Sunday, February 25, 2007

So I have made many pantyliners now, I ~LOVE~ them!! And I was having some trouble with my Diva cup last time (really put the liners to the test!), so I have made a couple of actual pads. I used a tutorial I found online and made two pocket pads. These would be for a 'regular' day, not heavy or overnight. But because of the pocket, I could add an extra insert to make it more absorbent for those heavier times. I haven't yet made any extra inserts, but I found some really cool waterproof burp pads I was given when C was born, and I think they would be perfect. So I will be making some soon...

Also, I'm not a fan of the curves. Way to much trouble for what its worth. So I will be squaring them off for next time. I also made a pad for heavy or overnight days by making a square of two layers of terry cloth (aka old towel)covered with flannel. You then fold it into thirds for maximum absorbency. This makes it fairly bulky, I don't think I would want to wear this out and about. But it should be pretty good for nighttime and around the house.

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So as I'm getting more into this whole sewing thing, I'm finding it difficult to actually find time to do it. I've been putting my machine on the kitchen table, which is less than ideal because then I have to put it away at every meal, and I can only really sew during C's naptime. In the evening when G is home, its really disruptive. So G rearranged the furniture in the bedroom, taking a shelf/table that we were using as a headboard and turning that into a space for each of us. I have my sewing stuff and he has his laptop. I love love love it. The table is slightly higher than average, so I don't have to slouch as much if I'm watching my needle closely. And its plenty big enough for my sewing needs. And its right next to my yarn cabinet, so I feel like it is truly *my* space. Most of my pattern tracing, cutting, etc will still be done either on the kitchen table or the coffee table, but I couldn't be happier with this set up! And surprisingly when he moved our furniture around, we ended up with way more room even with this new workspace added!

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Here is my latest creation. My MIL requested that I make a dog coat for her neice (G's cousin). This was an easy project, one that I totally designed myself! I made it for a Dachsund, and while I did not have a dog of that breed to work with, its too small for my Emily, so I think it will be fine. I'm hoping the recipient will send me a pic of her doggy wearing it so I can see how it fits. If and when I receive such photo, I will post it here. I will definatly be making another one for Emily, even though coat season is almost over.

I used two strands of scrap WW and my 10mm. Also, the dogs head will go out the space on the right (hard to tell from this pic!).

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Friday, February 16, 2007

I did it!!! I made my first cloth diaper. I am so excited, Ciaran is napping, but I can't wait until he wakes up so I can try it on him. I used the free Mamabird pattern, and altered the Pocket AIO pattern to a fitted pocket. It was my first time having to think about proper seam allowances, ELASTIC!!!, attaching velcro, sizing, etc. In fact the only other thing I have sewn are panty liners. So I'm pretty proud of myself.

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I used two of Gareth's old tshirts for the body of the diaper (so will need to use a cover with it). Then I took a Gerber flatfold, folded it in half, then straight stitched it into thirds for easy folding for the stuffer. I don't think its super absorbent, but it will do for now. I also have an old fleece blanket that I will be cutting up to use as a stay dry liner inside the diaper.

Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out. I used white thread and its a blue diaper, so I don't love how that looks, but oh well. And I don't know if I'll do another pocket style. I really like how the Kushies I got have a soaker sewn on externally as a flap for easy drying and then you don't have to worry about pulling out a yucky soaker. The Kushies soaker also has a pocket so you can stuff even more in it if you need a little extra absorbency for a nap or something. I really like that style and the next one I will try that way. I can't wait to get my Motherease diapers next week and see what they're like. I have some nice flannel and even some fleece, but want to perfect the pattern I use before using either. Until then I still have a few old tshirts and my sister even gave me two great flannel pillowcases that are the perfect size for a diaper.

All in all this probably took me 2-3 hours of cutting/sewing time. But it was slow as I had to keep refering to the instructions with every step. I'm sure I'll be much quicker soon. I hear of women who can crank these out in about 30-45min.

If I decide that making these is a good way to go (in lieu of buying them), I'm going to have to start ordering some proper fabric from online. The local Fabricland SUCKS!!! The women who work there always seem put out if you have a question or need some fabric cut. Its like its a store for women who already sew, not people learning to sew. And the inventory is dismal. They didn't have a clue what PUL was (although I have discovered online is about the only place to buy it) and couldn't even tell me the difference between the fleece stock. So time to start scouting Canadian online fabric stores!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Well I have almost no crochet-related stuff to talk about. I've been working on something for sooo long now, but was missing a very important part. Finally bought what I thought I needed, but nope, I was wrong. But I think I've finally got it! So now I can hopefully finish this project (which is my first own design and I'm very happy with so far!).

