Nappies!

Stack of large size cloth nappies

Done! Finally.

This particular unfinished project has been weighing on my mind for a VERY long time. I just looked up my shopping history, I bought the fabric for this set of nappies on the 27th October last year. That’s a long time to make 22 nappies!

Now it’s not really the nappies that take that long, it’s me and my procrastinating. The last nappy sat unfinished on my table for about a month because I was short one piece of velcro. To be fair, I was waiting to see if a friend had any lying around, but really I should have just used a different colour and I would have been done ages ago.

Look at the pretty colours!

Don’t they look nice and bright and colourful? This isn’t even all of the colours, but since there will never be a time that all 22 nappies are clean and dry at the same time this is the best I can do.

Squish has been wearing half mediums, half larges for a while now. It feels good to have this project crossed off and to stop stretching the elastic on the medium set.

Here’s a little info on this style of nappies:

  • They are pocket nappies, made from PUL outer (with pretty cotton print at the top) and suedecloth inner.
  • I used a bought pattern that my friend gave me (which I altered to add in the cotton print), but there are heaps of free patterns available, just do a quick Google search.
  • I used darker colours of suedecloth (black, red, green) because I figured that would save me time worrying about stains, but I’ve found suedecloth to be much more resistant to stains than the microfleece anyway.
  • I use a microfibre insert (see below). I bought microfibre fabric and cut 35 x 35cm squares which I fold into 3 to stuff inside. Mostly because I’m too lazy to make proper inserts (can I please have an overlocker?), but they also dry super quick this way and work well.
  • I use flushable liners, but if it’s just pee I throw them in the wash too. Different brands vary, but I’ve found you can get at least 2 or 3 goes out of one liner. I had a really good brand once that stood up to about 5 or 6 washes, but my supplier changed the liners she was getting in and I haven’t found any as good since.
  • I buy my nappy fabrics from Greenbeans NZ. Best quality NZ supplier, in my opinion. Good prices too.
  • I use velcro, not snaps. I love the secure and adjustable fit. I borrowed a cloth nappy with snaps once, and HATED it. Took me so long to get it done up! Probably because I’m so used to velcro though.

Here’s some close ups for you:

PURPLE!

Here you can see the insert folded into 3.

And that’s it! One pile of large size MCNs all done. And do you know what’s awesome about making your own? It works out to about $7 NZ per nappy. All you gotta do is find the time!

If you want to have a go at making your own nappies and you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll do my best to help.

Happy nappy making!

Nicola x

Tutorial: Repurpose Jeans to Clutch

These days, my handbag is full of 95% Squish stuff, 5% my stuff. So when I get the chance to go out without her I either have to take all of her stuff out and carry a sad, empty looking bag, or just carry my wallet and phone. Until last week, when I finally got around to making myself a new clutch, the day before going out for dinner with friends!

It’s made from an old pair of my husband’s jeans, and the piece I used is also leftover from another project that I needed the jeans for. Perfect repurpose!

Just the right size for the essentials: phone, keys and cards.

Wanna make one yourself?

Go find some jeans! (or use something else for the outer fabric)

Supplies:

  • Outer fabric
  • Inner fabric
  • Double fold bias tape/binding (or single fold, and iron it in half lengthwise like I did!)
  • Scrap fabric and button for embellishing (optional)

Cut your fabrics to the desired size. Make the width the same size that you want your finished clutch to be, and the length 3 x longer than the finished length. I cut my jeans so that the pocket was straight which meant that the top edge was angled (original waistband). The inner and outer fabrics should be the same size. If your binding is single fold, iron it in half now.

Unpick the top of any belt loops that are in the way. We will sew them back down over the binding soon.

With fabrics wrong sides together, sew binding on to top edge (the edge with the belt loops). I just sandwiched it on, but if you have the time and patience, you may like to sew the binding on properly. Repeat for the bottom edge. Sew the belt loops back down if you have any.

If you are new to binding, check out Dana from Made’s tutorial:

Fold the bottom up as far as you want it to go. Mine was just over a third, because I didn't want the top flap to fold all the way down.

Now it's time to bind the edges. To encase the ends nicely, you will need to open up the bias tape, fold the top down and the side over. You may need to tuck the folded piece in a bit so that it is nice and neat. You may notice my binding skills aren't that good in these pictures. I was rushing, I should have done it the proper way.

