I’m feeling somewhat accomplished as I get ready to go to bed tonight.  Yeah, I probably should have taken advantage of the extra hour (thanks to the time change) and gotten more sleep, but I opted to use it to get some projects done in my sewing area.  Let’s see, what did I do . . . .

  • I added long sleeves to two polo shirts for DS1
  • I added an extra soaker layer to two pairs of fleece pants for DS2
  • I made a bandana for myself
  • I mended some clothing for DD

It took me about two hours, but I did have several interruptions (laundry, hungry baby, etc.)  I have quite a few other super quick projects on my to-do list . . . I should just make it a habit to spend one hour a night getting a little something done, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed when I looked at my list!!

Cloth napkins July 1, 2010

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With two toddlers in the house, we go through TONS of napkins . . . . it’s crazy!  Sometimes we’d go through 3-5in one meal . .. it just seemed to wasteful.  About 3 years ago DH and I thought we’d try out cloth napkins.  Of course, I never got around to making them, and that fabric got used for another project.  Sooo, with the wasteful toddlers going bonkers with the napkins, I decided to actually make some.

My first thought was to have linen on one side and then terry cloth on the other.  I made about a dozen like that, and thought they were a bit too thick.  This led me to just do either linen or terry cloth.  If you know anything about those fabric, you know they will frey like crazy if the edges aren’t finished.  I don’t have a serger, so that wasn’t an option.  But, I did have tons of binding, thanks to the nice lady who sold me her sewing machine.  Now, in the past, I hadn’t had much luck with binding, it’s really a PITB to attach.  But thanks to all of my new machines, I had several binding attachments, so I thought I’d give it a try.  Whoa is that an awesome attachment!  Attaching the binding was a total snap, I couldn’t believe how easy it was!  The only drawback is that you can’t use really wide binding as the slots are rather small.  But truthfully, the wider binding is easier to apply anyway.  Soooo, I bound up the remaining napkins and ended up with about 30 napkins.  This has proven to be enough to last us the entire week.  The kiddies each get one napkin per meal, and they really seem to like them.  And, we are saving money and trees and all that!!

And now, the napkins. . . . .

Not what I expected! January 28, 2010

Posted by Judy in EC adventures, Sewing projects.
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So I’ve been needing to make some more longies for DD for about 2 months, but that project keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the pile.  Well, I finally decided to tackle that today.  Got the pieces all cut out and then prepared them for dyeing since I really didn’t want her to have blah grey pants.  I was going to dye them a nice, bright blue, (kinda like the color of this text) which would match very well with many of her winter shirts.  I opened the first package of Kool-Aid . . . . . . .ACK . . . it was RED!  So I had 3 packages of that color and 3 of the blue color, so it turned out to be a maroony color.

Here’s what I got


Not bad, just not sure if she has anything to match!  Oh well, better than running around naked, I suppose=)

Pillowcases August 9, 2009

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For months now, I’ve been telling DH that I seriously needed to wash DS’s pillows and then make him some pillowcases to catch all the drool and gook that exudes from a 2 year old. I finally got around to doing it last week, and of course, it took no time at all. I sooo should have done this long ago. Plus, DS was SOOO excited about his new pillows=)

NOR pillowcases - sbs

NOR pillowcases - stacked

Somewhat waterproof trainers (on the cheap) tutorial April 21, 2009

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to come up with some trainers that DC could use while out and about.  I wanted it to be somewhat waterproof, wanted it to dry quickly, and I didn’t want to spend lots of money buying materials.  I think I’ve finally come up with something that works well for us so I decided to create a tute.  Admittedly, these trainers aren’t super cute and they are a bit jury-rigged . . . but I was really going for cheap and functional here.  I didn’t create the patterns, I’m not that skilled!  So I’ve been using these patterns with modifications.  Let’s get started!

not the greatest shot, but my LO kept running away!

not the greatest shot, but my LO kept running away!

These trainers will hold a fair amount of pee.  They will wick in the legs since the legband is not waterproof, so eventually the outside of the trainer will be wet, too.  This means you’ll want to use wool or fleece longies/shorties.  I haven’t found this to be a problem, though, since I offer DC frequent potty stops when we are out and about.

Materials needed

  • fabric for the main body – I use old t-shirts
  • flannel for the soaker
  • waterproof material – I use those disposable, plastic-like tablecloths that come in every color of the rainbow and you can get them at dollar stores or party stores.  You  can also use old shower curtains.
  • stretchy material – I used an old maternity shirt (96% cotton, 4% lycra = stretch in both directions) (you could also use fleece)
  • snaps  – I use snaps I’ve saved from cut-up onesies.  You could also probably use the inexpensive metal snaps from JoAnn’s. (more…)

Worst diaper ever! October 11, 2008

Posted by Judy in Musings, Sewing projects.
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Yeah, that was what I made last night.  I needed to make another nighttime dipe for NOR.  The first one was okay, but I wanted to make a few changes.  Instead of sitting down and thinking it through, I just launched right in.  Mistake!  I kept running into problems.  So I decided to sew the elastic in blind rather than doing the turned and topstitched method.  I also figured this would work better through all of the many layers.  The elastic worked out pretty well.  Then I thought I would wrap the microfleece, which is the inner layer, to the outside over the prefold so that 1) it would be soft on NOR’s legs and 2) it would keep the prefold from fraying in the wash.  I decided this AFTER cutting out the fleece, so I had to piece together more fleece to adjust the width.  (snaffu #1)  (Anyone confused yet?!?)   So when I did that, it stretched the elastic out so that it wouldn’t spring back.  (snaffu #2)  Then I figured I’d just make the fold over bigger and sew it over instead of on top of the elastic.  That seemed to work, until I got to the other side and realized that if I did that, I wouldn’t have enough room in the pocket to stuff the diaper.  (snaffu #3)

So the diaper is done, but it’s definitely not my best work.  Fortunately, it’s only a diaper, so it’s not really that big of a deal.  But, I really should try to think things through first.  Of course, I’ve spent hours thinking and planning my diaper bags and I still run into problems.  Hmmmm . . maybe my thinking is the problem.  Not much I can do about that!

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!

My new machine! September 11, 2008

Posted by Judy in Musings, Sewing projects.
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I’ve been casting about for a new machine for about 2 weeks.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with my old-as-the-hills-inherited-from-DH’s-grandmother sewing machine.  It’s just old with very few stitches.  Oh, and not enough oomph to sew through all of the diaper layers and no serging stitch.

Actually, this whole process started by looking for a serger.  I realized that even the cheap ones were pricey, so I switched to looking for a sewing machine.  After searching on Ebay and other internet sites, I settled on a Kenmore 16231.  (more…)