But the last two weeks have been pretty crappy. Ciaran got croup, so he was out of commission for about a week. Poor little guy, I've never seen him this sick (even when he got croup at this exact time last year). He spent three days sitting in my lap watching Teletubbies and LazyTown. I don't think he's been still for more than a few minutes since he was born! And certainly never cuddled for more than a few seconds. But the meds kicked in and he started to get better. I, on the other hand, got worse. From what I understand adults don't get croup, instead they just get a bad cold. So I've been useless for a week too.

But by not being able to do much of anything, I've been surfing alot. I'm switching Ciaran to cloth diapers. There's several reasons I'm doing this even though he's 21mths. The biggest one is environmental. As we no longer have the luxury of a garbage service here on the farm, we have to incinerate everything ourselves. We had no idea just how many dirty diapers we go through. It is overwhelming! Then I started to crunch some numbers. Sposies are expensive, even though we prefer the cheapie Walmart brand. While we probably don't even have a year of diapering left until Ciaran is potty trained, there are some major savings involved by switching to cloth. Plus he has very sensitive skin (my little red-head!) so having natural fabrics that breathe sounds so much nicer than plastic disposables that have weird absorbent gels and chemicals. Plus as I've switched to cloth fem products, I can attest to how soft they are and how nice they feel! Why wouldn't I want that for him?

So I've orded a few dipes from Sears, cheap Kushies that I've heard good and bad things about. They're cheap enough that even if they're not great, its ok, but if they turn out to be great, then we're ahead of the game. I've also ordered a few Mother-Ease Sandy's. Again I've heard mostly good things, so we'll see how we like them. And because I'm just a crafty crafter who has a new sewing machine, I'm making some too! I've scrounged up some old t-shirts, have some el-cheapo flatfolds, even bought some flannel and some fleece. I have a free online pattern, and will hopefully have a finished product to show off in the next week or so. Buying some is great because I'll be able to see the different designs and what we like best, and hopefully translate it into something I can make. And then when the next baby comes, I'll know whether I can make them myself, or if its just worth it to order some (and of course we can reuse any we already have!). Win win win!

I've already switched to cloth wipes for Ciaran using baby washcloths (16/$5 at Walmart) and a solution I found online (1c water/1/2T canola oil/1/2T babywash). I'm just so mad I didn't do this sooner, they're fabulous!!! So soft on his skin, non-irritating, and I really feel like he's clean. I use a plastic container from some storebought wipes, and the solution makes enough for a couple days worth of wipes. Any mom out there who reads this, I highly recommend giving it a shot, they work so much better, so much cheaper and alot more earth friendly!

Oh, and with all this info about cloth, and trying my cloth pads and Ciarans new cloth wipes, I'm going to try my own cloth 'bathroom wipes'. Yes, cloth t.p. When I first read about it, I thought I could never go that far, but oh my goodness cloth just feels so much nicer! Forget about the environment, cost, etc. It just feels so nice. My hoo-hoo deserves to be pampered! And its no extra work with the cloth pads, dipes and babywipes. So I have some extra flannel I'm going to try. And if it doesn't work out, I'm no further behind. Alright, enough about all that.

The next thing that's on my mind is the garden. As I look out my window to what seems like several feet of snow, with more falling as I type, and a balmy -20c, I can't wait until spring comes and I can start digging. My mom and I went through her seed catalouges, and I've ordered all my veggies and herbs! Tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchinni, beets, garlic and more! I also ordered a set of three ferns, a purple one, an orange one and a green one. And a whack of sweetpeas. We haven't done too much about flowers yet, its still early, but I'm thinking about it lots. I'm digging out a bunch of delfeniums that cover a side wall of my house and replacing them with honeysuckle. And there's a big row of lily's along the front of my house that will go to be replaced maybe by coneflowers. I transplanted some of the lily's last year and I'm much happier with them moved. The rest look great for a short time while in bloom, and look like scraggly crap the rest of the season. So perinnials that bloom from June-Sept I'm searching for. I also have a beautiful fence line of white yarrow (that is considered a weed in the city!), and I'm thinking of mixing it up with some different coloured yarrow I've seen in books. Helps to disguise the ugly page wire.

I just set up an indoor grow shelf. My mom gave me one of her old grow lights, and I have now been successful at starting some cilantro, basil, chives and peppermint from seed myself! Its so exciting to go into the room everyday and see how they've grown. Within four days I had a little field of basil, and in a week and a half my cilantro outgrew the little plastic cover. Ciaran loves it too and we check the plants all the time.

Well Ciaran has just finished napping (convenient!). Alessandra I hope you're feeling better!!!