Now you should have something looking like this. Woohoo! Nearly there. Time to embellish if that's your kinda thing. Whoops, looks like I missed the second line of stitching on the lefthand side.

Cut out your shape. I just freehand cut a flower out of the same fabric as the lining, but you can use whatever scrap fabric you like and cut any shape.

Sew carefully around the edge of your shape, about 3mm from the edge. You could pin or use fusible web to keep it in place, but I was in too much of a hurry for that. You could also have done this step right at the beginning on just the outer fabric so that the stitching doesn't show through on the inside. It doesn't really matter too much though.

Sew a pretty button on or finish embellishing however you like and you are DONE!

A quick and easy clutch, just the perfect size for everything you need when going out for dinner with some lovely friends. Or to the movies. Or to someone’s house for coffee. Without all that kid stuff. Wooooo!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thanks for stopping by. It takes me so long to put a tutorial together, I really hope some of you have a go and make some awesome clutches for yourself or maybe as gifts for your friend/mum/sister etc.

Let me know if you need any help with any of the steps. I’m just an email or a comment away :)

Nicola xx

Show me your neutral

In case you missed it, the other day I announced that I’M PREGNANT! I’m actually about halfway through but thought it was about time I shared our news with the blogging world.

Quick story: When I was pregnant with Squish, we wanted to see whether she was a boy or girl. We went along to our 20wk scan, keen to see our beautiful baby again and check that all was well, but also looking forward to getting a sneak peek of who this baby was. She was fast asleep, with her legs crossed, one hand over her genitals and the other hand up with one finger pointing.

Last week, we went along for our 20wk scan for Squirmy. We were so excited to see baby, and again interested to know if it was a boy or girl. This one was happily sitting with it’s knees pulled up by it’s chest, butt facing outwards. Apparently we breed babies that just don’t wanna let us know. I probably won’t have another scan, so we’ll just wait patiently again and look forward to meeting our little Squirmy in a few more months.

Right, back to what this post was actually about. Gender neutral baby stuff. With Squishy I didn’t let myself get too excited and I only made her really practical things like sheets and nappies before she was born. This time is going to be different. This time I’m going to get really baby-excited and make as many awesome baby things as I can fit in, but since I don’t know the gender, I’m looking for ideas of things that will suit any flavour baby. I’m not into pale colours, so no typical pale greens and yellows for us. I’m going to have to get creative. Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

So far, these are some ideas I’ve thought of for projects: (Click images for links)

Sweet and Simple Swaddling Blankets by Delia Creates

Except I’d of course need to use different fabrics. I’ve got some already that will be perfect for a few of these!

Freshly Picked Baby Hats by Delia Creates

Cute hats right? Maybe I can come up with some other cool fruits to model hats after.

Knit Baby Blanket and Baby Hats by Make It and Love It

Obviously not in bright pink or embellished with flowers, but the idea, YES.

Re-Purpose: Stuffed Owl by Make It and Love It

Cute little stuffed toys made from repurposed materials? YES.

DIY Baby Rag Quilt by Do It Yourself Divas

Nana is making Squish one of these for her 2nd birthday, but I’ve got everything I need to make a mini bassinet version for Squirmy!

Felt Owl Mobile by Homemade be Jill

I’m not really on the Owl bandwagon, but I’ve got plenty of felt to make a cute mobile.

That’s just a handful of the ideas that are spinning around in my head right now. Obviously some of them will need different fabrics etc. to make them gender neutral but they will still work. Now I just need to decide on a colour scheme/theme to plan everything around! Oh exciting!

I’ve been pinning lots of other ideas if you are after some baby sewing/crafting inspiration too.

What great unisex baby ideas do you have? Leave me a comment or send me an email with your ideas, I’d love to hear all about them!

Nic x

The Tale of Squishy and Squirmy

A little story for you on the origin of Squishy’s nickname.

Once upon a time, a Mummy and a Daddy decided to have a baby. They were super excited when they found out that they were pregnant, and gave the little baby a nickname right away. Bob the Blob. As the pregnancy progressed, so did the nicknames. It soon became Cletus the Foetus, and when they heard the heartbeat for the first time, baby was nicknamed Pacman (you know, because the heartbeat sounds like Pacman… wop, wop, wop).

Towards the end of the nine months, the Mummy and the Daddy started looking more closely at the little newborn babies they saw in their day-to-day activities. They decided that they all looked kinda simlar, kinda squishy. From then on, the baby (and all newborn babies for that matter!) was nicknamed Squishy.

Squishy was born, and they loved her so SO much. The nickname lovingly stuck.

After a while, Squishy’s Mummy and Daddy decided that they would like to add another little squishy to their family. They were equally as thrilled to find out that they were pregnant again, but since it was the second pregnancy and they already had a toddler to deal with, the nicknames didn’t immediately come to mind.

It wasn’t until around 15wks when the Mummy AND the Daddy felt the baby doing backflips or something in there for the first time, that they knew exactly what this baby’s nickname should be. Squirmy.

(and just in case you’re wondering, or you didn’t quite get my not-so-subtle hinting, yes that is an announcement)

Nic xx

New Pants

Leggings!

Pile-o-pants. Well, leggings really. I made these for Squish a while ago and have just realised I never posted about them.

Little Miss needed some new leggings for winter, and on my recent trips to fabric shops I had bought lots of knit fabric because “that will make really cute leggings”. So it was about time I got around to making them!

The best thing about leggings is that they are super simple to make. But since I didn’t take any photos of the process and I’m just not in the mood for making some more and writing a full tutorial, I hunted one down that is similar to what did in case my quick written instructions don’t make any sense at all (quite likely!)

But I’ll have a go at explaining what I did because it was a little different. The Make It and Love It tutorial uses a symmetrical pattern piece which I’m sure works fine, but I wanted to have more butt space to make sure there was enough cloth nappy bum room. Shop pants do have bigger back halves so I wanted to use the same idea. I did use two pieces of fabric like Jess though so the actual sewing part of the tutorial is the same.

Using a pair of store-bought leggings, I created my pattern piece. I turned them inside out and folded them in half, tracing one half. Then I flipped them over to trace the second half because the back had a slightly wider crotch bit and came up higher at the top. Make sense? Sorry. If you would like a proper tutorial, let me know. I’ll see what I can do.

But anyway, sewn together in the same way as Jess’ tutorial, I ended up with a bunch of new leggings to keep squish warm through winter.

5 new pairs for approximately $10 total. Brilliant. Oh those black ones are really thick too, nice and toasty warm.

PANTS!

Nic xx

Refashion: Adult hoodie to toddler hoodie

So in my wardrobe where all my fabric is stored, I also have a couple of huge bags of clothes that I can’t bear to throw out because I figure I can cut them up and use the fabric for something someday.

For one of those pieces of clothing, that day was finally here. The day I cut up one of my old zipup hoodies and turn it into a new hoodie for Squishy. I’ve been thinking about doing it ever since I saw this refashion:

Toddler Sweatshirt Tutorial by Craftiness is not Optional

Toddler Sweatshirt Tutorial by Craftiness is not Optional

The idea of refashioning one of my old pieces of clothing really stuck with me but when I came to do it I didn’t actually follow Jess’ tutorial at all (not because there was anything wrong with it, I just realised mine could work a little differently), so I figured I would have a go at showing you all what I did to go from this:

To this:

Got a hoodie that needs transforming into something for your child?

First you will need a pattern. If you have a hoodie pattern, great. If not, you can use a long sleeve top pattern and then draw up the hood section like I did, or you can have a go at drawing up your own pattern using one of your child’s sweatshirts.

Side note: If you use the link above to make your own pattern, don’t worry about folding it to make a symmetrical pattern piece. Half will work fine. And make sure you use a longsleeve top.

 

Lay your BACK pattern piece on top of the hoodie with the fold line along the zip and the bottom of the pattern piece slightly below the bottom of the top. As you are reusing the bottom ribbing or hem and saving yourself heaps of time, you don't need to include the seam allowance. Cut around your pattern piece through both layers of fabric, making sure that the zip pull thing (what is that called?) is down and out of the way.

Flip your pattern piece and cut out the other half.

Take your front bodice piece and fold it in half. Lay your FRONT pattern piece on top, and cut the neckline to match. Cut straight through the zip.

Lay your arm pattern piece on top of the original arm. Line up the fold of the sleeve with the fold line of the pattern and hang the sleeve end over the end of the sleeve (no need for seam allowances as you are using the original ribbing or hems). Cut around the pattern.

Now for the hood. I had to make my own hood pattern so I'm going to add this in in case you need to too. Using one of your child's hoodies, lay the hood down flat on to some paper. Trace around, remembering to add in seam allowances, except for the front as you will be reusing the hem on your adult hoodie. As you can see, I added seam allowace at the front, silly. Cut out your shape.

Using your hood pattern, cut out your new mini hood. My pattern piece is off the edge because of my unneccessary seam allowance.

Time to put it together! With right sides of the bodice facing, sew shoulder seams with a straight stitch. Use a zigzag stitch to finish the edges. Press with the seam towards the back.

Next you need to pin the arm pieces to the bodice. With right sides facing, start from the centre and work your way out. You may need to stretch the pieces to match. Sew together, again starting from the centre. Press, with the seams facing in to the sleeve. Repeat for the other sleeve.

With both arms sewn on, your hoodie should be looking like this. Time for some side seams.

With right sides together, sew up your side seams. Take care to line up the underarm seam as you go and keep the seam pointing into the sleeve. You could pin this before sewing if you like, I don't, but I'm just a bit lazy. Press.

Before you sew the hood on, you will need to cut a few of the teeth off the zip so that the fabric can be folded over later. I cut three teeth out from each side.

Next up is the hood. Put right sides together and sew up the seam. I was trying to keep the string freeflowing so I did a little tricky sewing at the top, but it didn't turn out that neatly. My advice is to sew right over it, securing the string as you go. It won't matter.

Pin the hood to the bodice. For this you will need the zip down a bit more to make it easier. Start from the centre and work your way out to keep it even, stretching the fabric as you go to match if you need to. Sew up and finish the edges. Press.

With the seam facing down, topstitch the hood to keep it tidy. When you get to the zip, fold the fabric over and stitch back and forward a few times creating a nice strong end which will stop the zip pull thing from coming off the top.

And that’s it! Go find yourself a cute toddler, stick it on them and then let them check out their cute new hoodie.

Pockets!

It didn’t take her long to find those pockets. The girl has been obsessed ever since the green easter dress. Found here by the way:

Ooohh and what's that Mumma?

Strings!

I am so happy with how this turned out and I’m sure you will be too. It’s so cute seeing a miniature version of my old top. Possibly because it’s also being worn by a miniature version of me!

Love you Squishy.

Nic x

Another one crossed off the list

Remember this?

Fleece pieces for monster soft toy

Unfinished: Monster soft toy ready to be sewn.

Well. I FINALLY got around to finishing it. Nothing to do with the fact that we will be seeing the little boy that we need to give this to tomorrow. No, not at all. But the point is, it’s done. And he’s pretty awesome I think.

Green Monster SoftieDoesn’t he just make you wanna pick him up and give him a big squeeze? Squish sure thinks so. As soon as she saw him she was giving him huge cuddles and carting him around the house. Not sure how she is going to go tomorrow when she has to give him to her friend. I think I’m going to have to make her one of her own, might be a tutorial involved if you’re lucky.

He is made from leftover pieces of microfleece from Squish’s nappies and stuffed with polyfill. The teeth are only sewn on by the stitching around the edge of the mouth. I know they will eventually get pretty ragetty and probably rip off but small, thin pieces of microfleece are hard to sew with and I couldn’t be bothered I think that will just add to his charm over time. He has nice long arms and legs which will be excellent for giving the biggest hugs ever.

Green Monster Softie closeupAw, doesn’t he look all cute there with with his legs crossed…

Anyway since he is a gift, I need to wrap him up along with the pencil case for some lovely little boys we know (who’s birthdays were in January… hey, we haven’t seen them since late last year!)

So, to continue on with the vow, I didn’t buy any wrapping paper or anything, just used what I had lying around. Luckily for me I had some kid-friendly wrapping paper leftover from last year anyway. Not cheating, isn’t it better that I use it up instead of throwing it in the rubbish? Yes, yes it is.

Not sure what I’m on about?

But anyway, here’s them both wrapped up in some wrapping paper I bought for my husband’s birthday about 3yrs ago and have been reusing it for little kids ever since:

Along with some gift tags cut from a colourful cardboard box and tied on with some random ribbon. Done.

Nicola x

A new dress. Because I can.

I’ve been noticing a trend on some of the blogs I follow. Each holiday, the blogger makes (or buys) a new outfit for their children. For example:

(Click on a picture to link to the original post)

Array

Made by Rae's Pale Pink Peekaboo Dress and Bonnet

Craftiness Is Not Optional's Easter Dress number 1

and Craftiness Is Not Optional's Easter Dress number 2

Simple Simon & Company's Chocolate Chicken Easter Dress

It was the same for Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and basically any holiday that comes along. Is this an American thing? Do you guys always wear special clothes and decorate your homes at every opportunity? Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s awesome. We Kiwi’s obviously don’t know how to get into the spirit of things.

But then I realised, I’ve made Squish a new skirt or dress for special occasions before. How is that any different? Apparently I’ve been doing the same thing all along!

So anyway, back to what this post was actually about. Miss Squish’s fancy new Easter dress. I made it yesterday while she was having a nap then finished it off with the pockets last night. She got to wear it today to her little friend’s house for an easter egg hunt and it will also be shown off on a trip to visit friends on Tuesday. Behold:

She looks kinda Christmassy with those cute little red shoes, which by the way, are from Joyfolie. If you haven’t heard of them you MUST check out their shoes!

The dress is made using a longsleeve tshirt pattern, I just extended the length and flared it out at the bottom a little. It was looking a little naked until a friend suggested pockets! Pockets was exactly what this dress needed. I used Made by Rae’s Pleated Pocket Tutorial, except I gathered the fabric instead of pleated because me and that fabric were just not getting along.

She loves those pockets. As soon as she put the dress on she was trying to shove her little squishy hands into them.

And of course because I said “let’s go and play outside so I can take some photos” she did this:

But she eventually came back so I could get another one of the front.

But that’s it. We were running late so I had to stop and rush everyone out the door.

Hope you are all having a very Happy Easter!

Nicola xx

A new sweatshirt and a tutorial

My lovely daughter has decided that tops with zips are for taking off, not leaving on to keep warm. Helpful, huh. So I needed to get her a warm top that she can’t take off. And considering I didn’t have any suitable fabric and The Baby Factory were selling plain sweatshirts for $8.99 I wasn’t about to go making one.

Trouble is the ones at the Baby Factory were just plain colours. Not quite fancy enough for my baby girl. I just had to add something:

Don’t look too closely at the actual applique. My technique is crap. This was only the second time I’ve ever tried it and I’ve obviously still got a LOT to learn. But the idea? I’m happy to share that.

Wanna make one of your own? Maybe not a heart, you could do whatever shape you like.

Find yourself a plain sweatshirt. Plain ones are usually cheap, so that's a bonus.

Cut out your base shape (apologies for the ribbon already sewn on there, I got a little ahead of myself). I used red polarfleece because it was the only red fabric I had.

Sew ribbons one by one to the base shape you cut out. Sew each one close to the edge, on both sides.

Keep going, adding ribbons and ricrac or whatever you have until it looks the way you want it. Trim the ends.

Pin in place on your sweatshirt. Now this is where I need help. I couldn't put interfacing on the back of the heart because it wouldn't stick to the polarfleece. Should I have used it on the inside of the sweatshirt to stop the fabric from stretching? Can anyone help me with that? If so, please leave me a comment. I could do with the help!

Using a zigzag stitch with a short stitch length, applique around the edge of the shape. I used a width of 3mm and a length of 0.2mm. I think that the length was too short. Anyone wanna help me out with that one too?

And that’s it! A great way to give your kids cute, unique clothes without the expense of premade stuff or the time and effort involved in making something from scratch.

Nicola x

I heart buttons.

I heart buttons. A lot. Almost as much as fabric. Almost.

A while ago, button heart wall art was all over Pinterest. I was in love. And this was actually something I wanted to have a go at straight away.

I actually made this a few months ago when I first saw the millions of pins, but thought I would share it with you anyway. The frame was another freecycle find, it was originally gold but with a bit of spray paint it had a new life. I painted the backing board the same colour (or as close as I could get it) as my bathroom wall, then just got happy with the glue gun and some buttons! I was pretty happy to find out that the buttons fit behind the glass too.

Cool huh? It now sits proudly in my bathroom.

The sad thing is that hardly even made a dent in my button collection…

Nic